In solidarity with people struggling against oppression everywhere, Unitarian Universalist member congregations are urged to participate with the National Farm Worker Ministry, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, in support of a boycott of E. & J. Gallo wines that began on June 14, 2005. Grounded in our stance for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, we ally ourselves with the National Farm Worker Ministry and its efforts with the United Farm Workers to provide fair and respectful working conditions for the Gallo farm workers. The Unitarian Universalist Association can be among the first religious assemblies to stand with the farm workers on this issue at this immediate time.
Because Gallo refused to provide health benefits to those employees hired through farm labor contractors, workers voted overwhelmingly in a 1994 state-conducted election to join the union. It took five years for Gallo of Sonoma, a Gallo subsidiary, to sign a United Farm Workers contract. On November 1, 2003, the United Farm Workers contract with Gallo of Sonoma expired. Since then, the number of Gallo of Sonoma employees hired through labor contractors has grown to seventy-five percent. The company still refuses to provide health coverage for its workers.
We call on our congregations to boycott Gallo wines until the management of Gallo of Sonoma negotiates a new contract with the United Farm Workers providing for fair wages, just working conditions, and health benefits for all of its farm workers. Support for this boycott will also encourage and inspire other farm workers in communities across the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast.
Gallo wines sell under the following brand names: Anapamu, Andre, Ballatore Spumante, Bartles & Jaymes Coolers, Bella Sera, Black Swan, Boone's Farm, Bridlewood Winery, Burlwood, Carlo Rossi, Cask & Cream Caramel Temptation, Cask & Cream Chocolate Temptation, Copperidge, Da Vinci, E & J Gallo Twin Valley, E & J Cognac, E & J Gallo Vineyards, E & J VS Brandy, E & J VSOP Brandy, Ecco Domani, Ernest & Julio Gallo Twin Valley Vineyards, Frei Brother, Frei Brothers Reserve, Gallo Estate, Gallo Fairbanks, Gallo Livingston Cellars, Gallo of Sonoma, Gallo of Sonoma County Series, Gallo of Sonoma Estate Series, Gallo of Sonoma Single Vineyard, Gallo Sheffield Cellars, Gallo Vermouth, Gossamer Bay, Indigo Hills, Indigo Hills Blanc de Blancs, Liberty Creek, Livingston Cellars, Louis M. Martini, MacMurray Ranch, Marcelina, McWilliams Hanwood Estate, Mirassou, Napa Valley Vineyards, Peter Vella, Rancho Zabaco, Rancho Zabaco Winery, Red Bicyclette, Redwood Creek, Tott's, Turning Leaf, Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve, Whitehaven, Wild Vines, and William Wycliff. More information is available at www.nfwm.org and www.ufw.org .
This proposed Action of Immediate Witness builds upon several actions adopted by previous General Assemblies: Migratory Workers (1961-General), Agricultural Employment (1966-General), Grape Boycott (1969-General), Lettuce Boycott (1972-General), Boycott of Safeway and A&P Stores (1973-General), Support of UFW Boycott (1974-General), UU Migrant Ministry (1975-Business), Farm Worker Initiatives (1976-General).