Abused mushroom workers demand new UFW leadership

Mushroom workers, feeling abused by their employer and the UFW, demand new leadership at the flailing union. “Some 300 workers went on strike against the UFW and Monterey Mushroom” on May 25, “demanding a pay raise, just treatment from their managers, and new leadership in the UFW,” KION-TV reported. This is the first time in memory that UFW members have protested in large numbers to demand an end to the UFW’s ineffective – and what some allege to be morally corrupt…

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Bureaucratic blocked ‘bowels’ flush ALRB into self-destruct mode

Never effective at anything except depriving farmworkers of their votes, the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board is spinning out in self-destruct mode. The latest problem: Isadore Hall, the failed politician appointed to the ALRB to replace chairman William B. Gould IV, who quit in a huff over the flaccid California bureaucracy’s resistance to his plan to have the government do what the United Farm Workers is supposed to do. Even though Pick Justice disagreed with Gould, we credit him for at…

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New York Times looks at ‘collapse’ of California’s organized farmworker movement

California’s organized farm worker movement is in such a state of collapse that the New York Times has started to pay attention. The New York Times doesn’t blame the growers. In a remarkable article, it lays blame squarely on the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and its government protector, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The former ALRB chief, in turn, blames undocumented workers, who don’t want to organize in unions. To the obvious dismay of ALRB Chairman William Gould, who…

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Newest ALRB member blocks Pick Justice on Twitter

The ALRB’s newest member has such a thin skin that he’s blocked Pick Justice from Twitter. Calling himself “Dr. Isadore Hall III,” the failed politician blocked us from his Twitter account on January 26. We had tried to dialogue with Hall after Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to replace William B. Gould IV, the ALRB chairman who quit in disgust earlier this month. Gould told Brown that the ALRB is “irrelevant to farmworkers.” Hall has no agricultural or labor experience,…

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Forced labor: Gould confirmed what we knew about his agenda

When he quit last week, ALRB Chairman William Gould revealed a lot of his vision for the troubled state agency. He said, in essence, that the ALRB should force labor unions on farmworkers. In his resignation letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Gould confirmed what we suspected all along: He wanted ALRB to be a government unionization enforcer. Gould made it clear that he wanted ALRB to be a unionization tool, and not an impartial farmworker advocate between unions and employers.…

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Full text of Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Brown

Here is the full text of ALRB Chairman William Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Jerry Brown on January 13, 2017, as provided by the Los Angeles Times. We have highlighted the pertinent sections in bold. Images of the letter appear at the end. Dear Governor Brown, I write to advise you that I am resigning as Chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, effective no later than 5:00 PM Wednesday, February 22, 2017. It has been my honor to serve…

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Gould agrees with what we have been saying: UFW is lazy and does not represent 99% of us

In his angry parting words to Governor Jerry Brown, ALRB Chairman William B. Gould admitted what Pick Justice has been saying along: the UFW has become a lazy, phony union and it does not represent 99% of farmworkers. The UFW, Gould said, has “absolutely no interest in organizing the unorganized.” It was a pretty shocking thing to say for a lifelong union man who has done so much to help ALRB serve as a UFW instrument. But Gould said it…

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ALRB Chairman Gould quits in ‘angry’ rage

The ALRB’s only respected member has quit in what the Los Angeles Times describes as an “angry letter” to Governor Jerry Brown. Adding insult to injury is that fact that ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV, a Berkeley law professor emeritus and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, made a show of resigning after his term had already expired, but while he remained until a replacement was confirmed. The other two ALRB board members, Genevieve Shiroma and Cathryn…

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ALRB Chairman Gould says indigenous workers are too ignorant to read their own languages

Indigenous farmworkers are too ignorant or stupid to read their own languages, ALRB Chairman William Gould said in an interview, which is why the ALRB must send “lawyers” to read to them and show them videos. “Only academics read” native languages, Gould stated, rejecting the suggestion that employers display posters for the workers to read. “I don’t think that many of the farmers are academics.” Gould: ‘These indigenous languages are something that only academics read.’ California Ag Today asked Gould…

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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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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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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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