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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Like a plague of locusts, UFW lays waste to blueberry farm

This was once a thriving blueberry farm that employed hundreds of people. The UFW unionized the workers last May. UFW claimed that $17 an hour wasn’t enough money to pick berries. Now the Klein farm in McFarland is closing down. This picture shows all that’s left of the once-productive blueberry fields. Supported by The Militant and other groups, the UFW backed a strike the day after Klein Management announced a reduction in the piece rate for every pound of blueberries harvested. Blueberry…

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Houweling’s rotten tomatoes

Houweling’s Tomatoes is in a toxic partnership with a UFW front group to try to show its customers that it’s “helping” farm workers. Houweling’s seems not to care that the UFW is in collusion with politicians to force contracts on workers who vote NOT to be part of the union that neglected them for a generation. The UFW front group, called the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), is a lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and partnered with low-cost retail giants…

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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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ALRB pushes fake UFW line about the employer it targeted

The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board is pushing a fake UFW line to attack a company and its workers. The state agency, known as ALRB, lied in claiming that Gerawan Farming “refused to provide” accurate contact information for its thousands of workers, so that the UFW could organize. In a three-year campaign to prevent Gerawan farmworkers from voting to de-certify the UFW, the ALRB made the allegation in three separate complaints. However, the ALRB flip-flopped by saying that the company:…

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