Online petition sends message to Giumarra Vineyards that sexual harassment and retaliatory practices against farm workers is unacceptable

LatinaLista — There’s no industry in this country probably more dependent on immigrant labor than the agricultural industry. Latinos, both legal and undocumented, make up the bulk of workers who pick this nation’s fruits and vegetables.

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It’s the one industry where not much in technological advances has been made regarding the picking of the products — the work is still done by people who must bend, squat, stretch in the harshest of elements, all at lightning speed to fill their bags, baskets and buckets if they want to earn a decent wage that day.

Unfortunately, the treatment of these workers hasn’t advanced either since these farms and vineyards were first founded back at the turn of the 20th Century. It’s something we’re reminded of when we hear federal cases like the one of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s suit against Giumarra Vineyards for allegedly violating federal law by sexually harassing a teenage female farm worker and retaliating against farm workers who came to her aid.

Giumarra, which has products under their Nature’s Partner label, has a long history of harassing, intimidating and retaliating against their employees. If these workers weren’t so desperate to work, they would quit Giumarra but they don’t. And because they don’t, they set themselves up for treatment that shouldn’t be tolerated in a civilized society.

According to the

EEOC suit, the young woman “was subjected to sexual advances, sexually inappropriate touching and abusive and offensive sexual comments about the male sex organ by a male co-worker.”

The EEOC further alleged that after witnessing the sexual harassment, farm workers came to the aid of the teenage victim and complained to Giumarra Vineyards. However, instead of Giumarra management taking the appropriate action against the harassers, the victim and people who helped her were fired. The EEOC suit states they “were summarily discharged in retaliation for their opposition to the sexual harassment.”

The retaliatory actions taken by Giumarra lack reason or justification and underscore the complicity of this company in such treatment of their workers.

The United Farm Workers have started an online petition telling Giumarra that their actions are not acceptable.

A delegation of women leaders will hand the petition to Giumarra/Nature’s Partner and attempt to meet with this company in mid-February. The petition is intended to give Giumarra a strong message that no one will tolerate this behavior — anymore.

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17 Comments

  1. cookie said:

    This happens in many workplaces not just in the farming industry.
    The fact is that if you come to this country illegally to work you are setting yourself up for exploitation by greedy employers who will use one’s status in this country as leverage to commit abuses. I am not condoning that of course but it is the raw facts of life. If EVERYONE follows the rules then there is less likelyhood of abuse.
    We need to get back to a legal and orderly immigration process by enforcing our immigration laws against both the employer and the employee.

  2. Evelyn said:

    cookie :
    This happens in many workplaces not just in the farming industry.
    The fact is that if you come to this country illegally to work you are setting yourself up for exploitation by greedy employers who will use one’s status in this country as leverage to commit abuses. I am not condoning that of course but it is the raw facts of life. If EVERYONE follows the rules then there is less likelyhood of abuse.
    ~~
    The “rules” are broken, so does that mean you are willing to accept CIR, because that is how the “rules” can be fixed in a humane manner.
    Supporting the status quo means supporting exploitation by greedy employers among many other abuses against people whose status in this country is illegal.

  3. Bianca said:

    To cookie, you did read that the workers are both legal and illegal right? Or did you happen to skip over that? Do you just come on here to take one sided ideals that don’t coincide with the post at all? What is the point of coming on here when it’s clearly a site dedicated to Latino/a issues…Strange…

  4. cookie said:

    Bianca, Marisa hasn’t made this a blog that only Latinos can post on. You have a problem with other Americans other than Latinos? Or someone disagreeing with a Latino?
    I never mentioned legal immigrants. I said if one chooses to come here illegally employers will abuse and exploit them. It isn’t right but when you don’t follow the laws bad things can happen to you.
    Evelyn, no our immigration laws aren’t broken they just haven’t been enforced like we were promised in 1986 nor were our borders secured. I don’t support the status quo. I support using e-verify so that employers can only hire legal workers and rid themselves of illegal workers on their payrolls. Most illegals will self-deport. There is nothing inhumane expecting any so-called immigrant to go back home if they haven’t come through legal channels. I have read your posts in HB and all I can say is that they totally disgust me. Of all the nerve stating that Mexicans have the right to roam this entire continent without the permission of the governments on this continent. I have never read so much hatred directed at white Europeans in my entire life. You call them racists while you can’t see your own racism and hatred that runs so deep you need psychological help.

