Farm Workers to Protest Forced Unionization in California
Silvia Lopez, a single mother who has proudly worked the fields of California's Central Valley for more than 16 years, will be the headline speaker at a protest rally on Tuesday in Visalia, California.
Ms. Lopez and her colleagues at Fresno-based Gerawan Farming Inc. do not want to be forced to pay 3 percent of their wages to the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. Last November Gerawan workers held a decertification election, but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is refusing to count the votes in a flagrant attempt to help the UFW rob the workers of their hard-earned money.
"We just want our votes counted, we want our voice to be heard. We deserve to know the outcome of this election. We want to know that democracy matters for farm workers, too," says Ms. Lopez, who collected over 3,000 signatures from her coworkers to trigger the decertification election last fall.
"The ALRB members eat the fruit we pick," she added. "We provide the food for their tables. But they don't think our votes are worth counting? If they love the union so much, why don't they give three percent of their pay to the UFW!"
Gerawan workers, their families and supporters will gather in front of the ALRB regional office in Visalia on Tuesday, Aug. 26 starting at 3:00 p.m. Ms. Lopez will begin her remarks at 4:00 p.m. followed by remarks from other workers and supporters.
Ms. Lopez was born in Ensenada, Mexico. Both her parents and children have worked at Gerawan as well, where they have enjoyed above average industry wages.
Fresno farm workers, their families and supporters
Protest rally against the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), led by worker Silvia Lopez
Visalia Regional Office
1642 West Walnut Avenue
Visalia, CA 93277-5348
Tuesday August 26 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.