Protecting workers’ rights

César Chávez devoted his life to making sure that farm workers’ voices were heard and their votes counted.

He knew that public pressure would help all workers – unionized or non-unionized. His support of the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act ensured that farm workers would have the legal right to organize under unions, to choose not to be represented by a union, or to de-certify a union that failed to do its job to represent them.

After decades of progress, the farm workers’ votes are being threatened.

The ALRB, in the words of a California judge, appears to be “in cahoots” with cronies committed to preventing the farm workers from voting – and to prevent their ballots from being counted.

The main culprits are ALRB Regional Director Silas Shawver in Visalia; and ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres Guillen in Sacramento.

They have used millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to prevent Central Valley farm workers from having their votes counted.

The issue is a 2013 vote on whether the workers should be forced to pay 3 percent of their income to a union that had abandoned them for more than 20 years.

Cesar blue pickThe workers voted under ALRB supervision. The verdict? We don’t know. ALRB has locked up the ballots in a safe, and has refused to count them. It is now 2015.

César Chávez never abandoned the farm workers.

The union and ALRB have not only abandoned the workers. They have turned against the workers. The ALRB and UFW are now demanding that the farm workers pay 3 percent of their gross wages to the union – and that their employers must fire them if they refuse.

That’s not what César Chávez fought for.

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