  5. Jeff Fisher said:

    All credible sources have tried to explain from their research that undocumented workers are a huge plus to our economy from all aspects. Any complaints come from complete and absolute ignorance. This so called problem is solely due to our hugely dysfunctional federal government that won’t provide legal papers for one of the most important resources in our nation, the people that actually do the physical work needed to create real wealth instead of the pyramid schemes that Washington promotes. No one works harder than the farm workers and we should have day to honor them.

  6. Bruce said:

    In the words of the IWW, an injury to one is an injury to all. Workers are exploited, as a class, by employers, as a class. A persons “legal” status is secondary to their relationship to the means of production. Thus a female worker is always going to be subject to more harassment and exploitation than a female owner. I’m signing the petition.

  7. cookie said:

    Tell you what Jeff, I will put my credible sources up against yours any day of the week. Anything with the word illegal attached to it can’t be good. What happened to common sense on this issue for you apologists for illegal aliens?
    It is pure baloney that Americans won’t do manual labor. Who do you think did it before the illegals came here in droves? The only work that an American might not do is farm work I will give you that one but we have plenty of visas for legal foreign farm workers available. It is just that the farmers have chosen to take the easy route so that they can hire cheap illegal labor instead and pocket more profit.
    No, for the most part our quotas for legal immigration are not too low or unfair. It is just that we have more of the world’s poor wanting to come here than we have jobs and resources for. Should we increase our quotas to benefit the immigrant or have quotas that best fit the true needs of our nation as we do now? Any American who supports unneeded immigration in favor of the immigrant rather than the real needs of our nation IMO is disloyal.

  8. Aaron said:

    Bruce, you International Workers of the World, aka communist are coming out of the wooodwork at last. I’d hoped we would have heard the last of you after the miserable and disastrous failure of your experiment in the Soviet Union.
    In this country, workers have the right to strike if they feel aggrieved by their employers, and they can sue if they are discriminated against. I really don’t want to hear your Communist Manifesto tripe, material taken right out of Marx/Engles discredited work, thank you. While you may belittle the citizens of this country’s right to control their destiny by controlling their borders, you are of a small minority on that account.

  9. Angel said:

    Bruce, I checked out your IWW web site (http://www.iww.org/) and noted that you friends are saying that our military didn’t go into Haiti to help with humanitarian aid, but to prop up the government. I just wonder what Haiti has that we would want. Perhaps you think that we want to adopt millions of sick, injured, poor and illiterate people at a time when we are flat broke and borrowing from your friends in the People’s Republic of China. Well, that’s evidently a shameful lie. If it weren’t for our troops and U.S.foreign aid , Navy protection and port construction and air transport service, Haiti would be far worse off than it is today. I find the company you keep, i.e. lying communist types at the IWW vile and anti-patriotic. For people like you to smear the nation that has become Haiti’s savior is dispicable.

