Today’s decision does not strip our employees of the right to decide whether the UFW can represent them. The majority of our employees asked for the right to make that decision for themselves. The Board gave them that right when it held a decertification election over four years ago. It then impounded the ballots, imposed a contract, and set aside the election.
The Board believes that it can impose a contract on our employees rather than count their ballots. We believe that the choice of who will represent our employees must be left to the employees themselves. No one claims that this election wasn’t free and fair.
Nothing in today’s opinion prevents the employees’ ballots from being counted. In fact, the Court’s decision makes clear why these ballots must be counted. Currently pending before the California Fifth District Court of Appeal is a petition filed by the workers arguing that the ballots cast in that November 2013 election be counted.
We believe that coerced contracts are constitutionally at odds with free choice. The employees are entitled to the dignity and respect that they earned by giving them what is their right. A secret ballot election allows them to decide for themselves who will speak for them at the bargaining table.
We intend to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review today’s decision.
So-called Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation is a uniquely coercive form of government intervention in private employer relations. No other state allows an administrative agency to draft and impose contracts dictating wages, hours, and terms of employment on private companies and employees, without even letting the employees vote on it. In this case, since UFW had disappeared for almost two decades, 99% of the Gerawan employees never voted for UFW representation, yet the state is trying to force a contract on them anyway.
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SOURCE Gerawan Farming
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