UFW raises questions about ALRB and EFI agenda as it recalls collusion with Jane Fonda

By recalling its past collusion with Jane Fonda, the United Farm Workers has raised more questions about the political agendas of its partners – the state Agricultural Labor Relations board (ALRB) and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI). It’s understandable that UFW would want to pay respects to its longtime ally, Tom Hayden, after his death this weekend. But recognizing his ex-wife, Jane Fonda, in the same statement? Many farmworkers who served in the US military during the Vietnam War remember Fonda…

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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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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 truth. Writing in the Los Angeles Daily News, activist Randy…

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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 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 can’t unite Sacramento Democrats on overtime bill

The UFW isn’t as powerful as people like to think. It can’t even unite Democrats in Sacramento to support its controversial overtime legislation. As of now, 15 Democrats in the state assembly do not support AR 1066. The bill, promoted as a way to get workers more money, would actually hurt them as well as their employers. That’s why the Democrats are so divided. “Eight Democrats voted against the overtime pay legislation in June and seven abstained, even after Assembly Speaker…

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UFW-backed overtime bill will cost farmworkers 20 hours’ pay a week

Farmworkers are entitled to work up to 60 hours a week under present law. A UFW-backed measure to slash the work day to 40 hours a week will cost workers up to one-third of their income, according to a column in the Sacramento Bee. The union argues that employers will be forced to pay overtime above 40 hours a week, so the extra 20 hours a week on overtime pay is a big gain for farmworkers. That’s very nice, thank…

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How can UFW represent farmworkers, when it has so few members?

How can a group with a tiny membership claim to represent the vast majority who are not members? Somehow the UFW does it. By some counts, the UFW represents less than 1 percent of California’s farmworkers. The UFW claims only 10,000 members, at most. And even that number is dubious, since it represents a spike that doubled membership in just a year – the same year the UFW claimed to represent the 5,000 or so Gerawan farmworkers who were trying…

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Damaged goods: Costco joins UFW “equitable food” front group

In what promises to be a blow to its brand image, Costco has teamed up with a UFW front group to that will funnel money into the dying union and mislead customers into thinking that non-approved produce is “unsafe.” The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a Washington, DC-based lobby chaired by UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson. Costco is heavily involved with EFI. The Initiative’s board secretary, Preston Witt, is Costco’s “Manager Supplier Code,” according to the EFI website. Another EFI…

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UFW takes 3% of members’ salaries so its leaders can ride in limos

Here’s a troubling picture: UFW leaders ride around in a stretch limousine while they push for the state to force workers to fork over 3% of their hard-earned income to the union. This is a real abuse of trust. The UFW leaders are so arrogant that they placed the union logo on the side. Pick Justice photographed the UFW limo on Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield, California, on May 28, 2016.

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State Senate President de Leon tells UFW it must fight for workers to earn $10 an hour

The UFW must fight for California farmworkers to earn a $10 minimum wage. That’s what state Senate President Kevin de Leon told the UFW convention this weekend in Bakersfield. “It’s our goal to have better working conditions and better salaries, to earn $10 an hour which is today legally the minimum wage,” de Leon said, according to the Bakersfield Californian. Gerawan Farming pays its workers a base pay of $12 an hour. With no help from the UFW. If employers…

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ALRB exposes corruption of one-party state (like PRI in Mexico)

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board fiasco to suppress the votes of farmworkers has exposed the corruption of one-party states throughout history. In California’s one-party state reminiscent of Mexico’s PRI, the ALRB operates like a kangaroo court. Steven Greenhut of Sacramento writes about the ironies in a thoughtful American Spectator article. “People vote in an election. The government suspects the vote will go against its allies, so it seizes the ballots. Officials overseeing the election seem to be in cahoots with the suspected losers. They hold…

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ALRB approved: Here’s what the UFW says you get for 3% of your salary

On its website, the UFW describes the value of membership in the union. What value do you, as a UFW worker, get for the 3% of your pre-tax income, or an average of $600.00 a year? Practically nothing. Somehow this is OK with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The UFW site says, “The following benefits are reserved for UFW Union Members that pay 3% dues and are members in good standing.” Those benefits are: Life insurance policies that…

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