UFW responds to Wine Country fires

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With a spate of harvest-time wildfires raging across the Northern California Wine Country, the United Farm Workers reports on efforts to check with UFW members and growers at union contract-companies in the affected areas of Napa and Sonoma counties. Following is an update as of Tuesday afternoon from some companies under UFW contract:

Gallo of Sonoma—The ranch manager at one of America’s largest wineries advises his company has been able to account for the safety of all workers and has not suffered any structural damage. Gallo of Sonoma crews were not working on Sunday. Officials were unable to assess the property and check on damages at their Monte Rosso Vineyards. Meetings were being held Tuesday to determine next steps.

One Gallo worker leader reports her family was evacuated and she has gone to stay with her sister in Stockton. She has not heard of co-workers being injured or losing property.

Another Gallo worker leader advises he and his coworkers are fine, that they were not evacuated and that he has not learned of other coworkers being impacted. Other union members at Gallo have found work out of the area.

St. Supery Vineyards and Winery—A senior executive reports operations of the Rutherford, Napa County-based firm were shut down as of Sunday but the company has not sustained any damages. A worker leader at St. Supery reports not hearing of issues or workers being impacted other than not working on Sunday.

Balletto Vineyards—The UFW left messages for the owner but has not yet spoken with him. Meantime, the human resources director for the company based in Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, indicates Balletto has not sustained damage from the fires. A worker leader reports crews are working on Tuesday to finish the harvest. None of his coworkers were affected thus far, he says.

The UFW has not yet heard back after calling and messaging workers and grower officials at other union contract-companies such as C.K. Mondavi Family Vineyards headquartered in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley.

In addition, the UFW sent text messages to 165 union members in Napa and Sonoma counties, and heard back from 15 of them. They reported everyone is fine with no injuries or structural damage so far. The UFW continues monitoring the status of workers and their employers in fire-affected regions.

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