Judge finds Gerawan guilty of violating California labor laws

An administrative law judge ruled that Gerawan Farming violated state labor law by refusing to bargain in good faith and by trying to exclude some workers from a collective bargaining agreement with the United Farm Workers union in 2013.

The 65-page decision, issued Friday, stemmed from several charges of unfair labor practices filed by the union in 2012 and 2013. Gerawan, one of the largest tree fruit growers in the nation, and the union have been at odds for five years over representation of the company’s field workers.

In his decision, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s administrative law judge William Schmidt found that Gerawan violated state labor law by “engaging in collective bargaining with the UFW concerning the wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment of the agricultural employees in the above unit with no intentions of reaching an agreement with the UFW.”

About 5,000 Gerawan workers hired by the company and another 800 to 1,500 workers hired through Gerawan’s farm labor contractors will be affected by the ruling. As part of its punishment, Gerawan is required to cease and desist from its “unlawful conduct” and will agree to bargain with the UFW.

source: fresnobee.com

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