Gerawan workers call on company to immediately implement their first union contract ordered by the state
Fresno, CA − Farm workers at Gerawan Farming Inc. will use a 2 p.m. news conference today (Thursday, Nov. 21) to demand that their giant tree fruit and table grape employer immediately implement their first union contract that was ordered this week by the state of California.
California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board on Tuesday issued the final contract between Gerawan and the United Farm Workers of America on behalf of the workers at the Fresno-based firm after it was hammered out by a neutral mediator under the state’s binding mediation law. In doing so, the farm labor board rejected Gerawan’s argument "that the mediator’s findings of material fact were clearly erroneous, or that the provisions fixed in his report [constituting the contract] were arbitrary or capricious in light of his findings of fact."
The workers at Gerawan and their union are asking the company to abide by the ALRB’s decision.
After months of failed negotiations between the UFW and the employer, the workers used the binding mediator statute to request that a mediator chosen by both parties resolve the disagreements between the employees and employer.
Through the union contract, the workers won substantial wage increases and benefits, including at least a 12.5 percent wage hike over the life of the agreement, more paid holidays and bonuses. The contract includes other worker protections and establishes a seniority system to protect the job rights of employees.
Who: Gerawan Farming Inc. farm workers, UFW National Vice President Armando Elenes.
What: Demanding Gerawan implement the workers’ first union contract issued this week by the state.
When: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 at 2 p.m.
Where: UFW Foundation, 2409 Merced Street, Suite 103, Fresno 93721.