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Farmworker Movement: Strike Report #2

Title: Farmworker Movement: Strike Report #2
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The following strike report, from October 1, 1974, was compiled by the United Farm Workers (UFW) to report its most recent activities to its members. Through such boycott information reports, the UFW informed farm workers and UFW allies about its most recent successes and existing challenges regarding growers. This report outlines the current status of the Fresno grape strike, the Delano grape strike, the Gallo strike, the Northern California tomato strike, the mushroom strike, the Yuma lemon strike, and the Watsonville apple strike. In addition, it also identifies 24 companies associated with a large grower in Kern County, California, with county tax delinquencies, with amounts listed by company.

P.O. Box 62, Keene, CA 93531, 805/822-5571

TO: All Entities & Volunteer Boycott Committees
FROM: Boycott Information
DATE: October 1, 1974

The Youngstown ranch in Reedley employes between 30 and 40 workers and the Union pulled out all of them last week. When they were replaced the Union pulled out all the new workers and on Saturday the third set of Youngstown workers walked out. Also on Saturday between 45 to 50 workers came out of another Fresno area ranch.

A group of grower-vigilantes always follow UFW pickets as they move from field to field to harass the strikers and "protect private property". At one ranch the grower told the vigilantes to get off his property because the strikers weren't damaging everything and if the people wanted to walk out, they would.

All the growers' cold storage are backed up. Unconfirmed reports say that L.R. Hamilton, a Reedley grower, has his juice grapes in cold storage because he can't find anyone offering over $2.25 a lug.

Sandrini's cold storage is full. Tenneco, Zarinovich, and M. Caratan are apparently the only growers shipping at this time, according to Ben Maddock, Delano strike director.

150 workers took part in a two day work stoppage at Roberts Farms in Poplar and 150 workers staged a one day work stoppage at White River Farms.

Pandol was paying very low wages so 40 workers walked out.

A. Caratan and M. Caratan are worried about the low price their Thompsons are getting as wine grapes and they can't sell them as table grapes because inadequate pre-harvest work was done on them.

Packing is very bad, as a result three carlots were returned to M. Caratan and two were sent back to Tenneco.

Picketing has ended. Gallo's ability to rapidly recruit large numbers of strikebreakers and the obvious willingness of the Border Patrol to allow Gallo to bring in illegals (see illegal campaign memos in the last mailing) have made picketing an ineffective tactic at this time. Organizing at Gallo will continue.

The tomato season had ended but organizing will continue.

Picketing has ended at the Steak-Mate Mushroom Corp. Bus loads of derelicts from Oakland effectively broke the strike. A boycott of Ralston-Purina products will not be pursued at this time. (Purina is Steak-Mate's parent company).

The growers have been able to recruit some strikebreakers but a grower spokesman admitted they need two or three times as many. The strike looks good.

About 30 Teamster organizers are in the fields picking apples to fulfill the Teamsters' promise that they would break the Buac strike! About 100 workers were on the picket line, including some UFW workers from Interharvest in Salinas.


PO Box 62
Keene, CA 93531

TO: All Boycott Cities and Volunteer Boycott Communities
FROM: Boycott Information
DATE: October 1, 1974

Twenty-four companies owned by C. Arnolt Smith of San Diego, Michael J. Coen of Kansas City, No., and one of the wealthiest scab growers, Hollis B. Roberts, owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kern County in delinquent 1973, taxes, according to the Bakersfield Californian.

The following companies of the Smith-Coen-Roberts group owe these (unofficially tabulated) amounts:

Apollo Ranch Corp.         $      8,554.09
Bishop Mortgage Co.              3,974.41
Castle Packing Co.                21,376.11
Dormik Development Co.        1,685.81
Excalibur Engineering Corp.     4,388.81
Kernville Brokerage Co.          1,067.93
Kingsburg Oil Co.                    5,080.55
Knight Farming Corp.             12,393.85
R&B Farms                              4,361.31
Strebor Hulling Co.                   7,088.51
Trident Discount Co.                 5,406.79
Walnut Grove Co.                     3,521.53
R&B Ranches                         81,682.97
R&L Farms                               4,639.95
Roberts Farms, Inc.               399,728.64
Roberts Syndication-1971       22,812.62
Sabre Acceptance Corp.         10,452.17
Santa Maria Ranches, Inc.            589.93
Strathmore Cattle Co.                1,242.48
Swesga Land Corp.                 11,389.71
Westgate Grove Co.                  3,521.53
Westgate Calif. Corp.                   134.14
Westgate-Calif. Realty Co.         2,588.68
Woodlake Farms                       8,067.65

Also identified as delinquent were: First National Financial Corp., $2,380.98 and Jasmine Groves Co., $133,146.96 (both these companies are closely identified with J.A. Smith, Arnolt Smith's brother): Hollis B. Roberts, $7,708.38; Zane and Betty Smith (Robert's son-in-law and daughter), $353.81; and Dr. Ernest Gaillard of San Diego, whose daughter is married to one of Nixon's doctors. Gaillard owes $1,436.68 for taxes on land purchased from Westgate-California. The delinquent list also includes a Gerald E. Chapman whose address is the same as Hollis Roberts (Route 1, Box 600, McFarland). Chapman owes $35,329.19.

The taxes owed by the Roberts group are creating a severe economic situation for 11 Kern County elementary school districts. In addition, the money is needed for the county government, the fire department, mosquito abatement, special education, hosptial service and the other educational agencies, including high school and Community College districts.


Courtesy of the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project


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