The Agricultural Labor Relations Board was designed to help and protect farm workers. Among other things, it allows for secret ballots to determine if they want to join a union, and help settle disputes between farmers and workers.
The ALRB is made up of five board members. And the most recent pick is raising eyebrows.
He is Isadore Hall, a former state legislator who ran for Congress last year and lost.
His resume does not include any labor law nor agricultural experience.
That’s on the mind of some local ag leaders, like George Radanovich, a former U.S. congressman who is now president of the California Fresh Fruit Association.
“We are a little concerned about his background and demonstrated support of the UFW. It might bring a bias on the board,” he tells GVW Wire.
Some like the Sacramento Bee editorial board say his appointment to the board is politics as usual, patronage and a six-figure salary for a Democratic ally.
Nonetheless, Radanovich is willing to work with the new ALRB board member
“What we can do is maybe take the attitude that this is a new member. Maybe we can enlighten him. Maybe we can get him down and visit the farm worker, visit the grower that is doing their job and help people focus on growers that are not doing their jobs and educate him to what really can provide the best way good farm worker conditions.”
Hall was sworn into office last Friday, the same day his nomination was announced. If the state Senate does not confirm him within the next year, his time on the board is done. Sacramento insiders tell GV Wire this is unlikely as this is the same Senate that Hall served the last two years on.
GV Wire reached out to the ALRB, the UFW and Sen. Hall for comment. No one accepted the offer.