SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Hundreds of strawberry farm workers collected thousand dollar check in Salinas on Friday after a local agriculture company settled with a labor union.
It all centers around the closure of Dole Berry North strawberry operations in California in Dec. 2017. Hundreds of local workers lost their jobs then.
The United Farm Workers labor union, or UFW, negotiated for a year with Dole to reach a severance settlement, but to no avail. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board, a state agency, sued Dole in early 2019 after they found the company did not negotiate in good faith with the UFW.
Dole agreed to shell out $458,000 for the 458 farmworkers affected.
"I am thankful with the UFW, United Farm Workers, because we were represented for that," said Juan Mauricio, a Watsonville resident who received his check.
The ALRB says the settlement is meant to protect the farmworkers right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.
About 300 people are receiving their thousand dollar checks, but there are still many more whom the board still has to find to get them their money.