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Community, Union workers call re growers march

For Release:
August 5, 1997

Supervisor announces anti-union march

Community leaders, union workers to call on
strawberry growers to avoid forcing workers into
industry’s August 10 march

Central Coast leaders and local farm workers with union contracts will call on the strawberry industry and its front groups to guarantee that workers will not be coerced into parading at an Aug.10 anti-union march in Watsonville.

A group that calls itself the Agricultural Workers of America filed a permit with Watsonville police, stating they expected to bring a crowd of as many as 7,000 marchers. The strawberry industry, including growers for the industry leader Driscoll, have long asserted they do not control the AWA.

However, the march was first announced by Antonio Perez on the KSCO Radio show Saturday Morning Agriculture. Perez is a supervisor for the large grower, Miguel Ramos Farms. He is also the brother of the company’s owner, Miguel Ramos. Literature about the march is also being heavily circulated among growers for Driscoll — the company that has been spearheading the anti-union campaign.

And, joining Perez on the KSCO broadcast was the spokesman for the Strawberry Workers and Farmers Alliance. The alliance is financed by the strawberry industry and is the creation of the Dolphin Group, a Los Angeles public relations firm.

WHAT: News conference, 3 p.m., 519 Main St., corner of Main and Lake streets. Details on grower march, appeal from community and residents that workers not be coerced into attending.

WHO: Strawberry workers, union farm workers, UFW Secretary-Treasurer Dolores Huerta, community leaders.

While the growers believe they will have as many as 7,000 people, the display will not be as strong as the April 13 march and rally by the United Farm Workers. That event drew 30,000 workers and supporters and was the largest in the history of the United Farm Workers and the Central Coast.

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