Sylvia Torres-Guillen, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s (ALRB) general counsel, has left the agency to serve as special counsel to Governor Jerry Brown.  Torres-Guillen’s tenure was marked by major policy and personnel changes as well as controversial actions in a number of cases, most notably the UFW’s attempt to force Gerawan Farms and its employees to accept an ALRB-imposed contract after a 20 year absence by the union and a parallel vote by Gerawan employees on decertification of the union.  The employees’ votes from the November 2013 election remain uncounted and impounded by t

Cal/OSHA and the United Farm Workers union have reached a settlement in the long-running lawsuit over heat illness enforcement.  Under the terms of the agreement, Cal/OSHA has agreed to step up inspections during the heat season and target repeat offenders.

The agreement also expands the UFW’s role in reporting employers it suspects of violating existing rules, calls on the union to persuade workers to cooperate with inspectors, and gives UFW unprecedented access to confidential audits of Cal/OSHA’s performance.

Jason Resnick

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