Farmworkers' union claims victory in California labor battle

Sep 18, 2015 3:35 PM by News Staff

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A judge in California says one of the nation's largest fruit growers committed unfair labor practices by trying to block the United Farm Workers from representing its workers.

Administrative law judge Mark Soble says Gerawan Farming tainted a vote nearly two years ago by workers on whether they want the union's representation. The votes remain uncounted.

Gerawan Farming employs thousands annually to harvest nectarines, peaches and grapes grown in California's Central Valley.

The judge says its employee Silvia Lopez was unlawfully paid $20,000 to fund the anti-union fight. The decision says Lopez physically blocked workers from the farm while collecting signatures.

Dan Gerawan says his workers are denied the right to choose after the United Farm Workers abandoned them for 20 years.

The union's Armando Elenes says the ruling is a victory for farmworkers.

Gerawan Farming says it will appeal.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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