right thing because it is the right thing to do,” he said. “But it is also good for you as an employer.” He noted that employers enrolled in this program do not have trouble finding employees and are engaged in fewer worker lawsuits and fewer workers’ comp claims. Saqui still has a soft spot for the union concept if not unions themselves. “All the lawyers who work for me have to understand the historical context of unions,” he said. “Unions did set in motion child labor laws, equal pay, women’s rights, OSHA. Before there was OSHA, there were unions. The union movement does have a remarkable and robust history.” He said they deserve a special place in history, but in modern times they are largely irrelevant and corrupt. He indicated that workers don’t need a union if their company treats them right. “I have met some good union people that do a good job. And I have turned down clients where they need a union.” But he admits that anything having to do with labor—union campaigns, strikes, collective bargaining—is what gets his blood moving in the morning. It is his favorite part of the business and is what he would choose to do every day if he could. Saqui is very proud to be a member of what he considers to be the “greatest generation of ag lawyers.” He put a number of people in that group including Nassif (“Tom was a badass in his day!”) and Barsamian, but also added Rob Roy of the Ventura County Ag Association and Jim Bogart of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California. He then went on and added a half-dozen more names to the list. “I am blessed beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to work with and for these ag legends.”

He also credited Western Growers for finding and educating most of these lawyers. “Ron (Barsamian) came up through Western Growers and taught me the Western Growers way, which is you are on the road all the time.” The latest wrinkle is that the Saqui Law Group has become a division of Dowling/Aaron, a Fresno-based firm that specializes in providing legal service to business owners. Saqui said the affiliation allows him to bring a one-stop solution to all the legal needs of his clients. Eventually, the Saqui Law Group name will be dropped and Mike Saqui will lead the Ag Labor Team at Dowling/Aaron. He called Richard Aaron a longtime friend who has handled the business affairs of the Saqui Law Group since its inception. Saqui said the move “gives me a deeper bench in labor” and allows his clients to take advantage of one firm for all their legal needs, including estate planning. But Saqui was quick to point out that this was not an exit strategy for him personally. He has no intention of quitting. He and his wife, Lisa, who worked for the DA’s office in both San Diego and Sacramento before becoming CFO of the Saqui Law Group, live in Truckee, Calif. Saqui travels throughout California on a regular basis. “Same as I always did, but now I do it by plane rather than pickup truck.” His daughter, Mickela, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a geotech engineer. His son, Brock, graduated from Chico State, and is currently a candidate for the sheriff ’s department.

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