Molly has blogged previously about the efforts of the United Farm Workers to organize Giumarra Vineyards( here, here and here). Here's the latest in this campaign where management feels it is necessary to fire any worker who tries to correct any injustice on the job. Seems like even more proof of the need for a union. Sign the petition against this dictatorial corporate regime.
Giumarra Vineyards sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment & Retaliation:
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has just filed suit against Giumarra Vineyards for allegedly violating federal law by sexually harassing a teenage female farm worker and retaliating against farm workers who came to her aid.
You most probably remember Giumarra, and their Nature's Partner label, from the e-mails we sent you last summer. We told you about their outrageous behavior and despicable actions against workers--many of whom are organizing for a union contract. Giumarra Vineyards, the world's largest table grape company, harvests approximately 1 out of every 10 bunches of grapes picked in the US. Because the company is so huge, their behavior helps set the industry standard.
The EEOC case is consistent with the company's behavior, as Giumarra has a long history of intimidating workers and violating their rights. According to the EEOC's suit (EEOC v. Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, et al, Case No. 1:09-cv-02255), the young woman "was subjected to sexual advances, sexually inappropriate touching and abusive and offensive sexual comments about the male sex organ by a male co-worker." The EEOC further alleged that after witnessing the sexual harassment, farm workers came to the aid of the teenage victim and complained to Giumarra Vineyards.
The result? One day after reporting the incident, the victim and people who helped her were fired. The EEOC suit states they "were summarily discharged in retaliation for their opposition to the sexual harassment." (More details in the EEOC's press release.)
What happened to this vulnerable young girl and the others who simply came to her defense was reprehensible and illegal.
We have begun an online petition. A delegation of women leaders will hand it in to Giumarra/Nature's Partner and attempt to meet with this company in mid-February. Please sign the petition today--and send it to as many friends as possible. Give Giumarra a strong message that you will not tolerate this behavior.
Please go to the link above or to this link to sign the following petition to management at Giumarra Vineyards.
I am astonished and dismayed at Giumarra’s disregard of the law. This is not medieval times. In the 21st century workers have the right to speak up to protect themselves and others. Giumarra is not above the law. It is astonishing that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was forced to file suit against Giumarra Vineyards for violating federal law by sexually harassing a teenage female farm worker and retaliating against farm workers who came to her aid.
As the world's largest table grape company, your behavior helps set the industry standard. You should be ashamed of the example you are setting both in this case with the sexual harassment and retaliation and with your dismal history of worker protection. This behavior reflects negatively on your company and your Nature's Partner label.
It's time for your company to realize that you are not above the law. Stop the sexual harassment and retaliation for field workers who speak up or support the UFW. Your consumers are watching.