Time to for FBI to bust ALRB-UFW racket? One lawmaker thinks so

The state of California has become so corrupt, with workers having almost nowhere to turn to escape the ALRB-UFW protection racket, that it’s time to call in the FBI. That’s what Assemblyman Jim Patterson told KMJ radio host Ray Appleton today. This really changes things. A 30-year employee of the ALRB in Visalia revealed systematic corruption inside the agency to force workers to join the UFW. “What this whistleblower has said,” Patterson explained, “is that the ALRB as a racket…

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New York Times looks at ‘collapse’ of California’s organized farmworker movement

California’s organized farm worker movement is in such a state of collapse that the New York Times has started to pay attention. The New York Times doesn’t blame the growers. In a remarkable article, it lays blame squarely on the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and its government protector, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The former ALRB chief, in turn, blames undocumented workers, who don’t want to organize in unions. To the obvious dismay of ALRB Chairman William Gould, who…

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We voted to de-certify the UFW 3 years ago today. ALRB still has our ballots.

Three years ago today, 2,400 of us Gerawan workers voted on whether to de-certify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had abandoned us for 20 years. The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) supervised the entire process. But it didn’t like the results. So ALRB seized our ballots and stored them in a safe in the ALRB’s Visalia office, then run by UFW activist lawyer Silas Shawver. That was on November 5, 2013. Shawver was later fired under an ethics…

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Fresno Bee picks up on our WikiLeaks story about secret UFW deal against workers

The Fresno Bee has picked up on our story about how WikiLeaks released an email about a secret deal between the UFW and Hillary Clinton to smash our farmworker movement. “Hillary Clinton agreed to help United Farm Workers in its conflict with Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, according to internal campaign emails exposed this week by WikiLeaks,” Andrea Castillo reports in the Bee. “The Clinton campaign, however, is questioning the veracity of all the WikiLeaks emails, and held a conference call Friday…

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Meet FUJ, the nation’s newest farmworkers’ union

They got no support from the United Farm Workers (UFW), because the UFW is in cahoots with a big retailer. So the workers at Sakuma Brothers, a supplier of Driscoll’s berries, voted to set up their own union. After three years of organizing, the Sakuma workers in Washington State voted to formally organize FUJ: Familias Unidas por La Justicia (Families United for Justice). Ramon Torres heads the grassroots union. He used to work in the Sakuma berry fields, but “was fired…

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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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After spending $10 million, ALRB says it’s “impossible” to know what 2,600 workers think

After spending $10 million to destroy the ballots of 2,600 farmworkers who voted to decertify the UFW, the state board in charge of the vote says it’s “impossible” to know if the workers were expressing their true sentiments. This is part of the bizarre ruling of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) issued late Friday. The Board said that the Gerawan farmworkers’ 2013 ballots must never be counted and should be destroyed. The ALRB’s $10 million expenditure is equal to $4,000…

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ALRB says it’s “unfair” for Gerawan to solicit worker grievances and give them a raise

It is against the law in California for an employer to request workers to express their grievances. And it’s against the law for an employer to give them a raise without government or union approval. That’s what the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board says in a ruling to destroy the ballots of 2,600 Gerawan farmworkers who voted in 2013 on whether to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. According to the ALRB’s administrative law “judge” (ALJ) Mark R. Soble,…

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Happy Cesar Chavez Day: ALRB spends $10 million to deprive workers of voting rights

We pause on this year’s Cesar Chavez Day to reflect on the fact that, even in the 21st century, people in America are still denied their voting rights. The political elites in Sacramento continue to deny hard-working farm laborers the right to have their votes counted in accordance with state law. The following infographic, produced by the highest-paying labor employer in the state farming industry, tells the story. It’s a story of how the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is…

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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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What ALRB could have done to help (with the $10 million it spent to fight us)

If the ALRB really wanted to help farmworkers, what could it have done with the $10.8 million it’s using to prevent our 2013 votes from being counted? Let’s take the farming community of Mecca, California, down in Riverside County. Instead of suppressing worker votes in the San Joaquin Valley, the ALRB could have spent the $10.8 million on any of the following in the Coachella Valley, around Mecca: Construction of more than 100 new homes (Approximate price of a construction of…

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New report shows ALRB spending $10,000,000 to suppress Gerawan worker ballots

The ALRB is spending more than $10 million to suppress the ballots of 2,600 farmworkers who voted on whether to de-certify the United Farm Workers (UFW) as their representative. The workers at Gerawan Farming cast their ballots in 2013 in an ALRB-supervised election. ALRB immediately locked the ballots in a safe and has refused to count them. Word is that the ALRB is deciding to destroy the ballots in order to let the UFW save face. Here’s how a Sacramento…

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Does ALRB still have our ballots that it wants to destroy?

Nobody outside the ALRB knows whether the secretive government agency still has the more than 2,000 ballots we cast in 2013 on whether to de-certify the UFW. ALRB first tried to prevent the farmworkers from voting. Then it supervised our vote (forcing voters to show their ID). Then it took the ballots away. It locked them in a safe and nobody has seen them since. Maybe the ALRB is delaying a decision on whether to count or destroy our ballots…

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Assemblywoman rips ALRB for “bias” and “corruption”

A state lawmaker representing California’s farming communities has ripped the Agricultural Labor Relations Board for being a biased and corrupt agency illegally in cahoots with the dying UFW. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove tore into the ALRB in a guest article for the Ridgecrest News-Review. Here are highlights of what she said: The UFW “had lost 90 percent of its membership and was bleeding money, so it set its sights on this employee group near Fresno” to force thousands of Gerawan workers…

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