Farm Workers Backing AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez announced in a July 12, 2011, newspaper op-ed that the fabled union is supporting the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, in part because it promises to bring information technology to rural areas. Access to high-speed wireless is absolutely essential to workers, wrote Rodriguez in The Bakersfield Californian:

"Without information a worker can only go by what he/she is told. Too often the worker is forced to rely on his/her employer and hope their decisions will be enough to maintain a good quality of life. With access to resources available through the Internet, that same individual has the ability to learn about an industry and start organizing to protect a future for his/her family."

Rodriguez noted that many "rural areas, remote areas and underprivileged communities...currently have zero or limited access," and that rural workers and their families need carriers that will extend coverage to their communities. The UFW is aware that:

"This resource is very much needed for our constituency, especially considering that with this change, the children of the farm workers can have access to quality wireless service. This in turn will help them connect their parents to important information, services and other opportunities and begin to reduce the 'digital divide' that exists in so many of our rural communities."

Arturo Rodriguez: Expansion of Wireless, Broadband Can Only Help Empower Workers (The Bakersfield Californian)