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

The ALRB's ruling throws Sylvia Torres-Guillen under the bus. Looks like her future as a state judge is history.

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…

Continue reading

ALRB judge says Shiroma’s UFW lobbyist connections are OK & that she is unbiased

The ALRB's in-house "judge" says there is no evidence that Genevieve Shiroma is biased.

Controversial ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma cannot be accused of bias because of her long political and financial relationship with former UFW strike organizer and current UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. That’s according to ALRB “judge” Mark R. Soble, in his ruling and order that the Gerawan workers ballots to de-certify the UFW must be destroyed. Central Valley labor leader Silvia Lopez, who has been leading the fight to decertify the…

Continue reading

ALRB’s Paul Starkey expresses annoyance as farmworkers visit Sacramento

Farmworker leader Silvia Lopez visits Sacramento to distribute information on ALRB's circle of corruption.

Farmworker leader Silvia Lopez led a small group to Sacramento to petition elected officials and visit the ALRB. During the February 29 visit, the farmworkers talked to lawmakers and ALRB staff. ALRB special counsel Paul Starkey expressed surprise and annoyance that the workers would dare to visit the secretive board’s fortified offices. The big issues: ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s conflicts of interests, and the expenditure of $10 million to suppress…

Continue reading

Governor Brown introduces Latina farmworkers, past and future

Latina labor leaders, old and new: Governor Jerry Brown introduces UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta to Gerawan farmworker Silvia Lopez at the ALRB's 40th anniversary gala on June 24.

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…

Continue reading

Federal court denies Shawver’s request for immunity

ALRB Regional Director Silas Shawver lost his request for immunity from a lawsuit by a Mexican-American farm worker. A federal judge denied Shawver’s immunity request in July. (Click here for the judge’s memorandum.) Shawver asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of California for “quasi-prosecutorial immunity” so that he could be removed as a defendant from a lawsuit alleging he violated the Constitutional rights of Central Valley farm workers.…

Continue reading