How can UFW represent farmworkers, when it has so few members?

How can a group with a tiny membership claim to represent the vast majority who are not members? Somehow the UFW does it. By some counts, the UFW represents less than 1 percent of California’s farmworkers. The UFW claims only 10,000 members, at most. And even that number is dubious, since it represents a spike that doubled membership in just a year – the same year the UFW claimed to represent the 5,000 or so Gerawan farmworkers who were trying…

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Senator says ‘corrupt’ ALRB is ‘not helping the people at the bottom of the chain’

For the first time in history, lawmakers denounced the ALRB from the Senate floor as a “corrupt” organization. “Unfortunately, the ALRB has turned its back on farm workers and now sees its number-one job as a shill for the UFW,” said Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) during the party-line vote to confirm disgraced ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma to an unprecedented fourth term. “The ALRB has become corrupt and not helping the people at the bottom of the chain as was…

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Senate confirms disgraced Shiroma for a fourth ALRB term

ALRB-boardmember-for-life Genevieve Shiroma, long accused of bias on the agricultural panel, got a party-line Senate confirmation this week for yet another term. “It’s time for her to retire,” said Senator Tom Berryhill. “She’s been on that board a long time.” Governor Gray Davis first appointed Shiroma in 1999. Headlining the news, the Sacramento Bee called Shiroma “controversial” and cited lawmakers who called her a shill for the UFW. Shiroma got confirmed despite – or perhaps because of – her ties…

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Shiroma was allowed to ignore state impartiality standards

Genevieve Shiroma, the controversial ALRB member, has been allowed to ignore state impartiality standards since her first term began in 1999. Under state law, ALRB board members are required to be impartial on the issue of workers, employees and unions, and to avoid even the perception of partiality. Shiroma’s connections to a prominent UFW lobbyist, and her political donations to lawmakers who govern her powers on the ALRB board, show that she biased and therefore in violation of the law.…

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Transcript: Senator de Leon denied translations of farmworkers’ statements

Senate President Kevin de Leon prevented farmworkers who disagreed with him from having their comments translated from Spanish to English. The incident occurred at the June 20 Senate confirmation hearing for Genevieve Shiroma, the controversial ALRB member who is up for yet another term on the embattled state board. Nobody attended to speak to senators on Shiroma’s behalf. But scores of farmworkers jammed the Capitol to ask the Senate NOT to confirm the disgraced ALRB member. De Leon would not…

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Shiroma, on defensive, insists she’s ‘absolutely an honorable person’

No longer able to hide from reporters and public scrutiny, ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma had to face her accusers during her June 20 Senate confirmation hearing for another term. Senators repeatedly asked Shiroma about her bias toward the UFW, her financial and political relationship with UFW lobbyist Richie Ross, her political contributions to pro-UFW politicians, and her failure to account for ALRB spending to deny farmworkers the right to have their votes against the UFW counted. Finally, Shiroma stammered,…

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Summary of Shiroma’s disastrous Senate confirmation hearing

More information on Genevieve Shiroma’s disastrous performance before her California Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing on June 20. We’ll have the transcripts soon: • Shiroma denied any bias toward the UFW, but none of the senators believed her. Republicans attacked Shiroma – and Democrats praised her – for her UFW bias. • Shiroma admitted everything that Pick Justice said about her long-term political and financial relationship with UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. Republicans attacked her for it, and Democrats praised her…

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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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UFW takes 3% of members’ salaries so its leaders can ride in limos

Here’s a troubling picture: UFW leaders ride around in a stretch limousine while they push for the state to force workers to fork over 3% of their hard-earned income to the union. This is a real abuse of trust. The UFW leaders are so arrogant that they placed the union logo on the side. Pick Justice photographed the UFW limo on Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield, California, on May 28, 2016.

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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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ALRB exposes corruption of one-party state (like PRI in Mexico)

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board fiasco to suppress the votes of farmworkers has exposed the corruption of one-party states throughout history. In California’s one-party state reminiscent of Mexico’s PRI, the ALRB operates like a kangaroo court. Steven Greenhut of Sacramento writes about the ironies in a thoughtful American Spectator article. “People vote in an election. The government suspects the vote will go against its allies, so it seizes the ballots. Officials overseeing the election seem to be in cahoots with the suspected losers. They hold…

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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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Nice Pick Justice turnout at court in Fresno

We’re having a great turnout right now at the Court of Appeal in Fresno! We’re protesting the ALRB’s corrupt handling of our votes to decertify the UFW. Our mascot of the day is shady ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma, who has a long political and financial relationship with a powerful UFW lobbyist in Sacramento.

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ALRB judge says Shiroma’s UFW lobbyist connections are OK & that she is unbiased

Controversial ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma cannot be accused of bias because of her long political and financial relationship with former UFW strike organizer and current UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. That’s according to ALRB “judge” Mark R. Soble, in his ruling and order that the Gerawan workers ballots to de-certify the UFW must be destroyed. Central Valley labor leader Silvia Lopez, who has been leading the fight to decertify the UFW at Gerawan Farming, filed a petition to disqualify Shiroma…

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