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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

CA Agriculture Labor Board Corrupted With Bias and Conflict of Interest

Genevieve Shiroma, long time member of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, as well as a board member for the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, is the subject of a legal brief to disqualify her from the ALRB for bias and conflicts of interest.

How could the SMUD board and the Ag labor board be tied together in a conflict?

ALRB board member Shiroma hired UFW lobbyist Richie Ross for her personal campaign the same year he successfully lobbied passage of the ALRB’s California Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation Statute. The MMC law empowers the board to write and force contracts on employers and workers.

In September 2002, then-Gov. Gray Davis signed into law SB 1156 and AB 2596, the first major amendments to the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. The MMC law would compel Gerawan and its workers into a state-imposed “contract” that would saddle the employees with the UFW as their exclusive representative.

The UFW won an election to represent Gerawan Farming’s workers 25 years ago. But after only one bargaining session, the union disappeared and wasn’t… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farming Update: First Amendment Advocates Call ALRB a Threat to Free Speech

After years ofintense government and union harassment by theAgricultural Labor Relations Board and the United Farm Workers labor union,Gerawan Farming Inc. notified its workers that effective February 25, 2016, the company will fully close its entire table grape operation, in the County of Fresno. Pursuant to the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act, Gerawan has been forced into a position of closing an entire arm of its farming operations because of California government assisting a labor union attempt to take over a large company.And Gov. Jerry Brown has not once intervened to stop the unlawful harassment by the union or his own state agency.

The table grape operation closure does not affect any of the employees’ employment in other Gerawan farming operations, but now thousands of farm workers will lose well-paying farm jobs because of California’s corrupt state government. Gerawan always exceeds industry average wages and are the first to increase wages. Gerawan’s website shows their hourly wage for grape packline as $16.27, and upwards of $20.00 per… Read More

Katy Grimes

Unconstitutional Legislation Singles Out Political Enemies of UFW

This is the second part in a series; Part l is here.

California businesses are being targeted for retribution through a bill passed by the Legislature and signed into lawby Gov. Brown October 10, rewriting the definition of the labor rules governing piece-rate compensation in California.

Assembly Bill 1513 unfairly singles out two of the largest fruit growers in the San Joaquin Valley, for discriminatory treatment, based on demands that these two companies be excluded from protection under the bill’s affirmative defense. Both companies are targets of United Farm Workers unionizing efforts.

It is however, a violation of the U.S. Constitution to single out members of a group so as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial (United States v. Lovett).

Fowler Packing Company and Gerawan Farming are the victims of an injustice done at the behest of the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislation Targets Political Enemies

The IRS scandal in the headlines for several years revealed the Internal Revenue Service developed a scheme to prosecute conservatives who publicly oppose President Obama’s policies.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and his legislative Democrats have just accomplished a similar scheme with the passage of a bill targeting two large agriculture businesses, which dared to challenge the illegal stranglehold on Brown’s appointed Agriculture Labor Relations Board by the waning United Farm Workers labor union.

Family owned and operatedFowler Packing Company and Gerawan Farming are targets of Assembly Bill 1513, which unfairly carves-out the two employers who have long been targeted for UFW unionizing efforts, from the limited safe harbor provisions in the recently passed and signed bill.

Both large employers and growers, Fowler Packing grows peaches, nectarines, plums and mandarins, and Gerawan grows nectarines, peaches and grapes.

Wag theRead More

Katy Grimes

Desperate United Farm Workers Union Steps Up PR Campaign

The United Farm Workers labor union just received advertising and public relations help, thanks to several pro-UFW stories published in the Sacramento Bee last weekend.

Sept. 24, Kerry Kennedy wrote about her father Robert Kennedy’s involvement with Cesar Chavez in the 1960’s. Sept. 26, the Bee ran a story about the 50thanniversary of the UFW’s grape strike in Delano, CA. Rounding out the pro-UFW public relations and marketing campaign was a story on Sept. 27 about Phil Serna, son of late former Mayor of SacramentoJoe Serna Jr., who was also aUFW organizer.

This interestingly timed PR move comes on the heels of the order to destroy farm worker’s ballots from the 2013 labor union decertification election, rather than allow them counted,by Administrative Law Judge Mark Soble, employed by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Thousands of farm workers in California must now abide by an unwanted unionization deal struck decades ago and never ratified or enforced. The workers’ votewas expected to… Read More

Katy Grimes

ALRB Credibility Shot in Gunlund Ranches Case

Part lll – ALRB Credibility Lacking in Gunlund Case. Part l is here, Part ll is here.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is lacking credibility in the H&R Gunlund Ranches case.

Despite the transcripts from the ALRB v. Gunland Ranches case showing the Agricultural Labor Relations Board administrative law judge Mark Soble had doubts about crucial parts of ALRB Regional Director Silas Shawver’s testimony against the ranch, the judge still ruled against Gunlund Ranches.

During the course of the case agains Gunlund Ranches, Shawver’s status had changed. He… Read More

Katy Grimes

Leftist Dolores Huerta Assails Anti-union Silvia Lopez at ALRB Celebration

The biggest labor dispute in California just got more interesting. Hundreds of farm workers from Gerawan Farms went to Sacramento last week to demonstrate outside of the Stanford Mansion where Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board celebrated their 40th anniversary. I was told by several people who attended the event that pro-United Farm Worker union representative Dolores Huerta attempted to intimidate Gerawan workers, and got physical with anti-UFW leader Silvia Lopez. But the Gerawan workers stayed strong and demanded, “Count Our Votes!”

At the Sacramento celebration last week of the 40th anniversary of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, one of the radical left’s most notorious UFW union labor leaders tried to prevent the new labor leader of the non-union farmworkers from taking a photo with the governor.

Many people at the gala witnessed 85-year-old Dolores Huerta strong arm anti-union farm worker Silvia Lopez.

Darling of the left and an openly socialist admirer of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Huerta has said publicly she believes that “Republicans hate Latinos.” Huerta encourages illegal… Read More

Katy Grimes

Whistleblower at ALRB Exposes Manipulated Evidence Against Gerawan Farming

State superior court delivers a stunning rebuke to Agricultural Labor Relations Board’sTop Staff Attorney Sylvia Torres Guillén, citing “deficiencies in its investigation” and staff “embroilment” in worker termination.

An employee whistleblower at the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board has exposed wrongdoing by the activist attorneys in the state agency responsible for protecting the rights of farmworkers. The charges, made by an insider who participated in an ALRB investigation of Gerawan Farming, were brought directly to the office of the Board’s chairman, William B. Gould IV. The whistleblower employee alleges that the ALRB General Counsel and staff submitted false or misleading sworn statements to the Board in order to get agency authorization to file enforcement proceedings against Gerawan.

These charges could reveal the extent to which theGeneral Counsel TorresGuillénand staff manipulated evidence in administrative and legal proceedings in order to tip the scales – even perhaps illegally – in favor of the United Farm Workers.

The ALRB General Counsel’s… Read More

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