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Wed Jun 10, 2015, 06:03 PM

Did Gerawan really fire a farm worker for whistling?


Foremen at giant Gerawan Farming Inc. commonly whistle so workers know it's time for them to take their legally required work breaks. Gerawan worker Rafael Marquez told ALRB investigators on April 23, 2015, he noticed workers in other crews were taking their breaks so he whistled to notify the foreman of his crew that it was also time for their break. The next day he was suspended. Then he was fired.

Why was Rafael Marquez really fired? State prosecutors offer a very different story in official court documents asking a Fresno County Superior Court judge to order that Gerawan reinstate Rafael Marquez. The general counsel of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board asserts that Gerawan fired Marquez because:

• He was a member of the union negotiating committee and "participated in approximately 18 negotiations sessions" with the company.

• Marquez "regularly wore a UFW button or t-shirt, distributed flyers to Gerawan workers during break times, and would speak with workers about the benefits of a [union contract], openly engag[ing] in these activities" in front of Gerawan foremen.

• Marquez also "became one of the named plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Gerawan, which alleges violations of minimum wage laws."

• ALRB prosecutors say Marquez was fired "for having engaged in union activities and for having testified against Gerawan’s interest at an ALRB hearing over alleged lawbreaking by Gerawan."

The state of California has gone to Superior Court in Fresno County, asking a judge to order Gerawan to stop breaking the law and to reinstate Rafael Marquez to his job.

However, this takes time, and time is the one thing workers don't have. Every minute that Rafael is not back to work intimidates other workers who worry they will be retaliated against if they show their support for the UFW.

It's time for the retailers who sell Gerawan's produce to step in. Kroger—whose supermarkets include Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's—is one of the largest retailers of Gerawan products. It's time for Kroger to demand that Gerawan respect the law and ensure there is no discrimination against UFW supporters. Send Kroger your e-mail today.

CLICK here: http://action.ufw.org/page/speakout/whistling?js=false



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Reply Did Gerawan really fire a farm worker for whistling? (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jun 2015 OP
randys1 Jun 2015 #1

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2015, 06:04 PM

1. General strike is warranted in America. ALL working people SHOULD be in a union

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