Pick Justice will host a demonstration outside of the State Supreme Court in San Francisco with hundreds of farmworkers from the Central Valley and Central Coast to fight for their right to choose and democracy.

“UFW doesn’t represent us and ALRB abuses us,” Pick Justice spokesperson Jesse Rojas says.

Hundreds of real farmworkers will assemble by the Supreme Court in San Francisco to oppose the state’s repeated efforts to force thousands of agricultural workers into the United Farm Workers against their will. They will also protest the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), a state agency that is imposing a UFW contract on them that censors them from objecting.

The rally, sponsored by Pick Justice, will start at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, September 5, at the Ronald M. George State Office Complex, Earl Warren Building, 350 McAllister Street, in San Francisco.

Silvia Lopez speaks with reporters outside of the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno.

Silvia Lopez speaks with reporters outside of the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno.

“For years we have been fighting against the UFW and its ALRB state enforcement arm. The ALRB is trying to force us into UFW contracts against our will and without a vote,” said Silvia Lopez, a Central Valley farmworker who heads Pick Justice.

The rally coincides with a Supreme Court hearing on the fourth floor of the Earl Warren Building, in which the workers’ fate will be decided.

“We represent thousands of real farmworkers from California’s Central Valley and Central Coast,” Lopez said.

Farmworkers in the region have turned out by the thousands against the UFW. They have waged the largest sustained de-certification drive ever in California, and the largest agricultural labor strike protests in state ag labor history.

“We want the right to vote and choose freely to choose whether we want a union contract, and if so, which union we want to represent us. We want the right to be involved in the negotiation process,” said Lopez. “We also want the right to strike against the UFW and any union contract. The ALRB wants to deny us these basic rights,” she said.

Pick Justice started in 2015 as an informal group of farmworkers and friends who stood up to the UFW and its state ALRB enforcement arm. It became an official organization earlier this year.

Lopez’s employer, Gerawan Farming, is plaintiff in the case. “I wish the Supreme Court would allow representatives of Gerawan workers to address the justices, because the UFW will be pretending to speak on our behalf. The UFW is making a false representation to the Supreme Court, because we voted to get rid of the UFW four years ago, but the ALRB has refused to count our votes,” Lopez said.

“The UFW-ALRB cartel is trying to impose a UFW contract on us. That contract would force us to pay a percentage of our income to the UFW. We were denied a say in what the contract says.

We were denied the opportunity to vote for it. The contract even denies us the right to vote against it,” Lopez said.

“The state ALRB is denying us our constitutional right to freedom of association. We hope the Supreme Court treats us farmworkers fairly and finds unconstitutional the law that the ALRB uses to abuse us,” Lopez said.

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