New AG Contracts Covering Nearly 1500 Members Ratified in 2020

Local 5 members in the Union’s Agricultural Division have ratified new agreements with a variety of employers throughout California and in Yuma, Arizona. The new contacts cover workers in processing plants, cooling facilities as well as those who work in the fields.

While affected by the COVID-19 pandemic like other workers, bargaining goals were met in each contract including pay increases of up to $1 per hour in each year of the agreements along with improvements in health care coverage and other contractual benefits.

Recently approved contracts include:

Dobler and Sons, a Watsonville-based company with 270 members working in harvesting.

D’Arrigo Brothers in Salinas – 180 members working in vegetable packing and shipping.

Valley Sun in Newman – 220 seasonal workers who process sundried tomatoes.

Mann Packing, a Salinas-based company with 450 members working in vegetable and fruit packing and shipping.

Turlock Fruit – 15 members who process melons.

Nunes Cooling based in Salinas and Yuma – 60 members who pack and ship vegetables.

Unikool based in Salinas and Yuma – 75 members who pack and ship vegetables.

Second Street Cooling in Salinas – 30 members who pack and ship vegetables.

Negotiations are currently underway with Salinas-based Fresh Express, Local 5’s largest agricultural employer with nearly 600 members. An initial meeting set the framework for bargaining and additional dates are being scheduled. As in other industry contracts, issues include wages and reducing the cost of health care for workers. The contract expires on December 31.

Fresh Express bags lettuce and fruit products commonly found in grocery stores as well as Happy Meal apples for McDonalds.

Talks are also underway with Skyview Cooling in Yuma for a new contract covering 25 workers.

Contracts expiring in 2021 include OLAM Fresh Foods with 240 farm workers in Hanford, ACS in Yuma with 55 members in shipping and Cool Fresh in Yuma.