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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Bee Story Misleads on UFW Protest

The United Farm Workers labor union held a protest rally Monday in Fresno, outsidethe administrative hearing whereGerawan Farming is facing unfair labor charges. Theyare alleging that Gerawan Farming workers are intimidating witnesses testifying at the hearing.

The headline of the story says, “Union workers protest alleged Gerawan intimidation.” The photo caption says, “Workers protest alleged intimidation by Gerawan Farms.”

The intimation by the Bee is that Gerawan Farming is doing the intimidation.

There was nothing in the story about… Read More

Katy Grimes

Cover Up? Brown’s Legislative Aide Linked to ACORN’s Successor

A Governor’s appointee with upwards of 40 violations of the Fair Political Practices Act works right in Jerry Brown’s office, and somehow has managed to retain her job while demonstrating an uncanny talent for avoiding major media’s spotlights.

While Deputy Legislative Secretary Martha Guzman-Aceves has served as a public official in the Brown Administration managing legislation and regulatory matters for the governor,her non-profit organization lobbied the Legislature and governor’s office on various issues, including AB1081, federal immigration policy enforcement,” I reported in October 2013.

“California Deputy Legislative Secretary Martha Guzman-Aceves intentionally filed false documents with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars, filed false tax returns, failed to report receipt of payment from a political committee, and omitted third-party relationships that directly conflict with her position and duties as Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown,” the… Read More

Katy Grimes

United Farm Workers Labor Union Stages Phony Protest

Posing as Gerawan Farming employees, a small group of other farm workers and United Farm Worker union posers protested a meeting of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board Wednesday. Gerawan workers sent out a press release making sure the public knows that the protestors at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board meeting in Sacramento Wednesday were not Gerawan employees. “Every time hundreds of us real Gerawan employees demonstrate, we see a very small group of UFW counter demonstrators, and most of them we don’t recognize,” said Silvia Lopez, a Gerawan employee for more than 16 years. Lopez is also the leader of the thousands of workers who are fighting to decertify the UFW at Gerawan.

Gerawan employees have staged a series of walkouts and protests against the UFW and ALRB. The last protest was July 9 at the Visalia office of the ALRB. Videos of that genuine protest can be seen at the links below:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/n_qA9T2rnxg” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″… Read More

Katy Grimes

On Independence Day, Gerawan Farming Gives Employees Raises

On the eve of the Independence Day, farm workers at Gerawan Farms received notice that their employer is proposing a wage increase to $11.00 per hour.

The minimum wage just went up to $9, July 1. In 2016, the wage will go up to $10 an hour.

While peach and table grape grower Gerawan Farming demonstrates its workers have the freedom to earn the highest industry wages, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board and United Farm Workers labor union continue to deprive the workers of the right to choose.

The ALRB is steadfast in its effort to force a contract on the workers they obviously do not want. The workers knew the contents of that so-called contract when they voted on November 5 to decertify the UFW labor union. In the spirit of Independence Day, the ALRB should finally count the ballots and let freedom ring for the workers.

“Mr. Gerawan has always helped us,” said Silvia Lopez, a 16-year… Read More

Katy Grimes

Democrats To Farm Workers: Shut Up and Vote (for us)

Inone of the most significant labor relations fights in the country,California farm workers have made history again. But this fight is about trying to get their votes from a November election counted, in order to boot the farm labor union out of their place of business.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board has steadfastly refused to count the ballots from the Nov. decertification vote.

Ironically, this same group of people – Hispanic farm laborers – are the very demographic the Democratic Party is so eager to register to vote in local,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farmworkers’ Get NADA from Latino Caucus

Gerawan Farming worker Silvia Lopez recently sent a letter to members of the California Legislative Latino Caucus, asking for help in her two-year fight with the Agricultural Labor Relations Boardand the United Farm WorkersUnion.

The ALRB has refused to count the thousands of ballots Lopez collected and her co-workers cast six months ago to decertify the UFWlabor union to end its representation.

But so far, the only sound coming from Latino legislators is the distinctive, quiet sound of nothing. Nada. Crickets.

Lopez, who is leading the effort for the workers, sent Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Los Angeles, Latino Caucus chairman, and each member of the Latino Caucus, a letter in English and Spanish. But Lopez got no response.

“Mr. Chavez once said, that it is ‘never about grapes or lettuce, it is always about people,’” Lopez wrote. “I believe that is true, and that is why I write to you.”

“I am writing on behalf… Read More

Katy Grimes

What’s good for union is bad for laborer’s civil rights

Many have recently observed there appears to be collusion between the United Farm Workers union and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in an effort to boost the shrinking labor union by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state.

Should they succeed in unionizing Gerawan Farming employees, adding the 5,000 Gerawan farmworkers would more than double union membership, and certainly boost the UFW’s economic status, and the ALRB’s worth to the state.

Conundrum

Several thousand-farm workers in California’s Central Valley have so far failed to get the state agriculture labor board to count their votes on a standard, legal labor union issue.

Why? Because the vote the farm workers took was to de-certify the United Farm… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farming files constitutional challenge against ALRB

Gerawan Farming is fed up.

On Dec. 16, the Gerawan Farming company filed aconstitutional challengeagainst the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, with the United Farm Workers of America as a “Real Party of Interest.” It was filed with the California Court of Appeal, Fifth District in Fresno, against the ALRB’s invocation of theCalifornia’s Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation Statute. The statute wassigned into law by Gov. Gray Davis in 2002.

This was part of wrangling with the United Farm Workers Union that began in Oct. 2012, when the union insisted that a collective… Read More

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