Describing how she has leveraged her influence in the U.S. Senate to champion farm workers for more than a decade, the United Farm Workers endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein for reelection to the U.S. Senate from California. UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez issued the following statement from the union’s Keene, Calif. headquarters:
During a perilous time when farm workers and immigrants are under sustained attack, the United Farm Workers endorses Senator Feinstein because now more than ever we need a genuine champion with great experience who commands respect and authority in the United States Senate. After more than a decade of first-hand experience working directly with her, farm workers have discovered Dianne Feinstein has consistently been a tried and true champion. She is tough and sticks with you through thick and thin. Even when we have disagreed with her, we have trusted that she will strive for compromise and solutions.
Sen. Feinstein believes all people should be treated equally so last year she played a key role in helping farm workers win the first law in the U.S. providing overtime pay after eight hours a day to farm workers in California.
Over 10 years she authored four versions of UFW-sponsored legislation letting immigrant farm workers earn the right to permanently stay in this country by continuing to work in agriculture after criminal background and national security checks. She ensured fair provisions to accomplish that goal went into the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013. She introduced the Agricultural Worker Protection Act of 2017 to ensure experienced farm workers already here have the chance to legally remain as a just and workable alternative to schemes by House Republicans to reduce farm worker wages and working conditions by eliminating protections in the existing H-2A agricultural guest worker program.
Because of her seniority and the respect with which her colleagues hold her, Sen. Feinstein often brings unlikely allies to our cause. After the 2012 election, she convened well over a dozen sessions in her office with us, the growers and key Republican senators—a mark of the regard she enjoys on both sides of the aisle. Those meetings often went late into the night. Dianne Feinstein was often the only senator there the entire time. She personally read every proposal. For all she has been—a mayor, senator and former chair of the Intelligence committee—she has that rare ability to focus on what legislation actually means in the life of a farm worker or an immigrant.