Real farmworkers swamp UFW activists at Supreme Court

Real Gerawan farmworkers outnumbered the UFW contingent at the California Supreme Court yesterday, as the floundering union failed to deliver the “hundreds” of workers it pledged to bring from around the state.


UFW didn’t organize any Gerawan workers to join its protest in support of state power to force UFW contracts on unwilling farmworkers. Gerawan workers, mostly in blue Pick Justice shirts, outnumbered the UFW presence by at least 2 or 3 to 1.

In the week before the September 5 Supreme Court hearing, the UFW recruited from farms across the whole state of California, promising donors that it would send “hundreds” of farmworkers to converge on the court in support of the forced UFW-ization program.

Pick Justice counted no more than 80 UFW protesters at the Supreme Court, which the union bused in from across California. The UFW did not organize Gerawan workers to attend the protest which was allegedly on their behalf.

About 150 spirited Gerawan workers showed up to stand up for their rights and oppose the UFW, marking the first time Pick Justice and the UFW faced off in public. More than 200 Gerawan workers would have attended, but one of the buses broke down on the way to San Francisco.

The UFW’s professional photographer took tight shots to make the red-shirted, red-banner crowd look much bigger than it was. Videos and multiple photos on the UFW’s social media pages allow people to make an independent count based on the UFW’s own images, and that count matches our own of about 80.

In short: The day after Labor Day, with the UFW starting a huge Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of one of the most important farm labor laws, the UFW could muster only a few dozen people to dress in its shirts and protest Pick Justice.

This is further evidence that the UFW is dying, and that independent farmworker movements – union and non-union – are rising to take its place.

Scraping the bottom

The UFW has been scraping the bottom of the barrel to show worker support for its agenda. It even resorted to profiling a fake Gerawan worker as the real thing, after having been caught promoting another fake farmworker to support a UFW petition drive.

At the protest, at least two UFW people posed as Gerawan workers, but the real farmworkers quickly unmasked them. More on that later