Blue Mountain Center

A working community of artists, writers, & activists in Blue Mountain Lake, New York

2015 Chertkov Fellow: John Provost

John Provost is a partner at Beeson, Tayer & Bodine (BT&B), a California law firm that has been representing public and private sector unions and workers since its establishment in the 1930s. Provost joined BT&B in 1986 after graduating from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. He has also taught private and public sector labor law at University of California, Davis, and served as and Executive Committee Member of the Labor and Employment Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association.

John Provost began his career in labor shortly after graduating from San Francisco State with an undergraduate degree in Journalism. During his first post-collegiate job at local California newspaper he quickly discovered that profits reigned over quality writing and fair employment practices. John joined the International Typographical Union (ITU), where he rose as a leader among his co-workers, participating in negotiations and advocating for fellow employees as a shop steward.

Like many leaders in the labor movement, John’s experience as shop steward and rank-and-file union member led him to see the injustices in the American labor market more broadly. Motivated by his time in the ITU, Provost enrolled in the McGeorge School of Law with an interest in providing legal representation for unions and employees.

John has negotiated dozens of labor agreements and represented unions and employees in hundreds of labor arbitrations, administrative hearings, and trials during his tenure at BT&B. Over the course of Provost’s career he was a colleague and close friend of Boren Chertkov.  Provost and Chertkov shared an interest in California industries’ treatment of immigrant workers; Chertkov was a zealous advocate for immigrant workers in the agricultural industry, a legacy that Provost carries into his advocacy for immigrant women in the dairy factories of central California.

John has continued writing during his free time while practicing law, regularly contributing pieces to various labor publications. John spent his time at BMC finalizing a book draft that chronicles the story of a group of immigrant workers and their attempt to organize a large California dairy plant.

Photo credits: Trevor Nathan (Home), Karin Hayes (Community, Support Us, & Contact), & Jan Mammey (Apply).

Photo credits: Trevor Nathan (Home), Karin Hayes (Community, Support Us, & Contact), & Jan Mammey (Apply).