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UFW Wins Historic Battle

UFW signs historic contract at nation's largest strawberry employer, Coastal Berry Co. UFW's first major stake in California strawberry industry.
More than 750 pickers laboring in Ventura County for the nation's largest strawberry employer will make history thursday when the United Farm Workers and Coastal Berry Co. sign a landmark contract giving the UFW its first major stake in California's strawberry industry. The contract comes after a four-year struggle by the workers to obtain union representation.

UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez will be joined by the workers' negotiating committee and Coastal Berry Co. Chairman David Gladstone in signing this historic contract.

Rodriguez, who succeeded Chavez following the legendary UFW founder's death in 1993, said, "The contract we sign today with Coastal Berry Co. for it's Ventura County workforce gives the UFW it's first major stake in California's $600 million-a-year strawberry industry. This breakthrough agreement also makes Coastal Berry's 750 Ventura County
employees the best-paid and best-protected workers in the vastest growing strawberry-producing region in the state."

The UFW has won 20 union elections since Rodriguez kicked off a new field organizing drive in 1994. Since then, the union has also signed 24 new--or first-time--contracts with growers in a host of crops, from roses and mushrooms to wine grapes and vegetables. In 1998, the UFW signed a contract with Swanton Berry Farms in Santa Cruz County, the
state's largest organic strawberry producer.
 
 

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