The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) will be traveling to key agricultural areas in September 2015 to solicit input from farmworkers, employers and interested members of the public on its proposal to promulgate a rule that permits ALRB staff to visit agricultural work sites. The visits are intended for the purpose of educating farmworkers and field supervisors about their rights and responsibilities under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (Act).
ALRB staff are not currently authorized to visit agricultural work sites for the purposes of conducting worker education sessions, unless ordered by the ALRB as a remedy to address unfair labor practice charges. At the initial meeting of the ALRB Ad Hoc Labor-Management Committee, members representing management, including Western Growers Vice President and General Counsel Jason Resnick, expressed serious concerns about the proposal including:
· How would employers be selected for worker education, and wouldn’t employees assume that the employer had been selected because it had engaged in misconduct or that ALRB staff were encouraging workers to unionize?
· Who will be conducting the education sessions? If conducted by staff from the ALRB general counsel’s office or regional offices, they have proven to be pro-union and not neutral as mandated by the Act.
· Why does this agency in particular require worksite access to educate workers about their rights and responsibilities when other agencies are not afforded similar access?
· With technology, social media and alternative effective channels of communication widely available to all employee populations today, why is it appropriate or desirable to impose training on employers and employees at the worksite?
The public hearings will be held in Fresno, Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until such time that all public testimony has been received. Each facility will accommodate between 150-200 persons.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2015 – Fresno, California
Doubletree by Hilton Fresno Convention Center
2233 Ventura Street, Salon C
Fresno, California 93721
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 – Salinas, California
614 Airport Boulevard
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 – Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria Inn
801 South Broadway
Santa Maria, California
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 – Oxnard, California
Courtyard by Marriott
600 E. Esplanade Drive
Oxnard, California 93036
Please contact Jason Resnick if you plan to attend one or more of the hearings.