>From: JOCELYN SHERMAN <UFWOFAMER@aol.com> >Subject: Newsclips: AP, LA Times, La Opinion re: Grape boycott ends >Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 08:37:40 -0800 > >News from the Farm Worker Movement(www.ufw.org): > >http://188.8.131.52/calreport/story/n126.html >UFW calls off grape boycott in time for Thanksgiving >By BRIAN MELLEY >Associated Press Writer > >FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- In time for Thanksgiving, the United Farm Workers >union ended its 16-year boycott of Californa table grapes Tuesday, >saying the original goals of UFW co-founder Cesar Chavez had been >largely met. > >"Cesar Chavez's crusade to eliminate use of five of the most toxic >chemicals plaguing farm workers and their families has been largely >successful," said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. > >In recent years the UFW has not focused any energy on the boycott and >the table grape industry has continued to grow. > >"I think it makes sense for them to call it off," said Kathleen Nave, >president of the California Table Grape Commission. "Of course we're >happy to not have table grapes on any official boycott list." > >Chavez called for the boycott on June 12, 1984, as a way of focusing on >the spraying of dangerous pesticides. It was the third boycott of >California grapes called by the UFW. > >The first boycott ran from 1967 until 1970, when growers signed their >first contracts with the UFW. The second grape boycott began in 1973 and >received more widespread support than the recent one. > >A 1975 Harris poll found 17 million Americans were boycotting grapes, >according to the UFW. The boycott ended two years later, after the >Agricultural Labor Relations Act was passed, allowing farmworkers to >organize and bargain for contracts. > >As union membership dwindled and state oversight of agribusiness dropped >off, however, Chavez launched the final boycott to bring attention to >what he called "The Wrath of Grapes" -- the threat from pesticides. > >In the final years of his life, Chavez fought passionately for the cause >that inspired the 1984 boycott. At age 61 he conducted his longest >public fast -- the 36-day "Fast for Life" -- and continued to press the >boycott until his death five years later in 1993. > >"The fast was, finally, a declaration of noncooperation with >supermarkets that promote, sell and profit from California table >grapes," Chavez said at a 1989 speech in Tacoma, Wash. "They are as >culpable as those who manufacture the poisons and those who use them." > >But as the latest boycott dragged out, it failed to gain a large >following. Consumer studies for the grape industry have found fewer than >5 percent of consumers were aware of the boycott, Nave said. > >Rodriguez said he thinks Chavez, his father-in-law, would have made the >same decision to end the boycott. The union is now focused on the more >important goal of organizing and negotiating contracts in the fields. > >In a letter to the National Farm Worker Ministry in St. Louis, which >mobilized support for the boycott among religious groups, Rodriguez said >it was no longer fair to ask supporters to honor the boycott. > >The end of the boycott represents a significant shift in direction for >the union that rose to power and national attention through its earlier >grape strikes and grape boycotts. > >Today, the UFW, which has dwindled to 27,000 members from a high of >80,000 in 1970, only has one table grape contract. > >It has branched into the mushroom and rose industry in recent years and >in August it signed its first contract with Gallo -- the subject of an >earlier boycott -- to cover 450 vineyard workers in Sonoma County. > >Although it called off the boycott, the union said that should not be >seen as an endorsement to buy table grapes. > >"Table grape workers continue to suffer poverty pay, poor working >conditions and mistreatment on the job," said UFW spokesman Marc >Grossman. "We look forward to the day where table grape workers, too, >can enjoy the blessings of organized labor." >---------------------------------------------------------------------- >On the Net:United Farm Workers of America: http://www.ufw.org >Copyright: Associated Press > >http://www.latimes.com/news/state/20001122/t000112185.html >Wednesday, November 22, 2000 >Farm Workers Union Ends 16-Year Boycott of Grapes >Agriculture: UFW says use of some pesticides it targeted was curbed. >Growers group contends the action didn't deter sales. > >By JAMES RAINEY, Times Staff Writer > > "No Grapes!"