UFW can’t recruit 1 busload of Gerawan protesters, so it raises money to pay surrogates

So few Gerawan farmworkers support the UFW that the union can’t recruit enough to fill a single bus. Instead, UFW is raising money to send six busloads of other workers (or people pretending to be real farmworkers) to San Francisco on September 5 to protest outside the state Supreme Court. “The UFW is pretty much admitting that it doesn’t have any support among 5,000 Gerawan farmworkers,” observed Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez. UFW more careful after being caught promoting fake…

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Gerawan workers staged largest farmworker protests in state history. See the videos.

They came out by the thousands – more than César Chávez could recruit at the height of his popularity. They took to the streets in the largest farmworker protests in California history. They were some of the thousands of hard-working people at Gerawan Farming. And they wanted nothing to do with the UFW. TV news coverage repeatedly reported that “thousands” of Gerawan workers protested against the UFW and its state enforcer, the ALRB. Here are four videos to show the…

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UFW and the State can’t silence us. We are the biggest farmworker protest ever.

What if the racists and machine politicians had silenced Martin Luther King and César Chávez? There would have been no civil rights movements for African-Americans and Latinos. That was then. In the 21st century, the machine politicians in Sacramento turned back the clock. They have been trying to silence the new farmworker movement in California. They are failing. This video tells part of our story of resistance to the corrupted and abusive United Farm Workers (UFW) and its unelected government…

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California’s biggest farmworker protests were AGAINST the UFW-ALRB

California’s biggest farmworker protests in history were not led by César Chávez or the UFW. They were led by thousands of farmworkers opposed to the UFW. The farmworkers took to the streets by the thousands to protest the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) from forcing them into a UFW contract. Local television stations in Visalia reported it at the time. This video summarizes those protests, and features farmworkers who explained how the UFW and ALRB have tried to force…

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UFW says it ‘vehemently’ opposes Pick Justice leader to appear before Supreme Court

The United Farm Workers “vehemently” opposes Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez to make an opening argument before the California Supreme Court. A major constitutional issue is at stake at the September 5 hearing. The state and the UFW seek to force farmworkers to submit to a UFW contract that would cut their take-home pay and deny them the right to have a say in the contract. “The UFW vehemently opposes Lopez’s request” to be given time to state her case…

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New ALRB executive secretary is from UFW activist camp

The ALRB lurched further than ever from its legally mandated neutrality today when it named a pro-UFW activist lawyer as its new executive secretary. Santiago Avila-Gomez succeeds longtime ALRB executive secretary J. Antonio Barbosa effective today. While Barbosa seemed like a fair and impartial man personally, we never knew of him taking a stand to keep ALRB “impartial” as the law requires. Still, he was of the ALRB old school where, at one time, the 99% of California farmworkers who…

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Federal court agrees to hear case to stop ALRB from letting UFW force itself on farmworkers

In an important legal development, a federal court has agreed to hear arguments that the state should not abuse its power to enable the UFW to force itself on farmworkers at their workplace. The potential now exists for federal courts to intervene against Governor Brown’s out-of-control Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which colludes with the UFW to abuse farmworkers who refuse to pay 3% of their wages to the syndicate. “Federal authorities have agreed to hear an appeal of a…

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UFW wants to protect some workers from deportation, but not if they oppose the union

The UFW takes two positions on foreign workers in the US under H2-A agricultural labor visas. Don’t let them get fired, because under the H2-A seasonal worker visa system, they will be deported. Fire any H2-A workers who oppose the UFW (and let them get deported). Here’s the latest: UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson says foreign farmworkers on H2-A visas are vulnerable to abuses, because if they complain about conditions, they risk getting fired, and if they get fired, they…

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Abused mushroom workers demand new UFW leadership

Mushroom workers, feeling abused by their employer and the UFW, demand new leadership at the flailing union. “Some 300 workers went on strike against the UFW and Monterey Mushroom” on May 25, “demanding a pay raise, just treatment from their managers, and new leadership in the UFW,” KION-TV reported. This is the first time in memory that UFW members have protested in large numbers to demand an end to the UFW’s ineffective – and what some allege to be morally corrupt…

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‘This is a disgrace for the union,’ mushroom worker says about UFW

The UFW is trying to persuade its members at Monterey Mushrooms that they should accept a huge pay cut down to minimum wage of $10.50 an hour. “This is a disgrace for the union,” worker leader Edith Ruiz told KION-TV in Spanish. KION operates channels 5 and 46 as a CBS affiliate. “The union and the company are hand-in-hand against us,” said mushroom worker José Guzmán. (“La unión y compañía están de la mano en contra de nosotros.”) “They pay…

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Court slaps another $770,000 judgment on UFW

A real California judge slapped the UFW with another $770,000 judgment, raising the total levied against the floundering union to $2 million. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ordered the UFW to pay a law firm $770,000 in legal fees after finding the UFW guilty of defrauding its own workers. Earlier, the court ordered UFW to pay $1.2 million in damages to the UFW’s former employees whom it had cheated. In his ruling, Judge Wills said, “the Court has…

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Unqualified: Hall’s record shows no experience for ALRB position

“As longtime chair of the governmental organization committees in both houses, Hall oversaw gambling and alcohol policy, and he repeatedly pursued legislation to require porn performers to wear condoms,” the Sacramento Bee reports. “He was not was a leader on agricultural issues at the Capitol; only about half a percent of the workers in his former Senate district worked in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and mining, according to the U.S. Census,” the Bee says. “Other than water policy, nothing suggests he dealt head…

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UFW hides from media about how it messed up a law to repay workers

The United Farm Workers is avoiding news organizations because it pressured lawmakers to insert unconstitutional language in a law. The law would have allowed employers to settle with workers for a staggering $200,000,000 in back wages, without paying penalties to the government, and protecting them from lawsuits. Those penalties and lawsuits could have made some companies unable to pay the workers at all, so the law was important to everyone. But the UFW pressured lawmakers to single out two companies…

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ALRB’s conflicts of interest with UFW deepen with Shawver’s secret return

Silas Shawver Jumps For The UFW

The ALRB’s re-hiring of UFW militant Silas Shawver, after his mysterious “resignation” last year amid allegations of wrongdoing, shows that the state agency responsible for “helping” farmworkers remains in the hands of the politically favored union. UFW represents only 1 percent of California farmworkers. Yet with the ALRB’s collusion, the UFW can control the fates of the 99 percent who have opted not to join. ALRB secretly re-hired the disgraced Shawver in October, and promoted him to Deputy General Counsel.…

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