The California State Fair is promoting a fake narrative about the state’s hard-working farmworkers.
For the first time in 164 years, the hugely popular State Fair has an exhibit honoring farmworkers.
But one look at the exhibit shows it’s just a PR job for the UFW.
No one can deny the achievements that the UFW made for farmworkers under its founder, César Chávez. Those achievements deserve commemoration.
But the UFW has achieved nothing significant since Chávez died 24 years ago.
- Its membership has dropped more than 90 percent.
- It represents less than 1 percent of California farmworkers.
- It has stopped organizing in the fields.
- It has become a fundraising machine for members of the Chávez family and their friends.
- It cheats its own workers, as a state court recently ruled.
No other union voices allowed
The State Fair exhibit, purporting to represent all farmworkers, exclusively pushed the UFW. It didn’t allow other union voices, where farmworkers rejected the UFW in favor of joining a union that would actually do something for them.
It said nothing about new unions that farmworkers founded to represent themselves because the UFW wasn’t doing its job. It was silent about California’s newest farmworkers’ union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ).
And it left no room for voices of workers who reject the UFW and decided to work cooperatively with their employers to get better wages, conditions and benefits than the UFW could ever get for them. There was no room for voices like Pick Justice.
No criticism of ALRB
In highlighting farmworkers’ struggle for fairness, the State Fair exhibit said nothing about the state’s notorious Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which has spent $10 million to kill the workers’ ballots from a historic 2013 vote to de-certify the UFW.
The ALRB has functioned as the UFW’s armored fist, abusing government power to force workers into UFW contracts they don’t want – contracts that would compel them to pay 3 percent of their income to the politically-favored union, and forbid them to strike against the UFW.