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Strawberry workers say no to UFW bid: Secret ballot held at Watsonville and Salinas ranches

Strawberry workers at Corralitos Farms have rejected a bid for representation by the United Farm Workers.

The results of the secret ballot election, held Wednesday at Wilder Ranch in Watsonville and Salinas Airport Ranch in Monterey County, were announced Friday by the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

The tally was 187 against and 154 in favor, with 99 percent of workers employed during the week of Sept. 3-9 casting ballots, according to the board. Nineteen ballots were challenged, and three were voided. The union can file an objection to the vote within five days of the election.

The board called for the vote after the UFW filed a certification petition Sept. 14. Under state law, the board is required to conduct an election within seven days of the filing.

Sylvia Torres-Guillen, the board's general counsel, called the turnout "historic" and described the election as "peaceful."

The UFW has not been very successful in organizing Santa Cruz County's strawberry fields. Swanton Berry Farm on the North Coast is the exception. Workers there have been represented by the UFW for more than a decade. Santa Cruz Sentinel

Read the original story here.

Originally posted Monday, Sep. 24, 2012

Tags: ag labor, strawberries

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