Gerawan workers deliver ‘have a heart’ Valentine’s Day card asking for jobs and money they are owed
Fresno, CA – Farm worker leaders representing thousands of fellow Gerawan Farming Inc. employees will present a giant-sized Valentine’s Day card to management at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 13. It will ask the Gerawans to “have a heart” by rehiring pro-union laborers who were not recalled to their jobs when the pruning began last fall and by giving all Gerawan workers millions of dollars the grower is estimated to owe them in pay increases by implementing a union contract ordered by the state of California.
The workers will visit the farm’s corporate offices in Fresno, ask to speak with a Gerawan official and deliver the Valentine’s Day card.
The United Farm Workers filed formal charges in December with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board over the huge grower’s refusal to recall workers, including UFW leaders among the work force, during the pruning season that began last fall because of their support for the union. The normal practice was for the employees to be recalled to their jobs in the pruning in late October or November. The UFW sent a list of eligible workers to Gerawan, asking that they be recalled. There was no response. Many were not put back to work.
The Valentine’s Day card will also call on Gerawan to implement its workers’ first UFW contract. The ALRB ordered that the three-year contract immediately go into affect on November 19, 2013, but Gerawan has illegally refused to implement it, thereby denying its workers the right to finally enjoy the benefits of union representation and hard fought improvements at their workplace. Gerawan was paying general laborers $9 an hour in 2013; it's now paying $10 because of UFW negotiations. But if Gerawan were to implement the contract now, it would be paying $10.25 per hour and that rate would jump to $10.75 per hour next month.
Who: Gerawan worker leaders.
What: Delivering a giant-sized Valentine’s Day card to the Gerawans asking for the jobs and money they’re owned by their employer.
When: 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, 2014.
Where: Gerawan corporate offices, 7108 No. Fresno St., Fresno 93720.