CFFA President Barry Bedwell Responds to the ALRB's Ruling on Gerawan Farming
IRVINE, CA - The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) has made its public decision in the case of CFFA member Gerawan Farming, Inc.
While Gerawan Farming employees’ voted in November of 2013 to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW), the Board announced late last Friday, April 15th, its vote to affirm setting aside that election.
“The California Fresh Fruit Association strongly disagrees with the conclusions reached by the ALRB and continues to see the absence of any genuine logic that should disenfranchise these workers by having their ballots destroyed,” CFFA President Barry Bedwell wrote in response to the announcement. “Reasonable people would agree that the purpose of a secret ballot is to insure that workers can make a choice freely and without intimidation from any source and that their true intentions are recorded. To order otherwise can only be viewed as an insult to these workers and their efforts to rid themselves of a union that has consistently failed to show value.”
Gerawan Farming also responded, stating that the Board had not found in any way that the company had instigated the vote, nor that it was flawed in how it was supervised.
“The Board is spending over $10 million taxpayer dollars to reach this decision to disenfranchise farmworkers from their legal right to vote on whether or not to decertify a union that failed to represent them,” Gerawan said in a press release. “That amounts to spending more than $4,000 to destroy each ballot. This unjust and undemocratic decision disrespects the wishes of thousands of employees who asked for a basic right – the right to vote.”
Despite this most recent setback, Gerawan concluded in its statement that it will appeal this ruling in court, adding that it is confident the decision will not stand.
Bedwell added that the CFFA commends Gerawan Farming for such tireless efforts and will continue to work with the company in this case.