UFW calls $7.50 a day a ‘dignified wage’

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez is bragging that his union will raise farmworkers’ salaries by a whopping 50 percent in 5 years.

But not in California. Rodriguez and UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson were in Nicaragua this week to push for the 50 percent raise for local farmworkers in the mountains of Matagalpa.

A fifty percent raise sounds like a lot. But in Nicaragua, it’s very little, which is why the UFW didn’t attach a dollar figure to its work the way it does in California.

It’s easy to see why: The target wage is embarrassing. Nicaraguan coffee workers earn an average of less than $5.00 a day. Entire families – including children as young as age ten – work in the mountainous coffee farms and can barely make ends meet.

The UFW wants people back home to think it’s doing good by raising the pay of Nicaraguan coffee workers 50 percent by the year 2021, which, at a present rate of $5 a day, would be only $7.50 a day five years from now.

Somehow the UFW is proud of it. The union calls it a “dignified wage.”

Jeff Teeter, the millionaire president of Allegro Coffee, which owns the La Revancha coffee farm in Matagalpa that teamed up with the UFW, was on hand to welcome the day-long event held August 2.