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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

Minimum wage will sideswipe California’s ‘job creation engine’

“California is definitely back,” Governor Jerry Brown recently trumpeted. Brown then proclaimed the state a “job creation engine.” But the magical California job creation engine has shifted from a healthy manufacturing economy, to a service economy – from high-paying jobs with benefits and growth potential, to low-wage, nowhere minimum wage jobs.

Rather than creating policies to make California a healthy business state once again to incentivize businesses, politicians are instead focused on these low-paying jobs, and treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease.

The winter of our discontent

The growing discontent between politics, politicians, and the hard-working electorate could turn into anguish, misery and rebellion with the latest minimum wage increase proposal.

Before the last minimum wage… 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 CITIIES ARE EMULATING DETROIT

After New York City’s close call with bankruptcy in 1975. the state required the city to balance its budget in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles rather than continuing to use “creative-accounting practices.” According to Richard Ravitch, writing in the Wall Street Journal last week, the city has not had a fiscal crisis since.

The city’s new mayor,Bill de Blasio, released his first budget last week, beginning the slippery slide back into questionable accounting: Many are questioning whether the deferral of payments contractually due city employees was properly accounted for.

Ravitch’s article describesexactly what most California cities are doing: usingdeceptive cash-basisaccounting to hide real costs and… 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

Katy Grimes

California’s business ‘leakage’ becoming a deluge

The list of businesses leaving California for greener pastures is long and growing. And now we can add Toyota to it.

The word ‘leakage’ is the new politically correct term used by legislators, the Governor, bureaucrats and the California Air Resources Board, to describe what happens when California businesses leave the state because of tax increases and stupendous regulations… as if any of them really know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and physically move equipment, machinery, offices and records. And, the CEOmust figure in the cost of business interruption, as a business’s productivity will be undoubtedly be reduced after a move.

Who is “leaking?”

Apparently California is ‘leaking’ businesses… as if businesses and middle class families are dribbling away, or just accidentally… 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

ALRB legal abuse — where’s legislative oversight?

The general counsel of the Agriculture Labor Relations Board went to court last week to impose a union contract on Gerawan Farming employees, without proper input from the farm workers, and without counting the ballots of a recent United Farm Workers union decertification election, held in November 2013.

The ALRB’s latest state-sponsored union bullying effort comes mere weeks after longtime Gerawan Farming employee, Silvia Lopez, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against ALRB board members and top staff, for their refusal to count the ballots from the November election.

Many in the farming community claim the ALRB and UFW have joined forces to boost the 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 farmworkers would double union membership, and certainly boost the ALRB’s status.

This latest abusive overreach by the ALRB and its general counsel shows growing desperation in the trending anti-union sentiment in the private sector, and the vast agriculture industry of… Read More

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