October 21, 2013

Dear Governor Brown,

My name is Silvia Lopez, and I work for Gerawan Farming, Inc. in the Central Valley.  I have been a proud farmworker for all of my adult life and am raising my children to work hard and respect our government processes.  I am writing to ask for your help having nowhere else to turn.  More than 20 years ago, the  UFW held an election and won the right to represent the Gerawan agriculture workers.  I was not working for Gerawan at that time and I am told that almost no one of the current workers were either.  But I know that the UFW did not stay to protect us.  They disappeared.

The UFW has come back now and wants to represent us.  But, me and most of the farm workers don’t want this and we want to vote on whether to continue to be represented by the UFW.  I asked the ALRB for help, but was turned away.  I asked the Regional Director in Visalia for help, but was turned away. I learned if I turned in enough signatures, the farm workers could have the right to vote.  So for more than two months this summer, I drove around the fields of Kerman and Reedley gathering signatures and talking to the farm workers.   I lost time at work and suffered at home, but I gathered more than 2,250 signatures and gave it to the ALRB on September 18, 2013, asking for the right to vote.  All we needed was about 1,300 signatures.  But they denied our right to vote, saying that many signatures were not right.

I did some research and found out that the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act was signed by you when you were Governor in 1975.  The act is to ensure justice for all agricultural workers and stability in labor relations.  Will you meet with me so that we can talk about having the right to vote?

Please Governor Brown, justice is to allow us to vote.  I thank you for your time and help.

Sincerely,

Silvia Lopez