Court slaps another $770,000 judgment on UFW

A real California judge slapped the UFW with another $770,000 judgment, raising the total levied against the floundering union to $2 million.

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ordered the UFW to pay a law firm $770,000 in legal fees after finding the UFW guilty of defrauding its own workers.

Earlier, the court ordered UFW to pay $1.2 million in damages to the UFW’s former employees whom it had cheated.

In his ruling, Judge Wills said, “the Court has not placed an amount to destroy someone, and the union does serve a socially laudable purpose, but (the union) has to follow the law; and when it doesn’t do so at the expense of others and that results in drawn-out, protracted and complex litigation, it cannot expect the Court to turn a blind eye to what the consequences of what that conduct are.

The Californian carries the report.

UFW cheated its own organizers of wages and overtime, court finds

Judge Wills earlier found that the UFW had cheated its own paid organizers and other employees of wages and overtime pay.

In that ruling, Willis found the UFW liable for $1.2 million in back wages, overtime, and penalties. The new ruling for legal fees raises the judgment against the UFW to nearly $2 million.

This was a ruling from a real judge, not an ALRB employee

Judge Wills is a real judge in a real superior court, in the judiciary branch of government. This is an important distinction concerning judgments about the UFW in recent weeks.

Media reports of a judge ruling in UFW’s favor are confusing, because the “judge” cited was not a real judge at all – he was an Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) employee with the title of “administrative law judge” who hears evidence to aid ALRB decisions.