Pick Justice shows up in force to oppose Isadore Hall for ALRB

Pick Justice members outnumbered UFW supporters two-to-one at the state Senate hearing to confirm politician Isadore Hall to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Our leader Silvia Lopez, a farmworker at Gerawan Farming, eloquently told senators why Hall is unfit to be an impartial member of the ALRB, which is required to be an unbiased advocate of farmworkers. The hearing took place on March 1. When Gerawan farmworkers were pleading with officials to pressure the ALRB to count their votes to…

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Shawver in ethical dilemma as ALRB-UFW lawyer

Silas Shawver, the UFW militant who left the ALRB under a cloud last year, only to be secretly rehired this fall, is in an ethical dilemma as ALRB Deputy General Counsel. Shawver is: a UFW loyalist; a state official sworn to be impartial while advocating for farmworkers; the seniormost state official who tried to prevent Gerawan farmworkers from voting to decertify the UFW in 2013; the state official who prevented the farmworkers’ votes from being counted, and locked them in…

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ALRB’s conflicts of interest with UFW deepen with Shawver’s secret return

Silas Shawver Jumps For The UFW

The ALRB’s re-hiring of UFW militant Silas Shawver, after his mysterious “resignation” last year amid allegations of wrongdoing, shows that the state agency responsible for “helping” farmworkers remains in the hands of the politically favored union. UFW represents only 1 percent of California farmworkers. Yet with the ALRB’s collusion, the UFW can control the fates of the 99 percent who have opted not to join. ALRB secretly re-hired the disgraced Shawver in October, and promoted him to Deputy General Counsel.…

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Kangaroo court: ALRB’s own rules violate the law mandating impartiality

The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is breaking state law, raising questions about the legitimacy of the board’s actions and decisions. In layman’t terms, the ALRB is illegally serving as the UFW’s own kangaroo court to force UFW contracts on unwilling workers and employers. At issue is the ALRB’s legal mandate to be an impartial advocate of farmworkers, while the ALRB acts as an investigator and prosecutor. One cannot be an impartial prosecutor. Therefore, the ALRB is a kangaroo…

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We voted to de-certify the UFW 3 years ago today. ALRB still has our ballots.

Three years ago today, 2,400 of us Gerawan workers voted on whether to de-certify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had abandoned us for 20 years. The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) supervised the entire process. But it didn’t like the results. So ALRB seized our ballots and stored them in a safe in the ALRB’s Visalia office, then run by UFW activist lawyer Silas Shawver. That was on November 5, 2013. Shawver was later fired under an ethics…

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ALRB pushes fake UFW line about the employer it targeted

The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board is pushing a fake UFW line to attack a company and its workers. The state agency, known as ALRB, lied in claiming that Gerawan Farming “refused to provide” accurate contact information for its thousands of workers, so that the UFW could organize. In a three-year campaign to prevent Gerawan farmworkers from voting to de-certify the UFW, the ALRB made the allegation in three separate complaints. However, the ALRB flip-flopped by saying that the company:…

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UFW activist Shawver not listed on public version of ALRB staff directory

The ALRB has not listed Deputy General Counsel Silas Shawver on the public version of its staff directory, raising more questions about why the agency remains so secretive. Shawver is a United Farm Workers (UFW) activist attorney who was removed from ALRB in 2015, after Governor Jerry Brown purged the ALRB General Counsel’s office for possibly illegal bias toward a favored union. The activist lawyer has been gunning against farmworkers who don’t want to recognize the UFW as their labor…

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ALRB secretly re-hires UFW militant Silas Shawver

The ALRB has quietly re-hired controversial UFW activist Silas Shawver as the scandal-plagued agency’s Deputy General Counsel. That seems to be a promotion from his previous post as Assistant General Counsel. Shawver left under a cloud in 2015. Not everyone inside California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board is happy about Shawver being back. And some are talking. Shawver drew fire after Pick Justice revealed his conflicts of interests on the ALRB as a UFW militant while serving as a member of…

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Alegria de la Cruz: Another UFW loyalist on ALRB

More proof that yet another leader of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is a UFW loyalist. Alegria de la Cruz, in this undated picture, is an ALRB attorney. She supervised the votes of more than 2,400 Gerawan farmworkers to de-certify the UFW in 2013. De la Cruz is shown in this picture, standing at the center in the back, wearing a UFW hat. This must have been a special occasion for de la Cruz, as the person who took the…

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Prominent ag columnist calls ALRB dishonest, cheating, & bordering on ‘criminal misrepresentation’

“For anybody with the integrity to view the circumstances honestly the status of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is truly astounding in its embrace of dishonesty, partiality and cheating,” Don Curlee wrote in the Agricultural Action Committee’s newsletter, Ag Accent. “The prevailing status at the ALRB level has exceeded intellectual and political favoritism, and descended to a level that approaches criminal misrepresentation,” Curlee wrote in the May 15 edition. “The absolute breaking point was the board’s decision to disallow…

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Higher court sides with farmworkers against ALRB secrecy

Farmworker Lupe Garcia just won a big win for all California farmworkers, as well as for journalists and for employers who treat their workers fairly. The victory came from a unanimous three-judge panel in Fresno on May 9. The Fifth Court of Appeal ruled that farmworkers have a right to challenge the ALRB’s secretive “mandatory meeting and conciliation” (MMC) practices. It reversed a lower trial court that had favored the ALRB, finding a state law to be unconstitutional. That was a…

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Photo gallery shows the spirited turnout at April 20 courthouse rally

The energetic turnout at the April 20 courthouse rally in Fresno was a real family gathering. Present and future farmworkers gathered to support transparency and ethical behavior in the troubled Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). They protested the ALRB’s secrecy, cronyism with the UFW, and corruption of the democratic process under California law. Some of the members of the three-judge appeals panel took note of our rally. Inside the courthouse, California deputy attorney general Nelson Richards, arguing for the ALRB…

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Judge again says ALRB and UFW colluded on litigation strategy

The ALRB Office of General Counsel and Regional Director colluded with the UFW during the case against Gerawan farmworkers seeking to de-certify the UFW, the ALRB’s own administrative jaw judge has found. “[T]he record should make clear, should the General Counsel and UFW attempt to characterize their litigation strategy as completely independent, that portrayal would be inaccurate,” ALRB administrative law Judge Mark R. Soble said. Soble’s comments are buried in a footnote at the bottom of page 164 of the…

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LA Times report validates Pick Justice’s positions about UFW & ALRB

In an important article about the state government’s nullification of farmworkers’ votes, the Los Angeles Times validates many of Pick Justice’s positions over the past year. The Times made a lot of observations in its April 19 story that reinforce some of its previous reporting and corroborate Pick Justice’s positions: The UFW “was absent from Gerawan’s fields for more than 15 years.” The campaign to decertify the UFW is “the largest labor action in many years.” The ALRB “now finds itself spending…

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