SANGER, Calif. (AP) — Six months ago, Central California workers at one of the largest stone fruit farms in the country voted to decide if they would continue to be represented by the United Farm Workers.
The UFW won that right two decades ago but never forged a labor contract.
The ballots, still uncounted, sit at the center of a bitter dispute between the union launched by iconic farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and Gerawan Farming, Inc.
Farmer Dan Gerawan said the union and a runaway state labor board are in collusion, using what he considers to be an unconstitutional state law to control his business and rob workers of their choice of whether to be represented.
UFW's National Vice President Armando Elenes said farm workers need union protection today more than ever.