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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

UFW Seeks Union Vote by Strawberry Pickers

May 19, 1999

VENTURA COUNTY — The United Farm Workers union has filed for an election to represent pickers at the nation's largest strawberry grower, a move that could put hundreds of Oxnard field hands in a position to help resolve a long-running battle to unionize California's strawberry industry.

UFW officials filed an election petition Monday with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board after a majority of the 1,240 workers at the Coastal Berry Co. in Oxnard and in Central California indicated they wanted to vote on union representation.

If the petition is approved, that vote would have to be held within seven days of the filing. A state labor official said the election probably will take place Monday.

Because of rapid growth in the local strawberry industry, the Oxnard workers are key to a UFW campaign to win a union contract at Coastal Berry and, on a larger scale, establish a foothold in the state's tough-to-organize strawberry industry.

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