Today the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) launched the first in a series of billboards in Sacramento designed to bring attention to Fresno farm workers who are being forced into a union against their will.
Workers at Fresno-based Gerawan Farming voted last November in a decertification election to rid their workplace of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Union bosses at the UFW are trying 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.
But 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 Gerawan workers’ constitutional freedoms of speech and assembly.
Writing for Forbes on Labor Day, CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson notes that the California Governor has a unique responsibility – and opportunity – in the Gerawan situation:
For Governor Jerry Brown, who can make the ALRB count the votes, there is an opportunity to restore faith in our democracy to those who have come here seeking its protections.
The CWF digital boards are located on the West side of I-5, just South of Richards Blvd (facing South) and on US 50 half a mile West of Howe Ave (facing East) in Sacramento. They will rotate a variety of messages through September designed to alert Governor Jerry Brown to the plight of the Gerawan workers, while urging him to help them get their votes counted.
The first message (pictured below) shows Silvia Lopez, a Gerawan farm worker, with tape over her mouth labeled “ALRB” and reads: “Freedom of Speech Includes Fresno Farm Workers.”
The second shows a picture of Gov. Brown and asks: “Dear Governor Brown, You Want Your Vote to Count, Why not Theirs? Count the Votes at Gerawan.”
CWF is a special project of Americans for Tax Reform dedicated to educating the public about the costs and consequences of unionization.