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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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 the labor force, while it takes 3 percent of their salary…

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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 UFW didn’t attach a dollar figure to its work 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 many farms. Farmworkers have been paying Arturo Rodriguez’s UFW salary…

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