WELCOME TO THE AGRICULTURAL DIVISION PAGE
Local 5’s agricultural division represents members, negotiates contracts and organizes workers in California and Arizona’s agricultural industry.
The division began in the Salinas Valley in the depths of the depression and has raised the living standards of ag workers ever since.
The ag division aggressively pursues justice for workers in all sectors of the division, field work, processing and packing.
UFCW Local 5 Ag division is currently in negotiations with two of its biggest employers Mann Packing and Fresh Express who are located in Salinas California. We are about half way into the negotiations and the sticking points are cost of Health and Welfare, wages and benefits.
We just signed new contracts with ACS, LLC, Skyview Cooling out of Arizona with wage increases of more than $3.00 an hour over 3 years and employer paying more of the share of health and welfare.
We singed a new contract with Nunes Cooling in Salinas and Yuma Arizona with a wage increase of $2.00 an hour in next 3 years plus piece rate per box and an increase in Company share of cost of health and welfare.
We singed a new contract Triple E Produce in Tracy California , with an increase in wages of $1.50 an hour over 3 years and an increase in pay for daily Call Time.
We singed a new Arroyo Grande Mushroom Farm in Arroyo Grande California with a 2 year contract and wage increase of $.50 cents each year and the employer paying more of the shared cost of Health and Welfare.
We signed a new Contract with two melon Companies from Turlock California and Los Banos California. The one year extension through 2016 season brought about a $1.00 an hour increase.
We will be in negotiations with the following Companies in 2017: VSP Newman Ca., D’Arrigo Brothers Salinas Ca., Dobler and Sons Watsonville Ca., Growers Express Salinas and Yuma, Uni-kool Salinas Ca. and OLAM Foods Hanford Ca.
In December 2014 an election was held at Apio Inc. a salad producer with about 800 workers in Santa Maria California. Local 5 lost the election by 135 votes. The loss was so close that Local 5 decided to continue to have continued communication with the workers committee and in April of 2015 with the committee of workers help, but in this election the employer raised the atmosphere of intimidation by revising the employee handbook that made it a policy that employees were not permitted to make home calls of other workers or speak to coworkers during lunch period about organizing. The Company terminated about 50 employees who supported the Union prior to the election sending a message to other workers that if the voted for the Union they would be fired. The Company also laid off another 110 workers telling other workers this was because of the Union
The Union filed about 60 unfair labor practices and after all was settled with the National Labor Relations board about 50 employees were reinstated with back pay of over $200,000 and the Company was ordered by the Federal government to revise their employee handbook and with a reading and posting by the Company to employees that said they violated employees rights. We are in the process of organizing another election.
Agricultural Division Director