UFW wants to protect some workers from deportation, but not if they oppose the union

The UFW takes two positions on foreign workers in the US under H2-A agricultural labor visas. Don’t let them get fired, because under the H2-A seasonal worker visa system, they will be deported. Fire any H2-A workers who oppose the UFW (and let them get deported). Here’s the latest: UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson says foreign farmworkers on H2-A visas are vulnerable to abuses, because if they complain about conditions, they risk getting fired, and if they get fired, they…

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ALRB cancels board meeting after witness comes forward against Isadore Hall

Minutes after a witness went public against Isadore Hall, the ALRB canceled its May 11 board meeting, claiming that an unnamed board member was “ill.” The witness – who is anonymous out of fear that the ALRB will retaliate against him or his employer – told of his encounter with Hall on February 28, the night before Hall’s Senate confirmation hearing to be an ALRB board member. State Senator Andy Vidak was the first to make public comment on the…

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Court slaps $1.2 million judgment on UFW for cheating its employees

The UFW has cheated is own employees of their wages, and must pay them $885,000 in back pay, a Monterey County court has found. With penalties added, the UFW will be out $1.2 million. Reporting the judgment, the Los Angeles Times noted the irony. “The union founded on the principle of protecting wage abuses will have to shell out” the money because it abused its own workers, the Times reported. The UFW fired the main plaintiff, Francisco Cerritos, because he…

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Fresno County officially recognizes ALRB abuse of farmworkers

In a historic gesture of solidarity, the County of Fresno has officially recognizes that the ALRB has been abusing thousands of farmworkers. The County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation designating March 28, 2017 as “Dignity and Right for Valley Farmworkers Day.” Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez and other movement leaders joined the elected officials who signed the proclamation. This recognition, three days before César Chávez Day, reads like an indictment of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The…

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Isadore Hall unleashes ‘obscenity-laced tirade’ at critics & threatens to abuse his authority to ‘get’ them

ALRB board designate Isadore Hall unleashed an “obscenity-laced tirade” at his critics and threatened to abuse his authority to “get” them, a state senator said in an open letter. Hall made the threatening rant in the Hyatt hotel in Sacramento the night before his March 1 confirmation hearing. The threats underscore Pick Justice’s concerns that Hall, who led a UFW march opposing farmworkers who voted to de-certify the union, is incapable of serving as an impartial farmworker advocate. Senator sent…

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Farmworkers upset at Senator de Leon for blocking translations

Farmworkers are furious at Senator Kevin de Leon for blocking the translation of their public comments against ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma. De Leon is famous for his insistence on bilingual and multilingual translations, but when it came to the Rules Committee hearing he chaired June 20 on Shiroma’s re-appointment, the Senate president would not allow it. A Pick Justice spokesman wrote to de Leon to express how upset the farmworkers were, having lost a day of wages by petitioning…

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ALRB staffer tells Senate why Shiroma shouldn’t be confirmed

In an unusual event, a staff member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board went public before a state Senate committee to oppose Genevieve Shiroma for yet another term on the ALRB. Appearing nervous but speaking out bravely at the June 20 hearing, ALRB staff member Leslie Soule faced Shiroma, the Senate Rules Committee, and ALRB Chairman William Gould to accuse Shiroma of fostering an atmosphere of fear among the staff. Soule told senators of systematic bias toward the UFW among…

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Latino farmworkers say they lied out of fear of ALRB retaliation

Latino farmworkers who testified before a state administrative tribunal say they lied because they feared that California authorities would retaliate against them if they told the truth. Judge Mark R. Soble of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) said in his September 17 ruling that the farmworkers admitted lying because they either didn’t trust the ALRB lawyers, or were afraid the ALRB would call the police or immigration authorities. In his September 17 ruling – in which Soble denied the…

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