Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Greetings from the UFW

Arturo and Sonia Rodriguez
As we enjoy the holiday season and look forward to the New Year, I want to ask you to join our holiday pledge drive. Please make your gift of any amount or even make a New Year’s resolution that lasts all year long by joining our monthly pledge program.
2014 was an extremely busy year for the UFW. We are proud of all we accomplished on a slim budget. We negotiated contracts for thousands of workers in the citrus, berry, wine grape, vegetable, flower and almond industries. We were able to improve each and every one of the UFW contracts we renegotiated.
Besides this, we are working intensely to bring the benefits of a UFW contract to the more than 5,000 workers at Gerawan Farming -- who sell their fruit under the Prima label. It’s a hard battle as Gerawan believes they are above the law. For the last three months our attorneys have been in court presenting testimony that Gerawan committed a litany of violations against its workers who are fighting hard for their contract. Already, more than  60 workers have testified in this hearing, many attesting to intimidation and unlawful company interference in efforts to get rid of the UFW. The hearings are expected to last through January and a decision isn't expected until at least next summer.

We are on the front lines of government doing all we can to enact meaningful legislation that will make a difference in the lives of farm workers. In California in 2014 we were key players in bills such as SB1087 that protects farm workers from sexual harassment; SB1360 that ensures that workers get paid for heat recovery periods; and AB1897 that holds companies accountable for wages and benefits paid to workers even when they are supplied by a labor contractor. Statewide and nationally we have also been working hard to keep farm workers and consumers safe from irresponsible pesticide use.
An accomplishment we’re very proud of is our work as part of a coalition that will take at least 250,000 farm workers out of the shadows through President Obama’s executive order granting them temporary legal status.
The nationwide release of Diego Luna’s Cesar Chavez movie gave us the opportunity to share Cesar’s rich legacy with the world. But nothing pleased us more than having a special premiere showing of the movie before an audience of more than 1,100 farm workers who traveled on buses from across California to the UFW’s 40 Acres birthplace and seeing their faces light up at seeing their struggle captured on the big screen.
Let’s do it all again next year and more! Please make a gift of any amount or even become a Si Se Puede® Society monthly donor and make a gift that lasts all year long. Even a few dollars in this season of sharing will help us get stronger and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. And for the first 100 people donating $200 or more we will send you a Cesar Chavez movie poster signed by Director Diego Luna.
Happy Holidays!
Arturo & Sonia Rodriguez

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