Saturday, May 21 convention session
All day: UFW Foundation Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited representatives will provide free consultation about immigration benefits and screening for eligibility for naturalization, DACA, DAPA/DACA+ and other relief. A free naturalization workshop is scheduled for 50 people who have signed up.
10 a.m.: Honoring UFW veterans of the historic 1965 grape strike, 1966 Delano-to-Sacramento march and the 1966 Rio Grande Valley, Texas melon strike and march. Farm labor and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta speaks.
10:40 a.m.: “Internal Organizing” report on recent union negotiating gains significantly boosting pay and benefits for farm workers, including new or re-negotiated pacts with some of the nation’s largest vegetable, strawberry, mushroom, wine grape, tomato and dairy companies. These contracts bring important wage hikes—from highs averaging $45,000 to $48,000 a year for mushroom pickers and pay of $23.84 an hour for the average fresh tomato picker to an average of $1 above what MIT calculates families need to decently live given the cost of living in local communities. Many UFW contracts feature full family medical coverage and dental and vision benefits. Union health and pension programs over the years have paid out about $500 million. See: http://www.ufw.org/_board.php?mode=view&b_code=16_news&b_no=18266&page=1&field=&key=&n=5
1 p.m.: Address by California state Treasurer John Chiang.
1:30 p.m.: President’s Report from UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez.
2 p.m.: Address by California Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.
4:15 p.m.: Legal report on how the UFW is making gains for farm workers outside of union contracts by helping them file major wage and hour litigation to recover pay when they are cheated and by helping them bring gender discrimination lawsuits. Federal class-action litigation includes: Wage-and-hour suits covering tens of thousands of farm workers underway against Delano Farms and Gerawan Farming Inc.; a lawsuit filed for roughly 10,000 workers at Giumarra Vineyards who didn’t get paid for meal periods and had to buy their own tools; another suit over wage theft involving about 5,000 grape workers at Sunview Vineyards being settled for $4.5 million; and a lawsuit settled for $1.6 million in 2008 against Kovacevich Farms over the grower’s refusal to hire women.
5 p.m.: Address by California Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D- San Diego) on AB 2757, “The Phase-in Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016,” her bill to provide state farm workers with the same overtime pay after eight hours a day that nearly all other American workers have received since the 1930s.