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Sac Bee finally discovers Gerawan-UFW story

November 27, 2013
By John Seiler, CalWatchdog

Since June, Katy Grimes has been covering the struggle between Gerawan Farms and its workers against the United Farm Workers union and Sacramento politicians.

Almost two months ago, she profiled Silvia Lopez, the farm worker who was fighting UFW representation being force on Gerawan’s workers without their consent. Grimes spent half a day with Lopez and the workers when they protested at the ALRB offices and at the Capitol. “I never once saw another reporter or media person,” Grimes said.

At first, the Brown administration and the California Agricultural Relations Board resisted the workers’ pleas to allow a vote, as required by the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act, as Grimes reported in another article.

The articles gained widespread readership in Sacramento and among the state’s farming community. The outcry led to the ALRB granting a vote for the Gerawan workers, as Grimes then reported on Nov. 3.

These stories were scoops, not reported elsewhere.

Finally, the Sacramento Bee is covering the controversy, quoting Lopez (pictured above).

Better late than never, I guess. But it would have been nice if they had given Grimes credit for breaking the story and keeping it alive.


  1. Impartial Observer says:

    Yes, it would have been nice. It would also have been nice if the Bee told all of the story–if not both sides of the story–as Katy did. No mention of the farmworkers’ being snubbed in their attempted meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown by Brown’s legislative deputy–who has conflict-of-interest problems of her own. Nothing in their story other than a throwaway sentence about the ALRB trying to force Gerawan into an ALRB mandated mediated contract that would take effect and invalidate the decertification vote. No comment about Gerawan having gone to court to appeal the ALRB’s order, or mention that the ALRB must abide by the court’s decision. But probably the biggest slide past the truth was the Bee’s representation that the UFW had been just on the verge of “securing a contract for laborers at Gerawan.” The UFW came out of the 20-year-long night of silence and non-negotiation to try to force a contract on Gerawan using the ALRB as their thugs. Finally, no outrage about the farmworker’s votes not seeing the light of day. The Bee put the story on page 1, above the fold. It should have been on their editorial page, not in the news section. Shame!