Gerawan agrees to settle charges it broke the law in 2013 by refusing to provide accurate worker addresses to the UFW
Gerawan Farming Inc. agreed on Oct. 19 to a bilateral settlement agreement with the United Farm Workers and the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to resolve charges it broke the law in 2013. The charges were filed after the giant company “refused to provide accurate worker contact information to the UFW, [which] is the exclusive collective bargaining representative” of Gerawan’s workers, according to the settlement. Supplying accurate worker information, especially home addresses, is necessary so the union can effectively communicate with its members, including when they are preparing to negotiate their union contract as they were in 2013.
“The ALRB carried out an investigation of the charges and determined there was reasonable cause to believe that Gerawan violated” the state farm labor law, according to the agreement. On Sept. 9, 2014, the ALRB general counsel, or chief prosecutor, filed a complaint accusing Gerawan of breaking the law. Second and third complaints were filed in 2016. A hearing before an administrative judge on the third complaint was set for Nov. 1, 2016.
As part of the settlement agreement, Gerawan will make efforts to collect accurate employee addresses and review and correct problem addresses supplied by the UFW. Gerawan will also read, post and distribute notices about the settlement agreement to its workers at the peak of the 2017 season, and arrange for ALRB agents to read and explain the notice to the workers.
The company is appealing decisions by a state administrative judge and the full farm labor board finding it guilty of committing much more serious and voluminous violations of the law. This is the first time Gerawan has agreed to settle labor charges filed by the UFW.
To read the full seven-page settlement agreement, see www.ufw.org/pdf/101916Gerawan.pdf