Feds slap a huge fine on UFW radio broadcaster

“The Federal Communications Commission has levied a record fine” against the UFW’s hundred million-dollar social service affiliate that broadcasts farmworker radio stations in California and Arizona, the Los Angeles Times reports. Admitting guilt for illegally running commercial advertising, the Cesar Chavez Foundation, which runs the radios, “agreed to a one-year moratorium on new underwriting from for-profit sponsors on the two stations,” according to the Times. The Cesar Chavez Foundation agreed to pay a $115,000 fine. The two stations are KUFW-FM…

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UFW still silent as its members lose berry jobs

As if a guilty party to a crime, the UFW remains silent as hundreds of its workers lose berry farming jobs across California. “More than 400 berry workers have been laid off in Northern California as the industry struggles with labor and other cost issues,” the Los Angeles Times reported on January 4. Pick Justice has been the only farmworker group advocating for the doomed UFW members. Their union didn’t lift a finger for them. “Dole Food Co., which has…

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ALRB bans Pick Justice leaflet about court judgment against UFW

In an over-the-top breach of freedom of speech, the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board banned Pick Justice from distributing leaflets to farm workers at ALRB’s Visalia office Pick Justice spokesman Jesse Rojas sent an advance copy of the leaflet to Chris Schneider, a lifelong UFW activist who is Regional Director of the taxpayer-funded ALRB office in Visalia. “They have been reviewed by me and I have deemed them inappropriate by the ALRB due to the partisan views expressed therein,” Schneider…

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UFW cheated workers – so each UFW member must pay $233

Every dues-paying member of the UFW is paying $233 of their dues money to reimburse UFW workers who the union leadership cheated. A court settlement between the UFW and its employees – who were abused, cheated, and retaliated against for trying to start their own union – means that the $1,300,000 settlement must be paid with dues from the UFW’s remaining dues-paying members. The UFW has only 5,580 dues-paying members left. That means that each dues-paying member must pay $233…

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Without admitting it cheated its own workers, UFW settles $1.3 million case

The UFW has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a case filed by its own workers. The union is not admitting that it cheated it workers, as the employees alleged. The settlement, which is not final, avoids paying a potential $2 million court judgment. The step is important because it shows that the iconic UFW can no longer act with impunity. It also reveals that the UFW leadership has been so irresponsible with its stewardship of members’ dues, that…

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UFW membership has shrunk to 5,580 paying members nationwide

The United Farm Workers has allowed its membership to shrink to a tiny fraction of what it was. This has crippled UFW’s ability to stay solvent to defend worker rights. UFW’s official dues-paying membership is now only 5,580 people in the entire United States, according to the Los Angeles Times. There are more than 700,000 farmworkers in the state of California alone. Even if all paid UFW members were in California, the entire membership would represent only 0.79 percent of…

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Court to take $2 million from workers’ paychecks to settle UFW judgment

UFW members on four California farms will have as much as $2 million taken from their paychecks to settle a court judgment against the UFW union. The money is to be garnished from the 3% of wages that would ordinarily go to the UFW as dues. The dues are intended to support UFW collective bargaining activity on the workers’ behalf. Instead, the Los Angeles Times reports, the money is going to fund a $1.2 million court judgment against UFW employees…

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Senate chief Kevin de Leon: ‘Nothing unseemly’ is going on here

Allegations of “cronyism” have gotten under Senate leader Kevin de Leon’s skin. He didn’t like how critics of former senator Isadore Hall – the subject of heated Senate debate for ALRB confirmation – said that Hall’s appointment reeked of cronyism. “The word cronyism is highly misplaced at this moment,” de Leon said on the Senate floor April 20. “It is not being used properly. It gives that perception to the larger public that something unseemly is happening,” he said. For…

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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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Cesar Chavez Day 2017: A black eye for the Chavez legacy

The ALRB and UFW are so openly against farmworkers that they have damaged Cesar Chavez’s legacy. On the week of Cesar Chavez Day, the state agency and union earned the following headlines: “Corruption and collusion in California labor board,” Forbes, March 26. “Farmworker union underpaid its own workers, judge rules,” Los Angeles Times, March 30. “The ALRB and UFW: Partners in crime,” Fresno Bee, March 30. Pick Justice illustrated the tragedy on its new website, CesarChavezDay.com. We posted an iconic image…

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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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Isadore Hall & ALRB don’t deny witness threat, LA Times reports

ALRB appointee Isadore Hall and the ALRB itself declined to deny to the Los Angeles Times that Hall had intimidated and threatened witnesses. Reporter Patrick McGreevy asked Hall and the ALRB to comment on Senator Andy Vidak’s allegations that Hall committed a crime on February 28 when he intimidated and threatened witnesses opposed to his Senate confirmation to the board. Instead, the Los Angeles Times reports, Hall “declined to comment.” But Hall didn’t even speak to the reporter. He hid…

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Headlines tell the Isadore Hall story

Some readers of Pick Justice noted that our headlines since January summarize everything people need to know about the ALRB’s incoming member, Isadore Hall. Here they are in chronological order: “Unqualified: Hall’s record shows no experience for ALRB position,” January 15. “Conflicts of interest plague ALRB appointee Isadore Hall,” January 15. “Newest ALRB member blocks Pick Justice on Twitter,” January 28. “Congresswoman Barragan said Isadore Hall broke federal corruption law,” February 12. “ALRB designee Isadore Hall gave ‘special treatment’ to…

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Los Angeles Times: Isadore Hall on ALRB is part of ‘shameful’ & ‘loathsome’ crony system

Isadore Hall’s appointment to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board is a symptom of what the Los Angeles Times editorial board calls the state’s “shameful” and “loathsome” crony politics. “What does a career politician from urban Los Angeles County know about the state’s agricultural industry?” the Times asked, echoing not only farmers but farmworkers, too. “The concern about experience is reasonable,” the Times editorial board said. “This quasi-judicial board rules on workplace disputes over allegedly unfair labor practices and other complaints, some brought…

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