Disenfranchised Farmworkers to Confront California Governor at Black-tie Event
Hundreds of farm workers and their supporters protest outside the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act’s (CALRA) 40th Anniversary Celebration in Sacramento on Wednesday June 24, 2015, starting at 4:30 PM.
The celebration – co-hosted by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) – will feature Governor Jerry Brown and ALRB Chairman William Gould as guests of honor.
The workers, from Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, will be protesting their disenfranchisement by the labor board that began in November 2013.
That year, the workers decided they did not want to be represented by the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and collected enough signatures for a decertification election. The election was held and the workers cast their votes.
But the ballots have still not been counted.
At the ALRA anniversary celebration, a delegation of ten workers will attempt to enter the festivities to present to Governor Brown over 800 signatures testifying their commitment to a union-free workplace, and ask for his help in getting their votes counted.
The Center for Worker Freedom will be joining with Common Sense Information and other allies to coordinate the demonstration.
WHO: Hundreds of farm workers and their supporters
WHAT: A rally against the ALRB for denying the farm workers their Frist Amendment rights of free speech and assembly
WHEN: Wednesday June 24, 2015 at 4:30 PM
WHERE: Leland Stanford Mansion
800 N St, Sacramento, CA 95814
With Walker Signature, Wisconsin Becomes 25th Right-to-Work State
Today Governor Scott Walker signed legislation (SB 44) making Wisconsin the 25th state to adopt a Right-to-Work law, which forbids the forced collection of union dues as a condition of employment.
The Wisconsin Assembly approved the legislation Friday 62-35 after more than nearly 20 hours of contentious debate. Governor Walker signed it this morning at Badger Meter -- a flow measurement and control product manufacturer -- in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) congratulate Gov. Walker for joining with his state's legislature and making Wisconsin's labor market freer and more competitive.
"For decades, Wisconsin workers have been forced to join labor unions and pay dues — often two percent of their paycheck or $1,000 for a person earning $50,000 — with no choice,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The ability to say 'no thank you' to union control and union dues is a basic civil right that is restored today to the people of Wisconsin."
CWF executive director Matt Patterson noted, "Right-to-Work means more jobs and, more importantly, more freedom."
Patterson noted that Right-to-Work can be good for unions as well as workers. "When unions are forced to attract workers with persuasion instead of force, they become more responsive to their members."
Wisconsin joins Indiana and Michigan as recent Midwest adopters, in large part due to Right-to-Work's role in driving economic growth.
Key data points regarding Right to Work:
- Between 1977-2012, employment growth in Right-to-Work states outpaced the national average, 105 percent to 71 percent.
- A 2012 Rasmussen poll found that 74 percent of Americans support Right to Work.
- "Incomes rise following the passage of Right to Work laws,” according to an interstate analysis of Right to Work conducted by economist Richard Vedder.
- Indiana can thank its recently passed Right to Work law for 107 new business projects responsible for a projected 10,000 new jobs and over $3 billion in investment, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Center for Worker Freedom Launches Billboard Campaign in Support of Fresno Farm Workers
On August 12 the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) launched the first in a series of billboards in California designed to bring attention to the plight of Fresno farm workers who are being forced into a union against their will.
The workers at Gerawan Farming, Inc. voted last November in a decertification election to rid their workplace of the United Farm Workers. The labor bosses want to take three percent of the workers’ hard-earned pay, despite the fact that the union has negotiated no wages or working conditions for the workers in over twenty years.
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.
Writing for Forbes this week, CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson notes:
The ALRB, like its national counterpart, the NLRB, has functioned as a little more than government enforcer for Big Labor. Does anyone think it is an accident that the ALRB wants to force the union on Gerawan until the election is investigated? Does anyone doubt that if the union had won that election the votes would have been counted long ago?
The first CWF billboard to bring attention to the plight of the Fresno farm workers (pictured below) is located near the union’s headquarters in Delano, California, and reads, “Hey, UFW, what are you afraid of? Count the votes at Gerawan!”
CWF, a special project of Americans for Tax Reform, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the costs and consequences of unionization.
UAW Drops Election Challenge
ATR’s Center for Worker Freedom was happy to learn that the United Auto Workers has finally dropped its frivolous challenges to the results of February's election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, which the union lost 712-626.
The union had challenged the election outcome in an appeal to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming "outside interference" had tainted the election. CWF's Matt Patterson, Tucker Nelson, and ATR President Grover Norquist had all been subpoenaed in connection with the NLRB hearing set for Monday, April 21st.
However, Monday morning the union announced that they were dropping their objections, and the NLRB has officially certified the election results. The UAW has lost.
"We congratulate the workers in Chattanooga for standing firm against union propaganda, and we applaud the community for rallying around them as the union launched this outrageous challenge, which amounted to nothing less than a full-scale assault on the First Amendment," said CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson.
“The workers of Tennessee won and they chased the outsider union bosses back to Detroit. But make no mistake, if the union bosses can smell the union dues they just lost then they’ll be back to get them in the future,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Patterson detailed in a column for the New York Post on Monday how the UAW challenge to the election results constituted an assault on the freedoms of press, association, and speech. "[The union] needs new dues-paying members. It needs them at any cost, even if that cost is our freedom. It’s willing to ignore the expressed wishes of workers, even as it claims to speak for workers. " Patterson wrote.
Patterson warned that Chattanooga may not be out of the woods entirely. "Assuming that Volkswagen doesn't find a way to get them in there anyway, the union will try again as soon as it legally and possibly can."
Patterson warns that the UAW will also continue its aggressive organizing drives in other Southern communities, like Mercedes in Tuscaloosa Alabama, and Nissan Canton, Mississippi. "We'll be there, too," Patterson vowed.
