ALRB dismisses Gerawan decertification petition citing widespread forgeries, illegal company role
California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board late Wednesday dismissed a petition to decertify the United Farm Workers at Gerawan Farming Inc., citing widespread forgeries of signatures and illegal company circulation and support for the petition to get rid of the union. “The existence of so many forged signatures identified across different crews, [farm labor] contractors and time periods” mean the petition does not have enough valid signatures to trigger a decertification election, the ALRB concluded.
Farm worker leaders at Gerawan and UFW National Vice President Armando Elenes will take reporters through a 12-page dismissal notice issued by the state agency during a 2 p.m. news conference at 2409 Merced St., Suite 103 in Fresno. The ALRB action follows “an extensive investigation and careful analysis of all the evidence we have obtained.” Results of that investigation include:
• “The submission of a large number of forged signatures…including seven pages of forged signatures submitted [to the ALRB]…The names on each page were printed in the exact same handwriting…all 88 names on these pages were written down in alphabetical order.” In total, ALRB found “compelling evidence of the submission of 100 falsified signatures” and concluded that “the forgeries may have been more widespread” than the agency’s brief investigation uncovered.
• Workers whose names appeared on the petition and were interviewed by state investigators said they refused to sign the petition, weren’t asked to sign it or never signed it.
• The petition was also deemed invalid because of “significant unlawful assistance by [Gerawan] in the circulation of the petition by gathering signatures for the petition and providing other assistance.”
• Full 12 page dismissial notice can be seen at: http://www.ufw.org/pdf/92513DismissalLetter.pdf
Who: Gerawan farm worker leaders and UFW Vice President Armando Elenes.
What: Taking reporters through the 12-page ALRB notice dismissing Gerawan’s decertification petition due to widespread forgeries and the company’s significant illegal role in circulating and supporting the anti-union effort.