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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Labor & Workers
Why the UFWA transformed & Converted itself into an "Recruitment Employment Agency"
Al Rojas, VP of Sacramento Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO) and Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior asks why the United Farm Workers of American is now pushing a slave labor guest program helping anti-union farmers.
Why has the "United Farm Workers Union" transformed & Converted its self into an "Recruitment Employment Agency" for The Agricultural Corporations in the "Recruitment of Cheap Foreign laborers"
by Al Rojas
Al Rojas.Vice President.
Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO)
According to this Biased One sided article our groups that "Oppose the
"Slave Bracero Guest Worker programs,find it interesting that he
reporter we feel failed to intentionally to interview the other "Farm
Labor Groups" that have vehemently "Opposed a Controlled "Bracero Slave
Guest worker Program",what's interesting is that the very "Grower's
that are interviewed in this article have been Vehemently "Opposed to
Uniinozation"of its workers & in spending hundreds of Millions of
dollars in brutally "Fighting the Union for decades,in the
beatings,arrests,incarceration,during the "Strikes" during the early
70's now find the very Union,the "United Farm Workers Union",contrary
to its past position now a "Flip &Flop now Agreeing to & in a
"Partnership in the "Business of the recruitment of Foreign Slave
Trade of Cheap Wage "Foreign Agricultural Workers ?.
But the real question is why has the "United Farm Workers Union"
transformed & Converted its self into an "Recruitment Employment
Agency" for The Agricultural Corporations in the "Recruitment of Cheap
Foreign laborers" & no longer a Union that "Represents Workers",instead
of Represents the very Agricultural Employer that Opposed the
Unionization of its Workers force & labor pool, regarding wages &
working Conditions through the "Collective Bargaining process " a
"Union Contract",Now is the "United Farm Worker Union's, Non-Farm
worker "leadership",as in the case of Mr.Giev Kashkooli,UFW Vice
President. saying that they have "Signed a Union Agreement" ? who earns
a "Salary of well over $126,000 Dollars a Year & as well the Non-Farm
Worker UFW President Arturo Rodriquez,who also earns from the UFW Union
members over $125,000 Dollar Salary,when UFW's Non-Farm,UFW Vice
President Takes pride in negotiating that guest workers harvesting
crops earn $9.64 an hour by 2016, or what we are seeing is a very First
a "Sweetheart Agreement ?"that can be consider a Complete "Sellout" of
the Local legalized Farm Worker work force by the "United Farm Workers
?" & were the workers allowed a Say so,did they win "Concessions to
"Signing a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the "Anti-Union
Corporate Grower's & the Associations" & the workers involved in the
"Process",is the "United Farm Worker,Non-Farm Worker leadership with
holding that their may be a "Under the table Agreement ! without the
Farm Workers knowledge ? especially the "Local Non Union Farm
Workers,has the Union ever call for a Massive Community discussion in
regards of whom this agreement will benefit by not having fully &openly
discussed in now turning their Backs on these workers?
While yes a now "Controlled Agriculture Work Force & venerable,really benefit,while the
Corporate Growers hold the "Balance of the "Right to Hire & Fire
workers In other word inflict Fear in the workers & when & if the UFW
decides to Finally "Organize the Farm Workers" they have what "Cesar
Chavez said to us all "Until we have a Collective bargain Agreement &
the Workers get the the Corporate Growers to sign a Contract,it is then
that they will be truly Free & Protected & Not through a "Sweetheart
Agreement as in the case of the the Teamsters Contracts will the Farm
workers Win we stand with the Workers,we Organize,Mobilize & if the
Workers Vote to Strike & the use of the Boycott that is the only Power
of the Union !",Cesar Chavez,
Or are they according to this Biased One sided article the
reporter failed intentionally to interview the "Farm Labor Groups" that
have "Opposed a Controled ""Bracero Guest worker Program",what's
interesting is the very "Grower's that are interviewd in this aricle
have been Vehemently "Opposed to Unionization"of its workers,in
spending hundreds of Millions of dollars in brutally "Fighting for
decades,in the beatings,arrests,encarceration,during the "Strikes"
during the eary 70's the very Union,the"United Farm Workers Union"
"Cesar Chavez,Dr.Ernesto Galarza,Bert Corona,John Soria",
all "opposed the "Bracero Slave,must all must
BE TURNING IN THIER GRAVES !
