Forced labor: Gould confirmed what we knew about his agenda

When he quit last week, ALRB Chairman William Gould revealed a lot of his vision for the troubled state agency. He said, in essence, that the ALRB should force labor unions on farmworkers.

In his resignation letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Gould confirmed what we suspected all along:

  • He wanted ALRB to be a government unionization enforcer. Gould made it clear that he wanted ALRB to be a unionization tool, and not an impartial farmworker advocate between unions and employers. Otherwise he would not bemoan the fact that in 3 years, ALRB received only one petition to unionize.
  • His legacy was the biggest farmworker voter suppression in state history. Gould’s only legacy as chairman has been to oversee the suppression of the largest farmworker-driven decertification drive in California history. Gould directed the spending of over $10,000,000 to suppress the ballots of 2,400 farmworkers who sought the right to choose whether or not to have the UFW be their union. That means Gould approved spending more than $4,000 for each ballot he suppressed.
  • He was angry that inefficient bureaucrats got in his way to indoctrinate workers. Gould is angry that the slow and inefficient state bureaucracy didn’t permit him to implement his plan for government agents to go out into the fields and “educate” farmworkers, instead of letting the unions do it themselves. Gould’s concern about being able to reach workers directly is doubly ironic since he objected to Gerawan farmworkers going to Sacramento to speak with ALRB personally. He even used the workers’ bus trip as a reason to destroy their ballots.