Tip of the Iceberg
What's more important? Keeping 2500 old jobs, or getting a thousand new ones?
Dec 29, 2015
The announcement by Gerawan Farming that they are shutting down their table grape operations impacting 2500 workers came as a shock just before Christmas. It also comes as the City of Fresno is bending over backwards to get a Nordstroms Distribution Center to locate there instead of in Visalia. Gerawan is not in Fresno, so it's not exactly in their wheelhouse, but neither the City or County of Fresno has tried to help Gerawan in their battle with the UFW and the ALRB. There's a lot more concern about getting new jobs than keeping old ones. What's more important? Keeping 2500 old jobs, or getting a thousand new ones?
The City of Fresno is offering a $12-million package to Nordstroms for their thousand jobs. That makes Gerawan's 2500 jobs worth about $25-30 million for the County of Fresno. But, they did nothing to help.
This is also a reminder to every city and county in the Valley that there is a slow motion disaster happening right in front of us. It's the man-made drought. Federal and State officials have not been able to help farmers get more water. It's time for local officials like Mayors, City Councils, Supervisors and everyone else to put pressure on those officials to do something about water policy. These city and county officials don't think it's in their job descriptions. Technically, they're right. But, it they don't do something soon, it will be too late. We wish they would put as much thought into keeping old jobs as they do to get new ones.
The rain is helping, but if water policy regarding the Delta pumps and the San Joaquin River Settlement isn't changed, it won't make any real difference.
Gerawan Farms exits table grape business, affecting 2,500 workers
, one of the largest growers of tree fruit and grapes in Fresno County, has alerted its employees and government officials that it is shutting down its table grape operations next year, affecting more than 2,500 workers.
The Reedley-based farming company issued a layoff notice, required under both state and federal employment law, on Dec. 18, declaring that the shutdown will take effect on Feb. 25.
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