Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Big Labor, Big Government Team Up To Oppress Farm Workers

Matt Patterson writes:
Silvia Lopez is a single mother who has worked the orchards of Fresno for more than fifteen years alongside her daughters and friends at Gerawan Farming, Inc., one of the largest producers of tree fruits in the world.

At Gerawan, Silvia and her co-workers enjoyed wages above the industry average and excellent relationships with management. In fact, multiple generations of workers have returned to Gerawan year after year because of the excellent pay and fair treatment they receive from the family-owned farm.

Last November, Silvia, along with thousands of her coworkers, voted in a decertification election to rid their workplace of the United Farm Workers (UFW), a union that had done nothing for them; the UFW had bargained no wages or conditions for the Gerawan employees, but still wanted three percent of their wages in dues.

For Silvia, that three percent is a significant sum. She saw no reason to surrender the money she earned with her own hands to union bosses, so last autumn she collected enough signatures from co-workers (3,000 to be exact) to trigger a decertification election. In November, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) supervised the voting.

Unfortunately, the ALRB is refusing to count those votes. Was the UFW booted out of Gerawan? We don’t know— the ballots sit under lock and key in the Board’s office. The Board is claiming the votes can’t be counted until the election is “investigated.” Unfortunately, they are not doing any investigating, claiming they have run out of funds to do so.

How convenient. The ALRB, like its national counterpart, the NLRB, has functioned as a little more than government enforcer for Big Labor. Does anyone think it is an accident that the ALRB wants to force the union on Gerawan until the election is “investigated?” Or that the Board gives no time-table for when that investigation may be completed?

Does anyone doubt that if the union had won that election the votes would have been counted long ago?

No comments:

Post a Comment