California Labor Board Rejects Farm Workers’ Petition to Decertify Union

On September 25, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board denied a petition submitted by Gerawan Farming workers to decertify the United Farm Workers union.

Under California labor law, a majority of employees signatures are needed to trigger a union decertification election. Gerawan employees met the threshold and gathered over 2,000 employee signatures to unseat the UFW.

Although the Gerawan employees collected the appropriate number of signatures, the ALRB rejected the workers’ right to vote on their own representation, purporting that the signatures were invalid.

However, reports Gerawan sent a letter to Silas Shawver, director of the ALRB, which questions the validity of the Board’s decision:

Gerawan noted that Shawver’s math just doesn’t add up: over 2,000 signatures from Gerawan employees were filed asking for a decertification vote, yet only 1,300 were needed and just 100 were deemed invalid. The regional director’s failure to document his version of the total signatures, the number that were required to hold an election, and the number found invalid, leave a “gaping hole” in his report, Gerawan charges.

(Read the letter here.)

See my previous post, “Farm Workers Resist Union Representation,” for background on the Gerawan employees’ union decertification effort. Also, check out for updates.