Late this afternoon, ALRB Regional Director Silas Shawver issued a  decision, blocking the farmworkers’ right to vote – less than 24 hours after  issuing a statement that the farmworkers demonstrated a “showing of interest” to hold an election.

Shawver cites that there were a sufficient number of signatures to prompt an election, but claims issues developed during the first petition process makes it impossible to move forward with an election.

“This entire process has been conducted under the cloak of secrecy and clearly continues,” said Paul Bauer, attorney representing Silvia Lopez who filed the petition on behalf of nearly 3,000 farmworkers at Gerawan Farming, Inc.

On Friday, October 25, Silvia Lopez delivered nearly 3,000 signatures to the ALRB, calling for an election.  By Monday, October 28, the ALRB Regional Director denied the petition, claiming that the ALRB Board in Sacramento had already approved a collective bargaining agreement, rendering the petition irrelevant.  However, less than four hours later, the ALRB in Sacramento issued an order, vacating the decision of the Regional Director that essentially wiped his decision clean.

“It is clear that they will stop at nothing to ensure that these farmworkers don’t vote on union representation,” Bauer said.

Silvia Lopez will appeal this decision by the ALRB and continues to pursue a federal civil rights action.

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