Farm workers ask ALRB to respect their voting rights

A group of laborers from Central Valley appeared before the ALRB to ask that the board count their votes on whether or not they want to be represented by a union. “From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely ask that we get our votes counted, and to know what’s the end to our situation,” a worker tells the ALRB in Spanish, through an interpreter. “What I want, what everyone here wants, is our votes to be counted.” The workers…

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Torres-Guillen in ‘lawless power grab’

ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres Guillen is making what critics see as a “lawless power grab” by filing a lawsuit to fight Central Valley fruit growers without having the legal authority. Torres Guillen and her Visalia regional director, Silas Shawver, are “claiming to invoke authority that they do not possess,” Agenda 21 Radio reports. The latest action is a legal move to break farm workers in the Central Valley who don’t want to pay a union that doesn’t represent them.…

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Fresno County calls for ALRB to count workers’ votes

Taking the ALRB directly to task for not counting the votes of farm workers, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution in solidarity with the people who work the fields. The specific workers’ vote was the November 5, 2013 balloting among Gerawan Farm workers on whether to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW) union, which had not represented them for 20 years. The Fresno board of supervisors praised Gerawan farm workers for their “tenacity” in petitioning the…

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Assemblyman: ALRB now a ‘rogue agency . . . out of control’

“The ALRB is a rogue agency now, entirely biased and out of control.” That’s how Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), describes the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. “The workers have been entirely ignored by the very people and political leaders supposed to be representing them,” Patterson tells the Flash Report‘s Katie Grimes. “The ALRB is a rogue agency now, entirely biased and out of control.” Grimes reports that Patterson “wrote a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown expressing his support of the farm workers and…

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ALRB overrules Shawver’s attempt to stop workers from voting

In a sharp rebuke to its own regional director Silas Shawver, the ALRB issued an order to stop Shawver from blocking Gerawan farm workers’ vote on whether to unionize. The ALRB noted that on October 25, farm worker Silvia Lopez filed a petition to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had not worked to represent the workers in more than 20 years. Three days after Lopez filed her motion, the ALRB observed in court, “the Regional Director [Silas Shawver]…

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Court rips Shawver, suspects ALRB is ‘in cahoots’

A California Superior Court has found that the state official immediately responsible for blocking a count of farm workers’ votes has exceeded his authority, and says he suspects the official is “in cahoots.” Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr., of the California Superior Court in Fresno, found on August 21 that Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) lawyer Silas Shawver committed an “overreach” of authority by denying workers the right for their votes to be counted. “So the Court is very suspect…

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