Farm Workers Want Nothing To Do With The Union That Cesar Chavez Built

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With wages and benefits better than what their unionized counterparts make, a large group of California agricultural workers have petitioned the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board to hold a secret-ballot election–saying they are being forced into the United Farm Workers.

About 200 farm workers gathered Monday at the Visalia office of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, 1642 W. Walnut Avenue, to protest the United Farm Workers union. The group of protesters, which was comprised primarily of workers employed by Gerawan Farming, said that they are being forced to join the UFW against their will.

Gerawan has operations in Fresno, Madera, Reedley and Sanger. The workers assembled in Visalia because the Visalia office has jurisdiction over this particular issue.

According to the protesters, the UFW is forcing Gerawan’s employees to join the union and pay dues — three percent of their earnings — in exchange for collective bargaining rights, which workers say they do not need.

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