[This alert was supplied to us by an organizer in California. If you need more information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Luis Mendez and Jesus Ramirez, both former members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union – Local 5 and employees of Boshma & Sons Dairy (located in Kern County, California), were in the middle of a labor dispute on or around October 2011 involving what the union believes was an unjustified termination of Jesus Ramirez and suspension of Luis Mendez. On January 5, 2012 the union initiated arbitration procedures to fight for these workers’ jobs.
On or around March 5, 2012 Anthony P. Raimondo, an attorney for the Fresno based law firm McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte, & Carruth LLP, let the union know that Mr. Mendez had “been previously deported […] and [was] not authorized to work in the United States.” He also said, “Mr. Mendez [also] had no proper legal documentation to work in the U.S.” Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Mendez had been working for Boschma Dairy since 2004 and 2009, respectively, without receiving any previous complaints regarding their legal status on the part of the employer. On March 9, 2012 Raimondo sent an e-mail to Pete Maturino, the Agricultural Division Director for Local 5, in which he said, “I have received reliable information that Luis Mendes [sic] was arrested by ICE yesterday and has been removed from the United States to Mexico,” he added, “If so, I presume Mr. Mendes’ grievance will not proceed to arbitration.”
After Raimondo sent the e-mail, Pete Maturino called Raimondo and asked him: Is this what you will be doing from now on, call ICE when employees file a complaint against Boschma? Raimondo replied that he would do whatever it took in order to protect his client against complaints from workers.
On May 22, 2012 Raimondo sent a letter to the legal counsel of Local 5 in which Raimondo said, “I contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and provided them with Mr. Mendez’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and a copy of the Permanent Resident Alien card that Mr. Mendez produced to complete his I-9 […].”
Californian workers deserve a more dignifying and humane treatment. We must stop this kind of retaliatory action against immigrant workers. Also, we want to know if Raimodo has called ICE on other immigrant workers involved in labor disputes.
What to do:
We are asking immigrant workers’ advocates to contact (call or fax letter) federal Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and the State Bar of California and urge them to initiate an investigation on Raimondo’s alleged questionable and probably illegal behavior. If this is the case, we will demand from the State Bar of California to take away the license of Raimondo to practice law.
What to Say if you call:
Hi, my name is ________________, I reside in _____________, my phone number is __________ and my e-mail address is_______________. I am calling to ask the senator/State Bar of California to initiate an investigation on the alleged questionable ethical behavior of attorney Anthony P. Raimondo, whose State Bar of California number is 200387.
The public needs to find out whether or not Raimondo engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior when he contacted Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agents to provide them information pertaining to the immigrant workers Luis Mendez – such action probably resulted in the deportation of Mr. Mendez. Mr. Mendez was in the middle of a legal dispute with his former employer, Boshma Dairy based in Kern County (a client of Anthony Raimondo). Mr. Mendez was deported on or around March 9, 2012.
What to do if you fax letter or use e-mail:
You can also fax or email letters with the same information urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and the State Bar of California to initiate an investigation on Raimondo’s alleged questionable and probably illegal behavior.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer: phone 559-497-5109, fax 559-497-5109, email@example.com
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: phone 559-485-7430, fax 559-485-9689,
The State Bar of California: 1-800-843-9053, firstname.lastname@example.org