Thousands of Central Valley farmworkers celebrated Labor Day earning the highest wages in the industry. Each one earns more than their United Farm Worker brethren for the same job.
These highest-paid California farmworkers, at Gerawan Farming, don’t need the UFW. Three years ago, they voted to decertify the UFW. But Sacramento officials still won’t count the ballots.
Failing as a collective bargainer, UFW sold itself to political elites. Both pushed for government-imposed minimum wage and overtime. That made great election-season headlines, but the benefits won’t materialize for years. Even then, the pay will still be less than what every Gerawan worker earns today.
The overtime debate oozed with rhetoric on need for “dignity” and “rights that all Californians have.” But not for workers who vote against the UFW.
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When promoting the overtime law, UFW ignored farmworkers’ requests for legal protection so overtime workers won’t lose their jobs.
The UFW is killing good farm jobs. It knew beforehand that 2,500 high-paid grape workers would lose their jobs once Sacramento forced Gerawan to uproot its vineyards. But UFW did nothing.
Now with state help, UFW is poaching farmworkers from other unions.
Let’s enjoy each Labor Day without the UFW racket.
Jesse Rojas, Bakersfield