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Related Categories: North Bay / Marin | Labor & Workers
Support millworkers in Cloverdale!
by meddle
Tuesday Feb 24th, 2004 12:23 PM
Work to create solidarity with United Farm Workers...they're striking against the bosses and could use support from the larger Bay Area community....see you there...
 Anyone interested in helping out? Direct action comes to Cloverdale...

To all concerned,

Jorge Rivera of UFW is requesting help from people in the community
who would be willing to assist workers of Redwood Empire Sawmills.
Many were fired unfairly recently because of their efforts to
organize for safe conditions and health care. Contact Jorge Rivera,
UFW Contract Administrator, at the UFW office, 528-3039 or by cell,
831-750-4006. email: UFWAJR [at]

The Union is calling for the community to participate in a civil
direct action, Thursday, Feb. 26, (to block the entrance at the
sawmill in Cloverdale), to show Redwood Empire Sawmills and the
workers that the union and the community are in support of workers'

On the same date, Feb 26, Dolores Huerta and a delegation of workers
will visit the president of Redwood Empire Sawmills in San Jose.
Also, an email alert will be sent to the company.

Workers at Redwood Empire Sawmill walked out in 2002 because of the
company's bad treatment of Mexican workers and because the company
didn't increase their wages as in previous years. The company also
took away other benefits -- vacation and holidays. UFW began
organizing when workers walked off the job because they were denied
affordable health insurance. After a long battle, the company still
refuses to provide health insurance or a wage increase above 2%.

Charges are being filed - Currently there is a bad faith bargaining
charge against Redwood Empire Sawmills because they have refused to
meet for a conference. Further, the company has terminated Irma
Sanchez of the Bargaining Committee; Alvino Guerro, Rep from the
Union in Phillo; Augustine Valandran, Union supporter; Oscar Zazueta,
Union Supporter; the list will grow if we as a community do not act

Grievances - Workers complain that Redwood Empire Sawmills has
machines that are unsafe but the company refuses to fix them until
after a worker gets hurt. One worker, Alvino Guerro, who was fired
for being a union supporter was transferred to work in front of a
machine on purpose so that sawdust would hit his face all day. There
was no reason for him to sit there but the manager insisted and
cemented the machine in front of the saw. Alvino said that the saw
would sometimes fly out and if it had while he was working he would
have been killed.

Mexican workers at the Phillo sawmill have to clean when a machine
breaks while white workers are allowed to take breaks. Some workers
work before regular work hours and are not paid for that time.
Workers are forced to buy their own equipment for the job. Bathrooms
are dirty and disgusting.  Workers also say that the company allows
some workers to smoke marijuana inside the facility because they are
favorites of the company and are against the union.

This is the kind of abuse that workers who support the union, have to
put up with daily.

For more information about what is going on at Redwood Empire
Sawmills, please contact:

Jorge A. Rivera, UFW Rep.
Cell: 831-750-4006   UFW office: 528-3039
Email: UFWAJR [at]
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