We would like this letter to stand as an example of our support for the thousands of agriculture workers in the Central Valley who are being unfairly treated by the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) and the agency that is charged with helping them, the Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB). After two decades of dormancy and disclaiming its interest in representing these Gerawan Farming Co. agriculture workers who it was certified to represent in 1992, the UFW forced Gerawan Farming Inc. into a binding contract late last year.
Over the strong and almost unanimous objections of the farm workers, they will be forced to pay three percent of their wages to a union that abandoned them or be terminated when the contract is eventually imposed. Had these employees exercised free choice and elected the UFW to represent them, it would have been a win for democracy. But as you know, that is not what happened. Democracy was silenced by the ALRB that was enlisted by the UFW to crush these workers decertification efforts.
To this day, not one single vote has been counted from the decertification election held on Nov. 5, 2013. The ballots have been locked away in boxes. The workers of Gerawan Farming deserve the right to have their vote counted and their voices heard.
We respectfully urge you to defend the rights of these farm workers to have their votes counted on whether or not to be represented by the UFW, a union that has not had contact with them in over two decades.
District 3 Supervisor, County of Madera Rick Farinelli and other officials of Madera and Fresno counties, and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown and other officials