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UFW Wins New Tomato Contract in Central Valley

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UFW and Pacific Triple E representatives sign new contract.

Last week in Stockton, the United Farm Workers signed a three-year contract with Pacific Triple E Ltd., a large tomato grower-shipper based in Tracy, California. According to The Record, the agreement represents the first time the UFW has enjoyed a membership presence in San Joaquin County in more than two decades.

The Packer, an industry newsletter, described Triple E as “a family owned company” operating in Fresno, Merced, Madera, San Joaquin and Sacramento counties. The union’s Web site announcing the pact included the following message from UFW president Arturo Rodriguez:

Thank you for being there for the United Farm Workers. Your support means so much to me and the workers we are here to serve. I want to share some wonderful breaking news with you.

Yesterday, we used a contract signing ceremony in Stockton to congratulate the 800 workers at Pacific Triple E Ltd. on their perseverance and hard work in achieving an historic breakthrough that makes them the best paid tomato workers in America. This new UFW contract will also help raise pay and benefits for workers in the tomato industry across California and beyond. It provides wage increases of 12 to 57.4 percent over the life of the agreement for hourly and daily rate employees. Other highlights of the contract include a grievance procedure, seniority and job security.

The Triple E contract marks the latest victory in our aggressive drive to organize farm workers and negotiate union contracts. Additional contract breakthroughs are expected soon.

The effort for a contract at Triple E got a boost last summer during the union’s 150-mile march from Madera to Sacramento that convinced Gov. Jerry Brown to propose SB 126, the law designed to make union elections more fair. So many farm workers and supporters along the march route participated in that grueling trek and we want to thank the many of you who sent emails and donations in support.

The Triple E agreement happened because of joint efforts by the tomato workers and their employer who willingly sat down and listened to the voices and needs of the farm workers at this company—and then was willing to respond in a positive and socially responsible manner.

We look forward to forging a genuine partnership with Triple E that is a standard for progressive labor-management cooperation benefiting both the company and its workers.

Si Se Puede!

Arturo S. Rodriguez,
President,
United Farm Workers of America

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