The election is Nov. 5 at Gerawan Farming sites in Kerman and Reedley, Calif.
Silas Shawver, the board’s regional director, on Sept. 25 rejected a petition for such an election, citing insufficient signatures and some forgeries. On Oct. 31 he ruled in response to another petition that the election would remain blocked until Gerawan Farming resolved complaints about unfair labor practices.
But a board review resulted in the scheduling of the election.
An Oct. 30 filing by Shawver and the board’s general counsel, Sylvia Torres-Guillen, outlined alleged unfair labor practices at Gerawan Farming that included:
- denying union requests for information;
- failing to acknowledge the union as the employees’ certified representative; and
- unilaterally changing terms of employment.
But some of the issues raised there had previously been remedied, according to the company.
"(The) decision is an historic event," Ray Gerawan, Mike Gerawan, Dan Gerawan and Norma Gerawan said in a statement. "We are humbled by the perserverance of so many workers who never gave up hope that the board would listen to their pleas. For the second time this week, the board overturned a decision by the regional director that would have snuffed out that right."
Gerawan employs more than 2,000 farm workers.
United Farm Workers became certified at Gerawan Farming in 1992. But no collective bargaining agreement was established and negotiations ended in 1995, according to board records. The union contacted the company in October 2012, seeking to resume talks.