UFW is focusing its operations offshore, union co-founder Dolores Huerta says.
Huerta tells The Progressive, “the UFW is taking action in Mexico, Central, and South America against miserable farm worker pay and conditions and is working to produce safer, higher quality food while improving wages and other protections.”
Huerta has come a long way from the days that she denounced foreign-born farmworkers as “wetbacks.”
Agricultural Labor Relations Board Chairman William Gould lamented in January that UFW organizing in California “has completely disappeared.”
UFW now teams with big business, not workers
It looks like UFW has moved away from a business model that organizes workers in the United States and collects dues from them and improves their conditions.
Instead, UFW has teamed up with huge retailers like Costco to give its seal of approval to produce sold in its mega-stores (and presumably gets a cut of the profit). The scheme, called the Equitable Food Initiative, looks like a Big Business way to save an iconic, but dying, union.
ALRB chairman says California workers don’t want UFW any more
California farmworkers don’t want unions any more, according to the ALRB chairman. Gould says that in the past two years, NO California farmworkers have petitioned to join a union. He cites many cases of farmworkers fighting to de-certify the unions that claim to represent them.
César Chávez used pejoratives to describe migrant workers
Like Huerta, UFW founder César Chávez called undocumented workers from Mexico “illegals” and “wetbacks.” Here is a video of the farmworker leader in a KQED interview on September 25, 1972: