Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the problem w/ grapes: Giumarra's legacy of abuse continues under a new label

"Giumarra--the world's largest table grape company that employs close to 3,500 grape workers. Giumarra has a history of intimidating and bullying workers. Back in 2006, a union election was thrown out by an administrative judge because of their unlawful interference. In addition, two farm workers have died of heat-related causes while laboring in Giumarra’s fields.

You’d think that Giumarra would have learned their lesson and quit putting workers at risk. Unfortunately not. Workers report to us that Giumarra is back to its old tricks. They have asked us to help them in getting a union contract so they have protection against these abuses. Please help make this possible, click HERE to e-mail Giumarra.

Giumarra has another way of forcing workers to reach unrealistic quotas and to intimidate workers. It’s a version of the “time outs” you do to a little kid when they are naughty. Giumarra is the only grape grower who uses this humiliating public method of punishment.

A worker does not pick fast enough or dares to question a supervisor? They get an unpaid, “time out” where they need to sit and wait until the supervisor says they can go back to work.

Giumarra worker Oswaldo Luna says, “The most unjust thing I have seen in the company is that they punish us by stopping us from working, for an hour or for days ...The supervisor yells at us instead of talking to us. If someone responds to him, he stops them from working.

“The supervisor Rambo began to look for things to punish us on and reasons to send us home? He stopped us for 3 hours without pay that day just because he got mad we answered him back. He told us he did not want to see us and sent us home for the day.” Oswaldo feels that the supervisor is “hoping that if he sends us home enough times, we will get fed up and leave the job.”

This situation has escalated to such a degree that on August 17, Oswaldo and two other workers filed ALRB charges against the company. That day their crew boss started unfairly harassing these workers for low production. When the workers explained that they were doing the best they could, but there were barely any grapes in their row, she suspended them for two days for questioning her.

The multimillion dollar Giumarra corporation--which is the largest table grape company and a major distributor of fresh produce—has developed a new label, Nature’s Partner. Please email Giumarra at Nature’s Partner today and tell them to treat their workers with dignity and respect and to quit retaliating against UFW supporters."

*I think that this huge corporation w/ a sketch labor history changing its name to "natures partner" its so insidious and so indicative of capitalisms' ability to co-opt absolutely fucking everything...its like how mega-corporate/anti-union whole foods has put out new paper bags w/ the phrase "i'm local!" printed all over it. blech


Anonymous said...

There is more of this going on besides just at this company. I worked for Miller Brewer SAB and was Union, it didn't make a difference they treated people like they were numbers. They too were looking for reasons to fire people and humiliating them. Then there was the company down south that wouldn't let workers take bathroom breaks and they began wearing "Depends" to work. Unions are not what they were in the 70's they now are bending under the pressure of the Companies and China. Mercury Motors here is threatning to move to Oklahoma where there is no Union, next step China.....WE need to take back our Country, personally I don't know how these supervisors can sleep at night, and it's bullshit saying they need their job too, I would rather flip burgers than be unjust to another human, because I got paid to. This just infuriates me.

erin ambrose said...

sing it! yeah, this is just a drop in the bucket , this story.