--a spirited rallying cry of the labor movement and the >political left for much of the last four decades--officially receded >into history Tuesday as the United Farm Workers of America declared an >end to its protracted boycott of California table grapes. > The announcement by UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez makes official >what had already become a fait accompli; the union and even its loyal >followers had mostly lost interest in the sanction against the state's >grape growers. > Rodriguez said he ended the UFW's third grape boycott, which began >16 years ago, because of a recent string of farm worker victories that >included the elimination of many of the pesticides the embargo had >targeted. > "Some goals of that boycott have already been met," Rodriguez said >in a letter to a farm worker support group. "Cesar Chavez's crusade to >eliminate use of five of the most toxic chemicals plaguing farm workers >and their families has been largely successful. > "It is not fair to ask our supporters to honor a boycott," Rodriguez >said, "when the union must devote all of its present resources toward >organizing and negotiating contracts." > Farm industry leaders welcomed the announcement, but said they >believe that the union's move amounts to a concession that the boycott >has failed to hurt the ever-expanding table grape business. > "The bottom line is that it never worked. It wasn't effective," said >Bob Krauter, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau Federation. "The >union just had to have something to say when they called it off." > The boycott that ended this week was a pale imitation of two earlier >union table grape sanctions, which galvanized farm workers and liberals >as Chavez created the nation's first viable agricultural union. > The first boycott began in Delano, Calif., in 1963, as the fledgling >union attempted to pressure growers to sign union contracts. UFW >activists traveled in caravans to cities across America. They picketed >in front of supermarkets, raising consciousness about farm workers and >becoming a favorite cause for college activists. Chavez called off that >first boycott in 1970, with the union in triumph and contracts in place >with the state's largest grape growers. > But three years later, the boycott began again, this time with the >UFW on the defensive after losing most of its labor agreements to the >Teamsters Union, which signed sweetheart deals with growers. > The second grape boycott overlapped with the union's call for >consumers to shun two other nonunion products--lettuce and Gallo wines. >Bumper stickers reading "No Grapes" (or, in Spanish, "No Uvas"), or >criticizing lettuce growers or the giant winemaker seemed like a >standard issue for many progressive activists. > Again, a small army of activists traveled across the country to >promote the boycotts. One survey indicated that as many as 17 million >Americans weren't buying grapes, union officials said. > In 1977, Chavez removed the sanctions against grapes, lettuce and >Gallo wines, again in apparent triumph, after the passage of a >California farm labor law that was considered the strongest in the >nation. > It was in 1984 that the UFW leadership launched the third and >longest grape boycott, one that never had the focus or public support of >its predecessors. The union shifted the target of the strike--first >urging Gov. George Deukmejian to improve enforcement of the farm labor >law, then demanding more contracts with grape growers and, finally, >concentrating on the pesticide issue. > At age 61 Chavez conducted his longest public fast--the 36-day "Fast >for Life"--and continued to press the boycott until his death five years >later in 1993. > The third boycott initially was promoted in UFW mailers to millions >of households, but it never evoked the door-to-door spirit of its >predecessors. Over the years, the union devoted progressively less >attention to the boycott. Even some activists weren't sure if the ban on >grapes remained in place. > "One boycott is on and the other is off. It's constantly shifting," >said Phil Martin, a professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis. "It >becomes too complicated for the average person to figure out." > Nonetheless, union leader Rodriguez said that three pesticides that >most concerned Chavez--Dinoseb, parathion and Phosdrin--are no longer >used in the fields. A fourth pesticide, methyl bromide, is to be phased >out and a fifth, Captan, is under much greater restriction. > Those developments and the signing of a string of union contracts in >recent years were reason enough to drop the boycott and focus attention >on other issues, said Rodriguez, in what the union called "a message >timed for Thanksgiving." > But grape growers said their business appeared to be unaffected by >the UFW's long campaign. Production increased 40% to 660,000 tons over >the last 16 years and the cash value of the California grape crop more >than doubled to $382 million, industry officials said. > "It hasn't hindered or restricted sales at all," Krauter said. > The end of the grape boycott leaves in place just one UFW >boycott--on mushrooms from the Pictsweet Mushroom Farm in Ventura. The >UFW has called on consumers not to buy the mushrooms since last summer, >part of the union's long-running effort to win a contract for 300 >Pictsweet workers. Since the boycott, both Vons and the Ralphs Grocery >Co. have stopped carrying Pictsweet. > Proving that old habits die hard, some union activists said they >would continue to shun table grapes. > "Table grape workers continue to suffer poverty pay, poor working >conditions and mistreatment on the job," said UFW spokesman Marc >Grossman. "We look forward to the day where table grape workers too can >enjoy the blessings of organized labor." >* * * >The Associated Press contributed to this report. >Copyright: Los Angeles Times > >La Opinion >Se levanta el boicot contra la uva >Sindicato campesino opta por buscar sus metas a travs de junta laboral >estatal >Armando E. Botello, >Corresponsal de La Opinin >Mircoles, 22 de noviembre de 2000 > >SACRAMENTO.