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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New ALRB Visalia director: A UFW man since he was 12

Chris Schneider is ALRB’s new Regional Director in Visalia under the state agency’s Office of General Counsel. Schneider never finished college. And he doesn’t have a law degree. But that doesn’t matter because he’s a UFW-certified legal activist. Schneider’s relationship with the UFW goes back before most farmworkers were born. Committed to “UFW struggle” since he was 12 Schneider told the Fresno Bee that he first learned of the “UFW struggle” when he was 12 years old. Five years later, at…

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UFW raises questions about ALRB and EFI agenda as it recalls collusion with Jane Fonda

By recalling its past collusion with Jane Fonda, the United Farm Workers has raised more questions about the political agendas of its partners – the state Agricultural Labor Relations board (ALRB) and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI). It’s understandable that UFW would want to pay respects to its longtime ally, Tom Hayden, after his death this weekend. But recognizing his ex-wife, Jane Fonda, in the same statement? Many farmworkers who served in the US military during the Vietnam War remember Fonda…

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ALRB Chairman Gould says indigenous workers are too ignorant to read their own languages

Indigenous farmworkers are too ignorant or stupid to read their own languages, ALRB Chairman William Gould said in an interview, which is why the ALRB must send “lawyers” to read to them and show them videos. “Only academics read” native languages, Gould stated, rejecting the suggestion that employers display posters for the workers to read. “I don’t think that many of the farmers are academics.” Gould: ‘These indigenous languages are something that only academics read.’ California Ag Today asked Gould…

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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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Alegria de la Cruz: Another UFW loyalist on ALRB

More proof that yet another leader of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is a UFW loyalist. Alegria de la Cruz, in this undated picture, is an ALRB attorney. She supervised the votes of more than 2,400 Gerawan farmworkers to de-certify the UFW in 2013. De la Cruz is shown in this picture, standing at the center in the back, wearing a UFW hat. This must have been a special occasion for de la Cruz, as the person who took the…

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Senator says ‘corrupt’ ALRB is ‘not helping the people at the bottom of the chain’

For the first time in history, lawmakers denounced the ALRB from the Senate floor as a “corrupt” organization. “Unfortunately, the ALRB has turned its back on farm workers and now sees its number-one job as a shill for the UFW,” said Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) during the party-line vote to confirm disgraced ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma to an unprecedented fourth term. “The ALRB has become corrupt and not helping the people at the bottom of the chain as was…

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Shiroma was allowed to ignore state impartiality standards

Genevieve Shiroma, the controversial ALRB member, has been allowed to ignore state impartiality standards since her first term began in 1999. Under state law, ALRB board members are required to be impartial on the issue of workers, employees and unions, and to avoid even the perception of partiality. Shiroma’s connections to a prominent UFW lobbyist, and her political donations to lawmakers who govern her powers on the ALRB board, show that she biased and therefore in violation of the law.…

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Transcript: Senator de Leon denied translations of farmworkers’ statements

Senate President Kevin de Leon prevented farmworkers who disagreed with him from having their comments translated from Spanish to English. The incident occurred at the June 20 Senate confirmation hearing for Genevieve Shiroma, the controversial ALRB member who is up for yet another term on the embattled state board. Nobody attended to speak to senators on Shiroma’s behalf. But scores of farmworkers jammed the Capitol to ask the Senate NOT to confirm the disgraced ALRB member. De Leon would not…

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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 approved: Here’s what the UFW says you get for 3% of your salary

On its website, the UFW describes the value of membership in the union. What value do you, as a UFW worker, get for the 3% of your pre-tax income, or an average of $600.00 a year? Practically nothing. Somehow this is OK with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The UFW site says, “The following benefits are reserved for UFW Union Members that pay 3% dues and are members in good standing.” Those benefits are: Life insurance policies that…

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Nice Pick Justice turnout at court in Fresno

We’re having a great turnout right now at the Court of Appeal in Fresno! We’re protesting the ALRB’s corrupt handling of our votes to decertify the UFW. Our mascot of the day is shady ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma, who has a long political and financial relationship with a powerful UFW lobbyist in Sacramento.

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Judge again says ALRB and UFW colluded on litigation strategy

The ALRB Office of General Counsel and Regional Director colluded with the UFW during the case against Gerawan farmworkers seeking to de-certify the UFW, the ALRB’s own administrative jaw judge has found. “[T]he record should make clear, should the General Counsel and UFW attempt to characterize their litigation strategy as completely independent, that portrayal would be inaccurate,” ALRB administrative law Judge Mark R. Soble said. Soble’s comments are buried in a footnote at the bottom of page 164 of the…

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With whistleblower scandal brewing, ALRB throws Sylvia Torres-Guillen under the bus

While taking the UFW line to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots, the ALRB drove a judicial stake through the heart of its disgraced ex-general counsel, Sylvia Torres-Guillen. In so doing, the ALRB cleared Gerawan of illegally instigating the anti-union activity. But that didn’t stop the Board from skewering the farmer and workers. It appears to be a preemptive strike to soften the damage of an ongoing investigation of ALRB negligence, revealed last May when a whistleblower came forward. The whistleblower alleged illegal…

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