Collective Bargaining and Civil Rights
In an article published in the Union Watch website on the 26th of December 2014, Patterson provides that workers at Fresno’s Gerewan Farming, Inc., made a three hour protest at California’s labor board headquarters. This was on the 26th of August 2014. As opposed to championing for better working conditions and wages under an umbrella labor union, these protesters were calling for the decertification of United Farm Workers (UFW), a union that had disappeared for 20 years only to resurface and demand members pay three percent of their wages to the union. In essence, the protesters from Gerawan Farming were championing a new advancement in civil liberties. The workers were advocating for the right not to join a labor union.
The UFW had remained dormant for more than two decades after it suffered intra conflicts among members as to the future direction of the union (Patterson, 2014). At the time, UFW was competing against a number of other labor unions also championing for the rights of farm workers. During the two decades, younger farm workers replaced the older generation and as such, no subscriptions were paid to UFW. In 2012, UFW resurfaced and began demanding 3% of employee earnings. This resulted in workers earning less money. They sought to have the union decertified.
This was a unique case where workers went against the demand of workers. The implications of this particular case have far-reaching consequences in collective bargaining and issues of civil rights. As organizations prosper, they become more dedicated towards equitable and fair labor practices as is the case with Gerawan Farming. It is therefore possible to have unions decertified by members through a vote if the labor relations and PR of an organization is positively embraced by an organization.
Patterson, M. (26 December, 2014). Farm workers and the New Civil Rights Struggle – Decertification of Bad Unions. Union Watch. Retrieved from http://unionwatch.org/farmworkers-and-the-new-civil-rights-struggle-decertification-of-bad-unions/