  10. Evelyn said:

    Cookie
    The 1986 immigration law you refer to aka, “The (IRAC) Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986,” never included enforcement measures, or border security other then what existed at that time.
    That law made it illegal for employers to hire immigrants whose status is illegal, but it didnt provide a way for employers to know who was here legally and who was unauthorized for employment. That is but one reason why our immigration laws are so antiquated and broken.
    We need a bio-metric card that can tell an employer that the card holder is also the owner and that the owner is eligible to work legally. The bio- metric card will also make anyone ineligible to have one self deport when they become aware of their inability to support themselves without jobs. It will also deter anyone in the future from coming here without proper documentation. That bio-metric card is included in CIR.
    Our immigration laws allow unscrupulous employers to recruit and employ immigrants if they can come here, but they dont allow immigrants a way to come legally when our economy is booming and they are needed. In recent years many employers have moved their operations out of the US for lack of workers. Especially farmers. Those workers above field hands, like truck drivers, supervisors, warehouse workers and others with better paying jobs, have also lost their jobs. Those broken immigration laws also affect Americans citizens negativily.
    quote
    “In recent years, many Tech Companies have said that a lack of qualified U.S. workers has forced them to hire educated non-U.S. citizens to stay competitive. The U.S. government, however, restricts the number of visas it gives to qualified college-educated foreign workers, a source of tension and controversy among tech companies, the U.S. government and qualified American workers.”
    The only option these companies are left with is to outsource these jobs overseas. Because of this many American citizens also loose their jobs.
    I will admit I do think Mexicans and other indigenous people have a right to migrate on this Continent. Most Mexicans (except those like ex president Vicente Fox from Mexico who have blond hair and blue eyes aka the ruling elite) are Indians. Even though most Nativists will never admit that fact, because then no one could get away with calling them “illegal aliens.” People who claim Mexicans are Spaniards for having small amounts of Spanish blood because their grandmothers were raped are dispicable. To disprove this theory, look at a person from Spain. Do most Mexicans look like them? Not by a long shot.
    The United States Of America did not become the superpower she is because Euroamericans who invaded this Continent worked harder then people in other countries that surround us.
    She became a superpower because of greediness. Only 5% of the worlds population lives in the US, yet we consume over 25% of the worlds resources. The life blood has been sucked out of Countries that surround us by greedy American companies and the American Government colluding with the corrupt ruling elite in those countries. When people in those countries have tried to “FIX” their countries by ousting their corrupt governments, the US government intercedes by outfitting and training the soldiers of those corrupt governments to squash their people.
    You say you have read my posts at HB, and have never read so much hatred directed at white Europeans in your entire life. Well, what you call hatred, is actually called History, and I agree with you that because much of it is based on hate, it isn’t pretty. The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, especally when we are portrayed and taught to believe our entire lives we are something we are not. History can be very inconvenient to those of us who come from immigrants and try to demonize people who were here before us.
    You say I call them racists while I can’t see my own racism and hatred that runs so deep I need psychological help.
    WOW! …..I guess I’ll just have to remind you, that many people on this forum and off, have made that same comment about you.

  11. cookie said:

