In a season filled with the bounty of California's rich farmland, Harry Bernstein's sobering account of the United Farm Workers reminds me that still we reap a harvest of shame.
When the Agricultural Labor Relations Board came into being, I had high hopes that the right to choose a union would finally be granted to the poorest and most physically taxed of California's workers. The right is still there, but can it be that farm workers so uniformly reject a form of organization so common elsewhere in labor?
Or, as Bernstein suggests, has the board become a tool to assure not fair elections, but no unions?
If the latter, it is time to appoint persons who will carry out their duties under the law. I am not pro- or anti-UFW, but I strongly believe in the right of farm workers to choose. Yet, until the board sees to it that farm workers enjoy the full benefit of the law, who else will speak for farm workers but the UFW?