More than 200 new brothers and sisters who work at Marquez Brothers Inc. in Hanford, Calif., recently voted to join Local 517 in Visalia. Marquez is the largest distributor of Mexican consumer products in the United States.
Organizing was not an easy feat. The company held daily meetings to try and influence their employees against joining the union. Marquez Brothers is now challenging the election results and spreading fear throughout the workplace in hopes of coercing employees into calling for a new election.
Rome Aloise, President of Joint Council 7 and Director of the Dairy Conference and Food Processing Division, is reaching out to Latino elected officials to ask for their support in future negotiations with Marquez.
Joint Council 7 understands that organizing is part of a long-term project to build power for Latinos in the Central Valley. The same week that the employees at Marquez Brothers in Hanford voted to join the union, a Teamster-supported project registered more than 500 Latinos to vote in the city of Hanford.