California court sides with fruit farm in labor fight

May 15, 2015 11:50 AM by News Staff

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A California appeals court has sided with one of the largest fruit farms in the country in its fight with state regulators and a union over a labor contract for its workers.

The 5th District Court of Appeal said Thursday that state officials should have given Gerawan Farming a chance to argue that the United Farm Workers had abandoned the company's workers before ordering the parties into mediation over the contract.

The court reversed the state's order.

UFW National Vice President Armando Elenes told the Fresno Bee the union would appeal the decision.

The union won the right to represent Gerawan's workers in 1992, but the two sides only met once without agreeing to a contract. The appeals court said UFW then disappeared for nearly two decades before renewing negotiations.

Gerawan argued that the union had abandoned the workers.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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