Farmworkers tell lawmakers that ALRB’s Isadore Hall threatened to ‘get them’

With no union to stand up for them, farmworkers trekked back to Sacramento to plead with lawmakers for help against threats from a politicized government agency. Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez organized the San Joaquin Valley workers to the State Capitol and ask assembly members for support against the abusive state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). “ALRB member Isadore Hall threatened ‘to get’ us because we opposed him being the board,” Lopez said. “So we handed out flyers. They described…

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New farmworkers reject UFW and start their own union

New farmworkers in the Western United States increasingly prefer to start their own union – or have no union at all – instead of joining the UFW. Presently, the UFW’s entire membership represents less than 1 percent of farmworkers in California alone. Almost nobody wants to join the UFW any more. “UFW has become lazy. UFW’s leaders are just milking the nostalgia for César Chávez from almost a half-century ago,” said Silvia Lopez of Pick Justice. “UFW doesn’t benefit the…

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UFW made fake allegations to support a fake protest, but won’t talk to reporters

Strawberry workers say the United Farm Workers made fake allegations of unfair labor practices and staged a fake strike by people posing as local farm workers, but the UFW won’t talk to reporters. The Herald and News interviewed workers at Cedar Point Nursery in Dorris, who said that the UFW “staged a demonstration at the property, protesting against unfair labor practices.” The UFW apparently used the fake protest to get the ALRB to intervene on its behalf. Farmworkers said UFW’s…

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New brochure describes Isadore Hall’s cronyism

A new brochure is circulating that describes Isadore Hall’s cronyism and explains why he should be removed from the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board. “Isadore Hall marched to oppose thousands of immigrant farm workers – The exact same farm workers he will judge daily at ALRB,” the brochure says. We at Pick Justice produced the flyer. Click here for a PDF: Isadore_Hall_Confirmation-Hearing_Flyer_v8 “Isadore Hall and fake farm workers march to demand that an unconstitutional ‘contract’ be forced on THOUSANDS of REAL…

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UFW wants to protect some workers from deportation, but not if they oppose the union

The UFW takes two positions on foreign workers in the US under H2-A agricultural labor visas. Don’t let them get fired, because under the H2-A seasonal worker visa system, they will be deported. Fire any H2-A workers who oppose the UFW (and let them get deported). Here’s the latest: UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson says foreign farmworkers on H2-A visas are vulnerable to abuses, because if they complain about conditions, they risk getting fired, and if they get fired, they…

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Abused mushroom workers demand new UFW leadership

Mushroom workers, feeling abused by their employer and the UFW, demand new leadership at the flailing union. “Some 300 workers went on strike against the UFW and Monterey Mushroom” on May 25, “demanding a pay raise, just treatment from their managers, and new leadership in the UFW,” KION-TV reported. This is the first time in memory that UFW members have protested in large numbers to demand an end to the UFW’s ineffective – and what some allege to be morally corrupt…

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‘This is a disgrace for the union,’ mushroom worker says about UFW

The UFW is trying to persuade its members at Monterey Mushrooms that they should accept a huge pay cut down to minimum wage of $10.50 an hour. “This is a disgrace for the union,” worker leader Edith Ruiz told KION-TV in Spanish. KION operates channels 5 and 46 as a CBS affiliate. “The union and the company are hand-in-hand against us,” said mushroom worker José Guzmán. (“La unión y compañía están de la mano en contra de nosotros.”) “They pay…

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300 mushroom workers protest UFW; union in cahoots to slash wages

Hundreds of mushroom workers are rising up against the UFW, accusing the union of being in cahoots with the employer to slash workers’ wages. Edith Ruiz, a leader of 300 Monterey Mushrooms protesters, says that the UFW and the company want to cut the workers’ salaries almost in half – to minimum wage – and that the UFW is trying to convince the workers to go along. “We are demonstrating because they what to lower our salaries,” Ruiz told Stephanie…

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Brown axes Future Farmers & spends $10 million to attack farmworkers who don’t support him

Governor Jerry Brown used to stand up for the little guy. Now he’s de-funding important an entrepreneurial program to help kids become farmers, while spending $10 million on an agency that has put 2,500 Central Valley farmworkers out of work. All the while, Brown is siding with special interests like the UFW, which represents less than 1% of California farmworkers but rakes in a lot of guilt-and-nostalgia money for his political machine. Future Farmers of America (FFA) helps 469 California…

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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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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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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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