Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

D'Arrigo Bros. of California v. United Farmworkers of America

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

March 12, 2014

D'ARRIGO BROS. OF CALIFORNIA, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
UNITED FARMWORKERS OF AMERICA, Defendant and Appellant.

Superior Court of Monterey County, No. M112896 Hon. Lydia M. Villarreal

Page 791

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 792

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 793

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 794

COUNSEL

Altshuler Berzon, Jeffrey B. Demain, Scott A. Kronland; Mario Martinez and Thomas P. Lynch for Defendant and Appellant.

Sylvia Torres Guillen, General Counsel, Agricultural Labor Relations Board as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant.

Cook Brown, Geoffrey F. Gega, Regina Silva and Matthew B. Golper for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

ELIA, Acting P. J.

D'Arrigo Bros. of California (D'Arrigo) filed this action for breach of contract against the United Farmworkers of America (UFW), which was representing D'Arrigo's agricultural workers. UFW moved to strike D'Arrigo's complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 ("section 425.16"), but the superior court denied the motion. UFW seeks review, contending that the action arose from its protected petitioning activity and that D'Arrigo cannot show a probability of prevailing in the action. We find merit in UFW's position and therefore must reverse the order.

Background

Defendant UFW is a labor organization within the meaning of the Alatorre-Zenovich-Dunlap-Berman Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 (ALRA), Labor Code section 1140 et seq. UFW has been the union representative of D'Arrigo's agricultural employees in the Salinas Valley since the union was

Page 795

certified (over D'Arrigo's opposition) in 1977. Since that time the parties have had repeated disputes over D'Arrigo's collective bargaining obligations and UFW's allegations of unfair labor practices (ULPs).[1]

On October 28, 2010, UFW filed a charge of ULPs with the ALRB, which was designated ALRB case No. 2010-CE-050-SAL (D'Arrigo Brothers Co. of California (2013) 39 ALRB No. 4). In that charge UFW alleged that D'Arrigo had "initiated a de[c]ertification campaign against the [UFW]."

On November 8, 2010, UFW filed a second ULP charge (2010-CE-052-SAL) alleging that D'Arrigo had promised its employees "benefits and improved working conditions" if they "voted out" UFW as its union representative. After the election on November 17, UFW filed objections on nine grounds and asked the ALRB to set aside the election (D'Arrigo Brothers Co. of California (2013) 39 ALRB No. 4).[2] Objection No. 5 (Objection No. 5) accused D'Arrigo management of promising that it would maintain existing benefits to workers and would not replace them with labor contractor employees, although it had resisted UFW's proposals to improve wages and other benefits and had proposed eliminating certain employment protections. UFW protested that D'Arrigo's promises to existing workers "constituted an unlawful promise designed to undermine the Union's majority support and bargaining status and to thereby cause disaffection among the workforce."

On February 11, 2011, however, UFW's counsel requested dismissal of both Objection No. 5 and the second ULP charge. The latter request was granted on February 14. Shortly thereafter, the parties reached an understanding with respect to both the objection and the dismissed charge. On February 18, 2011, UFW's attorney sent D'Arrigo's counsel a letter purporting to "memorialize the UFW's agreement." In the letter UFW acknowledged that it had obtained dismissal of the second ULP, and it promised not to refile this charge "and/or the substantive allegations at a later date."

The letter also noted that UFW had requested dismissal of Objection No. 5 regarding the unlawful promise of benefits. As of that time, however, "The Executive Secretary has not yet ruled on this request. UFW therefore agrees that said Objection ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.