Growers learn how Equitable Food Initiative can damage their brand

Growers across the United States and the hemisphere are learning how the Equitable Food Initiative can damage their brand. Pick Justice is at the Produce Marketing Association’s annual Fresh Summit convention to explain to farmers how the EFI – headed by a top UFW official – can damage their brands. Our activists are talking to exhibitors to explain that, by having the UFW so involved with EFI certification of farms and food production, the growers are subjecting themselves to UFW’s…

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UFW membership has shrunk to 5,580 paying members nationwide

The United Farm Workers has allowed its membership to shrink to a tiny fraction of what it was. This has crippled UFW’s ability to stay solvent to defend worker rights. UFW’s official dues-paying membership is now only 5,580 people in the entire United States, according to the Los Angeles Times. There are more than 700,000 farmworkers in the state of California alone. Even if all paid UFW members were in California, the entire membership would represent only 0.79 percent of…

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Abused mushroom workers demand new UFW leadership

Mushroom workers, feeling abused by their employer and the UFW, demand new leadership at the flailing union. “Some 300 workers went on strike against the UFW and Monterey Mushroom” on May 25, “demanding a pay raise, just treatment from their managers, and new leadership in the UFW,” KION-TV reported. This is the first time in memory that UFW members have protested in large numbers to demand an end to the UFW’s ineffective – and what some allege to be morally corrupt…

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Cesar Chavez Day 2017: A black eye for the Chavez legacy

The ALRB and UFW are so openly against farmworkers that they have damaged Cesar Chavez’s legacy. On the week of Cesar Chavez Day, the state agency and union earned the following headlines: “Corruption and collusion in California labor board,” Forbes, March 26. “Farmworker union underpaid its own workers, judge rules,” Los Angeles Times, March 30. “The ALRB and UFW: Partners in crime,” Fresno Bee, March 30. Pick Justice illustrated the tragedy on its new website, CesarChavezDay.com. We posted an iconic image…

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Court slaps $1.2 million judgment on UFW for cheating its employees

The UFW has cheated is own employees of their wages, and must pay them $885,000 in back pay, a Monterey County court has found. With penalties added, the UFW will be out $1.2 million. Reporting the judgment, the Los Angeles Times noted the irony. “The union founded on the principle of protecting wage abuses will have to shell out” the money because it abused its own workers, the Times reported. The UFW fired the main plaintiff, Francisco Cerritos, because he…

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Gould agrees with what we have been saying: UFW is lazy and does not represent 99% of us

In his angry parting words to Governor Jerry Brown, ALRB Chairman William B. Gould admitted what Pick Justice has been saying along: the UFW has become a lazy, phony union and it does not represent 99% of farmworkers. The UFW, Gould said, has “absolutely no interest in organizing the unorganized.” It was a pretty shocking thing to say for a lifelong union man who has done so much to help ALRB serve as a UFW instrument. But Gould said it…

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LA Times treats UFW and UFW front as two separate groups

The Los Angeles Times is treating the UFW one of its front organizations as two separate groups. In a January 12 story on produce standards in Mexico, the Times quoted UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson as a critic. That’s proper journalism. But the Times then quoted someone from the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) as a separate authority – without disclosing that UFW VP Nicholson is Chairman of EFI. That’s sloppy journalism. To put it kindly. EFI says it’s to help…

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Houweling’s rotten tomatoes

Houweling’s Tomatoes is in a toxic partnership with a UFW front group to try to show its customers that it’s “helping” farm workers. Houweling’s seems not to care that the UFW is in collusion with politicians to force contracts on workers who vote NOT to be part of the union that neglected them for a generation. The UFW front group, called the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), is a lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and partnered with low-cost retail giants…

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UFW chief laughs with Houweling CEO at big industry convention

UFW can’t get worker support, so it’s kissing up to farmers, who give something juicy in return. United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez acted like a big industry CEO at the Delaware-based Produce Marketing Association‘s #FreshSummit in Orlando, Florida last week. Houweling’s Tomatoes let Arturo have a little squeeze, according to its Facebook page. In this picture, Arturo looks like he’s part of the industry now. Who does the UFW represent now – the farmworkers? Or the produce industry. His picture…

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Fresno Bee picks up on our WikiLeaks story about secret UFW deal against workers

The Fresno Bee has picked up on our story about how WikiLeaks released an email about a secret deal between the UFW and Hillary Clinton to smash our farmworker movement. “Hillary Clinton agreed to help United Farm Workers in its conflict with Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, according to internal campaign emails exposed this week by WikiLeaks,” Andrea Castillo reports in the Bee. “The Clinton campaign, however, is questioning the veracity of all the WikiLeaks emails, and held a conference call Friday…

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WikiLeaks exposes secret Clinton pledge against farmworker voters in exchange for UFW support

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton secretly promised to help the UFW suppress the votes of thousands of Central Valley farmworkers. WikiLeaks released an internal Clinton campaign email last week that exposed the secret February 21, 2016 pledge. Clinton made the promise as part of a deal for the UFW’s political endorsement against rival Bernie Sanders. After promising to do “everything possible” against Gerawan farmworkers, Clinton met in private with UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, the email shows. “She [Clinton] was asked to…

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UFW exempts itself from new overtime law

UFW used its influence with politicians to exempt itself from California’s new overtime law. “They’ve changed the rules of the game, which now they’re excluded from, but everyone else has to comply. So, they’ve literally re-written the rules to put themselves in safer because they don’t have to comply and everyone else does,” Assemblyman Devon Mathis told CBS Fresno. The UFW claims that that’s a lie. So CBS ran the wording of AB 1066, the new overtime law, past legal expert…

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UFW sexism and homophobia drove lesbian organizer out of union

Many union organizers have objected to the United Farm Workers’ old-boy network that they say marginalizes women, indigenous people, and political progressives. They’ve kept their complaints quiet for fear of upsetting the political establishment in Sacramento. Those politicians, led by Senator Kevin de Leon and Governor Jerry Brown, have pretended not to notice the UFW’s backwardness. But some organizers have been vocal. A lesbian Indigenous former UFW organizer writes that she experienced an atmosphere of sexism, discrimination, and homophobia among…

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UFW is the new One Percent

The UFW has organized only 1 percent of farmworkers in California and is deficient in many ways. Yet it’s moving its operations offshore to Mexico and Central America to organize cheap labor for big business like Costco. Farmworkers are being sold out. What about the other 99 percent? With its membership just a fraction of what it was and almost no organizing in California fields, the United Farm Workers has begun moving its operations offshore to provide its partner Costco…

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