‘This is a disgrace for the union,’ mushroom worker says about UFW
The UFW is trying to persuade its members at Monterey Mushrooms that they should accept a huge pay cut down to minimum wage of $10.50 an hour.
“This is a disgrace for the union,” worker leader Edith Ruiz told KION-TV in Spanish. KION operates channels 5 and 46 as a CBS affiliate.
“The union and the company are hand-in-hand against us,” said mushroom worker José Guzmán. (“La unión y compañía están de la mano en contra de nosotros.”)
“They pay us a pittance and still treat us badly,” worker Rosa Sorria said, indicating that the UFW would not stand by the workers for better treatment. (“Nos pagan una miseria y todavía nos tratan mal, no es justo.”)
“Basically we’re going backward about 30 years because our wage is going to be cut about in half, and it won’t be enough for us to pay the rent because everything is going up and our salary is going to go down,” Ruiz said. (“Básicamente vamos a regresar como 30 años para atrás porque nuestro sueldo va bajar como la mitad y no nos va alcanzar para la renta porque todo está subiendo y nuestro sueldo va para abajo.”)
UFW supports company decision to slash pay, workers say
Hundreds of Monterey Mushroom workers feel the same way, according to KION.
“These are the accusations of hundreds of workers against the Monterey Mushroom company in Royal Oaks and the UFW union,” KION reported. “They said that instead of helping them negotiate a new and just contract, the UFW is supporting the company’s decision to eliminate pay under the contract, and pay less than the minimum wage by 2021.”
Protest expands to 400 workers
The latest news reports are that 400 mushroom workers are protesting the UFW’s unjust treatment of them in collective bargaining.
Noticias Costa Central, the local channel of Univision, reports that “around 400” workers at Monterey Mushrooms are protesting both their employer AND the UFW for trying to slash their wages nearly in half.
Ruiz, leader of the protesting mushroom workers, told Noticias Costa Central that they’re doing a work slowdown and protest against both their employer and the UFW. “They want to cut our wages,” she said.
UFW and company won’t comment; ALRB silent
KION reported that the UFW and Monterey Mushrooms wouldn’t comment to reporters.
The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which has spent millions defending the UFW to stop the counting of Gerawan Farm workers who voted in 2013 to de-certify the UFW, has made no public comment.