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Ulster County farm owners accused to interrupting union meeting on their farm

Aug 28, 2023 12:21 am

Maria M. Silva reports in the Times Union that United Farm Workers has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the state Public Employee Relations Board against Porpiglia Farms in Ulster County. The union alleges the farm's owners, Anthony and Joseph Porpiglia, disrupted a union meeting on last week. Six workers live on the farm, and three held the meeting in their living quarters according to UFW Secretary-Treasurer Armando Elenes. The union claims that the Porpiglias, with two other men, interrupted the meeting and wanted to know who invited the organizer, Isabel Egas, and then they demanded that she leave, according to Elenes who also says the farm’s owners allegedly threatened Egas with calling the police and having her arrested for trespassing. The Porpiglias said her “unannounced” and “uninvited” visit was trespassing and that refused to leave when asked. The union said it told the farmers’ attorneys to stop what it described as “intimidation tactics.” Anthony Porpiglia called UFW’s statement “demonstrably false,” and his attorneys sent cease-and-desist letter demanding the union retract its “defamatory statements.” The farm does have a sign at the entrance that says visitors are supposed to report to the main office prior to entering. Porpiglia Farms is one of five New York farms where H2A workers have unionized, but the Porpiglias say that none of the workers “voted” to join the union. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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