CLARIFICATION: Workers seek Wal-Mart’s support against Gerawan - The Packer

CLARIFICATION: Workers seek Wal-Mart’s support against Gerawan

05/23/2014 01:46:00 PM
Coral Beach

The same week a federal judge denied a request from Gerawan Farming Inc. to dismiss a class action suit regarding labor issues, farm workers planned to take their case to individual Wal-Mart store managers, asking them to hold the grower to the retailer’ corporate standards for suppliers.

Farm workers were scheduled to protest at Wal-Mart stores across the country on May 22, according to a news release from the United Farm Workers of America union.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said May 23 that the company did not have a comment regarding the UFW’s protests. The farm workers contend Gerawan does not comply with Wal-Mart’s supplier standard requiring compliance with labor laws.

Two days before their planned campaign to seek Wal-Mart’s support for their cause, farm workers won a preliminary round against the family-owned grower in California when U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii denied Gerawan’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit.

That lawsuit, filed in February, raises similar issues that California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board is alleging against Gerawan Farming, Fresno, Calif., including pay rates, rest breaks and other working conditions.

Dan Gerawan, owner of the business founded by his father in 1938, has consistently denied violating any laws or regulations and contends workers at his operations do not want to be part of the union. The company’s website — — includes numerous employee testimonials about how Gerawan has helped them individually and as a group.

The UFW news release said the workers targeted Wal-Mart for their May 23 protest because the retailer is “one of the largest buyers of Prima-brand plums, peaches, nectarines and grapes produced by Gerawan.”

Note on clarification: The original version of this story reported that the workers who are pursuing a federal class action against Gerawan Farming are raising the same issues as have been raised by the ALRB. The issues are not identical, but are similar.

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Chuck Niwrad    
Fresno, CA  |  May, 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

"Farm workers" in this article is used in a way that implies all farm workers are the same. In this case, there is a small group of farm workers who are loyal to or have been recruited by the UFW, and another, larger group, who does not want to be represented by the UFW. You should make that distinction, otherwise, it implies that the UFW speaks for all farm workers, and that is certainly not the case.

Veg 1    
Salinas  |  May, 25, 2014 at 07:43 PM

On a good day I'm for UFW and on a bad day I'm against. There was a reason for everything and why it started. . . but it looks like central valley is still bitter...

John Rankin    
Orange Cove, CA  |  May, 26, 2014 at 02:58 PM

Several interesting things happening here: UFW Pres. Arturo Rodriguez physically assaulted Gerawan worker Silvia Lopez. UFW is obstructing the workers votes decertification votes from being counted. ALRB is in complete collusion with the UFW. ALRB is breaking the law to coerce these workers into the UFW. ALRB & UFW, while NOT counting the workers votes, are attempting to force the workers into the UFW through court order. Meanwhile, UFW employees want to organize union representation for themselves & UFW leaders are harassing, threatening, locking out & firing their employees who want to organize. Farmworkers are disenfranchised from their vote, UFW employees are disenfranchised from their right of collective bargaining and the ALRB & UFW are in collusion. Where is the legislative oversight? Where is Henry T. Perea & the democrats?

Veg 1    
Salinas  |  May, 27, 2014 at 12:31 AM So, what is this? Is this an opinion/rant article?

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