Starts 10 a.m. Monday across from Capitol
Tomato workers’ daily vigil tells ALRB: ‘After 23
years of waiting, we want what we’re owed now’
1989: San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Inc. workers voted for the UFW
1994: Grower found guilty of illegally refusing to bargain with the UFW
2012: Tomato workers want ALRB to give them what they’re owed
Sacramento, Calif.—Twenty-three years is too long to wait. That’s the message farm workers from San Joaquin Tomato Growers Inc. are sending the three members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board during a daily vigil starting Monday at 10 a.m. outside their offices across the street from the state Capitol. The vigil by the tomato workers and United Farm Workers supporters will continue each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the ALRB issues a decision on their case.
• The 300 workers at San Joaquin Tomato voted for the UFW in 1989.
• The company was found guilty of bad faith bargaining in 1994. Under the ALRB’s “make-whole” remedy, the grower must pay workers the difference between what they did earn and what they would have received under a UFW contract.
• The tomato workers are owed more than $800,000 based on a neutral formula crafted by respected UC Davis agricultural economics professor Philip Martin and embraced by the ALRB. The company wants to get away with paying pennies on the dollar. After years of litigation, the case went for final decision to the ALRB members on Friday, April 20.
The case has been before the ALRB for 23 years. Current board members have been aware of it as Genevieve A. Shiroma served on the board since 1999, Cathryn Rivera-Hernandez since 2002, and Herbert "Bert" Mason served his first term as a board member in 1999.
Who: Tomato workers who have waited 23 years for the farm labor law to work.
What: Vigil demanding ALRB issue a speedy decision on the money they are owed.
When: 10 a.m., Monday, April 23, 2012 (and daily thereafter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: In front of the ALRB offices, 915 Capitol Mall (across from state Capitol).