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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Houweling’s rotten tomatoes

Houweling’s Tomatoes is in a toxic partnership with a UFW front group to try to show its customers that it’s “helping” farm workers. Houweling’s seems not to care that the UFW is in collusion with politicians to force contracts on workers who vote NOT to be part of the union that neglected them for a generation. The UFW front group, called the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), is a lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and partnered with low-cost retail giants…

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New ALRB Visalia director: A UFW man since he was 12

Chris Schneider is ALRB’s new Regional Director in Visalia under the state agency’s Office of General Counsel. Schneider never finished college. And he doesn’t have a law degree. But that doesn’t matter because he’s a UFW-certified legal activist. Schneider’s relationship with the UFW goes back before most farmworkers were born. Committed to “UFW struggle” since he was 12 Schneider told the Fresno Bee that he first learned of the “UFW struggle” when he was 12 years old. Five years later, at…

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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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WikiLeaks exposes secret Clinton pledge against farmworker voters in exchange for UFW support

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton secretly promised to help the UFW suppress the votes of thousands of Central Valley farmworkers. WikiLeaks released an internal Clinton campaign email last week that exposed the secret February 21, 2016 pledge. Clinton made the promise as part of a deal for the UFW’s political endorsement against rival Bernie Sanders. After promising to do “everything possible” against Gerawan farmworkers, Clinton met in private with UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, the email shows. “She [Clinton] was asked to…

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UFW sexism and homophobia drove lesbian organizer out of union

Many union organizers have objected to the United Farm Workers’ old-boy network that they say marginalizes women, indigenous people, and political progressives. They’ve kept their complaints quiet for fear of upsetting the political establishment in Sacramento. Those politicians, led by Senator Kevin de Leon and Governor Jerry Brown, have pretended not to notice the UFW’s backwardness. But some organizers have been vocal. A lesbian Indigenous former UFW organizer writes that she experienced an atmosphere of sexism, discrimination, and homophobia among…

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UFW is the new One Percent

The UFW has organized only 1 percent of farmworkers in California and is deficient in many ways. Yet it’s moving its operations offshore to Mexico and Central America to organize cheap labor for big business like Costco. Farmworkers are being sold out. What about the other 99 percent? With its membership just a fraction of what it was and almost no organizing in California fields, the United Farm Workers has begun moving its operations offshore to provide its partner Costco…

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Dolores Huerta describes how UFW is moving its operations offshore

UFW is focusing its operations offshore, union co-founder Dolores Huerta says. Huerta tells The Progressive, “the UFW is taking action in Mexico, Central, and South America against miserable farm worker pay and conditions and is working to produce safer, higher quality food while improving wages and other protections.” Huerta has come a long way from the days that she denounced foreign-born farmworkers as “wetbacks.” Agricultural Labor Relations Board Chairman William Gould lamented in January that UFW organizing in California “has…

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UFW-backed overtime bill will cost farmworkers 20 hours’ pay a week

Farmworkers are entitled to work up to 60 hours a week under present law. A UFW-backed measure to slash the work day to 40 hours a week will cost workers up to one-third of their income, according to a column in the Sacramento Bee. The union argues that employers will be forced to pay overtime above 40 hours a week, so the extra 20 hours a week on overtime pay is a big gain for farmworkers. That’s very nice, thank…

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De Leon ‘slush fund’ tied to UFW lobby triad

California’s pay-to-play political establishment showed itself again. Senator Kevin de Leon’s pushing through the nomination for UFW-backed Genevieve Shiroma to serve yet another term on the state agriculture board has a sleazy money angle. UFW lobbyist Richie Ross – to whom Shiroma paid more than $120,000 in a political deal – was a subject of the appointee’s confirmation hearing before the June 20 Senate Rules Committee hearing that de Leon shared, but the senator did not reveal that he, too,…

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New law singles out people to be punished without a trial

A new California state law violates the US Constitution by singling out citizens for punishment without trial. “The case involves AB 1513, a state law that created an affirmative defense for agricultural businesses in the wake of surprising California court decisions,” says attorney Wen Fa of the Pacific Legal Foundation. The law protects all California agricultural producers except two who have challenged the political elites in Sacramento. “This affirmative defense was available to every employer except for Fowler Packing and Gerawan…

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Sacramento Bee’s fact-checker can’t get his facts right

The political fact-checker for the Sacramento Bee can’t get his facts right when critiquing an ad campaign against Senator Darrell Steinberg, who is running for mayor of the state capital. Ryan Lillis, who writes for the Bee’s PoliGRAPH feature to determine the truth or falsity of political ads, says that a mailing attacking Steinberg is “misleading” and “false.” Yet he can’t even get the name of a state agency right. Lillis offers no factual evidence to back up his “fact…

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UFW presence on Equitable Food Initiative ruins a good idea

Farmworkers are everyone’s first line of defense for safe and healthy food. So it’s vital that they be part of any process to ensure wholesome food for everyone. The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) sounds like a great idea – to ensure that farmworkers are right there to watch against food-borne diseases and other health issues as they harvest and pack produce. Part of that means treating the farmworkers well and not punishing them if they come forward with evidence of…

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