Gerawan Farming and other California industry leaders are calling on the United Farm Workers and the California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board to certify the long-delayed results of a November 2013 election.
The recently counted vote shows Gerawan workers voted against the UFW by a 5-to-1 margin.
“We call on the Legislature and the governor to take immediate steps to ensure that the ALRB’s violation of the basic human rights of farmworkers never occurs again in California,” the company said in a statement.
The final vote count was 1,098 “No Union,” and 197 for the UFW.
The California Supreme Court on Sept. 13 unanimously rejected a bid by the United Farm Workers of America and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board to overturn a court order directing the board to count the ballots from Nov. 5, 2013.
George Radanovich, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association, also applauded the Sept. 18 election outcome.
“Today, we heard the resounding response from the Gerawan employees of ‘No Union,’” Radanovich said in a release.
“Employees have a fundamental right to choose whether or not to be represented. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board, together with the United Farm Workers, joined to work against the true voice of these employees, their votes. Today, the employees sent them an overwhelming statement...”no union.”
Radanovich also called on ALRB to certify the results of the election and to decertify the UFW.
“It took a decision of California’s highest court to force, once and for all, the ALRB to do the right thing and count the votes of Gerawan Farming’s workers, Western Growers president and CEO Tom Nassif said in a statement.
“With a resounding vote against the union, we now know the reason behind the ALRB’s delay tactics, which lasted nearly five years,” Nassif said in the statement. “The ALRB knew or believed the outcome of the vote was No Union and was attempting to shield the UFW from the humiliation of its irrelevance.
“It is clear that the UFW does not represent the voice of California’s farm workers, and the results of this election must compel the State of California to stop acting as a surrogate of the UFW and move instead to guarantee justice for all agricultural workers,” Nassif said in the statement.