January 13, 2017

ALRB Chairman Abruptly Steps Down

On Friday, January 13, 2017, William B. Gould IV announced his resignation as chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), effective no later than February 22, 2017. The resignation letter cited frustrations with the state bureaucracy for stalling his key proposal, a proposed rule that would expand ALRB agents’ access to fields for purposes of educating California farmworkers about their union organizing rights. Western Growers strongly opposed the rule, which was proposed by the Board over a year ago, as an illegal overreach of the Board’s powers under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, Gould also railed against the ineffectiveness of the United Farm Workers Union: “The UFW spends most of its time in Sacramento, lobbying for laws and regulations, and has ‘absolutely no interest in organizing the unorganized,’ Gould said.”

Western Growers Vice President and General Counsel Jason Resnick was appointed by Gould to serve on his advisory Labor Management Committee. 

“We did not always see eye to eye with Chairman Gould, but we have great respect for him,” Resnick was quoted as saying in the L.A. Times article. “We hope that the administration will restore a balance of perspectives and views on the board,” referring to the Administration’s propensity to fill key ALRB positions with former UFW activists.

On the same day Gould resigned, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he was re-elevating Genevieve Shiroma as Chair of the ALRB. The empty board seat is being filled by former California State Senator and Assemblyman Isadore Hall of Compton. Hall lost his bid for a Congressional seat last November.

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