As we enjoy the holiday season and look forward to the New Year, I want to ask you to join our holiday pledge drive. Make your gift of any amount or even make a New Year’s resolution that lasts all year long by joining our monthly pledge program.
It has been an exciting year for the United Farm Workers. We've been out there daily fighting for farm worker rights and we’ve been winning. This year we've renegotiated 10 contracts, covering 1,150 workers in the wine grapes, mushrooms, fruit, vegetable, roses, and strawberry industries. In this age of salary and benefit cuts, we are proud of the fact that we were able to improve each and every one of the UFW contracts we renegotiated.
UFW organizers are out in the fields fighting for farm workers on a daily basis to protect farm workers as they labor to bring food to our table. Our efforts have gotten workers their jobs back after unjust firings and we've been instrumental in getting workers paid thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
We hope to do the same at Ruby Ridge dairy in Washington State, where workers told us more than a dozen suspected union activists were fired. With the support of the UFW, a number of those workers have filed suit against Ruby Ridge. Ruby Ridge subsequently filed a countersuit against the workers and the UFW in what we believe is a blatant attempt to silence workers.
We've fought for new laws to protect farm workers. On Labor Day weekend, we concluded a 13-day, 200 mile march at the California state capitol. The march was for Fair Treatment legislation, which Gov. Jerry Brown had already previously vetoed this session--despite farm workers sitting at the governor's office for 12 straight days. We didn't give up after the veto. In the spirit of Si Se Puede, we went back and marched like farm workers do. Midway through the march, Gov. Brown put forth his own proposal of how to solve the problem.
There is still more to do. This past summer, there was one confirmed farm worker death from heat and Cal-OSHA is investigating three more deaths. The UFW is doing everything we can to ensure that no more farm workers fall victim to the heat including continuing our lawsuit against the State of California. In addition, we will be introducing new heat legislation and other laws to protect farm workers next year.
Please help us bring justice to the fields when we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2012. Can you commit to making a single or monthly gift of $10, $15 or more to help the UFW organize farm workers? No amount is too much or too little. Even a few dollars in this season of sharing will help us get stronger and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
Thank you and Si Se Puede!
To make your single gift, go to: https://secure.ufw.org/page/contribute/holiday11
To make your monthly gift, go to: https://secure.ufw.org/page/contribute/holiday11reoccuring