United Farm Workers

California farmworker bill will reduce intimidation during union elections, says union official

In a remarkable reversal, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Wednesday that will make it easier for farmworkers to vote in union elections, after indicating that he would veto the bill only weeks before. The governor changed course after facing mounting pressure from union leaders, workers, and political allies, including President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (No paywall)

Supreme Court rules against union access to farm property

On a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California labor law on Wednesday that allowed union organizers onto an agricultural employer's property to enlist farmworkers to join the union. The 1975 law was a legacy of Cesar Chavez, a founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Lawsuit says Trump administration tries to cut farm wages

Agricultural guestworkers will see sharply lower wages because of the USDA's decision to cancel a semiannual survey that is used to calculate their pay, said a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal district court in Fresno, California. The suit asks the court to order the USDA to carry out the October survey so that the Labor Department can use the results to set minimum wages for the country's 250,000 or more H-2A guestworkers.

California court upholds mediation law for farmworker contracts

The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a 2002 state law that allows mediation of deadlocked contract negotiations between growers and farmworker unions, including the power of mediators to set the contract terms, reported the Associated Press. The decision was a victory for "the union launched by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez against one of the largest U.S. fruit farms," said AP.

UFW settles suit with former field organizers

The United Farm Workers union, which represents nearly 10,000 workers, has proposed to pay $1.3 million in back wages, penalties, and legal fees to 24 former field organizers who sued the union in 2013, reports the Los Angeles Times. 

Heat blamed for California farmworker deaths; should we expect more?

According to the United Farm Workers, three female grape pickers died in California this week, most likely because of the heat, said ABC News–Kero/Bakersfield.

United Farm Workers endorses Clinton for president

After lengthy discussions and an hour-long interview with Hillary Clinton, the United Farm Workers board endorsed the former secretary of state for president.

Obama order affects 250,000 farm workers, maybe lots more

President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration will affect indirectly at least 250,000 and perhaps as many as 500,000 farm workers, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Lawsuit challenges FDA on drug used to fatten food animals

A lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco challenges FDA approval of several ractopamine-based animal drugs. The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the United Farm Workers union says...