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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

Katy Grimes

State’s Ag Labor Board Involved In Intimidation, Harassment of Latino Farm Workers

Labor unions target many non-union businesses across the country for takeover; some businesses successfully fend off the unions, and others succumb. But in California, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, a state agency, works in cahoots with the United Farm Workers labor union, intimidating, fear-mongering, threatening, and uses legal actions filed against farming employers to force them into submission to the United Farm Workers labor union.

But recently, the ALRB has been dealt several legal blows to its efforts to malign Gerawan Farming, and force its farm workers into unionization.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board was created following the signing of the Agriculture Labor Relations Act in 1975 by then-Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, to restore peace in the fields. The California Labor Act states:

It is hereby stated to be the policy of the State of California to encourage and protect the right of agricultural employees to full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment, and to be free from theRead More

Katy Grimes

Farm Workers Endure Forced Segregation, Intimidation, and Rule Changes By ALRB

Despite a recent legal victory, thousands of California farm workers await another legal decision on the fate of their votes, by the state agency they petitioned to hold the election.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is mandated to protect the rights of California farm workers. However, the ALRB instead waged a systematic campaign against thousands of farm workers in 2013 to prevent them from voting to de-certify the United Farm Workers union at Gerawan Farming, one of the nation’s largest family-owned fruit producers.

Court documents, legal testimony, and sworn statements demonstrate a pattern of voter intimidation, harassment, last-minute rule changing, and other tactics to disenfranchise the Latino farm workers of Gerawan. Legal documents show that the ALRB general counsel and the Visalia-based regional director orchestrated a concerted effort to manipulate the votes of thousands of laborers at Gerawan Farming.

ALRB Lawyer Orchestrated Intimidation, Segregation

ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillén led the agency’s effort to… Read More

Katy Grimes

ALRB Won’t Investigate UFW Organizer’s Confession Of Lie Under Orders To Influence Union Decertification Vote

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is responsible for investigating unfair labor practices in California. However, despite knowing that a former United Farm Workers labor union organizer testified that UFW leadership instructed him to lie to farmworkers, and instructed him to coerce farmworkers to lie in written statements submitted to the ALRB, the state agency has decided not to investigate.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board decision provides even more evidence that the agency is collaborating with the UFW in violation of state law. According to the law, the ALRB must serve farmworkers’ interests by being impartial between unions and employers. Instead, the state agency is ignoring the evidence that the United Farm Workers labor union orchestrated a disinformation campaign to influence the ALRB – even with a former UFW organizer’s sworn confession that the union leadership had trained and instructed him to organize a campaign of lies.

The former UFW organizer who confessed to the… Read More

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