Farm workers protest CA labor bureaucrats

Farm workers protest CA labor bureaucrats

Silvia LopezGerawan’s oppressed workers are protesting today.

For a year we have reported on the farm workers for Gerawan putting up with high-handedness, bureaucratic delay and abuse by state labor officials. The workers entered into a contract with the United Farm Workers 20 years ago. But the UFW failed to do anything for the workers, so the workers want a divorce.

The union is a shadow of what it was under famed founder Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993. The workers don’t want to pay high dues for nothing. But the Brown administration officials have sided with the union.

The workers now are led by Silvia Lopez, featured in the nearby picture in front of Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

According to an announcement by Americans for Tax Reform, which is siding with the workers:

Ms. Lopez will speak at a protest held at the ALRB regional offices in Visalia beginning at 3:00 p.m. today, August 26.  Supporters of the United Farm Workers were also expected to have a presence, though Center for Worker Freedom Executive Director Matt Patterson says he hopes the proceedings will unfold without incident.

“The Gerawan workers have a positive message that they want to deliver peacefully: They just want their votes counted,” said Patterson. “We hope the union, and the ALRB, will allow Ms. Lopez and her colleagues to speak their mind.”

Lopez is also challenging the ALRB in court, suing individual board members including Genevieve Shiroma, Cathryn Rivera-Hernandez, and J. Antonio Barbosa in Federal District Court for violating her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. 

Lopez attorney Paul J. Bauer explained:

“In order to protect the rights of the farmworkers, we filed a lawsuit in federal court against the ALRB board members and regional director for violating their civil rights.  The farmworkers’ due process rights and First Amendment rights are being trampled by a group of people that will stop at nothing to keep the votes from being counted.”

Recently U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill allowed the suit to move forward.

Tags assigned to this article:
Cesar ChavezJohn SeilerUFWSilvia LopezGerawan

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