Journalists must understand difference between ALRB’s ‘judge’ and a real judge

News reports about an ALRB administrative ruling show a misunderstanding about a big issue: The difference between ALRB’s enforcement for the UFW, and a real decision by a real judge in a real court of law. Some of the reports confused the UFW, which represents less than 1% of farmworkers in California, with all or most farmworkers. Some of the reporting was just sloppy reporting. Some of it was good reporting, with misleading headlines added by a lazy editor. At…

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California govt pulls down 2015 audit that found ALRB chronic waste & abuse

The California state government has pulled down electronic copies of a damning 2015 audit of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Like the Gerawan farmworkers ballots from the 2013 ALRB-supervised vote, the government has hidden the evidence. Pick Justice discovered the audit and published an article about it last year. We linked directly to the state website page that contained the audit. That page, http://www.dof.ca.gov/osae/audit_reports/documents/WEBFinalReport-AgriculturalLaborRelationsBoardPerformanceAudit.pdf, is dead. We also discovered that Labor Secretary David Lanier supported the findings of the audit in…

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Isadore Hall unleashes ‘obscenity-laced tirade’ at critics & threatens to abuse his authority to ‘get’ them

ALRB board designate Isadore Hall unleashed an “obscenity-laced tirade” at his critics and threatened to abuse his authority to “get” them, a state senator said in an open letter. Hall made the threatening rant in the Hyatt hotel in Sacramento the night before his March 1 confirmation hearing. The threats underscore Pick Justice’s concerns that Hall, who led a UFW march opposing farmworkers who voted to de-certify the union, is incapable of serving as an impartial farmworker advocate. Senator sent…

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Genevieve Shiroma, new ALRB chair, brings record of ethics problems & mismanagement

Instead of reaching outside ALRB for competent leadership, Governor Jerry Brown has promoted new mismanagement from within: Genevieve Shiroma. “I am absolutely an honorable person,” Shiroma insisted to the state Senate during her confirmation hearing for an unprecedented fourth term last summer. Not everybody agrees. Last spring, California Labor Secretary David Lanier agreed with a state audit that found the ALRB to be a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. We reported that Lanier’s assessment was an indictment of scandal-plagued ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma.…

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Full text of Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Brown

Here is the full text of ALRB Chairman William Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Jerry Brown on January 13, 2017, as provided by the Los Angeles Times. We have highlighted the pertinent sections in bold. Images of the letter appear at the end. Dear Governor Brown, I write to advise you that I am resigning as Chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, effective no later than 5:00 PM Wednesday, February 22, 2017. It has been my honor to serve…

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Kangaroo court: ALRB’s own rules violate the law mandating impartiality

The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is breaking state law, raising questions about the legitimacy of the board’s actions and decisions. In layman’t terms, the ALRB is illegally serving as the UFW’s own kangaroo court to force UFW contracts on unwilling workers and employers. At issue is the ALRB’s legal mandate to be an impartial advocate of farmworkers, while the ALRB acts as an investigator and prosecutor. One cannot be an impartial prosecutor. Therefore, the ALRB is a kangaroo…

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We voted to de-certify the UFW 3 years ago today. ALRB still has our ballots.

Three years ago today, 2,400 of us Gerawan workers voted on whether to de-certify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had abandoned us for 20 years. The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) supervised the entire process. But it didn’t like the results. So ALRB seized our ballots and stored them in a safe in the ALRB’s Visalia office, then run by UFW activist lawyer Silas Shawver. That was on November 5, 2013. Shawver was later fired under an ethics…

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UFW activist Shawver not listed on public version of ALRB staff directory

The ALRB has not listed Deputy General Counsel Silas Shawver on the public version of its staff directory, raising more questions about why the agency remains so secretive. Shawver is a United Farm Workers (UFW) activist attorney who was removed from ALRB in 2015, after Governor Jerry Brown purged the ALRB General Counsel’s office for possibly illegal bias toward a favored union. The activist lawyer has been gunning against farmworkers who don’t want to recognize the UFW as their labor…

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ALRB secretly re-hires UFW militant Silas Shawver

The ALRB has quietly re-hired controversial UFW activist Silas Shawver as the scandal-plagued agency’s Deputy General Counsel. That seems to be a promotion from his previous post as Assistant General Counsel. Shawver was removed under a cloud in 2015. Not everyone inside California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board is happy about Shawver being back. And some are talking. Shawver drew fire after Pick Justice revealed his conflicts of interests on the ALRB as a UFW militant while serving as a member…

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Shiroma’s secretive ALRB has no public events on its calendar

The secretive Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is in virtual shutdown since Genevieve Shiroma’s reappointment to the board last summer. At least in public. Despite ALRB’s doubled budget to go after the Gerawan farmworkers who challenged the UFW, nothing appears on ALRB’s public calendar. Earlier this year, state Labor Secretary David Lanier agreed with an audit that ripped ALRB for being a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. Yet ALRB doesn’t seem to have learned anything. It keeps a paranoid silence. The…

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We are winning the fight: Los Angeles Times gives super coverage of our cause

Pick Justice and its friends are winning the fight against government secrecy, crony capitalism, and the political and union establishment in Sacramento. The Los Angeles Times just gave fantastic coverage to the cause of workers’ rights and free speech in California’s rigged political and judicial system. “Farmworkers win court battle over access to California labor boards proceedings,” the LA Times headlined on May 11. “A farmworker and business owner can now air their case against the Agricultural Labor Relations Board”…

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ALRB decision expands scope beyond California

An interesting aspect of the ALRB’s decision to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots to decertify the UFW is that the purely state-based board is using non-California precedents to justify its position. In so doing, the ALRB has nationalized what was supposed to be an internal California issue. The ALRB refers to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), based in Washington, D.C., at least 143 times on 50 pages of the 276-page document. Of course, the California ALRB was modeled on…

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Labor Secretary Lanier agrees with audit ripping ALRB

California Labor Secretary David Lanier agrees with a state audit that found the ALRB to be a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. Lanier’s agreement with the shocking findings could hammer another nail into the political coffin of scandal-plagued ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma. Shiroma has led a $10 million campaign to prevent farmworkers’ ballots from being counted after the voted in 2013 on decertification of the UFW. That’s 34% of ALRB’s budget. And Lanier agrees that the ALRB can’t account for its spending.…

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