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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

“In Cahoots” – The Illegal Relationship Between ALRB Lawyers and the UFW

One of the most significant labor relations fights in the country is currently taking place in California’s Central Valley.The California state agency mandated by law to be an impartial farmworkers’ advocate between employers and unions is “in cahoots” with the United Farm Workers labor union. At issue are the legal tactics and scruples of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

A state superior court judge told an Agricultural Labor Relations Board attorney in 2013 that it appeared they were “in cahoots” with the United Farm Workers labor union. Even an independent investigation has confirmed that this is so.

Since being appointed ALRB General Counsel in 2011 by Gov. Jerry… Read More

Katy Grimes

Labor Kills Bill To Help Farm Workers

Labor unions are still running the show in the Democratically-controlled California Legislature. Despite hearing from more than 50 farmworkers on Wednesday, the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee denied the farmworkers the right to vote on their own labor negotiated contacts, even though this right is enjoyed by other union members in California.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson and Assemblywoman Shannon Grove presented ABRead More

Katy Grimes

Farm Employees Want ‘Right-To-Work’ In Union Dominated California

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently signed a right-to-work bill into law. This is significant because a“right-to-work” law is a statute that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown has ignored thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized. Apparently there is no “right-to-work” in California under this governor.

The significant labor reforms enacted by Walker have struck many important blows against organized labor, effectively ending collective bargaining for Wisconsin public workers. In the four years since these reforms were enacted, the state’s most influential labor unions have been forced to… Read More

Katy Grimes

Berkeley Busybodies Side With UFW Rather Than Farmworkers

The liberal busybodies on the Berkeley City Council are weighing-in again on an issue that has nothing to do with their city: Gerawan Farming in Fresno is in their crosshairs again.

While the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board has steadfastly refused to count thousands of ballots collected by Gerawan farmworkers, cast nine months ago to decertify the United Farm Workerslabor union, Berkeley is inserting itself in the labor dispute – on the side of the big labor union, rather than with the little, farmworkers, fighting for the right to work… Read More

Katy Grimes

Labor Unions Swindle Workers and Shakedown Employers

Labor unions are bad for workers and employers. But sometimes the good guys prevail.

The lawsuit filed by a Fresno farmworker against members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board alleging civil rights violations will move forward to trial, a federal judge just ruled last week.

In February of this year, Gerawan Farming worker Silvia Lopez sued the gubernatorial appointees and regional staff of the ALRB alleging that their refusal to count the Gerawan farmworkers’ decertification votes violated her 1st and 14th Amendment rights.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board says it exists to protect the rights of all agricultural employees, including those not wanting labor organization representation, as is the case with Gerawan Farming employees. However, Gerawan farming employees say they have not received any assistance from the ALRB.

Whenever they can, labor unions historically try to gain control over entry into the labor market. “Such measures… Read More

Katy Grimes

Berkeley interferes in farmworkers’ campaign on behalf of UFW

On the heels of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board refusing to count thousands of ballots collected by farmworkers cast six months ago to decertify the United Farm Workerslabor union, the City of Berkeley has decided to weigh in on the contentious labor issue.

This is the same… 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

California gives rise to ‘income inequality’

As I walked out of the Capitol Thursday, May 1 at just after 5:00 pm, I noticed a fledgling labor rally beginning.

It was May Day, the date chosen by the Socialists and Communists for International Workers’ Day.

But there weren’t any of the usual purple shirt-wearing protestors – this crowd was a real potpourri of odd people, including a group of leathered, old hippies, acting as if their brains had been fried years ago by drugs.

As I was walked past, guest speaker Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, was introduced.

Dickinson, a Democrat from Sacramento, is known as a good friend to labor. Dickinson took the microphone and began to speak as if there were thousands of purple-shirt SEIU members in the crowd.

“The direction we are going is putting the wealth of this country in the hands of fewer and fewer, at the expense of everyone!” Assemblyman Roger Dickinson said.

So compelling was his statement, I stopped to write it down. But that was about as much as I could take; I didn’t stick around for the rest of the speech. I knew where it was going.

Income “inequality”

Democrats across the country… Read More

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