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Berryhill Feels Labor Ties Should Disqualify Governor’s Appointment

Sonora, CA — Mother Lode Senator Tom Berryhill is very upset over Governor Jerry Brown’s reappointment of a member to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB).

Genevieve Shiroma has served on the board for 17 years, but has drawn criticism from several Republicans and farm groups recently for her outside ties to the United Farmworkers Union. While serving on the ALRB she also successfully ran for a seat on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and hired a UFW lobbyist to be a part of the campaign.  Berryhill spoke in opposition to her re-appointment today, saying, “Never, in my 10 years hear in Sacramento have I seen so many groups so strongly opposed to an appointment. Her relationship with the UFW’s lobbyist, who is also her campaign manager, while not illegal, certainly creates the perception in the agricultural industry, that she cannot be fair and balanced.”

Despite opposition from several Republicans, Shiroma’s confirmation was approved 26-11 in the California Senate.

The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board was created in 1975 and has a stated purpose of “guaranteeing justice for all agricultural workers and stability in agricultural labor relations.” Appointments to the Board are made by the Governor and approved by the Senate.