    Wrong, Evelyn! There is a way to come here legally it is just that we have more immigrants wanting to come here than we can accomodate. So are we supposed to let them all in anyway or allow them to come here illegally regardless?
    E-verify has been available to check for legitimate workers for some time now. It is just that it wasn’t made mandatory. We need to make it mandatory in every business along with biometrics that proves a potential and current employees lawful right to work here. This will stop the fraud on both the employers and employees side. There is no need for a CIR that includes amnesty to make that happen.
    There are very few jobs where we have a shortage of American workers even in a booming economy. It is just that the employers found a huge readily available cheap illegal workforce and used them to line their pockets with more profit. As for the farming industry we have unused visas for that kind of work but instead again the farmers found it cheaper to hire illegals.
    I say for any so-called jobs that Americans won’t do for a fair wage then legal guest workers can be used but not illegal aliens as it is against the law. And no, jobs aren’t being outsourced due to an American worker shortage it is for the same reason as the above…higher profits. With the use of illegal labor and/or outsourcing either way the American worker is screwed.
    No, Mexicans do not have the right to this entire continent nor does anyone else including those with native indian blood whose tribes were native to the USA. Do the Irish whose ancestors were native to Europe have the right to the entire continent of Europe? Of course not, one only has the right to be in the country that they are citizens of unless they have some sort of visa or passport.
    As for your argument that “most” native indian women were raped by the Spaniards where is your proof of that one? How do you figure if the father was Spaniard and the mother native indian that there is only one drop of Spanish blood? The child inherits an equal amount of genes from the mother and the father. You might want to educate yourself on how genetics work when a child is conceived. It doesn’t matter what one looks like for God’s sake! There are light skinned mixed blood people and also dark skinned. Obama is every bit white as he is black genetically regardless that his skin is darker.
    Your problem is that you are still hating on white people of European ancestry for something they never did and those who did are all dead now. You live entirely in the past rather than the present. No one is entitled to an entire continent just because their ancestors lived on some part of it at one time.
    I don’t hate anyone. I just live in the present and respect my county’s immgration laws and our right to enforce them under TODAY’s rules. But the pro-amnesty crowd like you akin that to hatred. How bizarre is that? Maybe you should look up the word hatred in the dictionary as you obviously don’t know what it means. My ancestors came here way after any native indian conflicts and this country was already established as the USA and I was BORN here. But that doesn’t stop you from hating me and every other white skinned person in this country. As I said before, part of your ancestors where the Irish. They came here right around the same time that my ancestors did so you are no different than I am. Your native indian ancestors were not of the same tribes as the Mexicans were. Your native tribes were native to THIS country, the Aztecs and Mayans were not and no, they were not one big happy family either. They warred with each other and would protect their territories from outside tribes.
    I acknowledge ALL history. You are picking an choosing what history you will acknowledge and then claim that anyone with native indian blood has the right to the entire continent. I think most pro-amnesty people wouldn’t even agree with you on that one. Doesn’t matter we are all individual countries with our own citizen populace today and you will just have to live with it.

  12. Evelyn said:

    Wrong Cookie, I advocate for all immigrants who are already here, but especally for those indigenous peoples who have been left without a way to feed their families in their countries of origin by greedy American corps. and the American gov who are in collusion with the corrupt Mexican government of elites. These first world peoples are forced to leave their families and migrate to where their wealth is taken, and to do it without proper documentation, because that is where the jobs are.
    E-verify is a flawed system that discriminates against many people who are American citizens with Spanish surnames. I have seen this myself. It is also something that cannot be made mandatory unless a law is passed. That isnt going to happen unless that law is conprehensive. Neither side is going to budge and pass just one part of immigration reform. CIR is the only way.
    If there are very few jobs where we have a shortage of American workers even in a booming economy, then how do you explain so many companies and farmers moving out of the country for lack of workers. Here is one link to one story Here is another link to a similer story.
    I have no Idea why you are defending the fact that Mexicans do not have the right to to this entire Continent when no one said they did.
    What I said is that it is my belief that they should have a right to migrate on this Continent because only 5% of the worlds population lives in the US, yet we consume over 25% of the worlds resources. The life blood has been sucked out of Countries that surround us by greedy American companies and the American Government colluding with the corrupt ruling elite in countries where people have to leave their families behind to look for a way to support them. When people in those countries have tried to “FIX” their countries by ousting their corrupt governments, the US government intercedes by outfitting and training the soldiers of those corrupt governments to squash their people.
    You say one only has the right to be in the country that they are citizens of unless they have some sort of visa or passport. Tell me cookie how do these immigrants that were allowed and sometimes recruted to come to the US, get jobs, work, pay taxes, buy homes, get married to Americans, and have American children get a passport or visa. All Europeans have to do is choose the country they want to move to and they are given a passport in about a month. Also it may shock you to know that the indigenous people of Australia can move around the Continent freely.
    You say you want proof that Native American women were raped. Well it’s written in history books that havent been whitewashed. Can you prove to me they weren’t raped.
    If there are 5 thousand Indians in one place and 1 thousand Spanish men come to that place and every one of them has a child with an Indian woman as time goes by, any future generations will have less spanish blood, and the blood of the 5 thousand Indians will dominate, because the offspring of those first mestizos will mix with the Indians. Especially in Mexico where the European elite dont mix with the Indians . That is why you see so many Mexicans that look European, they actually are.
    You say my problem is that I am, “still hating on white people of European ancestry for something they never did and those who did are all dead now.”
    Yes like I stated before, because denouncing racism and the flawed ideology of white privilege is just awful to you.
    You say you don’t hate anyone, and that you just live in the present and respect your county’s immigration laws and your right to enforce them under Today’s rules. By doing that you are disrespecting our constution which is the supreme law of this land. By advocating to keep immigration laws that provide neither justice nor equality as our Constitution requests for all people within our borders, you are disrespecting the highest law of the land. The law that refutes all other laws. The law that dominates and can destroy all other laws. Especially laws that are antiquated for our time and do nothing but harm people.
    Your problem is that you know what I say is true and since you are left without a way to defend yourself you resort to the only thing you have left, which is trying to discredit me by attacking me personally. Fact of the matter is, it is you who is going to have to live with the fact in mind that it is you who fail to understand (and won’t debate) that your ancestors had no more right to avoid changing their land of origin and come to the United States than a modern immigrant. At the time there was no immigration restrictions on western Europeans (and a full 93% came from there), but you want to call them “legal immigrants”. A fellow HB forum member brought that fact to our attention.

