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Appeals Court Gives Win To Fresno Grower In Ag Labor Fight

Diana Aguilera
Valley Public Radio
Protestors gathered outside the 5th District Court of Appeals earlier this year to criticize the state's Ag Labor Relations Board

A state appeals court has delivered a legal victory to a Fresno-based fruit grower in a decades old fight with the state’s ag labor relations board and the UFW. But as FM89’s Joe Moore reports, it’s likely not the final ruling.

The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Gerawan Farming, the nation’s largest peach grower by saying a 2002 state labor ag law is unconstitutional. In the case of an impasse in labor negotiations, the law forces both growers and their workers to abide by collective bargaining agreements created by a third party mediator. The justices found that mandatory mediation law is a violation of equal protection principles and an abuse of legislative authority. But the ruling didn’t stop there. It also found that even if the law itself was constitutional, the ALRB made errors in the way they applied it in Gerawan’s case. That could prove to be a key point in the future, as the case is likely headed to the State Supreme Court on appeal. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
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