Bernstein Column on UFW Case Omitted Several Points

Harry Bernstein appropriately noted the ludicrousness of the recent $1.7-million judgment imposed against the United Farm Workers union.

However, he understated the UFW’s ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

In its 25-year history, the UFW has tenaciously overcome every threat to its existence.

Through its current grape boycott, the UFW will survive this crisis and continue to serve farm workers and consumers.


The UFW does face many obstacles. The Deukmejian Administration refuses to enforce a law that protects the right of farm workers to organize.

Farm workers cannot participate in a free and fair election and must work in extremely hazardous working environments. No table grape worker receives the benefit of a UFW contract because of the growers’ refusal to negotiate in good faith.

These problems, plus the Maggio case, might make the UFW’s future appear bleak. It’s not.

The UFW will end these repressive circumstances when it wins the current grape boycott.


By not eating grapes, consumers can send a powerful message to growers that the injustices occurring in the California fields must stop. The boycott represents the UFW’s hope.

When enough consumers find this out and realize what’s happening in the fields, the growers will be hit in the only spot they apparently take seriously--the pocketbook.


Los Angeles