On Sunday September 28th, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed union-backed Senate Bill 25, which would have allowed state labor authorities to force union contracts on farm workers through mandatory mediation.
While the Governor’s veto was a victory for workers’ rights statewide, thousands at Fresno-based Gerawan Farming are still being railroaded into the United Farm Workers (FW) against their will.
Gerawan workers held a decertification election last November, but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is refusing to count the votes in a flagrant attempt to help the UFW divert three percent of the workers’ pay into the union coffers.
If the Governor believes, as he said in a veto message Sunday night, that labor election disputes “should be dealt with so the process is balanced and fair,” he will call upon the ALRB to count the votes of the Gerawan workers to secure their Constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and assembly.
The workers, led by Silvia Lopez, a single mother and long-time Gerawan employee, will plea for Brown’s help in their fight against forced unionization at a press conference outside an ALRB hearing on Wednesday, October 1, at 10:00 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn), 1055 Van Ness Avenue Fresno, California.
To coincide with the ALRB hearings and the workers’ press conference, the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) is launching a new series of billboards in Sacramento this week. One is addressed to the UFW and reads “Hey UFW: No means NO!” Another reads “CA farm workers said NO to the UFW: Can Governor Brown?”