LA Times reports that Gov Brown fired Torres-Guillen over UFW/Gerawan case

Although she denied it on the record elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports that disgraced former ALRB general counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen was fired from her job over her abuse of power in fighting against Gerawan farm workers. The pro-UFW lawyer found herself at odds with ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV, an internationally respected labor lawyer and scholar. Torres-Guillen and her staff tried to prevent Gerawan farmworkers from voting to decertify the UFW in 2013, were overruled by the board,…

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Fresno Bee runs page-one story on ALRB bias toward union

In a landmark development, the Fresno Bee has run a page-one story about ALRB bias toward the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. The story is important because it shows that bias complaints against ALRB go beyond Gerawan Farming and the farmworkers – and because of the many questions that ALRB refused to answer. Just as PickJustice.com has been saying, the controversy centers on disgraced ALRB general counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen, who was removed from office suddenly last June. However, the Fresno Bee…

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ALRB seen as ‘out of control’ bureaucracy with ‘ballooning’ budget

The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board is “out of control,” whose “ballooning” budget and staff, is driven by a drive to force Gerawan farmworkers to join the United Farm Workers. That’s what a California state assemblyman and others tell the Fresno Bee in a front-page story about the ALRB’s bias toward the union. Here are some of the highlights: Former ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen was the prime engine behind a 90% hike in the ALRB budget to go after Gerawan Farming and its farmworkers who…

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ALRB’s acting general counsel chooses his words very carefully

The interim replacement for disgraced former ALRB general counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen won’t defend his predecessor to journalists – but he won’t exactly say that the ALRB is in fact impartial as the law requires. When the Fresno Bee asked Mark Woo-Sam, ALRB Acting General Counsel, if his state agency was in fact acting impartially as required by state law, Woo-Sam didn’t say yes or no. Instead, Woo-Sam cited what the law requires, and then said that the ALRB takes that…

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Los Angeles Times shows 18 years of nothing from UFW, until ALRB helps

The Los Angeles Times has published a major story that lends credence to growing concerns that the ALRB is “in cahoots” with the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. The UFW “effectively disappeared” for 18 years until the state tried to impose a state-mandated contract that would take 3 percent of the workers’ gross pay and give it to the union. The July 30 article profiles San Joaquin Valley peach grower Dan Gerawan and his family’s multimillion-dollar legal defenses against the…

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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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