Krug Winery charged with “Unfair Labor Practices”
To many, Charles Krug Winery is synonymous with Napa Valley wine production. Their history dates back to 1861, where they were the only commercial winery in the Napa Valley. Much has changed since then, including Labor Laws, which Krug winery is finding out the hard way.
On Thursday, June 14th, the California State Labor Relations Board ruled against Krug Winery (Owned by the Peter Mondavi family) and has formally filed charges alleging violations of labor laws concerning the firing of 27 workers during the summer of 2006. Representatives from Krug have denied any wrongdoing.
The allegations come from the winery’s decision to fire 27 vineyard workers after Krug’s contract with the United Farm Workers (UFW) expired. Apparently, the UFW contract protected the vineyard workers from being fired in this manner. Without the contract, the workers seemed to be at risk for termination.
But the United Farm Workers feel differently, as they filed charges soon after the firings. The UFW has accused Krug of unfair labor practices. This was almost a year ago; then on Thursday, Freddie Capuyan, director of the Labor Relations Board (ALRB), found that “Mondavi had committed some unfair labor practices.”
Capuyan and the ALRB have charged Mondavi and Krug Winery with discrimination against their employees. Specifically, the ALRB alleges they failed to bargain in good faith with the United Farm Workers for hours, wages and employment conditions. Also Krug allegedly didn’t furnish relevant information during labor negotiations.
The ALRB wants all of the workers to be rehired and paid back wages. The case can be settled out of court, or can be taken before a judge for administrative review.