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United Farm Workers of America (UFW): Fighting for farm worker rights since 1962. Si Se Puede! ® RT≠Endorsement
24 Jan
Thread: Ever think about the logistics of the food on your plate and the human costs of our food supply? #WeFeedYou
When it rains, workers either wait (unpaid) for the storm to lift, or go to work in the rain among slippery, muddy rows. If they’re paid a piece rate, the work is slower but the piece rate stays the same.
When you see workers jogging, that’s because of piece rate economics. The rows are slippery, and the crates are also heavier. Sometimes double the weight.
Read 16 tweets
13 Dec 20
Why is Mitch McConnell refusing to agree to aid without shields for corporations? Let’s reflect on why corporations don’t want to be liable.

Last summer a massive outbreak swept through a Foster Farms plant. Hundreds got sick. At least 9 died. (1/thread)
Workers found out about this outbreak from the media. After suggesting —then ordering— the company to make changes that were ignored, Merced County finally ordered the plant shut down.

Foster Farms directed the workers to come work their shifts anyway.
How could this happen? How can a county ordered shutdown be defied while a deadly, massive outbreak grows?

Foster Farms was supported by the federal government, so maybe they felt safe refusing to comply. For 2 more days the spread continued.
Read 13 tweets
11 Dec 20
As COVID-19 continues to sweep through Foster Farms facilities, a desperate quest for information gets a three word reply. “Continue to ignore.”

This indifference is what @senatemajldr is trying to shield.
Read: kqed.org/news/11850332/…
For those still haunted by the outbreaks last summer— at least 9 people died— we ask ourselves some terrible questions.

How can we still be where we were this summer?

Why should human lives be sacrificed while corporations are protected?

For grieving people like Martha Vera, who lost her husband this summer, this is the sequel to a horror story that is all too real.

“What does this company really want?” she said through tears in August. “How many more people do they think should die?”
Read 4 tweets
22 Nov 20
Can confirm.

Also, have we told you about ‘celery blisters’ yet?
The juices from cut celery can cause a number of skin reactions that vary from person to person. When celery comes into contact with the skin, it creates a toxic sensitivity to sunlight.

After, even a small amount of subsequent sun exposure can cause severe blistering.
In addition to celery, carrots and dill frequently trigger photoxic reactions.

Cucumber, squash and okra plants have nearly-invisible hairs that not only irritate our skin but can also float into our eyeballs and cause severe inflammation.

Happy Thanksgiving! #WeFeedYou Image
Read 5 tweets
14 Nov 20
UFW just concluded 2020’s Constitutional Convention, which was held virtually for the first time.

Delegates re-elected @UFWPresident Teresa Romero and elected their Executive Board, which for the first time is majority women.
Delegates celebrated their growing union and increased wages and benefits in UFW contracts — despite four years of attacks from Trump and the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Leaders also pledged to win immigration reform under the incoming Biden-Harris administration.
After @AlexPadilla4CA addressed the delegates, they also affirmed UFW support for the current Secretary of State to become the next Senator for California — now that UFW-endorsed @KamalaHarris will be joining @JoeBiden in the White House.

UFW statement:
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct 20
A thread on why Californians need to vote NO on Prop 22.

This is one of the most egregious ballot measures in recent history. UFW knows all too well what happens when labor law carve-outs create a sub-caste of workers vulnerable to exploitation.
Uber, Postmates, Instacart, and other "gig" companies have spent $186 million to confuse CA voters into supporting Prop 22— by far the most expensive ballot initiative in American history.

That shows how much they have to gain at the expense of workers.
Prop 22 intends to carve out exceptions in CA law AB-5 which requires businesses like Uber to treat workers like normal employees. For example, paying minimum wage.

Take it from us: excluding workers from basic protections is terrible. Vote NO on Prop 22.
Read 7 tweets
1 Aug 20
Average CA piece rate pay for parsley work is around $1.90 per crate of 60 bundles.

Many folks are shocked by piece rates, and ask how it’s legal to pay workers less than $2 per crate. Before we do reply-guy math, let’s talk about labor law!

The Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938. It shaped basic labor protections most workers take for granted. Minimum wage, overtime, banning use of child labor... Laws to protect workers from harm and kids from exploitation.

Farm workers were excluded. (Domestic workers, too.)
The 1935 NLRA* had given workers the right to collective action and to form a union to protect themselves and bargain with their employer.

Farm workers had been excluded from THIS most basic set of labor rights too.

(*You can google the acronyms.)
Read 11 tweets
22 Jul 20
On solidarity:
The historic Delano grape strike was started when Filipino grape workers (led by Larry Itliong and the AWOC) and Mexican grape workers (led by NFWA) realized one thing:

As as long as those white growers could play them against each other, nobody would win. (1/)
The Filipino workers had already been organizing earlier in the season, and had established a minimum rate they could accept. They walked off together in Delano when this rate wasn’t accepted.

So, the growers replaced them with a new workforce, this time predominantly Mexican.
See, this is a classic tactic of holding onto power. Pit us against each other so we can’t fight back against the boss.

It’s especially effective to divide along cultural lines, when there isn’t an easy way for the workers to have a conversation all together, or to build trust.
Read 13 tweets
11 Jul 20
So... does anyone at @GoyaFoods need a history lesson on boycotts?
The Montgomery Bus Boycott and led to a US Supreme court decision that declared segregated buses were unconstitutional. Boycotts work.
Colonists boycotted British hoods, including the protest known as the Boston Tea Party, to ensure they weren’t supporting a government that did not represent them. Boycotts are patriotic.
Read 9 tweets