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?
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 pay between $2,000 and $20,000 after you die.
- A “UFW photo ID card & protective sleeve with discount codes.”
- A 20 percent discount on UFW Foundation services “unless they have special pricing days and events.”
- A home mortgage program with Wells Fargo bank that will “help you pay for your house up to 6 months if you qualify when you are unemployed, on strike, or on disability.”
- Scholarships for “qualified” students.
- Other discounts on things from companies that support the UFW.
That’s all. Nothing else. The UFW doesn’t promise to advocate for you. It doesn’t promise to pay your missing wages if you become unemployed. It doesn’t promise a strike fund to support your family if you go on strike. It doesn’t promise legal representation to help you in an employer dispute. On its list of “member benefits,” the UFW promises NOTHING else to its members.
The UFW doesn’t even promise to fight for its members to earn the best wages possible!
What’s the value of those UFW benefits for 3% of your salary, or about $600 a year?
- The life insurance is worth, at most, $144 a year. A $2,000 term life insurance policy costs about $3 a month, or $36 a year. A $20,000 term life insurance policy costs about $12 a month, or $144 a year.
- The UFW photo ID card has no value. The discount codes matter only if you buy certain products from companies that support the UFW.
- The 20 percent discount means that you pay the UFW Foundation 80 percent of the total.
- If you have a $100,000 mortgage, you’d pay just a few dollars a month for the same short-term unemployment or disability insurance.
- The scholarships are worth only $500 to $1000 each, and very few students receive them. The UFW says it gave scholarships to only 57 students in five years. That’s about 10 students a year. It appears that the scholarship program is over, as the UFW hasn’t even updated its website for scholarships for the 2016-17 school year.
- The other company discounts require you to buy their products first – discounts that you can get for free if you shop around for them.
So what does the UFW do with all the money it takes from you? A lot of its money goes straight to pay political cronies, lobbyists (like ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s political ally), lawyers, and the UFW leadership itself. Click here to see.
Does the UFW fight for its members to get the best wages possible? No. The dues-paying UFW members at nearby San Joaquin Tomato, Pacific Triple-E, and Papagni farms who earn between $9.00 and $9.02 an hour – taking home sub-minimum wage after the UFW takes its 3% cut.
The UFW made a deal with the political establishment in Sacramento for workers to wait until 2018 before earning an $11 hourly minimum wage. Despite the UFW abandoning them for 20 years, Gerawan farmworkers already earn a base pay of $11 an hour. Yet the ALRB still refuses to count the votes of Gerawan workers from 2013, when the ALRB supervised balloting on whether or not to de-certify the UFW.