  13. Alonzo said:

    “Wrong Cookie, I advocate for all immigrants who are already here, but especally for those indigenous peoples who have been left without a way to feed their families in their countries of origin by greedy American corps. and the American gov who are in collusion with the corrupt Mexican government of elites. These first world peoples are forced to leave their families and migrate to where their wealth is taken, and to do it without proper documentation, because that is where the jobs are.”
    So, Evelyn, because some Americans are greedy, all Americans are to be condemned. Seems to me that one could use that as a basis for condemning all illegal aliens for the bad deeds of some. Using that rationale, our government would be justified in imprisoning every illegal alien in the country. Your logic is sheer malicious nonsense.

  14. Evelyn said:

    So, Evelyn, because some Americans are greedy, all Americans are to be condemned. Seems to me that one could use that as a basis for condemning all illegal aliens for the bad deeds of some. Using that rationale, our government would be justified in imprisoning every illegal alien in the country. Your logic is sheer malicious nonsense.
    Alonzo
    … “some Americans are greedy,” are your words not mine.
    I said, “The life blood has been sucked out of Countries that surround us by greedy American companies and the American Government ”
    You are aware that “we the people ” make up the American government.
    quote:
    “The United States” always gets singled out. But for good reason: It is the world’s largest consumer. Americans take the greatest share of most of the world’s major commodities: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil, and natural gas. For many others, Americans are the largest per-capita consumers. In “super-size-me” land, Americans gobble up more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, compared to just 6 kilos in India, for instance.
    The lifestyle of the average American takes 9.5 hectares, while Australians and Canadians require 7.8 and 7.1 hectares respectively; Britons, 5.3 hectares; Germans, 4.2; and the Japanese, 4.9. The world average is 2.7 hectares. China is still below that figure at 2.1, while India and most of Africa (where the majority of future world population growth will take place) are at or below 1.0.
    ~~
    No one in America fully understands just how desperate people are in third world countries unless they can experience the conditions first hand. In America, there are homeless shelters and countless forms of government aid. In America, our cats and dogs live better than people in third world countries. People die every day because they have no food, clean water, shelter, or medical care.
    In third world countries, you will see very young children begging in the streets because they have no parents, no food, and no place to sleep except for the cold, hard ground. They cry themselves to sleep at night because they’re so hungry and the pain never stops. Many don’t even live past age 5.
    The houses there aren’t really houses at all, but shelters constructed from broken crates, pallets, cardboard, and maybe tin, and any other form of garbage that might help keep the wind out. The water they have to drink when they’re fortunate enough to get it is muddy and smells like rotten eggs. The fortunate people in third world countries get to eat a meal of beans or rice and tortillas as often as once every day or two.
    I’ve had women who are desperate run to me with tears in their eyes as they shoved their young babies at me, begging me to take their babies back to America with me so they could have a chance at life. Even the poorest people in America have no clue about the poverty in third world countries. It’s hell on earth for them. Each day they wake up to yet another day of hunger, pain, and general torture.
    If you have clean water to drink, a warm bed to sleep in, and enough food to eat on a regular basis, then you’re more fortunate than a majority of the people in the world. If you have access to transportation, education, and medical care, then consider yourself wealthy beyond measure.

