Assemblyman Patterson, Legislators support Gerawan farm workers – Call on Governor Brown to Demand Votes Be Counted

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 for representative Jim Patterson

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) and state legislators sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday requesting that he intervene in the fight between Gerawan farm workers and the Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB), who refuses to count the November 2013 votes on a UFW contract cast by Gerawan workers. The letter reads in part: “The right to choose our own representatives is a bedrock principle of our constitutional democracy. That principle applies to all Californians, including those who work so hard to bring us the food we eat. Sadly, some of our farm workers are being denied their constitutional rights by an agency that you created.” “We respectfully ask that you instruct the ALRB to count these votes. Without your intervention, union membership and its attendant financial obligations could be imposed on the Gerawan workers against their will, in clear violation of their constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and assembly.” More than 20 years after the United Farm Workers Union won an election to organize the Gerawan workers, and, after being absent for those 20 years, the UFW petitioned the ALRB to force Gerawan Farming into binding arbitration to impose a contract that would require employees pay 3 percent of their wages in dues. "Our rights have been denied for more than a year,” farm worker Silva Lopez said. “All we want is our votes to be counted. We call on him to do what's right for us and help get our votes counted." ###