FRESNO, Calif., June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday a Fresno Superior Court judge held that the U.S. and California Constitutions give the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) the right to bar agricultural workers from silently observing a state-directed procedure that imposes a labor "agreement" on Gerawan and its employees without even letting the workers vote on it. Gerawan announced today that it will appeal this decision.
The Court held that this forced contracting procedure, known as Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation (MMC), is a "private dispute" between "private parties" with a "private neutral." Gerawan disagrees. "We did not agree to arbitrate anything. Neither did our employees. MMC was imposed by force of law, and against our will, by the ALRB," said Dan Gerawan, co-owner of Gerawan Farming, Inc.
The Court affirmed the ALRB's 2013 decision that it had the power to exclude workers from "on-the-record" MMC proceedings. "The ALRB believes it can set aside elections demanded by workers, impound the ballots without counting them, and force workers into a contract with a union that has abandoned its members for decades," said Paul Bauer, counsel for Lupe Garcia, a long-term Gerawan employee who asked the Court to order the ALRB to open the MMC proceedings to Gerawan workers.
"It is unfortunate that the court did not recognize the importance of public scrutiny of public proceedings where a public agency is dictating private agreements between our company and our employees," said Gerawan. "Mr. Garcia asked for open hearings. So did Gerawan. The ALRB and the UFW asked for secrecy. We look forward to the Court of Appeal's vindication of these basic First Amendment safeguards," said Bauer.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gerawan-to-appeal-state-court-ruling-barring-workers-from-observing-alrbs-forced-contracting-proceedings-300481428.html
SOURCE Gerawan Farming