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National labor leaders support contract for Sakuma workers

The following is from Latino Advocacy:

call-sakuma-to-negotiateBURLINGTON, Wash. (July 10, 2015) — Recent tensions over increasingly difficult and varying standards to make a minimum wage has moved the independent union Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) to mobilize support. Workers have been asking their employer, Sakuma Brothers Farms, to recognize their right to collectively bargain wages and protect their health and safety at the workplace. Following last week’s work stoppages in the fields, farm workers protesting an unfair wage system will be joined at a press conference today by international and national delegations of labor leaders and faith based groups from the U.S. and Canada.

TAKE A STAND! — Support the Sakuma berry pickers who have organized with FUJ at a “March for a Contract” this Saturday, July 11. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Cook Road and Old Highway 99 in Burlington. The date commemorates the Sakuma farmworkers’ first strike in 2013, which led to the formation of their union.

Joining FUJ, whose members have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since 2013, at today’s press conference is the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM), labor leaders from UCLA, ILWU, UFCW, United Steelworkers, Washington State Labor Council, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), and the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center. These leaders are experts in national and international labor issues and many have decades of experience organizing across borders.

Present also will be representatives from Justice for Migrant Workers-British Columbia, the National Domestic Fair Trade Association, the Skagit County Labor Democrats Group, and Community to Community Development.

FUJ will conduct the press conference today (Friday, July 10) at 10 a.m. just outside the Sakuma processing plant, 17790 Cook Road in Burlington, to call for the company to accept their request to negotiate a union contract.

The international and national delegations are part of a larger project at the UCLA Labor Center that conducts research on labor standards throughout the world. For more information, click here.

To stay current of FUJ farmworkers’ struggle to get a contract at Sakuma Brothers, visit and “like” their Facebook page.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!