A pro-business group has launched a billboard campaign in support of Fresno, Calif. farmers resisting efforts to force them into a union.
Back in November, the United Farm Workers (UFW) came back, after no involvement for twenty years, wanting to collect dues from the workers at Gerawan Farming. In response, those workers voted on whether to decertify the union but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is refusing to count the votes.
Now, with tensions rising and no resolution present, the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) came out in support of farmers’ rights to vote out their union.
In a statement, the CWF declared, “The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is refusing to count the votes from last fall’s decertification election in an outrageous violation of the workers’ Constitutional freedoms of speech and assembly.”
The first of CWF billboards was placed near the union headquarters in Delano, California, and reads, “Hey, UFW, what are you afraid of? Count the votes at Gerawan!”
CWF executive director Matt Patterson told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “I plan on working on this until the votes are counted.”
“Our message and goal is to alert the community and politicians in California,” he added.
“There will be multiple billboards across multiple cities,” Patterson explained, “We’re looking at our messaging strategy now.”
Patterson sees this vote as being fair to all parties involved.
Dan Gerawan, a co-owner at Gerawan Farming, told TheDCNF, “Our employees have expressed disbelief.”
Gerawan explained that worker contracts will be written out by “a man appointed by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board” who will not be required to listen to the very workers the contract will represent.
“This so called contract has already been written,” declared Gerawan. “This is not a contract at all.”
“Written in this contract is a no-strike clause,” he added. “They’re going to strip them of that right of expression.”
In the past two decades the farm management and workers have been able to function without a contract or present union.
Now both the management and the farmers are furious because that essential part that has allowed Gerawan and his workers to work so well together will be taken away in a contract the workers will be forced to abide by.
“If they want to strike, that’s their right,” Gerawan told TheDCNF, claiming the union wants to “take three percent of [the workers’] pay.”
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