Hundreds of mushroom workers are rising up against the UFW, accusing the union of being in cahoots with the employer to slash workers’ wages.
Edith Ruiz, a leader of 300 Monterey Mushrooms protesters, says that the UFW and the company want to cut the workers’ salaries almost in half – to minimum wage – and that the UFW is trying to convince the workers to go along.
“We are demonstrating because they what to lower our salaries,” Ruiz told Stephanie Magallon of Telemundo 23.
“We feel that the union is supporting the company, it isn’t supporting the workers,” she said. “It isn’t supporting us. So we are fighting for our salaries.”
UFW tries to convince workers that the wage cut is good for them
“They want to cut our salary in the new contract that we’re negotiating. Us workers are organizing to do this demonstration without the support of the union, because it [the UFW] is trying to convince us that the contract is good,” Ruiz said in Spanish.
“They want to cut us to minimum wage. $10.50,” she said.
The cut, she said, is “huge” – almost half of what the workers are presently earning. “It’s going to be a huge cost to us,” Ruiz said. “The cost of living is increasing all the time.”
There is no public record that the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is intervening to ensure that the workers are treated fairly by their employer and the UFW.