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It’s The ‘First’ Farm Workers Union In New York State - Agricultural Workers At Mineola’s Pindar Vineyards Certified To Join RWDSU Local 338

Published Wednesday, October 6, 2021
by Morning Ag Clips
It’s The ‘First’ Farm Workers Union In New York State - Agricultural Workers At Mineola’s Pindar Vineyards Certified To Join RWDSU Local 338

(MINEOLA, NEW YORK) - The New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has certified Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)/United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 338 as the Labor Organization to represent 12 agricultural Workers employed at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.

This is the first Union Certification in New York State after the 2019 passage of The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which grants Agricultural and Farm Workers the right to collectively bargain.

Local 338 first filed to represent the Vineyard’s Field Workers on May 28th, 2021.

Said Rodolfo M., a Local 338 Member and Worker at Pindar Vineyards: “My Co-Workers at Pindar and I joined Local 338 because we want dignity and respect.  Our work should be valued and only by receiving equal treatment and things like sick days and paid time off to spend with our loved ones will it be.  We know that being a Union Member will help us get the recognition we deserve for all of our efforts.” 

RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 President John Durso: “When New York passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, there was a fundamental understanding that Agricultural Workers needed key protections that they have lacked for decades, including the right to join a Union. PERB’s historic certification is the next step in securing dignity and respect for the Essential Workers who ensure we have food and beverages on our tables.  We are incredibly proud to represent the Workers at Pindar Vineyards and are looking forward to securing a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum: “For the first time we can call Farm Workers in New York State Union Members.  For far too long, Farm Workers have worked to nourish our communities without necessary workplace protections for themselves or their families.  It was a decades-long struggle to win Farm Workers’ right to organize in this state and now Workers at Pindar Vineyards are seeing the seeds they planted come to fruition by becoming the first in the state to be recognized as a Union.  Now they can begin negotiating the first ever Union Contract for Farm Workers in New York.  The Workers at Pindar Vineyards have made history and are the beginning of what we are sure will be a growing Union presence for the state’s Farm Workers.” 

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento: “We welcome our first Farm Worker siblings into the Labor Family.  The historic PERB certification means for the first time, and because of the passage of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, Farm Workers will be part of a Union that will give them the dignity and respect they deserve.  This is the culmination of a decades-long fight centered upon one simple premise: that Farm Workers deserve fairness, equality, and justice.  We are extremely proud of the efforts of Local 338.  Congratulations to the Farm Workers and Local 338 President John Durso on this historic achievement.”

RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 represents 13,000 Workers employed in a variety of different industries across New York State - including food retail, pharmaceutical retail, health care and human services, transportation and medical cannabis. 

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