Raspberry workers laboring for Premiere Raspberries LLC will gather at 12 noon today (Wednesday) at the Well-Pict cooler in Watsonville demanding their company comply with an Aug. 29 ruling by the full Agricultural Labor Relations Board ordering the grower to implement a union contract. Well-Pick distributes all of Premiere’s raspberries.
The ALRB last month soundly rejected Premiere’s refusal to negotiate with the United Farm Workers, affirmed a union contract issued by a neutral state mediator and ordered one of the state’s largest raspberry growers to honor the agreement. Watsonville-based Premiere was also ordered to pay its approximately 550 workers the difference between wages and benefits they did receive and what they would have earned under their UFW contract had the grower bargained in good faith since Dec. 29, 2017.
The three-year union contract laid out in the mediator’s decision and ordered implemented by the ALRB under California’s Mandatory Mediation Law includes 15 percent pay raises over three years; family health benefits; eight paid holidays a year and three paid days for funeral leave; paid vacations; 25¢ per hour contributions to the union pension plan; paid jury duty; a grievance procedure and other benefits.
Premiere workers voted for the UFW in a state-supervised secret-ballot election conducted by the ALRB on Aug. 9, 2017. The UFW requested negotiations with Premiere on Dec. 7 & 20, 2017. The company lawyer responded on Dec. 29, 2017, informing the union the firm would not negotiate pending a judicial review.
Who: Workers from Premiere Raspberries LLC.
What: Protesting the company’s refusal to implement a state-ordered union contract.
When: 12 noon, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Where: Well-Pict cooler, 209 Riverside Rd., Watsonville 95076.