Farm Workers Union Makes Bold Statement Endorsing Joe Dunn for Congress

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Douglas Herman
The Strategy Group

Farm Workers Union Makes Bold Statement Endorsing Joe Dunn for Congress

Santa Ana, Calif. – The United Farm Workers have endorsed Joe Dunn for California’s 46th Congressional District, announced the Dunn campaign

“Joe Dunn has been a champion for farm workers and their families,” said Arturo Rodríguez, President of the United Farm Workers. “He’s visited with our workers in the fields, heard their stories, and taken action to help strengthen their voices for better wages and safer working conditions.”

Joe Dunn and his family marched with farm workers from Merced to Sacramento in support of stronger rights for farm workers and he joined farm workers in hunger strikes to protest sweatshop conditions in tomato fields.

The farm workers join Joe’s growing list of support from working families, including endorsements from the Orange County Employees Association, Operating Engineers Local 501, Orange County Attorney’s Association, and Senator Connie Leyva, the former President of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO.

Joe Dunn has thirty years of experience standing up to the establishment and holding big corporations and government bureaucracies accountable to Orange County’s middle-class families. He’s empowered communities through the legal system to stop polluters and fought price-gouging drug companies. He investigated Enron and other unethical energy companies manipulating prices.  He took on oil companies ripping off consumers at the gas pump and stood up to gun manufacturers to make our neighborhoods safer.

Joe fought to secure millions of dollars from tobacco companies to be used for local health care services and community clinics. While heading the California Medical Association, Joe worked with physicians to help broaden access to affordable health care for Californians.

Joe lives with his wife, Diane, in their Santa Ana home of nearly twenty years. They have two adult children, Sarah and John. California’s 46th Congressional District includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, and Santa Ana.

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  • Elsa

    Arturo Rodríguez has not moved one finger for the farm workers in the central valley! He has been ignoring what doesn’t benefit his pocket. The ufw is a true scam , I definitely don’t believe a single word they say.

  • Miguel Bravo

    Arturo eres un corrupto! Tu y todos los de la union. Nomas quieren nuestro dinero.

  • Silvia Lopez

    Joe Dunn you need to help us farm workers who have been suffering from the UFW. They have step over our rights. We have the right to choose. Arturo and ufw have done nothing but lie and attack us workers. They only want to take our money away from us and our families. Do the right thing.

  • 1MrPeanut2

    Joe Dunn and Arturo Rodriguez: two corrupt peas in a pod. Dunn makes a bold claim: “I will stand with farm workers as I always have to expand protections…” (From his Facebook page) “…and pay along with access to clean drinking water and shade for some of our society’s hardest working men and women.

    Dunn is full of something not unusual to farm fields – fertilizer.

    There are multiple laws on the books that already ensure clean drinking water and shade. There are gov’t agencies that enforce these laws, and if a farmworker feels the water is not clean, there is no shade, his wages are being tampered with, he makes one phone call to the gov’t agency (OSHA) and immediatly the issue is investigated. All this takes place without Joe Dunn, or the paycheck grabbing UFW.

    If Dunn truly stands with farmworkers, to protect their rights and higher paying wages, where was Joe Dunn these past 3 years, when 5000+ Central Valley farmworkers, from Gerawan Farming, were taken hostage by the UFW and ALRB? You know the story, Joe…

    It started in 1990, when Gerawan had 500 farmworker employees. UFW narrowly won an election to become the bargaining agent for the Gerawan farmworkers. After that election, UFW attended one (1) bargaining session, with Dolores Huerta as their lead. This occurred early in Bill Clinton’s first term as president. At mid-day of that bargaining session, Huerta and her UFW negotiators left for lunch. They never returned.

    For the rest of Clinton’s first term, UFW made no effort to fulfill their agreement with the farmworkers who elected them. During Bill Clinton’s second term, nothing from the UFW. Not a letter, phone call, fax. No field reps calling. Nothing. George W Bush was elected, and during his 8 years in office, no contact from the UFW. By 2008, most of the 250+ employees that elected the UFW had either passed away, retired or moved on to other jobs. Barak Obama was elected and took office in Jan., 2009. No word from the UFW. 2010, 20 years after the election, nothing from the UFW. 2011, not a peep.

