February 15, 2017

Ag Industry Letter Urges Governor to Consult with Industry on ALRB Appointments

Western Growers and industry partners have sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown expressing dismay with the process for appointing Isadore Hall to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board as well as conflicts of interest demonstrated by Member Hall, a staunch UFW supporter. 

The letter notes that “the ALRB has been, and continues to be, aligned with the predominant labor union (the United Farm Workers Union) in matters brought to, and initiated by, the Board.” And yet, the letter goes on, former ALRB Chairman William Gould recognized in his resignation letter that the UFW has “’absolutely no interest in organizing the unorganized.’ Given that reality, we would have appreciated some outreach and even consultation before former Chairman Gould was replaced with a UFW ally.” 

While noting that Board member Hall is “respected and well-liked by members on both sides of the aisle in the Legislature,” and wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, it is harder to do so “in light of the support he has received from the United Farm Workers union, public statements by the UFW’s President in support of Mr. Hall’s candidacy for Congress, and public displays featuring Mr. Hall marching with UFW activists.”

The letter concludes with an appeal to the Governor:

California’s farmers continue to struggle with increasingly powerful international and domestic competition, fueled by our state’s uniquely complicated regulatory environment. We desperately need leaders in government who will seek our engagement as partners, especially on those issues most heavily colored by conflict. It is unfortunate that this did not occur in this matter. We appeal to your leadership to set a different course as future opportunities unfold.

The letter to the Governor was submitted by the following organizations:

  • California Fresh Fruit Association
  • California Strawberry Commission
  • Grower Shipper Association of Central California
  • Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association
  • Ventura County Agricultural Association
  • Western Growers 

For more information, contact Jason Resnick at (949) 885-2253.