Grower’s bullying of farm labor board scored by Gerawan worker leaders and UFW President Arturo Rodriguez
ALRB should immediately give workers their union contract
Gerawan Farming Inc., America’s largest tree fruit grower, tried to bully state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg over his SB 25, to expand farm workers’ right to binding mediation when growers refuse to negotiate, by attacking him in TV ads described as dishonest (http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=254668).
According to complaints—tantamount to indictments—filed by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board general counsel, the giant Fresno-based company then bullied its workers by illegally instigating and supporting two attempts to decertify the United Farm Workers. Both attempts were rejected by the ALRB regional staff, which issued the three formal complaints over five months ending in October accusing Gerawan of multiple serious violations of state law.
Then, just as the three members of the ALRB were about to implement a decision from a neutral state mediator handing Gerawan workers their first-ever union contract, the board members—in an unprecedented move—overrode their staff and allowed the decertification election to proceed even though the ALRB staff ruled after a thorough investigation that it would be “impossible” to conduct a free and fair election because of Gerawan’s illegal activities.
UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez and 25 to 30 Gerawan worker leaders will point to the three official state complaints issued against Gerawan as well as election objections the UFW is filing Wednesday laying out fresh legal violations by the employer. They will call on the three farm labor board members not to cave into bullying and instead implement the union contract hammered out by a neutral state mediator providing Gerawan workers with improved pay, benefits and other protections.
Who: UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez and 25 to 30 worker leaders at giant Gerawan Farming Inc.
What: Scoring the grower for bullying Steinberg, its workers and the ALRB; urging the three farm labor board members to implement the workers’ union contract.
When: 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
Where: Agricultural Labor Relations Board, 1325 “J” St., Sacramento 95814.