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
GrapesFirst Raisin Grape That Dries Naturally On Vine Developed
March 26, 2015
The new Sunpreme variety eliminates the need for growers to cut into woody canes before harvest. Read More
Fresh From Florida Strawberry Parfait recipe
BerriesNew Partnership Sends Florida Strawberries To Puerto Rico
March 26, 2015
Latest addition extends Sunshine State’s agricultural export reach in the Caribbean. Read More
drought management; irrigation; water management
FruitsHow To Become A Soil Sleuth
March 26, 2015
To correctly apply the proper nutrients at the right rates, you need to know where your fields are deficient and how to correctly diagnose a disorder. Read More
Cold ProtectionWind Machine, Electric Pruners Donated To MSU Research Center
March 25, 2015
New equipment to help protect research blocks from frost damage and provide center with latest technology. Read More
CitrusProposed Farm Bill Provision To Limit Payments To Non-Farmers
March 25, 2015
USDA has proposed a new rule which would limit payment to those who are only actively engaged in farming. Read More
Pennsylvania hard cider guild logo
Apples & PearsPennsylvania Hard Cider Producers Founded Independent Trade Organization
March 25, 2015
The Pennsylvania Cider Guild is designed to help promote and educate members and consumers. Read More
FruitsHow To Get Started With Partnerships And Sponsorships
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farm says your business is never too small or too big to get more value for what you do on your farm. Read More
The Latest
FruitsAhead Of The Curve, Part 2
March 27, 2015
Get educated with great resources in the tree fruit industry available at your fingertips. Read More
drought management; irrigation; water management
FruitsHow To Become A Soil Sleuth
March 26, 2015
To correctly apply the proper nutrients at the right rates, you need to know where your fields are deficient and how to correctly diagnose a disorder. Read More
Cold ProtectionWind Machine, Electric Pruners Donated To MSU Research …
March 25, 2015
New equipment to help protect research blocks from frost damage and provide center with latest technology. Read More
CitrusProposed Farm Bill Provision To Limit Payments To Non-F…
March 25, 2015
USDA has proposed a new rule which would limit payment to those who are only actively engaged in farming. Read More
FruitsHow To Get Started With Partnerships And Sponsorships
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farm says your business is never too small or too big to get more value for what you do on your farm. Read More
FruitsValue Through Partnerships And Sponsorships [Opinion]
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farms says admission is one way to get value for what you do, but sponsorships and partnerships are the next level. Read More
FruitsWorld Ag Expo 2015: New Tools For Fruit Growers
March 24, 2015
From wind machines to solar-powered pumps, here is some of the new equipment on display this year's edition of the nation's largest farm show. Read More
FruitsRare Leafhopper Found In Shipment At Delaware Port
March 24, 2015
This is the second time this pest has been discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists. Read More
FruitsNew Pome, Citrus Thinning Tool Approved
March 24, 2015
Refine plant growth regulator receives federal registration. Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Says WOTUS Rule Would Ignore Exemptions
March 24, 2015
Common farming practices may be vulnerable to Clean Water Act enforcement under the rule. Read More
FruitsUC-Davis Seed Biotech Center Receives Funds For Continu…
March 24, 2015
The university received $500,000 in funds toward a $2.5 million goal from seed company Limagrain. Read More
FruitsTips For Pear Psylla Management
March 24, 2015
Dormant oil applications should start as growers begin to experience warmer, mild weather. Read More
FruitsBiocontrols Event Draws Rave Reviews
March 23, 2015
Conference devoted to discussion of biological means to control pests and diseases held last month in Fresno, CA. Read More
brown marmorated stink bug dog search team
FruitsUSDA Uses Man’s Best Friend To Track Stink Bug
March 23, 2015
It's all paws on deck to find brown marmorated stink bug's overwintering sites. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Unveils $1 Billion Drought Package
March 23, 2015
Governor, legislative leaders, announce $1 billion emergency drought legislation. Read More
CitrusFeed A Bee Campaign Aims To Plant 50 Million Flowers
March 23, 2015
Bayer CropScience announces program to increase forage opportunities for critical pollinators. Read More
Florida organic strawberry research
FruitsParry America Aims To Boost Biopesticide Business Via S…
March 19, 2015
Brian Dockery tapped to drive growth of company’s specialty crop sector. Read More
Giant African Land Snail
CitrusFlorida To Get $7.3 Million To Fight Agricultural Pests…
March 19, 2015
Federal Farm Bill funding will bolster surveillance, detection, and identification of invasive threats to crops. Read More