Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Giumarra, the world's largest table grape company has a long record of abusive labour practices. Here's a story from the United Farm Workers (FW) about their latest tricks and an appeal for you to help stop this sort of thing.
Giumarra's legacy of abuse continues under a new label. You can help:
We’ve written to you about 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.

Since we wrote to you last, 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 e-mail Giumarra at Nature’s Partner today and tell them to treat their workers with dignity and respect and to quit retaliating against UFW supporters.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following protest letter to Giumarra management.
I am astonished and dismayed at the length that Giumarra goes to in order to keep workers under control. It reflects negatively on your company and the Giumarra Corporation's new label, Nature's Partner.

Giumarra has a history of intimidating and bullying workers. Back in 2006, your company's unlawful interference forced a union election to be thrown out. Your history with worker protection is also dismal with two farm workers dying from heat-related causes while laboring in your fields.

Instead of moving forth in a new era, under your new label, you have chosen to rise to new levels of bad behavior. Your current method of disciplining workers through the equivalent of "time outs" is unheard of. Giumarra is the only grape grower who uses this humiliating public method of punishment.

Using this tactic to force workers to pick faster under the searing sun or to retaliate against a worker who has the nerve to question a supervisor is just wrong.

It's time for Giumarra to realize that you are not above the law. The consumers of Giumarra and your new Nature's Partner label are watching you. Treat the workers laboring in your fields with dignity and respect and quit retaliating against UFW supporters.

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