In Berkeley, Farm Workers vs. Big Unions

By the Center for Worker Freedom, Special for USDR.

The Center for Worker Freedom today issued the following statement:

The City Council of Berkeley, California has on its July 8 agenda whether or not to support the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the union’s attempt to forcibly organize agricultural workers at Gerawan Farming Inc., a family-owned fruit producer in the Fresno area.

Councilman Kriss Worthington is urging the Berkeley Council to pressure Wal-Mart in a letter writing campaign to drop Gerawan as a client due to the company’s alleged and unproven violations of “human rights” and “labor laws.” The ultimate purpose of this letter writing campaign is to facilitate the unionization of Gerawan’s workforce by the UFW.

But workers at Gerawan have consistently and repeatedly expressed the desire to remain union free. Though the UFW won an election in 1990, for over 20 years the union neither bargained for the workers nor collected any dues from them. In 2012, the union returned to Gerawan demanding a contract be imposed unilaterally. Recently a majority of workers at the farm petitioned labor authorities to hold a decertification election in order to avoid being forced into an organization they want nothing to do with.

If the Berkeley City Council wishes to remain true to its progressive ideals, it should side with the workers and respect their right to decide for themselves whether or not to belong to a union, and not use Gerawan as an excuse to attack Wal-Mart and suck up to its Big Labor pay masters.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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