  15. Alonzo said:

    A great deal of the plight of third world nations is due to their own failings, their inability to control population, tribal and political conflicts, poor agricultural management, religious, culturally inherent aggressive traditions and just plain greed. These have occurred for millennium before the U.S. existed and the Europeans started colonization. Feel sorry for them if you will, but the solutions is for them to take personal responsibility, not for the rest of the world to take care of them.

  16. cookie said:

    You are correct, Alonzo. To blame the U.S. for the plight of these third worlders who do nothing to fix their own countries is bizarre to say the least. We may consume a lot in this country but we aren’t in these countries stealing their cattle and food and other resources we are consuming our own resources.
    It is amazing to me how some citizens can put this country down while they themselves are enjoying the fruits of our country. All they do is sit around a complain about the big ole bad USA. They don’t give our country any credit for all the the donations we give to poorer countries or how we have gone over and given our lives to protect their freedoms. I suggest these kinds of citizens move to their little third world country permanently where they have acres of land and a pond and pick up where the so-called greedy USA has slacked off and help these people themselves. If they hate this country so much it is the best avenue open to them.

  17. Evelyn said:

    Alonzo :
    A great deal of the plight of third world nations is due to their own failings, their inability to control population, tribal and political conflicts, poor agricultural management, religious, culturally inherent aggressive traditions and just plain greed. These have occurred for millennium before the U.S. existed and the Europeans started colonization.
    Feel sorry for them if you will, but the solutions is for them to take personal responsibility, not for the rest of the world to take care of them.
    ~~
    Really, that is not what History books say. Below you will find an example.
    My purpose for posting facts is not to gain sympathy for anyone. It is to expose myths.
    It is estimated that between 70 million and 120 million people lived in the Americas when Columbus’ ships arrived, a population larger than that on the European continent. Civilisations such as the Mayas and Aztecs lived in highly organised communities with intact cultural, artistic, religious and economic systems.
    The systems of government employed by Indians were “complex, where human relations were more egalitarian than in Europe, and where the relations among men, women, children, and nature were more beautifully worked out than perhaps any place in the world”.
    With 300,000 inhabitants, Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire (upon whose ruins Mexico City is located today) was twice the size of London, the largest European city of the time. To supply a city that size, the Aztecs had developed sophisticated agricultural production and distribution systems.
    The indigenous societies of the Americas had developed scientific systems of agriculture based on the conditions of their environment. Farmers, through trial and error, developed the best seeds for their crops, the right amount of irrigation and the best time for planting to produce the greatest yields.
    The ability to work with the environment to maximise benefits without destroying it was the principal reason that Incan and Mayan empires (among other societies) were able to grow and prosper.
    The European invaders cleared huge tracts of land, over-planted indigenous crops (maize, tobacco, potatoes and tomatoes) for export and introduced alien crops better suited to the agricultural techniques and climate of Europe. This caused the destruction of much flora and fauna, a depletion of nutrients in the soil and the eventual degradation of the land.
    Because the Europeans mined gold and silver as a commercial enterprise, entire indigenous nations throughout the Americas were moved, enslaved or destroyed. Huge tracts of land were damaged, trees were uprooted, topsoil was destroyed and land was removed from agricultural use for the purpose of extracting minerals that would be shipped to Europe.
    After the most accessible minerals and metals had been extracted using indigenous methods of mining, the “patio process”, which causes irreparable damage, was introduced by Europeans to extract more minerals.
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/1992/74/2325

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