Inching Toward Slave-Free Tomatoes
In this day and age, this takes guts of steel. It’s a wonder Gargiulo Inc. didn’t tell these workers to go to hell and fire them. Maybe they learned something based on what happened in Alabama.
More than 250 workers employed at Gargiulo Inc., a Florida-based fresh tomato company with operations in the Central Valley, voted today [July 11, 2012] to join the United Farm Workers of America.
On Monday, Gargiulo workers at a field in Firebaugh, located in Fresno County, walked out on strike protesting unfair labor practices by the company. A large majority of workers joined the concerted activity asking the company, which grows and harvests fresh tomatoes, for fairness.
The workers filed a petition for a union election Monday and cast their vote Wednesday morning supporting the union by a 186 to 40 vote.
“This is a historic win. The workers, through their vote, sent a clear message to the company that they want to be represented by the UFW. We call on Gargiulo’s management to respect the will of the workers and immediately engage in good faith bargaining negotiations, so workers can have a union contract,” said UFW Vice President Armando Elenes.
Last month, some 800 employees at Pacific Triple E, one of the largest fresh tomato companies in the United States, signed their first union contract, making them the best paid fresh tomato workers in the country.
To learn more about the push for slave-free tomatoes, go here.