Kamala Harris is in Iowa. There she plans to campaign with a labor leader who is fresh out of Jail. Dolores Huerta the United Farm Workers co-founder was arrested in August at protest after settling a long-running lawsuit. Harris is hoping to rally Iowa voters. Recent polling shows the senator receiving 5% support in the state which is down from 18% since July.
Articulating the plan
Harris hopes campaigning with Huerta will stem the bleeding. Harris’s campaign confirmed she will spend half of October in Iowa. She told fellow Senator Mazie Hirono “I’m f―king moving to Iowa.” Huerta’s scheduled appearance with Harris comes after the labor organizer stormed a Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting alongside 500 union activists. When local police asked Huerta to leave, she refused and was arrested.
Fresno County deputies arrested United Farm Workers (UFW) co-founder Dolores Huerta. The arrest came at an August protest after she allegedly ignored orders to disperse. Huerta joined California home health care workers to advocate for a wage increase. Though Huerta was quick to criticize county supervisors at the meeting, she failed to mention the UFW’s alleged mistreatment of workers that resulted in a $1.3 million settlement.
Sued for what and settled for what?
Huerta in addition to her recent jailing headed a union which was forced to pay its organizers $1.3 million in back wages. The labor organization she founded has admitted to stiffing its own employees. In 2017, the union paid $1.3 million to former field organizers in back wages, penalties, and attorney fees stemming from a long-running lawsuit.
In October 2017, UFW ended a long-running lawsuit with former field organizers. A county judge ordered the union to pay $885,000 in back pay and $235,000 in penalties, as well as legal expenses amounting to more than $800,000. The accusation against the union was forcing organizers to work more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. Another allegation against the UFW was issuing pay stubs that did not specify hours of work. Failing to provide meal periods after 5 hours on the clock was the third allegation. According to the Los Angeles Times, the union used workers’ dues to pay off the debt.
And what else?
UFW leaders face allegations of profiting from insider real estate deals. Emilio Huerta, Dolores Huerta’s son, purchased a plot of Fresno land from the National Farm Workers Service Center in 2004. The day after closing the sale for $1.8 million, Huerta sold the property for $2.9 million, raking in a $1.1 million profit. In addition, Dolores Huerta’s daughter purchased a West Los Angeles house previously owned by the Service Center for half the market price in 2004.
Show me your friends and I’ll show you what you are. So goes the Spanish proverb. As the herd thins the desperate show their true stripes.