The Center for Worker Freedom is a special project of Americans for Tax Reform, dedicated to warning the public about the costs and consequences of unionization.
Volkswagen Set to Betray its Workers
Volkswagen management is considering a course of action that would hand over its Chattanooga assembly plant to the United Auto Workers (UAW) in spite of that union’s failure to win a February secret ballot election, the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) has learned.
In results announced on February 14th, VW workers rejected the union in a 712 to 626 vote after a three-day election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Nevertheless, sources tell CWF that Volkswagen is considering disregarding the election results and accepting the authorization cards the union claims to have collected last year, even though the alleged cards have never been examined by a third party and a number of VW workers have complained to labor authorities that they had been tricked or coerced into signing such cards.
Such a suppression of the democratically expressed wishes of its employees would constitute a betrayal without precedent in the history of American labor relations, says CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson.
“The workers at Volkswagen Chattanooga were force-fed UAW propaganda for over two years, yet still courageously and unequivocally rejected the union,” says Patterson. “If the company lets the union walk in anyway, it will have made clear its contempt not only for its workers and the state of Tennessee, but the democratic principle itself.”
A spokesman for the NLRB refused to comment to the CWF on whether previously collected union authorization cards could be legally accepted by a company after the results of a secret ballot election have been announced.
The Center for Worker Freedom is a special project of Americans for Tax Reform.
Center for Worker Freedom Announces New Radio Campaign in Chattanooga
Today ATR’s Center for Worker Freedom announced a new radio campaign in Chattanooga. The transcript of the 30-second spot is as follows:
"The UAW wants you to believe that VW employees are deciding whether or not to have a German-style works council.
The UAW is the only thing on the ballot. The same union that bankrupted GM and Detroit. The truth is, workers don't need the UAW to form a works council, and VW doesn't need a works council to make cars.
Chattanooga isn't Germany, or Detroit.
At least, not yet.
Paid for by Americans for Tax Reform. Workerfreedom.org"
The full spot can be heard on YouTube, set to a slideshow of Center for Worker Freedom billboards, here:
The ad will run in morning and afternoon drive times on some of Chattanooga's most popular radio stations through February 14, including:
WDEF-AM News Talk
WGOW -AM News Talk
WGOW-FM News Talk
Center for Worker Freedom launches anti-UAW billboard campaign in Chattanooga
Today, ATR’s Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) steps up its efforts to warn the residents of Chattanooga, TN about the terrible economic legacy and the left wing political nature of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which is aggressively trying to organize the town’s Volkswagen facility.
The first of two designs is a 14 x 48-foot billboard on state highway153, near the local Volkswagen dealership, calling attention to the fact that the union’s political activity is overtly partisan, spending millions to elect liberal left-wing politicians. The sign reads:
AUTO OBAMA WORKERS
The UAW spends millions to elect liberal politicians including BARACK OBAMA
The UAW is a “heavy hitter” when it comes to campaign donations, spending over $15 million in campaign contributions since 2012, almost all of it on left-wing campaigns and causes, vastly at odds with the values of Tennessee voters. That includes over $148, 000 to re-elect President Barack Obama.
The second billboard design measures 10 x 36 feet. One is located on Amnicola highway and cites an independent analysis from Reuters about how disastrous unionization has been for the American auto industry. It reads as follows:
“…almost every job lost at U.S. car factories in the last 30 years has occurred at a unionized company.”-- REUTERS
You can read the full Reuters report here.
CWF is also proud to announce the launch of its flagship website, www.workerfreedom.org, which will function as a resource for all things UAW related, including news, political spending, finances and leadership.
Workerfreedom.org will make it easy for journalists and researchers to access information about the union and its continuing assault on the southern manufacturing base.
The Center for Worker Freedom is a special project of Americans for Tax Reform whose work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and Foxnews.com and many other outlets.
BREAKING: Volkswagen Denies Workers Equal Time in Union Fight
Workers under siege by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant have been denied the opportunity to voice opposition to the union, the Center for Worker Freedom has learned.
On Friday morning VW workers delivered a letter to management in which they expressed dismay that the company had reportedly allowed representatives from IG Metall — the German union that strongly supports the UAW’s effort to organize in Chattanooga — to meet with employees at the VW facility. Therefore, the workers in their letter requested:
“…to be allowed to use Company meeting facilities between February 3 and February 6, so that we may invite team members before and after work to discuss alternative forms of worker representation.”
The workers requested an answer by 3:00 p.m. Friday Jan. 31 and received a negative response.
In addition, the workers requested in a separate letter access to the same list of workers eligible to vote in an election that the union will have access to should an election petition be filed, the so-called Excelsior list which includes names and contact information. This request, too, was denied.
Center for Worker Freedom Executive Director Matt Patterson responded to the news:
“Volkswagen workers opposed to UAW representation have been shut down by management in a blatant attempt to grease the union’s move into the company. Barack Obama’s NLRB will now pile on; we can expect an announcement that a petition has been filed for an election at any time. Doubtless workers will be barraged by UAW materials in the coming weeks, while being denied the opportunity to hear the other side. That's not fair, and that's not right - workers should have all the facts so they can make an informed decision about unionization."
Further, Patterson wondered what kind of organization needs to collude with government and company officials in order to gain power, as appears to be the case here:
“The UAW has a long history of crippling the auto industry in Detroit, as well as spending millions to elect the kind of radical, left-wing politicians that have busted city, state and national budgets. The union doesn't want workers to have the opportunity to learn this history, and apparently neither does Volkswagen."