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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UFW has built a track record of perjury and other deception

Since Cesar Chavez died in 1993, the United Farm Workers (UFW) has built a track record of deliberate and willful deception to keep its credibility while its membership leaves in droves. Instead of continuing the Chavez legacy of working hard for the farmworkers, it has practically ignored its members. It used lies – even orchestrated perjury – to stay relevant. UFW lied to Gerawan farmworkers, and is now lying about them A case in point is the work force at…

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It’s surprising how much more non-unionized farmworkers earn than others

Non-unionized farmworkers, whom the ALRB is trying to force to join the UFW, earn more than workers producing products or performing services for some of America’s most favorite, trendy companies. They earn a lot more than farmworkers represented by the UFW. The base pay for unskilled Gerawan farm laborers is $11.00 per hour, with the average Gerawan hourly field labor wage being $12.07. This is well above the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and the California minimum wage…

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Incestuous UFW, ALRB relationship strips voting rights

ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen never intended for peones to have a choice The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) had silenced Gerawan farmworkers twice before but it could not stop them a third time when they appealed to Sacramento. After collecting signatures from thousands of Gerawan farmworkers – for the second time – the vast majority finally forced the ALRB to give them their right to hold an up-or-down vote on the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. UFW filed bogus…

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Gerawan field laborers earn more than some ALRB employees

Hearing officers and clerical staff of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) earn about the same – or less – as Gerawan Farming workers. Gerawan pays its field laborers a base pay of $11.00 an hour, annualized to about $22,000 a year. Field laborers can earn as much as $15.00 per hour, annualized to $30,000 a year. According to Gerawan’s wage data, its average wages for grape harvesters in 2014 were $16.27 an hour, annualized at $32,540 per year. Average…

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ALRB acts as UFW enforcer in Gerawan farmworkers’ case

Government agency informs workers of voting rights then repeatedly blocks election Having been abandoned by the UFW for more than 20 years, Gerawan farmworkers resisted when the union resurfaced in 2012, demanding that they be fired unless they fork over 3 percent of their pay. To the farmworkers, this was an unfair labor practice (ULP) – just the kind of issue the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) was created to investigate and prosecute. Instead, the ALRB’s new general counsel, Sylvia…

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ALRB can double UFW’s payroll by taking Gerawan workers’ 3%

By forcing Gerawan farm workers to pay 3 percent of their gross wages to the union, the ALRB would be able to double the UFW’s annual payroll. In documents it filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, UFW reported that it has an annual payroll of $3.2 million. Some of its top executives have been on the UFW payroll for 40 years or more – guaranteed jobs for life. By forcing an estimated 5,000 Gerawan farm laborers to pay 3…

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AB 1389 would protect worker rights to protest ALRB

The ALRB is trying to silence farmworkers who criticize the politicized agency. The UFW “contract” that the ALRB wants to force on Gerawan farmworkers includes a clause that bans the workers from holding strike protests against both the agency and the union. The employer and employees argued against the clause, but the ALRB put it in the contract anyway. Why would the ALRB impose it when neither side wants it? Who would benefit from such an imposition? Only outsiders would benefit:…

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ALRB has hidden its page about its duty to help workers vote against union representation

The ALRB has hidden its web page referencing its legal obligation to conduct elections for workers seeking to vote to reject labor union representation. The page, which explained the ALRB’s legal authority and duties, stated that the Board “is responsible for conducting elections to determine whether a majority of the employees of an agricultural employer” with to be represented by “no labor organization at all.” That page is now gone from Google search engine results, and the original link is dead.…

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Workers smash ALRB piñata at Fresno courthouse

Smashing a piñata resembling the ALRB safe that contains their un-counted ballots, hundreds of farm workers demanded again that ALRB count their votes. A handful of United Farm Workers (UFW) organizers showed up to oppose the farm workers. The workers held the April 14 demonstration in front of the California appeals court in Fresno, which was holding a hearing about the joint ALRB-UFW attempt to impose a contract on them. The contract would take more than $3 million a year from…

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Fresno Bee shows farm workers shouting down UFW

Hundreds of farm workers shouted down UFW organizers outside a state courthouse in Fresno April 14. The Fresno Bee covered the confrontation on video. Orange-shirted UFW organizers can be seen holding signs seeking to compel the workers to accept a contract, with the workers responding with chants of “Fuera!” meaning “get out of here” or “go away.” Judging by the video, the UFW had more signs than people to hold them. In an accompanying article, the Fresno Bee reports that,…

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Times-Delta: ALRB general counsel is rigging ‘UFW to be the winner in every election’

ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres Guillen has twisted her authority and rigged the system to make “the UFW to be the winner in every election” among California farm workers. In an op-ed for the Visalia Times-Delta, agricultural writer Don Curlee praises ALRB Chairman William B. Gould for recent steps to rein in the out-of-control general counsel (GC). Without mentioning Torres Guillen by name, Curlee says that the present GC, “appointed two years ago” by Governor Jerry Brown, “demonstrated close ties…

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ALRB still denying farmworkers a vote

“The Legislature and the Brown administration apparently believe California’s farmworkers cannot be trusted to exercise their democratic rights. It’s the only plausible explanation for their efforts — via an administrative process and legislation — to invalidate the votes of 3,000 Fresno area workers who took part in a union election,” Steven Greenhut writes in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Workers at Gerawan Farming voted on a labor contract 10 months ago, but the Agricultural Labor Relations Board refuses to even count their votes. Instead, ALRB…

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