United Farmworkers Union (UFW) president Arturo Rodriguez recently sent a letter to several agricultural organizations, elected officials, and water groups intended to bully the recipients into supporting an effort to disbar an attorney in a closely watched labor case, Jose Arias v. Anthony Raimondo. The letter made several unproven allegations about events surrounding the deportation of a dairy worker.

After an initial review of details in the letter, it is amazing what a job the UFW does trying to sell its allegations as facts.

Jose Arias v. Anthony Raimondo was dismissed in Federal District Court, appealed to the 9th Circuit, and returned to the District Court with an order to hold a court hearing. The case thus far hasn’t been tried or heard — neither the plaintiff, nor the defendant has yet had their day in court. 

As for Jose Arias, he isn’t, nor can he be deported because, it is our understanding, he has a legal visa to reside and work in the United States. Later this year, he will be able to plead his case in court.

If Rodriguez and the UFW are to succeed in their effort to bully organizations, industry associations, and legislators to sign on to a letter seeking to disbar the defendant’s attorney in the matter, they should first provide the entire facts of the case. Better yet, they should allow for all parties to have their day in court with legal representation present, rather than disgrace themselves and the rule of law in an effort to shame the defendant and its lawyer.

The real question is: Why isn’t the UFW presenting a complete picture of this troubling case? Such revelations might help provide context and understanding of what transpired.

The UFW still may shed some light on this incident by starting with a sincere effort to provide everyone watching with all police reports or citations in their possession, along with any knowledge it has of any other situation where their “victims” were arrested, interrogated, or detained by law enforcement for other serious and violent offenses of a similar nature.

The timing of the UFW’s rush to promote Jose Arias v. Anthony Raimondo is highly suspicious, considering the UFW’s own recent court battles. Once the great defenders of workers rights, the UFW has recently been found guilty of violating the rights of their own employees. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Wills recently issued a ruling that held the UFW responsible for a violation of not paying its own employees for overtime and meal breaks, as cited in Francisco Cerritos v. United Farmworkers Union (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ufw-dues-20170912-story.html)  

It’s a matter of fairness and justice that everyone understand fully the UFW’s rush to go around the legal system in this matter before a trial is held, and we seek the UFW’s aid in clarifying their rationale to everyone:

Please provide complete information to those whom you sent your letters, explaining when and how you plan to pay your former employees and whether will you continue to contest and appeal the court’s judgment and garnishment order.

To regain credibility, let everyone see the UFW embrace a judicial resolution, response, and final verdict in the Federal District Court on the Jose Arias v. Anthony Raimondo case.

Hector Barajas is a partner at MBA Public Affairs and regular commentator for Univision. Hector does not represent any individual or organizations involved in this legal case.