On May 16, 2018 and June 13, 2018, we blogged about Gerawan Farms, a California agricultural company whose members wanted to decertify the United Farm Workers. The employees voted in 2013 but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) impounded the ballots and refused to count them. The ALRB held that Gerawan had committed unfair labor practices that nullified the election. Last summer, the California court of appeals reversed that ruling and remanded the case to the ALRB.
Now, five years after the fact, the ballots were finally counted. By a margin of well over five to one, the employees voted to decertify the union. But the union intends to keep pressing its objections. The court of appeals had held that the union would have to prove that the unfair practices affected the outcome and, with a five to one margin of victory, that would be an upward battle.
The ALRB has now endorsed the election. The Board adhered to its previous ruling that Gerawan had committed unfair labor practices. In light of the overwhelming margin of the election, however, the ALRB also held that those practices could not have affected the outcome.
This result likely moots Gerawan’s pending petition for certiorari.