    Then came 2012. New blood came into the ALRB. By 2012, Gerawan’s farmworkers had grown to over 5,000 in number. They were earning upwards of $20 an hour in table grape production. They had benefits, insurance. Private school tuition was available for every child who’s parent worked at Gerawan. The workers were happy, the company was successful, and the UFW’s membership had fallen to less than 4,000 dues paying members.

    Cesar Chavez’ legacy was crumbling and the ALRB looked like it too would become extinct with the UFW. So they hatched a scheme to abuse a law meant to get negotiations moving between employers and the union. It was never meant to reward a union that abandoned the workers who elected them; abandoned them over two decades prior, with a mandatory contract that the farmworkers had no input on, had no right to vote on, that removed their right to protest, and would take 3% of their wages (1 1/2 weeks full paychecks per year, per person) or they would be fired. In 2012, ALRB had been taken over by union organizers, two of whom were UFW organizers.

    ALRB conspired with the UFW to come back to Gerawan, to a farmworker base that was 10 times larger than the one that elected UFW 22 years before, and force the workers into the mandatory union contract mentioned above. While this was taking place, the workers protested in historic numbers, lining the streets of Kerman, Visalia, Fresno and even Sacramento, demanding the right to an election to decertify the UFW.

    After a brutal fight for their right to an election, the UFW and ALRB subjected the Gerawan farmworkers to the worst example of Jim Crow ever seen in California history. ALRB has spent upwards of $11Million to deny the farmworkers their right to their election result. They were allowed to vote in Nov. 2013, but they were segregated, interrogated, intimidated, threatened with deportation, threatened with investigation, told their ballots would be thrown in the trash, forced to show photo ID’s in order to vote, in violation of state law; all of this on election day.

    The UFW bullied the farmworkers in the fields, at their homes, with phone calls, threats, lies; UFW’s Marc Grossman physically assaulted farmworker Silvia Lopez and called Gerawan farmworkers “wetbacks” to try and incite them. Arturo Rodriguez travelled the state maligning Gerawan Farming as evil employers who abused their workers. Rodriguez lied about worker support for a union contract. Rodriguez lied in city council meetings, supervisorial meetings, school district meetings, all to pressure Gerawan to capitulate to the demands for a contract the workers themselves have clearly rejected.

    UFW has also pressured retailers to stop buying Gerawan produce unless the forced contract was agreed to. Arturo Rodriguez used smear ractics to assault the Gerawan family and their company, while marching people around the state who pretended to be Gerawan workers protesting their employer.

    ALRB held a kangaroo court to justify the destruction of the farmworkers ballots. During testimony, it was learned that Armondo Elenes, UFW vice president, perjured himself, this according to ALJ Marc Soble, who presided over the kangaroo court, when he wasn’t napping during the proceedings. On the witness stand, a UFW organizer implicated Armondo Elenes in suborning perjury, encouraging potential witnesses to lie, and witness tampering. All of this is in the Soble decision.

    As a result of over 3 years of litigation, threats, harrassment, slander, lost hours, lost retailers, Gerawan has come to a point where they could not continue to farm table grapes and tree fruit. So Gerawan made the hard decision to end table grape production, which ended employment for 2,500 farmworkers that enjoyed the highest wages in the industry. The wages they enjoyed, until the UFW messed it up, were the result of good workers, good field supervisors and good employers coming together to create a successful operation.

    Through all of this, where was Joe Dunn? Was he standing with the farmworkers who were victimized by the corrupt ALRB and their UFW cronies? Was Joe Dunn fighting for the rights of these 5,000 farmworkers to have their election ballots counted, and their decision honored, as ALRA law requires?

    Nope. Joe Dunn courts the support of the very people responsible for the worst example of Jim Crow in California history, and the loss of employment for 2,500 of the highest wage earning farmworkers in the country.

    • BeeBee.BeeLeaves


      Thanks for this insight, Mr.Peanut.

      Farmworkers put the State on my plate and I thank them for their hard work. If the union is mobbing them, that better stop. And it better stop soon. Exploitation is very bad business.

  • Jesse Redd

    Arturo is always trying to play the political game. Getting articles written on different websites is not going to change the fact that he and Armando Elenes are stealing the rights of thousands of farm workers in Fresno. Learn more at #CountTheVotes

  • Paul Lucas

    Well done. congratulations on the endorsement Mr Dunn.