Santa Cruz Indymedia : http://santacruz.indymedia.org
Home
Santa Cruz Indymedia

News :: Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development

UFW Files Complaint for Giumarra Workers

The United Farm Workers formally filed
objections to the Sept. 1, Giumarra election. Giumarra workers
traveled to Sacramento today to demand the Agricultural Labor
Relations Board investigate the objections and invalidate the
election. Currently the official outcome of the election cannot
be determined until state officials resolve 171 challenged
ballots.
Grape workers ask ALRB to investigate threats and intimidation
by Giumarra

September 12, 2005--The United Farm Workers formally filed
objections to the Sept. 1, Giumarra election. Giumarra workers
traveled to Sacramento today to demand the Agricultural Labor
Relations Board investigate the objections and invalidate the
election. Currently the official outcome of the election cannot
be determined until state officials resolve 171 challenged
ballots.

Declarations signed by Giumarra workers and others, submitted
with the election objections, demonstrate the grower's serious
violations of the state farm labor law:

* Foremen warned workers they would not have company housing
next year if they voted for the UFW. Giumarra is one of the few
growers still supplying substantial farm labor housing, which is
in chronic short supply in the Central Valley.

* Giumarra family members and company officials threatened to
convert from table to wine grape production if workers voted for
the union. Table grapes demand intensive hand labor. Turning the
vines over to wine grapes--with workers picking into large
gondolas or mechanized harvesting--would mean significant losses
of jobs and hours for Giumarra workers.

* Company supervisors threatened workers with termination
because of their immigration status.

Long-standing grievances, low pay and the recent spate of
heat-related deaths among Central Valley field laborers--two of
them at Giumarra since last year--sparked the election campaign.
National labor observers describe as the largest private-sector
contested union vote in the United States during the last year.

"This is just the beginning," said UFW President Arturo
Rodriguez. "We will continue the nonviolent fight in the fields
at Giumarra until we win."

- end -
------------------------------------------------------

Help us continue the fight for Giumarra grape workers

Please help us continue the fight for Giumarra grape workers.
The UFW has just filed objections to last Thursday's election
due to widespread threats and intimidation against workers. We
are calling on the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to
invalidate the election.

Declarations signed by Giumarra workers under penalty of perjury
state the following serious violations of the California farm
labor law:

* Foremen warned workers they would not have company housing
next year if they voted for the UFW. Giumarra is one of the few
growers still supplying substantial farm labor housing, which is
in chronic short supply in the Central Valley.

* Giumarra family members and company officials threatened to
convert from table to wine grape production if workers voted for
the union. Table grapes demand intensive hand labor. Turning the
vines over to wine grapes--with workers picking into large
gondolas or mechanized harvest operations--would mean
significant losses of jobs and hours for Giumarra workers.

* Company Supervisors threaten workers with termination because
of their immigration status.

Despite these threats and intimidation by Giumarra foremen,
1,121 of the workers voted for the UFW, 1246 voted for the
company. The election will be decided when state agents resolve
challenges to 171 other ballots.

"This is just the beginning," UFW President Arturo Rodriguez
told Giumarra workers assembled after the vote count Thursday
night in Bakersfield. "We will continue the nonviolent fight in
the fields at Giumarra until we win. Because of your organizing,
you won a 25cents an hour wage increase. You helped bring about
a change in government, making California the first state in the
nation to declare emergency regulations to prevent heat deaths
in the fields."
 
 


New Comments are disabled, please visit Indybay.org/SantaCruz

Calendar

No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event

Views

Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software