California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which is supposed to remain an independent arbiter, has become little more than an enforcer for the United Farm Workers union, according to a Forbes report.
Established in 1975, the California ALRB was created to “ensure peace in the fields of California by guaranteeing justice for all agricultural workers and stability in agricultural labor relations.”
Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest appointee to the board, Isadore Hall, is an example of how the ALRB has devolved into a cushy appointment for associates of the governor, Forbes contributor Matt Patterson asserted.
Hall, a state legislator from south-central Los Angeles, was endorsed and supported by the United Farm Workers during a failed 2016 congressional bid.
While Hall lost to a fellow Democrat, Nanette Barragan, he was the overwhelming favorite among labor groups, which pumped over $200,000 into his campaign, compared to the $30,000 Barragan received.
Brown appointed Hall to the ALRB soon after his failed race, much to the chagrin of farmers who viewed past support and campaign contributions Hall had received from labor groups, including the United Farm Workers, as a conflict of interest.
Hall’s appointment to the board after publicly embracing the United Farm Workers and other unions, deepens a crisis within the ALRB, according to California Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson.
One California lawmaker has called for an FBI investigation into the California ALRB, which he described as “corrupt” and a “UFW protection racket.”
“The ALRB is criminally involved in efforts to force workers to join UFW,” Patterson told local radio show host Ray Appleton in late February, adding that an investigation may lead to “criminal charges against Governor Brown.”
Patterson described farmers as hesitant to make too much noise about the ALRB, for fear of angering the wrong people in Sacramento.
“Nobody wants to anger the Democrats in Sacramento, because they have to work with them on a host of other issues,” Tal Cloud, a political activist said in an interview.
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