Al Rojas.Vice President.
Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO)
nadm916 [at] aol.com
California farmworkers may win fast track to legal residency-UFWA
Supports Guest Worker Program For 112,000 Workers
By Peter Hecht
phecht [at] sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 12:16 am
As many as 400,000 California undocumented farmworkers may get a fast
track to legal status under a potential landmark accord between the
agricultural industry and the United Farm Workers union.
The agreement, hashed out with key guidance from U.S. Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, D- Calif., stands to be a major component in sweeping
immigration legislation introduced Wednesday in the Senate.
Backers hail the farm labor accord, which still faces an arduous path
through Congress, as an elixir to a significant worker shortage in
California's $44.3 billion agricultural industry and beyond.
The potential symbolism of the deal was underscored Wednesday as ag
industry leaders and a longtime adversary – the UFW – praised the plan
in a joint press conference in Washington, D.C.
The deal would allow undocumented people who worked steadily in
agriculture in recent years to receive a "blue card" legal work permit
while speeding up prospects of achieving permanent legal residency. It
would also establish a new agricultural guest worker program with wage
"This further symbolizes the historic moment we are engaged in here,"
said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez.
He said the pact could mean hundreds of thousands of undocumented farm
laborers in California and beyond would "be able to immediately work
without fear of being deported."
As many as 1.2 million farmworkers in the United States arrived as
illegal immigrants. In California, undocumented workers account for the
overwhelming majority of 450,000 seasonal farm laborers in the nation's
most bountiful agricultural belt.
A UFW official estimated that as many as 300,000 California farmworkers
may qualify for legal status under the plan to offer the "blue card" to
people who can demonstrate they worked 150 days in agriculture between
Jan. 1, 2011, and the end of 2012.
A leading growers association, the Nisei Farmers League, representing
1,100 California farms, poultry and dairy outlets and packing and
processing firms, estimated the number of qualifying state laborers at
League President Manuel Cunha Jr. said the legislation is needed
because California agriculture could face a shortfall of 80,000
seasonal laborers this year because of a declining workforce
asimmigration enforcement and border violence scare away workers.
"If this gets signed into law, the workers will now be safe," he said
Wednesday of a potential long-term solution. "Growers can wake up in
the morning knowing that their workforce – which they have trained for
years – is here."
The plan has been blasted by groups opposed to immigration expansion as
providing an unfair break for agriculture and laborers who came here
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform,
in a statement Tuesday criticized the overall immigration bill as
offering "amnesty and providing business interests access to low-wage
Odilia Chavez, 40, of Madera hopes the plan means she can work without
fear in California and travel to and from Mexico with less peril. She
has harvested crops from strawberries to lettuce to garlic since 1999.
"That would be so much better. I hope to God it is true," said Chavez,
who is raising two California-born children and whose Mexican-born
oldest son, 19, is a now a student at Fresno Pacific University.
Chavez returned to Mexico in 2008 to visit an ill mother and paid
$3,900 to a coyote, or smuggler, to sneak her back across the border.
She says her husband was murdered in the border city of Juarez after
voluntarily returning to apply for a visa at the U.S. Consulate there.
Under the ag worker proposal, she could legally work with a blue card
and qualify within five to seven years for a green card bringing
As an incentive for people to do farm work, they would earn the
accelerated path for working in agriculture for 150 days in three out
of five years or for 100 days in four out of seven years. "I would
happily do it," Chavez said.
Applicants would have to pass a criminal background check and pay a
The agricultural industry would receive preferential treatment under
the comprehensive immigration plan negotiated by a bipartisan group of
senators. The vast majority of 11 million undocumented immigrants
wouldn't be able to achieve permanent residency for a decade or
citizenship for 13 years.
The entire plan requires proof of a secure southern border – with 90
percent of illegal crossers turned back – before undocumented
immigrants living in the U.S. can apply for a permanent resident card,
the first step to citizenship.
The agricultural worker plan, and the accord between the UFW and
agricultural industries and growers, was finalized through multiple
sessions over the past month in the offices of Feinstein and Republican
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
In a statement last week, Feinstein said the accord resolves
"outstanding issues, including wage levels, agricultural worker visas
and protections for U.S. workers."
