Real farmworkers swamp UFW activists at Supreme Court

Real Gerawan farmworkers outnumbered the UFW contingent at the California Supreme Court yesterday, as the floundering union failed to deliver the “hundreds” of workers it pledged to bring from around the state. UFW didn’t organize any Gerawan workers to join its protest in support of state power to force UFW contracts on unwilling farmworkers. Gerawan workers, mostly in blue Pick Justice shirts, outnumbered the UFW presence by at least 2 or 3 to 1. In the week before the September…

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UFW and the State can’t silence us. We are the biggest farmworker protest ever.

What if the racists and machine politicians had silenced Martin Luther King and César Chávez? There would have been no civil rights movements for African-Americans and Latinos. That was then. In the 21st century, the machine politicians in Sacramento turned back the clock. They have been trying to silence the new farmworker movement in California. They are failing. This video tells part of our story of resistance to the corrupted and abusive United Farm Workers (UFW) and its unelected government…

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UFW says it ‘vehemently’ opposes Pick Justice leader to appear before Supreme Court

The United Farm Workers “vehemently” opposes Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez to make an opening argument before the California Supreme Court. A major constitutional issue is at stake at the September 5 hearing. The state and the UFW seek to force farmworkers to submit to a UFW contract that would cut their take-home pay and deny them the right to have a say in the contract. “The UFW vehemently opposes Lopez’s request” to be given time to state her case…

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Fresno County officially recognizes ALRB abuse of farmworkers

In a historic gesture of solidarity, the County of Fresno has officially recognizes that the ALRB has been abusing thousands of farmworkers. The County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation designating March 28, 2017 as “Dignity and Right for Valley Farmworkers Day.” Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez and other movement leaders joined the elected officials who signed the proclamation. This recognition, three days before César Chávez Day, reads like an indictment of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The…

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Pick Justice shows up in force to oppose Isadore Hall for ALRB

Pick Justice members outnumbered UFW supporters two-to-one at the state Senate hearing to confirm politician Isadore Hall to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Our leader Silvia Lopez, a farmworker at Gerawan Farming, eloquently told senators why Hall is unfit to be an impartial member of the ALRB, which is required to be an unbiased advocate of farmworkers. The hearing took place on March 1. When Gerawan farmworkers were pleading with officials to pressure the ALRB to count their votes to…

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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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LA Times report validates Pick Justice’s positions about UFW & ALRB

In an important article about the state government’s nullification of farmworkers’ votes, the Los Angeles Times validates many of Pick Justice’s positions over the past year. The Times made a lot of observations in its April 19 story that reinforce some of its previous reporting and corroborate Pick Justice’s positions: The UFW “was absent from Gerawan’s fields for more than 15 years.” The campaign to decertify the UFW is “the largest labor action in many years.” The ALRB “now finds itself spending…

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With whistleblower scandal brewing, ALRB throws Sylvia Torres-Guillen under the bus

While taking the UFW line to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots, the ALRB drove a judicial stake through the heart of its disgraced ex-general counsel, Sylvia Torres-Guillen. In so doing, the ALRB cleared Gerawan of illegally instigating the anti-union activity. But that didn’t stop the Board from skewering the farmer and workers. It appears to be a preemptive strike to soften the damage of an ongoing investigation of ALRB negligence, revealed last May when a whistleblower came forward. The whistleblower alleged illegal…

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Ag attorneys may move to vacate Shiroma’s decisions on ALRB

Prominent California agricultural attorneys have told the ALRB that they may move to vacate any decision that disgraced Board member Genevieve Shiroma makes in cases concerning the United Farm Workers (UFW). “As legal practitioners before the Board, who represent cases that come before the Board, it has been recently brought to our attention that it has been nearly three months since Petitioner Silvia Lopez filed a petition to disqualify Member Shiroma from participating in any decisions relating to the above-referenced…

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Farmworker demands probe of UFW unfair labor practices

The farmworker who has led the fight for her fellow laborers to have the right to vote on union representation is calling for a probe of the UFW’s unfair labor practices. Seldom is a union accused of unfair labor practices, but farmworker Silvia Lopez isn’t taking it any more. The San Joaquin Valley fruit farm laborer also alleges that the ALRB has silenced workers who oppose the UFW in order to protect the politically-connected union. “Part of the challenge for…

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Asleep on the job: Worker calls for ALRB’s snoozing Judge Soble to get the boot

ALRB’s administrative law judge is so inept that he falls asleep during hearings on which he renders judgments. A prominent San Joaquin Valley farmworker organizer has called for ALRB Judge Mark Soble to be disqualified because he uses hearings as times to take a catnap. Silvia Lopez has petitioned the ALRB to disqualify Soble from an upcoming hearing “because of his inability to stay awake during the six month trial that ended in March 2015.” At least 5 attorneys submitted…

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ALRB’s Paul Starkey expresses annoyance as farmworkers visit Sacramento

Farmworker leader Silvia Lopez led a small group to Sacramento to petition elected officials and visit the ALRB. During the February 29 visit, the farmworkers talked to lawmakers and ALRB staff. ALRB special counsel Paul Starkey expressed surprise and annoyance that the workers would dare to visit the secretive board’s fortified offices. The big issues: ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s conflicts of interests, and the expenditure of $10 million to suppress Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots to decertify the UFW. “We went to…

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Fresno Bee: Ethics questions cloud Shiroma’s ability to serve on ALRB

ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s ethics are so clouded that she cannot serve as an objective member of the state board, the Fresno Bee reports. “Shiroma’s career is so inexorably linked to the political goals of the union that she cannot possibly render a fair and objective decision,” says Fresno attorney Anthony Raimondo, representing farmworker Silvia Lopez, who led a petition drive against the UFW in 2013. The ALRB still refuses to comment on questions about Shiroma’s ethics problems, raising questions…

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Gould admits that UFW isn’t working, and that ag workers don’t want unions

Word is spreading nationwide that ALRB Chairman William Gould has admitted that California’s agricultural unions aren’t doing their job, and that farm workers don’t want the unions. Gould’s January 28 admission to a business group in Monterey has made the news in Washington, DC. Not only did Gould accuse the agricultural unions of failing to organize in the fields, as we reported yesterday. Gould said that, ever since he has been ALRB chairman, not a single group of farm workers…

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