- El boicot que durante los ltimos 16 aos ha llevado a cabo >el Sindicato de Campesinos (UFW) contra la industria de la uva de mesa >lleg el martes a su fin tras un repentino anuncio hecho por la >dirigencia del gremio, que fue recibido con indiferencia por el sector >agrcola. > >El anuncio no significa que el sindicato cesar su lucha en favor de los >miles de campesinos que laboran en el cultivo y cosecha de dicha fruta, >sino que intentar hacerlo a travs de la recin constituida Junta de >Relaciones Laborales Agrcolas. De esta manera usar el respaldo >poltico que hasta ahora ha recibido del gobernador Davis y de los >mltiples legisladores latinos. > >"Aun no estamos satisfechos con los sueldos ni con las condiciones de >trabajo en la industria de la uva, pero vamos a utilizar otros mtodos >para continuar tratando de mejorar esa situacin y la de otros >trabajadores campesinos", dijo a La Opinin el presidente del Sindicato >de Trabajadores Agrcolas (UFW), Arturo Rodrguez. > >La conclusin de la medida de fuerza no fue motivo de celebracin dentro >de la industria agrcola, cuyos representantes expresaron que el boicot >haba sido inefectivo, ya que no haba mermado las ventas de la uva en >ningn momento. > >"El final del boicot significa la admisin de que no atrajo mucha >atencin entre el consumidor y que no ha tenido efecto en la reduccin >de ventas de la uva", indic Bob Krauter, vocero de la Oficina Agrcola >de California. > >Aunque Krauter dijo no contar con datos especficos sobre el volumen de >las ventas domsticas de la uva, pero afirm que en los aos en que se >sostuvo el boicot la exportacin de dicho producto ha aumentado en un >200%. > >Un poco de historia > >El ha sido una de las ms potentes armas utilizadas por el sindicato >durante sus ms de 30 aos de lucha para organizar a los campesinos y en >dos previas ocasiones, en los aos 60 y 70, ya se haba utilizado dicha >tctica contra las uvas de mesa. La primera ocasin para lograr >contratos laborales y la segunda para conseguir la ley de relaciones >laborales agrcola. > >El anuncio del tercer boicot internacional contra la uva fue hecho en >septiembre de 1984 durante la sptima Convencin Constitucional del >Sindicato, realizada en Bakersfield, California, por su fundador y en >aquel entonces presidente, Csar Chvez. > >"Hoy daremos principio a nuestra siguiente jornada con otro boicot >internacional contra [la industria de] la uva. No importa cuntos >obstculos encontraremos en nuestro camino -rancheros, jueces, >gobernadores- a todos les haremos frente sin temor", dijo Chvez en >aquel entonces. > >Este tercer boicot contra la industria de la uva, a diferencia de los >anteriores, no solamente buscaba mejores contratos laborales sino que >tambin estaba dirigido contra el uso de pesticidas en los campos de >cosecha de dicho producto, los cuales ponan en peligro la salud de los >campesinos y del consumidor. > >El final del boicot fue anunciado por medio de una carta enviada por >Arturo Rodrguez, presidente del sindicato, a Virginia Nesmith, >directora ejecutiva del Ministerio Nacional de Trabajadores Campesinos, >una institucin religiosa que por varios aos se ha dedicado a coordinar >los boicots del sindicato con grupos religiosos. > >"El UFW no ha participado activamente en el boicot durante los ltimos >aos y respetamos su decisin", declar Nesmith a este medio >informativo. Rodrguez declara en la carta que varias de las metas >buscadas por el boicot han sido logradas, ya que tres de los pesticidas >ms peligrosos ya no son utilizados en los campos de uva, otro ms est >sealado para dejar de utilizarse en el ao 2005 y restricciones >bastante severas han sido impuestas para el uso de un quinto. > >Adems, segn la misiva, el sindicato ha ganado 20 elecciones laborales >y ha firmado 24 nuevos contratos laborales, incluyendo uno que fue >pactado con la compaa vincola Gallo, que cubre a 450 trabajadores del >condado de Sonoma. > >"Tambin tenemos una nueva esperanza para hacer cumplir de manera >efectiva y significativa la histrica ley laboral agrcola de California >a travs de los nuevos nominados por el gobernador Davis para formar >parte de la Junta de Relaciones Laborales Agrcolas", dijo Rodrguez en >su carta. > >El presidente del sindicato tambin solicita en la carta el continuo >apoyo hacia el boicot contra los hongos comestibles marca Picksweet, >producidos en el condado Ventura. > >Copyright: La >Opininhttp://www.laopinion.com:81/archivo/index.html?START=1&RESULTSTART=1&DISPLAYTYPE=single&WORDS=%0A%09ufw+ufw%0A&FREETEXT=ufw&FDATEd12=&FDATEd13=&BOOLp00=&BOOLp08=&SORT_MODE=datedes > >For more information on the Farm Worker Movement visit our web site at >http://www.ufw.org and/or subscribe to the Farm Worker Movement list serve >by sending an e-mail to UFWfirstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe send an >e-mail to: UFWemail@example.com.
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