Representatives for growers got a new guest worker program that can
allow up to 112,000 annual visas for agricultural laborers. The UFW
wanted – and got – concessions setting wage scales and providing
housing and other workplace protections.
"Each side had to make compromises," said Tom Nassif, president of the
Western Growers Association.
The accord would require that guest workers harvesting crops earn $9.64
an hour by 2016, with a pay scale of $11.87 an hour for equipment
operators and wages still to be determined for field supervisors and
others. The UFW said equal protection measures in the guest worker
program would effectively fortify wages for workers already here.
"This is going to create an incentive to work in agriculture," said UFW
Vice President Giev Kashkooli.
South of Fresno, Selma farmer Carol Chandler hopes he is right. In
recent years, she had to rely on laborers in their 50s – and some as
old as 70 – to pick and pack grapes, peaches and nectarines as younger
laborers stayed away because of immigration concerns or disinterest in
"This will really help the younger workers come out of the shadows and
help us with strenuous work," she said. "Climbing ladders is really not
for an older person."
Call The Bee's Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.
Read more here:
Braceros appeal to Sacramento's Mexican Consulate for long-lost wages and against "adding modern slaves to immigration reform"
"The workers are here; they don't need guest workers. Now they're considering adding modern slaves to immigration reform. They're going to give them two- or three-year contracts and kick them out of the country with no help, just like they did to us."
Braceros appeal to Sacramento's Mexican Consulate for long-lost wages
By Stephen Magagnini
smagagnini [at] sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am
Some of the last braceros - the more than 2 million Mexican laborers who toiled in California's fields under a legal guest worker program from 1942 through 1964 - came to the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento on Wednesday, looking for wages they never received.
Many braceros have died without ever seeing any of the 10 percent of their pay that was sent to a Mexican farm bank by their California employers.
The 10 percent was supposed to be a nest egg to help them when they returned to Mexico. But the farm bank disappeared, and it wasn't until 2008 that the Mexican government created a new program that paid $3,000 each to braceros who applied with their work permits and other documents, said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Sacramento's Mexican consul general.
But many braceros, including Manuel Chavez of Stockton, had lost their papers by then.
"From 1956 through 1960 I worked for 70 cents an hour in Tracy, Blythe, Salinas and Arizona picking tomatoes and lettuce," said Chavez, 78.
"I lost my papers crossing the border and without them, I can't get the money the Mexican government owes me: $3,089," Chavez said. "We hope the consulate can help us."
Time's running out, said Luis Magaña, whose father, Luciano Magaña, died in January. "He came at 17, worked from 1943 to 1963 picking apricots, peaches, asparagus, tomatoes and grapes, and never got his $3,000," Luis Magaña said.
His Association of Braceros of North America brought five braceros from San Joaquin County to the Mexican Consulate to protest Wednesday.
One Mexican study said each bracero was owed more like $10,000, Magaña said, "but very few kept their papers and as many as 90 percent never got paid by the Mexican government."
The braceros "were poor people, like my father, who came from the town of Jaripo, Michoacán, along with a big community of guest workers," Magaña said. "For me it's a sad memory. My father sent money, but I remember my mother crying because there was not enough, and one of my sisters died because of lack of medical assistance."
Jose Maria Zepeda, who could barely speak, held up the short hoe or el cortito he used for 21 years in the fields. "This was my work tool when I was strong and young," said Zepeda, 91, who came here in 1942.
"We had to provide food to the citizens here, and I never received anything from the Mexican government. Many us were never paid, and we're dying."
Zepeda and the other braceros also participated in a protest outside the Mexican Consulate against the new guest worker program being proposed as part of a bipartisan immigration reform bill working its way through Congress.
The AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have agreed in principle to a new guest worker program that would authorize 75,000 work visas in five years.
But Zepeda, holding a sign that read Cosecha Sin Justicia (Harvest Without Justice), said: "The workers are here; they don't need guest workers. Now they're considering adding modern slaves to immigration reform. They're going to give them two- or three-year contracts and kick them out of the country with no help, just like they did to us."
