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Chronology of Krug-Mondavi & UFW
 
  • 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 secret-ballot election.

  • 1975-1981: It takes six years for Krug-Mondavi to agree to its first union contract. The three-year agreement is renegotiated twice.

  • 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 information.

  • 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 leave.

  • 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.

November 2006