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Chronology of Krug-Mondavi
1975: In one of the first union representation elections
conducted under California’s pioneering farm labor law,
Napa Valley workers at Charles Krug Winery—owned and operated
by the Peter Mondavi family for three generations—vote to
be represented by the United Farm Workers in a state-conducted
1975-1981: It takes six years for Krug-Mondavi to
agree to its first union contract. The three-year agreement is
1991: Workers wage an eight-year fight to renew their
contract, finally winning a new agreement in 2000.
Oct. 13, 2005: With the contract set to expire at the
end of 2005, workers and their union begin bargaining. Two other
negotiations sessions are held, on Oct. 26, 2005 and Nov. 7, 2005.
The company responds with a deaf ear to the UFW’s proposals,
insisting “there is only so much money in the pot.”
This despite its status as the 15th top U.S. wine company in annual
cases sold (Wine Business Monthly’s 2004 ratings) and a
$21.6 million nine-year capital improvement program scheduled
for completion in 2008, according to its web site. More than 400
of the winery’s 850 prime acres in the Napa Valley have
been re-planted and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment has
been purchased. (See: http://www.charleskrug.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/vineyards.redevelopment/)
Dec. 29, 2005: In a letter, the UFW states its intent
to extend the union contract. The company refuses.
Dec. 31, 2005: The contract expires.
Jan. 25, 2006: The company unexpectedly notifies the
union by letter that it intends to turn over operations to a so-called
“land manager,” essentially a farm labor contractor.
Feb. 21, 2006: The Napa Valley Register newspaper reports
attorneys for women workers at Krug-Mondavi who accuse winery
foremen of sexual harassment are scheduled to discuss their cases
at a court hearing in July.
April 3, 2006: Krug-Mondavi notifies the UFW by letter
of its unilateral decision to eliminate in-house farming operations
and switch over to an outside land manager who will respond to
winery management as of July 1, 2006. The company says it will
fire all of its workers on July 1, 2006.
April 6, 2006: The union argues subcontracting out
all work performed by workers in the bargaining unit violates
the law and requests additional information from the company with
which to evaluate its proposed action.
May 2, 2006: The UFW files an unfair labor practice
charge with the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board over
the winery’s failure to respond to requests for relevant
May 19, 2006: A face-to-face bargaining session is
held with UFW President Arturo Rodriguez participating. The company
contends this is not a negotiating meeting and the winery will
only discuss the effects of its decision to subcontract out the
work because Krug-Mondavi has already decided to turn operations
over to a so-called land manager and fire the workers.
Meanwhile, the company acts harshly against workers, many of them
longtime employees, refusing requests for regular personal leaves,
failing to recall women workers after maternity leaves, denying
paid holiday benefits, taking away workers’ seniority and
terminating workers in violation of their seniority protections.
June 2, 2006: Krug-Mondavi workers kick off a campaign
asking their company to avoid a nationwide boycott of Krug-Mondavi
wines by abandoning plans to fire the workers and instead engaging
in good-faith negotiations for a new union contract. The drive
features extensive use of the Internet that proved so successful
in winning a renewed agreement for Gallo workers in Sonoma County
during 2005. The UFW also files unfair labor practice charges
with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board over bad faith bargaining
and discrimination by the company in preventing workers from engaging
in union activities.
June 15, 2006: Krug-Mondavi workers join supporters
and UFW President Arturo Rodriguez in declaring a boycott of Charles
Krug and C.K. Mondavi wine labels during a rally and news conference
on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.
June 15, 2006 thru present: Boycott activities include
a sustained Internet campaign that proved so effective in last
year’s successful effort to win a new contract with Gallo
of Sonoma; direct appeals to the country’s largest wine
distributors, wine retailers and supermarkets to honor the boycott;
regular vigils by workers and supporters staged outside the Krug-Mondavi
vineyard on Hwy. 29, near St. Helena in Napa Valley; and marches
by hundreds of farm workers and supporters promoting the boycott.
July 7, 2006: Krug-Mondavi fires all of the existing
direct hire vineyard workers, while future work was offered to
farm labor contractor workers. Three workers have 30-33 years
of service with the company; three have from 18-29 years; two
have 11-17 years; 16 have 5-7 years.
The firings occurred just after the state Agricultural Labor
Relations Board told the winery it was filing a formal complaint
against the winery.
July 11, 2006: The ALRB files an official complaint
against the Charles Krug-Mondavi vineyard alleging Krug-Mondavi
has no right to refuse to bargain with its vineyard workers over
renewing their UFW contract and has no right to fire the workers.
August 29, 2006: The UFW files charges alleging that
on or about July 7, 2006, and continuing, the employer violated
the Act as follows: by making a unilateral change in terminating
all direct hire agricultural employees without bargaining in good
faith; and by discriminating against said direct hire employees
based on their union and other protected concerted activity.
September 15, 2006: The UFW files charges alleging
the employer made an unlawful unilateral change when it terminated
Carmen Medina and Lorena Martinez while they were on maternity
October 24, 2006: UFW files complaint against Jack
Neal and Sons—the farm labor contractor who took over their
jobs—alleging that the FLC violated the law by denying work
to qualified workers based on their union membership. This charge
happened after many of the qualified terminated workers applied
to work, but none of them were hired.
November 21, 2006: Krug-Mondavi workers turn in more
than 17,000 signatures to the company from consumers pledging
to support boycott.