by Jocelyn Sherman
D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California President John D’Arrigo and United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodríguez signed a breakthrough union contract on June 28th, ushering in a new collaborative approach with the parties working together locally to provide substantial benefits for both workers and employer. It comes at a time when the industry is confronting labor shortages and both sides are frustrated by bickering and inaction over immigration reform by policymakers in the nation’s capital.
“Today marks a new day in the relationship between D’Arrigo Bros and the United Farm Workers. We are proud to have worked closely with John D’Arrigo and his negotiations team to reach this historic partnership agreement,” said Rodríguez.
More than 1,500 UFW members at D’Arrigo (1,200 in the Salinas Valley) will receive significant hourly and productivity pay hikes making them among the highest paid vegetable workers in California, the best family medical, dental and vision benefits for farm workers in the state 100 percent covered by the company, six paid holidays a year and other contract improvements. D’Arrigo also employs about 350 vegetable workers in the Imperial Valley who are also included in the contract.
“There are many challenges confronting the AG industry around labor, immigration, food safety, and foreign competition. For those reasons we want to create an environment where workers can make a good living and be treated in respectful way for their professional skills and talents.”
Arturo S. Rodríguez
D’Arrigo Bros. Co. will achieve a competitive advantage by continuing to attract and maintain a better compensated, more experienced and professional work force with higher morale and productivity, as well as a higher quality product for consumers.
Both parties are pledging to eliminate or minimize conflicts, grievances and strife, and open a new relationship where management and union work collaboratively to help each other more effectively compete.
“There are many challenges confronting the AG industry around labor, immigration, food safety, and foreign competition. For those reasons we want to create an environment where workers can make a good living and be treated in respectful way for their professional skills and talents,” added Rodríguez.
Jocelyn Sherman, United Farm Workers.