Gerawan Farming, California Fresh Fruit Association, and More Release Statements on ALRB Decision
- by Kayla Webb
FRESNO, CA - Yesterday, September 27, 2018, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) made the decision to decertify the United Farmworkers of America (UFW) as the exclusive bargaining representative of Gerawan Farming’s agricultural employees.
“The Gerawan family congratulates our employees on today’s decision. We are inspired by their struggle to vindicate their right to vote and to decide for themselves whether they want a union,” Gerawan Farming said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a long overdue acknowledgement of a choice made five years ago by our employees. Seventy-five percent of eligible Gerawan employees—nearly 2,000 farmworkers—voted in the election. Eighty percent voted ‘No Union,’ which is an overwhelming 5-to-1 majority. Whether for or against the UFW, one hundred percent of those who voted reaffirmed their basic right to choose for themselves who will speak for them at the bargaining table.”
The California Fresh Fruit Association’s President, George Radanovich, also enthusiastically welcomed today’s decision, according to a press release.
“The steadfast determination of the employees, and their employer, in the defense of their right to choose and have their voices count led to this correct and fair outcome, favoring worker choice over the unjust desire to undermine and disregard the will of the farmworker electorate. Today, the ALRB made the correct decision to decertify the UFW and respect the employee’s decision,” Radanovich said. “We hope this serves as a signal to lawmakers and bureaucratic agencies to work to put protection of free choice and due process at the forefront of future legislative and rule-making efforts.”
Additional comments were made by Pick Justice, a group organized to represent the workers, and Silvia Lopez, a Farm Worker Rights advocate and Gerawan employee.
"Pick Justice was started because of the courage, strength and determination of thousands of farmworkers who simply wanted the right to choose and to be treated equally like every other worker in the state and country,” Jesse Rojas, spokesman for Pick Justice. “We are thankful that the ALRB finally did the right thing after 5 years of suppressing workers' rights. Today is a historic and huge victory for the Gerawan farmworkers. Pick Justice is just getting started and will continue to advocate for what is right."
Lopez commented, “I cannot believe what just happened today. The ALRB certified our votes and results. I am speechless and beyond excited and happy because justice was finally done.”
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