Union Election Results For Gerawan Farming Workers On Hold

It looks like it will be several months before the results of a vote on union certification are known at one of the biggest stone fruit and table grape growers in the nation, Gerawan Farming of Reedley, CA.

Many of the ballots from the 2,600 employees eligible to vote in the Nov. 5 election were challenged by the United Farm Workers (UFW), prompting legal objections from attorneys representing both Gerawan Farming and one of the employees, Sylvia Lopez. One of the attorney’s representing Gerawan Farming, Ron Barsamian, said the union challenged the ballots of eight crews, or a total of approximately 800 ballots. The ballots have been sealed and will not be opened until there is a hearing which will likely not take place for several months, said Barsamian.

Neither the UFW nor the attorney representing the union in the matter have returned phone calls nor email messages from GrowingProduce.com for comment as to why the ballots were challenged. Barsamian said he thinks it was a stalling tactic.

The election came in the wake of a decision by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, which vacated an earlier order that went against Gerawan Farming. The complicated situation actually goes back two decades, and had been dormant since then. That was when the UFW won the right to begin contract negotiations with Gerawan employees. After negotiations opened all those years ago, they were abruptly stopped — but by the UFW — said Barsamian, who noted that very few of the company’s employees today voted in that election.

Earlier this year, the UFW abruptly sought to have the 20-year-old election upheld. UFW officials were then quoted in a news story in The Business Journal, a Fresno weekly newspaper, that Gerawan has been stalling for many years instead of negotiating. Gerawan Farming, saying it was the union that ceased negotiating, asked for a retraction and the UFW did request a correction, but the paper stuck by its story.

In September, Gerawan Farming, saying it was fed up with the UFW’s tactics, filed a libel suit against the union. Gerawan claimed the UFW defamed its reputation and threatened to harm the company’s relationship with its employees.

A statement by the Gerawan family released just prior to the election read, in part: “For the first time in over 23 years, the UFW will face the will of the workers. Today’s decision is an historic event. The victory belongs to those workers who never gave up hope that the Board would listen to their pleas. We are humbled by the perseverance of so many workers who refused to give up in their quest to hold a secret ballot election.”

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Union Election Results For Gerawan Farming Workers On Hold

  1. Union representation without a vote? That is absolutely ridiculous. The union shouldn’t be able to be absent for over two decades and then decide to pop back in and impose their will. I’m impressed with these workers for fighting for their ability to choose.

Fruits Stories
Photo credit: USDA
Farm Management
June 28, 2016
USDA Announces Conservation Programs, Partnerships During National Pollinator Week
USDA, industry organizations join up to ensure conservation efforts include pollinators. Read More
DJI developed the Agras MG-1 UAV specifically for agriculture. (Photo credit: DJI)
Equipment
June 28, 2016
Washington State University Partners With UAV Manufacturer On Research
DJI, a global leader in drone and camera technology, will work with the university to research use of UAVs. Read More
cracked earth
Farm Marketing
June 28, 2016
Parts Of Michigan Close To Drought Status
USDA report indicates parts of the state have received less than one inch of rainfall in June. Read More
Panama Canal Expansion opening celebration
Citrus
June 28, 2016
Panama Canal Expands For New Trade Opportunities
First vessel passes through new, larger locks as country celebrates. Read More
GP California State Capitol
Fruits
June 28, 2016
Fruit Association Chief To Head California Agricultural Leadership Foundation
Barry Bedwell has been president and CEO of the California Fresh Fruit Association since 2003. Read More
Convex landforms in Virginia are advantageous for grape growers as shown at this summer vineyard meeting. (Photo credit: Tremain Hatch)
Grapes
June 27, 2016
Make Time To Visit Other Vineyards
Getting out in your neighbor’s vineyard can help improve your own. Read More
U.S. Capitol Building FEATURE
Farm Management
June 24, 2016
Senate Reaches Agreement On GMO Labeling Law
The measure would nullify Vermont's first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law, which takes effect July 1. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
June 28, 2016
Bees May Accidentally Bring Varroa Mites…
A USDA research team is learning that mite populations often spike in the fall, due to migration into the hives. Read More
Farm Management
June 28, 2016
USDA Announces Conservation Programs, Pa…
USDA, industry organizations join up to ensure conservation efforts include pollinators. Read More
Equipment
June 28, 2016
Washington State University Partners Wit…
DJI, a global leader in drone and camera technology, will work with the university to research use of UAVs. Read More
Farm Marketing
June 28, 2016
Parts Of Michigan Close To Drought Statu…
USDA report indicates parts of the state have received less than one inch of rainfall in June. Read More
Citrus
June 28, 2016
Panama Canal Expands For New Trade Oppor…
First vessel passes through new, larger locks as country celebrates. Read More
Fruits
June 28, 2016
Fruit Association Chief To Head Californ…
Barry Bedwell has been president and CEO of the California Fresh Fruit Association since 2003. Read More
Farm Management
June 24, 2016
Senate Reaches Agreement On GMO Labeling…
The measure would nullify Vermont's first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law, which takes effect July 1. Read More
Citrus
June 24, 2016
Is It EPA’s Intention To Help Or H…
A common theme I see in complaints about the government agency is it appears to be taking action more and more based on ideology and public opinion rather than sound science. Read More
Crop Protection
June 23, 2016
Scientists Selected To Work On Healthy H…
The four-year, $1 million program has a goal of improving the health of honeybee colonies. Read More
Citrus
June 23, 2016
Survey: Consumers Hungry For More Info O…
University of Florida researchers find learning opportunity among poll results regarding genetically modified foods. Read More
Citrus
June 23, 2016
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Associatio…
Mike Allen, a Founder of Politico and its Chief White House Correspondent, slated as keynote speaker for association's 73rd annual gathering. Read More
Fruits
June 22, 2016
Florida Growers Warned To Beware Of Brow…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this insect pest. Read More
Citrus
June 22, 2016
Heads Up: FAA Finalizes Rules For Small …
Regulations will create new opportunities for business and government entities to use unmanned aircraft systems weighing less than 55 pounds. Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2016
Sound Science Struggling To Win Over Ske…
We all want the truth. But can we handle it? Read More
Fruits
June 18, 2016
New Effort Highlights The Heralded 4 Rs …
The Nature Conservancy and The Fertilizer Institute join forces in nutrient stewardship partnership and related sustainable farming practices. Read More
Farm Management
June 16, 2016
Separating Fact From Fiction Crucial Ami…
Even from the din of skepticism, science-based arguments speak volumes. Read More
Farm Marketing
June 15, 2016
Former MLB Slugger Finds Field Of Dreams…
Retired Boston Red Sox player Mike Greenwell turns his gardening hobby into a full-time farming passion. Read More
Citrus
June 14, 2016
Monsanto Rejects Second Bid From Bayer
Wall Street Journal reports Monsanto seeks bid increase from Bayer. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]