Help bus workers to Darigold as they kick off 5-day protest, fast

The following is from the United Farm Workers:

SEATTLE (Sept. 20, 2018) — This week, on Thursday, Sept. 20, dairy workers from the Pasco area want to get on a bus to Seattle to join in a protest at Darigold headquarters. Dairy workers and their supporters will be kicking off a five-day fast for justice. Hundreds of local activists will be participating in the protest and fast. Please make a donation today to help get the workers from Pasco to Seattle to participate.

What is the fast about? After believing they were denied legally mandated 10-minute work and lunch breaks, 12 courageous workers — the Darigold Dozen — made their concerns known. When these concerns were ignored, they filed a lawsuit against Ruby Ridge, a Darigold member dairy. Rather than fix the problem, Ruby Ridge fired and countersued the whistleblowers and sued the United Farm Workers in retaliation. The union and the workers believe their aim is to silence present and future complaints by trapping the workers in financial ruin. As the cases are finally reaching the courts, with the trial beginning on Oct. 3, shortly after the fast, this five-day demonstration and fast are critical to raise awareness. That’s why we need your help to put workers on the bus.

Miguel Cuevas is one of the Darigold Dozen workers who was sued.

“Our day in court is close,” he said. “I and other dairy workers that labor in Darigold member dairy farms want the company to listen to us. We want to be part of the fast Sept. 20th in Seattle…We want zero tolerance to abuse, to the humiliations, the wage theft and sexual harassment…[We want] the owners of Ruby Ridge to pay us what they owe us for the time that we worked without a break or a lunch break… We also have the right to rest and to eat like the cows.”

Josefina Luciano wants to join them. She was injured while working at a Darigold member dairy last year when a cow kicked her in the face.

“I almost lost my life drowned in my own blood,” she said. “I lost 11 teeth and my face was fractured. We are more than just 12, who suffer injustices in the industry… This is why I am uniting with the Darigold Dozen because I believe the retaliation they are suffering and the intimidation is unfair… I want to go to Seattle on September 20, with my children and I would like for those who cannot go in person to support us by helping us pay for the transportation expenses.”

TAKE A STAND — It will cost around $5,280 just to rent the bus to take workers from Pasco to Seattle and back. Can you make sure Miguel, Josefina and dozens of other workers get seats on the bus to Seattle? Please make your donation today.

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