California Supreme Court affirms State power to force UFW contracts on workers
PICK JUSTICE NEWS RELEASE / FRESNO – The California Supreme Court didn’t surprise anyone when it overturned a lower court’s ruling that state agencies cannot coerce farmworkers into United Farm Workers contracts. But the justices did uphold the right of workers to choose whether or not they wanted UFW representation.
“We anticipated that the Supreme Court would side with the state’s political leaders to force contracts on us to benefit the politically-connected UFW,” said Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez.
“The pleasant surprise for us farmworkers is that the Supreme Court affirmed our right to choose to get out from under the corrupt UFW’s thumb,” she said. “Employees are still protected under the Supreme Court decision, since farmworkers still have a choice to de-certify the UFW as their collective bargaining representative.”
“Gerawan workers cast votes under state Agricultural Labor Relations Board supervision to de-certify the UFW four years ago. ALRB has spent $10 million in taxpayer dollars to suppress our votes and not count them,” Lopez said.
“The Supreme Court should order the ALRB to count our votes from 2013,” said Lopez.
“We knew the Supreme Court’s political bias, which is why so many of us held a vigil outside the court during opening arguments last September to show that real farmworkers want the right to choose whether to accept a UFW contract,” said Lopez.
“We unmasked the UFW’s fake farmworkers on the courthouse steps, and saw Deputy Attorney General Benjamin Glickman try to intimidate us while he stood with the UFW’s spokesman before going into the courthouse,” she said. Glickman was named by the same state legislators who stacked the Supreme Court, so we didn’t expect a fair decision.
“The big surprise is that the Supreme Court saw fit not to take away our right to vote to de-certify the UFW. It let the lower court’s ruling stand that we have the right to vote, as the law allows. This means that the UFW and its state enforcer, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, must count the votes that Gerawan workers cast four years ago to de-certify the UFW,” Lopez said.
Pick Justice is an informal farmworker rights movement that Lopez created in 2015 to promote farmworkers’ right to choose whether or not they want UFW representation.
Fewer than one percent of California farmworkers are dues-paying members of the UFW. For more information, see us at www.PickJustice.com, on Twitter @PickJustice, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pickjustice/.