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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Congresswoman Barragan said Isadore Hall broke federal corruption law

Isadore Hall, who awaits Senate confirmation as the newest member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), may have violated a federal campaign corruption law during his failed 2016 congressional campaign. Congresswoman Nanette Barragán first made the allegation last year, while running against Hall in the Democratic primary. The Los Angeles Times first reported the question – and Hall hasn’t answered it. Here’s what the Times reported: “His [Hall’s] primary opponent Nanette Barragán, an attorney and former member of the Hermosa Beach…

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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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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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LA Times treats UFW and UFW front as two separate groups

The Los Angeles Times is treating the UFW one of its front organizations as two separate groups. In a January 12 story on produce standards in Mexico, the Times quoted UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson as a critic. That’s proper journalism. But the Times then quoted someone from the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) as a separate authority – without disclosing that UFW VP Nicholson is Chairman of EFI. That’s sloppy journalism. To put it kindly. EFI says it’s to help…

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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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UFW can’t unite Sacramento Democrats on overtime bill

The UFW isn’t as powerful as people like to think. It can’t even unite Democrats in Sacramento to support its controversial overtime legislation. As of now, 15 Democrats in the state assembly do not support AR 1066. The bill, promoted as a way to get workers more money, would actually hurt them as well as their employers. That’s why the Democrats are so divided. “Eight Democrats voted against the overtime pay legislation in June and seven abstained, even after Assembly Speaker…

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