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UFW Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge against Lynn-Ette Farms Owner Darren Roberts

Kent, NY – On September 5th, workers represented by the UFW were denied contact with their UFW representative by the aggressive and allegedly illegal actions of Darren Roberts, the owner of Lynn-Ette Farms, a vegetable producer in Orleans County, New York. During a routine worker meeting with a UFW organizer at an outdoor picnic table near workers’ homes, Roberts pulled up in his pick-up truck, surveilled the meeting, and ultimately approached the UFW representative and demanded they leave, threatening to call the police. Despite interrupting a meeting of Spanish-speaking workers, Roberts also demanded to be addressed in English. After the UFW representative informed workers and Roberts that workers had a right to meet with and have guests in their homes, UFW representatives say Roberts then coerced a worker, in full view of the UFW representative and other workers, into saying that the UFW representative should not return to their home.

According to an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed by the UFW with New York’s Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), Darren Roberts’ actions were clearly meant to intimidate workers and obstruct their ability to have contact with their union representative. The United Farm Workers is certified to represent the workers at Lynn-Ette farms and is in the process of negotiating a union contract. The charge, which was filed on September 13th, alleges that the actions of Darren Roberts amount to an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) under New York state law.

“For decades, the products and profits of Lynn-Ette farms have been thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the farm workers who plant, tend to, and harvest the crops,” said UFW Secretary-Treasuer Armando Elenes. “That’s why these workers chose to form a union – and no amount of intimidation will change that fact.”