Would César have done this?

Shredding ballotsIf ALRB suspects that farm workers don’t want to be forced to pay to join a union, it has a special process to deny workers their voting rights.

ALRB gives workers a choice: pay 3 percent of your income to join a union, or lose your job.

That’s not what César Chávez would have wanted. The labor hero supported the farm workers’ right to choose.

ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres Guillen supervises a 9-step formula to force workers to pay unions to represent them and be fired if they refuse.

The ALRB gives different reasons for not observing workers’ petitions.

Torres Guillen’s field representative, Silas Shawver, first alleges that the signatures don’t represent a majority of workers on a single farm.

Then, when a vast majority of workers sign a petition that they don’t want a union, Shawver simply makes unspecified allegations of management pressure that ALRB must “investigate.”

Finally, when management invites ALRB onto its property to supervise worker balloting, ALRB holds the voting – but doesn’t count the ballots.

Since agricultural workers in San Joaquin Valley voted under ALRB supervision in 2013, ALRB has kept the ballots locked away in a safe. ALRB hasn’t even counted them.

In an interview, Silas Shawver admitted on video that ALRB has not counted the farm workers’ votes, and that he has no “timetable” for doing so.

Workers suspect that Shawver and Torres Guillen are not allowing the ballots to be counted because they recognize that the workers don’t want to join the United Farm Workers’ union.

Farm workers feel like ALRB is bullying them.

Protesting ALRB’s delay in counting their votes, one laborer said, “What I want, what everyone here wants, is our votes to be counted.”

Who could have a problem with that?

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