Brown axes Future Farmers & spends $10 million to attack farmworkers who don’t support him

Governor Jerry Brown used to stand up for the little guy. Now he’s de-funding important an entrepreneurial program to help kids become farmers, while spending $10 million on an agency that has put 2,500 Central Valley farmworkers out of work. All the while, Brown is siding with special interests like the UFW, which represents less than 1% of California farmworkers but rakes in a lot of guilt-and-nostalgia money for his…

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Court slaps another $770,000 judgment on UFW

A real California judge slapped the UFW with another $770,000 judgment, raising the total levied against the floundering union to $2 million. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ordered the UFW to pay a law firm $770,000 in legal fees after finding the UFW guilty of defrauding its own workers. Earlier, the court ordered UFW to pay $1.2 million in damages to the UFW’s former employees whom it had…

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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.…

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Activist admits Latinos have no national spokesperson

A Latino Lives Matter activist admits that nobody acts as a voice for Latinos at the national level. This doesn’t surprise us, of course, because there is no credible spokesman in the state of California. The United Farm Workers (UFW) claims to represent working Latinos, but it doesn’t. UFW’s total membership equals only 1% of California farmworkers, so for the union to claim to represent farmworkers is to stretch the…

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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…

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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…

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UFW silent as robot readies to replace farmworkers

The first fruit-picking prototype robot proves that it is practical to harvest apples by machine. This video of the prototype robot has been on YouTube for five months – but the UFW hasn’t said a word. Why has the UFW been silent about a technological breakthrough that promises dramatic changes in the livelihoods of farmworkers? Is the UFW simply content to keep its members down, as the most humble people in…

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UFW calls $7.50 a day a ‘dignified wage’

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez is bragging that his union will raise farmworkers’ salaries by a whopping 50 percent in 5 years. But not in California. Rodriguez and UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson were in Nicaragua this week to push for the 50 percent raise for local farmworkers in the mountains of Matagalpa. A fifty percent raise sounds like a lot. But in Nicaragua, it’s very little, which is why the…

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Why is UFW organizing in foreign countries, when it stopped organizing in California?

Dues-paying members of the United Farm Workers ought to ask union president Arturo Rodriguez what he’s doing with the 3 percent of their salary that the UFW takes out of their paychecks. They might ask, “Why is the UFW organizing people in Nicaragua, when it stopped organizing in California?” Earlier this year, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board Chairman William Gould lamented that union organizing had “completely disappeared” in the state’s…

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