The following is from the M.L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO:
SEATTLE — Farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington are taking action to demand fair treatment, decent working conditions and the right to their union. The workers say Sakuma Brothers has responded with grueling captive audience meetings to intimidate them, and by seeking out and disciplining workers who stand up for their union, Famlias Unidas por la Justicia (United Families for Justice).
For more than a year these farmworkers been working to get union recognition and a union contract. They’ve taken job actions including strikes, and built a base of community support. Sakuma Brothers tried to replace them with H-2A immigrants, claiming that labor wasn’t locally available, but was forced to back down. Skagit County courts have ordered Sakuma Brothers to stop illegally retaliating against strikers by refusing to rehire them, and by denying them family housing that’s been provided for decades. And the employer reached a settlement for half a million dollars in wage theft from the workers.
Part of the workers’ strategy is asking that we boycott Sakuma Brothers berries, a boycott endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. All of labor needs to send a clear message to these brave workers, and to the employers. Please join us to say loud and clear that an injury to one is an injury to all — we have Familias Unidas workers’ backs!
A Rally to Support Farmworker Justice will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10 starting at 5 p.m. at the QFC at 1401 Broadway in Seattle (between Pike and Union).
For more information about Familias Unidas por la Justicia and the organizing effort at Sakuma Brothers, see boycottsakumaberries.com.