Gerawan Farming of Fresno has vowed to appeal a recent decision by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board that rejected an attempt by the company’s workers to oust the United Farm Workers union.
The ALRB, in a ruling late Friday, upheld an administrative law judge’s decision that a 2013 petition by a group of Gerawan workers was tainted by the company’s unlawful and objectionable conduct. The results of a decertification election held in November 2013 are thus invalid.
It’s the same agency that tried incessantly to force a contract on the employees against their will.
Dan Gerawan, owner of Gerawan Farming
Gerawan officials on Monday said the company plans to file an appeal with the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno.
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Dan Gerawan, an owner of the family-run company that grows and sells tree fruits, said he was extremely disappointed at the decision.
“It’s unfortunate that the agency that supervised the election has now decided to destroy the ballots,” Gerawan said. “But that’s not surprising since it’s the same agency that tried incessantly to force a contract on the employees against their will.”
Silvia Lopez, one of the Gerawan workers who was instrumental in gathering signatures, said through her attorney that the fight is not over.
Lawyer Anthony Raimondo, who represents Lopez, said she is not afraid to let the workers choose, and challenges the United Farm Workers to agree to another election.
“Workers’ future should be decided by workers, not by judges, bureaucrats and politicians,” Raimondo said. “Let the people vote.”
The ALRB’s ruling was applauded by the UFW, which has long argued that the company aided the workers’ attempt to get rid of the union.
“The decision speaks for itself,” said Armando Elenes, national vice president of the UFW. “It is very clear Gerawan violated the law, and not just on one front, but multiple fronts.”