Court says government can ban workers from meetings to force contracts on them

The State of California has the right to prevent farmworkers from observing government meetings where decisions are made to force contracts on them, a court has ruled. “The secretive Agricultural Labor Relations Board has the right to prevent us from observing while government officials and UFW operatives force an “agreement” on farmworkers while denying us the right to vote,” Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez said of the June 26 Fresno superior court decision. In a a news release, employer Gerawan…

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Federal court agrees to hear case to stop ALRB from letting UFW force itself on farmworkers

In an important legal development, a federal court has agreed to hear arguments that the state should not abuse its power to enable the UFW to force itself on farmworkers at their workplace. The potential now exists for federal courts to intervene against Governor Brown’s out-of-control Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which colludes with the UFW to abuse farmworkers who refuse to pay 3% of their wages to the syndicate. “Federal authorities have agreed to hear an appeal of a…

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Court slaps another $770,000 judgment on UFW

A real California judge slapped the UFW with another $770,000 judgment, raising the total levied against the floundering union to $2 million. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ordered the UFW to pay a law firm $770,000 in legal fees after finding the UFW guilty of defrauding its own workers. Earlier, the court ordered UFW to pay $1.2 million in damages to the UFW’s former employees whom it had cheated. In his ruling, Judge Wills said, “the Court has…

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Journalists must understand difference between ALRB’s ‘judge’ and a real judge

News reports about an ALRB administrative ruling show a misunderstanding about a big issue: The difference between ALRB’s enforcement for the UFW, and a real decision by a real judge in a real court of law. Some of the reports confused the UFW, which represents less than 1% of farmworkers in California, with all or most farmworkers. Some of the reporting was just sloppy reporting. Some of it was good reporting, with misleading headlines added by a lazy editor. At…

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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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Chaos swirls around ALRB as Isadore Hall’s wrongdoing spins out of control

The Isadore Hall controversy spun out of control today, driving the secretive Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) swirling into the muck. Everything fell apart March 14. That’s when Central Valley’s popular KMJ radio host Ray Appleton brought Senator Andy Vidak on his show. Vidak explained how Hall had intimidated and threatened witnesses who were going to speak out in the Senate the next day against his ALRB appointment. Then, in a surprise to listeners, a witness to Hall’s February 28 threats called…

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ALRB CRIME: Threatening & intimidating witnesses is a crime. Isadore Hall knows it.

ALRB board designee Isadore Hall committed a crime by threatening and intimidating witnesses opposed to his confirmation to the state board, legal experts say. The penalty calls for “imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison” – with stiffer sentences possible. Labor law attorneys tell Pick Justice that Hall – a former lawmaker – allegedly committed a crime by breaking California Penal Code Section 136.1. Multiple eyewitnesses confirm that Hall verbally abused farmers…

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State law, crafted behind closed doors with UFW, might violate Constitution

A law that California politicians rigged behind closed doors with the UFW might violate the state and federal constitutions, a federal court has found. The law was crafted to target employers at odds with the UFW, and by extension, the workers who don’t want the UFW to represent them. The decision is a humiliating setback for US District Judge Dale A. Drozd, an Obama appointee who was on the bench for barely a year. A panel of judges of the…

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UFW hides from media about how it messed up a law to repay workers

The United Farm Workers is avoiding news organizations because it pressured lawmakers to insert unconstitutional language in a law. The law would have allowed employers to settle with workers for a staggering $200,000,000 in back wages, without paying penalties to the government, and protecting them from lawsuits. Those penalties and lawsuits could have made some companies unable to pay the workers at all, so the law was important to everyone. But the UFW pressured lawmakers to single out two companies…

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State lawmakers finally consider pro-farmworker legislation

California lawmakers are considering legislation that will actually help farmworkers. This doesn’t seem to be a standard political payoff to the UFW, but a real law that really protects farmworkers and not special interests. The Opportunity to Work Act, introduced by Assembly Members Gonzalez and Kaira last week, would make employers offer extra work to existing employees before bringing on more employees of subcontractors. If enacted, the bill, AB 5,  would permit employees to file complaints against – and even…

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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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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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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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