That a dozen field hands working at a vineyard out on Long Island’s North Fork won formal recognition of their union shouldn’t really be any big deal. Since 1938, the New York Constitution has said: “Employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.”
But it took 83 years for that high-minded promise to be made real for farm workers, who until now have been barred by law from exercising that fundamental right. So the Sept. 27 certification by the state Public Employment Relations Board that the Pindar Vineyards workers have chosen as their negotiating representative Local 338 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/United Food & Commercial Workers is historic. Bravo to RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum and Local 338 President John Durso.