Gerawan Farming alleged today that a state official improperly failed to disclose the petition signature tallies he relied upon when pulling the plug this week on a United Farm Workers union decertification vote at the family farm.
In a letter to Silas Shawver, regional director of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Gerawan noted that Shawver’s math just doesn’t add up: over 2,000 signatures from Gerawan employees were filed asking for a decertification vote, yet only 1,300 were needed and just 100 were deemed invalid. The regional director’s failure to document his version of the total signatures, the number that were required to hold an election, and the number found invalid, leave a “gaping hole” in his report, Gerawan charges.
“We believe the Petitioner and the potential voters have a right to know the signature count. Otherwise, it appears that the decision about whether to dismiss or not dismiss a petition is an arbitrary one not based on a fair and careful assessment of whether there is reasonable cause to believe there is a bona fide question of representation,” the letter stated.
Gerawan reminded the ALRB that, at Gerawan’s request, the agency officials personally met with over 2,100 Gerawan employees before the election. The Board’s agents, including Mr. Shawver, visited the farm so they could inform the workers of their right to ask for an election. “When the ALRB hides the actual signature count, as you have done, it certainly creates reason for suspicion that something is just not right,” Gerawan stated.