Bracero Sotero Cervantes said the new guest workers "will suffer and be exploited as we were. It's more important this country legalize everyone who is illegal right now so they come out of the shadows and work."
González Gutiérrez, the consul general, said the Mexican government has tried to compensate the braceros whose savings disappeared in the Mexican farm bank.
During an application period from October 2008 through January 2009, 230 of 300 braceros who applied to the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento for their savings received $3,000 each, González Gutiérrez said.
"We know there are some people who could not show proof or documents they were in the bracero program or didn't know there was a compensation program," he said.
To compensate braceros who never got their 10 percent savings, "Mexico would have to appropriate new funds approved by Mexico's Congress and a new call for applicants must go out. But the braceros would still need some proof they were in the program," González Gutiérrez said.
The Mexican government has already compensated more than 5,000 braceros for lost wages, he said.
An estimated 4.6 million Mexican farmworkers came to the United States as part of the bracero program, more than half of them to California.
The Association of Braceros of North America "registered close to 5,000 braceros in Northern California, the region served by the Mexican Consulate," Luis Magaña said. "Everybody knows Chavez and others were braceros, but now it will be harder than ever to prove."
Call The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072. Bee researcher Pete Basofin contributed to this report.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/10/5332670/braceros-appeal-to-sacramentos.html#storylink=cpy
4/10 Sac Press Conf:Ex-Braceros Demand Justice; Oppose New Guest Worker Program In Current Immigration Reform Talks
9 April 2013
WHO: Association of Braceros of Northern California
WHAT: Press Conference marking the delivery of petitions from former Braceros – Mexican guest workers who toiled on U.S. farms and in manufacturing from 1942 to 1964 – and a nationwide rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform, but opposing another guest worker program.
WHERE: Consulate General of Mexico, 2093 Arena Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95834
WHEN: 11:30 am. Wednesday, April 10, 2013
CONTACT: Luis Magaña, (209) 405-1213; lmagana [at] afsc.org
EX-BRACEROS DEMAND JUSTICE; OPPOSE NEW GUEST WORKER PROGRAM IN CURRENT IMMIGRATION REFORM TALKS
Sacramento, CA (4/9/13) – Members of the Association of Braceros of Northern California – many of them former migrant farmworkers -- will stage a protest and petition the Mexican Consul in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 10, demanding that Mexico’s new government fulfill a promise to return funds withheld from wages of thousands of Mexican laborers who toiled as guest workers on farms and in factories in the United States.
The new administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto earlier this year froze funds the government had promised to workers who participated in the labor treaty between the U.S. and Mexico, commonly known as the Bracero Program. The move stunned former braceros from Northern California who had struggled in court for almost a decade before finally winning a promise of a refund from the Mexican government. The money was deducted from paychecks of workers and was supposed to support savings accounts for the laborers. Most of the money went missing, however, or was used for other purposes by the Mexican government.
The aging former braceros, many of whom now live in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, on Wednesday will also launch a campaign to oppose a new guest worker program that is expected to be part of the comprehensive immigration reform package being negotiated by lawmakers in Washington, D.C. “There appear to be plans for the resurgence of modern slavery, as part of an immigration proposal, while the two countries ignore the unresolved injustices committed against us,” said Sotero O. Cervantes of 92 years and former bracero of Stockton
US Labor, Immigrants, Immigration & Obama
Why The AFL-CIO & SEIU Are Supporting "Guest Worker Programs"
At a San Francisco Labor Council meeting on February 25, 2013, Al Rojas who s a labor leader from Sacramento and also is in LCLAA discussed the Obama "reform" legislation and how it will affect immigrants and US workers. This includes a proposed "guest worker" program that will pit immigrant workers against US workers with legal documentation. He also talks about the effort by AFL-CIO officials to limit a real debate on immigration and labor and instead are mobilizing for Obama's "reform" legislation.
For more information on the campaign of Sacramento LCLAA contact
nadm916 [at] aol.com or barajasm [at] saclink.csus.edu
Production of Labor Video Project
The UFWA refuses to organize mass actions and strikes such as the 1969 strike and mainly organizes to get the politicians to support them.
UFWA president Arturo Rodriquez who earns more than $125,000 a year is pushing a guest worker slave labor program as a compromise for so called "immigration reform".