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
GrapesDrought’s Impact On California Winegrapes
July 30, 2015
The impact is minimal this year, but the future is uncertain if the drought continues. Read More
Apples & PearsEPA Approves New 1-MCP Technology
July 30, 2015
EPA approved Fysium, a new 1-MCP product from Pace International LLC. Considered new technology, this product is produced on-site by Read More
FruitsTodd Snyder Named President And CEO Of C&O Nursery
July 30, 2015
Todd Snyder, the third generation of Snyders to run C&O Nursery, was recently named president and CEO of the family Read More
CitrusWestern Growers Praises Introduction Of California Emergency Drought Relief Act
July 30, 2015
Legislation contains short- and long-term provisions to deal with the historic drought. Read More
Farm ManagementFour Great Pricing Tips From U-Pick Experts
July 30, 2015
Although each of the growers I talked to has his or her own take on a pricing structure, they all Read More
BerriesUC-Davis Responds To California Auditor’s Recommended Improvements To Strawberry Program
July 30, 2015
Following a six-month review of the University of California (UC)-Davis Strawberry breeding program, the California state auditor’s office has released Read More
Farm ManagementHow To Find Your Perfect U-Pick Pricing Structure
July 30, 2015
If there’s one mission impossible for pick-your-own operations, it might just be how to set a pricing structure. Odds are you’ve Read More
The Latest
woman smashing an alarm clock with a hammer
CitrusDon’t Become A Time Crunch Casualty
July 31, 2015
Finding the balance between work life and home life is easier said than done for GenNext Growers. Read More
FruitsTodd Snyder Named President And CEO Of C&O Nursery
July 30, 2015
Todd Snyder, the third generation of Snyders to run C&O Nursery, was recently named president and CEO of the family Read More
CitrusWestern Growers Praises Introduction Of California Emer…
July 30, 2015
Legislation contains short- and long-term provisions to deal with the historic drought. Read More
Farm ManagementFour Great Pricing Tips From U-Pick Experts
July 30, 2015
Although each of the growers I talked to has his or her own take on a pricing structure, they all Read More
Farm ManagementHow To Find Your Perfect U-Pick Pricing Structure
July 30, 2015
If there’s one mission impossible for pick-your-own operations, it might just be how to set a pricing structure. Odds are you’ve Read More
CitrusGroup Food Safety Audits May Help Prepare You For The P…
July 29, 2015
Group food safety audits, slated to be available next spring, may save small- to mid-size growers time and money. Read More
Farm ManagementUnited Farm Workers Turns Up Heat On California Growers
July 29, 2015
With temperatures soaring into the triple digits, union organizers are focusing on heat illness regulations. Read More
Disease ControlNew Disease Control Tools For Fruit And Nut Growers
July 29, 2015
Apple scab is a big problem for growers in the Midwest and East. But, a new fungicide boasts efficacy against Read More
FruitsFruit Grower Tour Held Next Week In New York
July 28, 2015
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 for the 17th annual Wayne County Fruit Grower Tour presented by agr.assistance. Read More
Bill Stoneman
Crop ProtectionFormer BPIA Head Relishes Challenge Of New Consulting R…
July 28, 2015
JET Harvest Solutions taps Bill Stoneman for his bounty of biocontrol experience. Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusHouse Passes Bill To Block State GMO Food Labeling Mand…
July 27, 2015
The legislation would offer a federal standard for voluntary labeling of foods containing GMOs.   Read More
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Gr…
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
CitrusUSDA Expands Crop Insurance Options For Fruit And Nut G…
July 24, 2015
The USDA announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers. The Supplemental Coverage Read More
FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logo
CitrusFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Conven…
July 23, 2015
Association's 72nd gathering to feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day. Read More
Crop ProtectionRegional Integrated Pest Management Grants Reduced Pest…
July 22, 2015
The program created tools and training information designed for Western growers. Read More
CitrusInternational Report Confirms 2014 As Earth’s Warmest Y…
July 21, 2015
Scientific compilation notes climate markers continue to show global warming trend. Read More
FruitsWashington Supreme Court Rules Workers Paid Piece-Rate …
July 21, 2015
  According to a news story in the Yakima News Herald, the state Supreme Court of Washington unanimously ruled that Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusGMO Labeling Battle Moves To House Floor
July 21, 2015
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 was passed by the Agriculture Committee last week and will head Read More