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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Carl’s Jr. HQ Leaving California For Some Southern Hospitality

Carl’s Jr. World Headquarters is leaving the Golden State for the Volunteer State. But the move has nothing to do with volunteerism, and everything to do with hospitality.

CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr. was founded in Anaheim 60 years ago. After several years of researching options, CKE Restaurants, Inc. is finally moving its California headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee, a state with no income tax, and a friendly business environment.

In March 2011, I met Andy Puzder, CEO ofCKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Green Burrito and Hardees restaurants, and author… Read More

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 Farm Worker Files Lawsuit to Oust ALRB Board Member for Bias

In a provocative and electrifying legal move, Gerawan Farming Company employee Silvia Lopez filed a legal brief to disqualify ALRB Board Member Genevieve Shiroma from the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, for bias and conflicts of interest.

Lopez cites evidence of Shiroma’s close political ties with the United Farm Workers union, and long time Democrat political operative Richie Ross. Silvia Lopez, a San Joaquin Valley farm worker, filed legal documents detailing payments over $120,000 from Shiroma to United Farm Workers’ Lobbyist Richie Ross, and documented Shiroma’s financial support of the author of a bill designed to help the UFW force itself on workers. UFW is the same union trying to force itself on the employees where Lopez works, as Lopez has fought for two years for her co-workers right to vote. Shiroma made the payments to the UFW’s lobbyist while she sat in judgment of issues directly involving that union, and while the workers ballots remain uncounted in a government vault

In 2013, I did an investigation of Shiroma and found some startling conflicts.

“In 1998, voters… Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge Orders ALRB To Release Documents to Gerawan Farming

There’s more good news for Gerawan Farming! Superior CourtJudge Timothy Frawley finds that the Agricultural Labor Relations Board IS subject to the California Public Records Act.

For several yearsI’ve been writing about Gerawan Farming in Fresno, and the company’s gutsy refusal to cave under the pressure of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s denial of farmworkers’ rights to vote for or against unionization.

Gerawan recently was granted a significant win by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley, who agreed to the Gerawan’s request for documents in an unfair labor practice complaint filed by… Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge Exposes ALRB General Counsel Conflicted Role In Gerawan Case

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley partially granted Gerawan Farming Company’s request for documents in an unfair labor practice complaint filed by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Frawley’stentative rulingcame out Thursday, prior to a court hearing Friday.

The tentative ruling is a win for Gerawan Farming and its employees. The court says that all communications between the ALRB and the General Counsel concerning the Temporary Restraining Order application authorization must be disclosed.

The… 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

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