Is ALRB impartial? This video tells who’s who

Jessica Arciniega Alegria De La Cruz and Silas Shawver are in Cahoots at the ALRB

Key members of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) staff have a revolving door relationship with the United Farmworkers (UFW) union. Their bias is in direct violation of state law, which requires the ALRB to be impartial. These revolving-door staff lawyers have been major players in the controversial, expensive, and possibly illegal ALRB prevention of farmworkers from having their votes counted to decertify the UFW. These cronies move between the union and the state agency taking care of union…

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Passing the torch: Latina farmworkers Huerta and Lopez meet

Gerawan farmworkers asked UFW icon Dolores Huerta for help in getting Governor Jerry Brown to have the ALRB count their votes. After some discussion, the civil rights leader and Gerawan farmworker leader Silvia Lopez stood together with Governor Brown. That day, June 24, 2015, was a historic day for Latina farmworkers in California. Just hours earlier, Brown had quietly fired ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen, who had been one of the top officials responsible for trying to prevent the farmworkers…

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Governor Brown fires Sylvia Torres-Guillen

In a surprise move on the 40th anniversary of the ALRB, Governor Jerry Brown fired Sylvia Torres-Guillen as ALRB general counsel. Without fanfare, Brown removed the controversial lawyer from her ALRB post and transferred her to a duty without portfolio in his sprawling personal office. Torres-Guillen was responsible for spending millions of tax dollars to prevent Gerawan farmworkers from having their ballots counted. The workers are still waiting for ALRB Judge Mark Soble, who works for the Office of General…

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Governor Brown introduces Latina farmworkers, past and future

As if shepherding the transition between the old and the new, California Governor Jerry Brown introduced UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta to the face of 21st century farmworkers: Silvia Lopez. At the festive Sacramento gala marking the 40th anniversary of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Governor Brown recognized the 39 year-old Gerawan farmworker, calling her “the famous Silvia Lopez.” Brown posed with 85 year-old Huerta – a giant in the farmworker movement – and Lopez for what he must have sensed…

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ALRB lawyers go on record about their “impartiality”

The ALRB’s top activist lawyers went on the record about their “impartiality” that the law requires. General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen and Assistant General Counsel Silas Shawver made some brief comments published in CalWatchdog. They were asked about the ALRB’s legal mandate to be “impartial” between employers and unions when defending farmworkers. Torres-Guillen was asked if the “union activists who have been hired as ALRB attorneys” might compromise the impartiality of the ALRB as a whole. Torres-Guillen answered, “Oh, I don’t…

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ALRB loses yet ANOTHER court action

The ALRB just got slapped with another repudiation from the California state court system. This time, the superior court rejected ALRB’s urgent request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Gerawan Farming, for having fired an employee – ALRB claimed – because of that employee’s pro-union activity. Judge of the Superior Court Donald S. Black smacked ALRB right where it hurt: The superior court judge slammed the ALRB for “deficiencies” in its investigation of the case in which a Gerawan worker…

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Credibility GONE: ALRB won’t probe case of ex-UFW organizer who said union coached workers to lie

The ALRB’s credibility is completely gone, with the revelation that a former UFW organizer testified that the union constructed lies to dupe the ALRB – and the ALRB’s own lawyers witnessed the admission and did nothing. The sensational admission, under oath, occurred in January, 2015, in the presence of ALRB attorneys and an ALRB judge – all of whom work under ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen. Even more, when a farmworker who read the transcript in March filed a complaint…

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UFW organizer coached workers to lie to discredit de-certification vote

A former UFW organizer has testified in court that he coached Gerawan farmworkers to lie in order to undermine the vote to de-certify the union. The organizer said he died so on instructions from the union’s leadership. The former union organizer reportedly is in hiding for fear of retaliation from the UFW and the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). “The ALRB used lies manufactured by the UFW labor union to put a halt to the Gerawan farm workers’ efforts…

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Unconstitutional: CA news publishers back lawsuit to strike down ALRB closed-door practices

First Amendment advocates are urging a California court to strike down the ALRB’s unconstitutional closed-door practices. In a Fresno court filing today, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the First Amendment Coalition asked the California Court of Appeal to strike down an order of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) that bars workers, the public, and the press from attending “on the record” hearings conducted as part of the Board’s compulsory…

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Silas Shawver of the ALRB Jumps For The UFW!

Silas Shawver Jumps For The UFW

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is an independent governing body that oversees relations between California Central Valley farmers and the United Farmworkers of America, the union that wants to represent them. The ALRB is supposed to be unbiased. But if that’s so, WHY is Silas Shawver, their regional director, seen here wearing a UFW tshirt? Is it a harmless mistake? Considering that Mr. Shawver is pushing to destroy ballots in the farmworker’s election to decertify the union, it’s more likely…

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Court says ALRB’s forcible mediation against workers is unconstitutional

In a historic decision, a three-judge California appeals court struck down the section of state law that allows the ALRB to force UFW contracts on farmworkers. That section of the law, the judges said, is unconstitutional. The judges agreed with the employer, Gerawan Farming, that the ALRB should have allowed it to prove that the UFW had abandoned its thousands of members for years. “More fundamentally,” the judges ruled, “we agree with Gerawan’s constitutional arguments that the MMC [mandatory mediation…

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Farmworkers are better off without ALRB-UFW protection racket

Gerawan farmworkers voted to give their trust to Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers (UFW). In 1990, they voted to certify the UFW as their collective bargaining representative. Then the UFW disappeared. For twenty years, Gerawan farmworkers heard nothing from the UFW. The UFW never communicated with them. Nobody from the UFW came out to the fields to talk to them. The UFW never negotiated a contract for them. Joining the UFW, as UFW first vice president Irv Hershenbaum told council members in…

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