Darigold Dozen workers recover back wages, declare victory

The following is from the United Farm Workers:

PASCO (May 9, 2019) — We’ve told you about the grueling, decade-long battle dairy workers at a Darigold member dairy have been fighting. We want to share fantastic breaking news with you. A settlement has been signed between the Darigold Dozen, the United Farm Workers and Ruby Ridge Farms.

The UFW is thrilled that the “Darigold Dozen” — 12 dairy farm workers who a filed wage-and-hour lawsuit against Darigold member farm Ruby Ridge in 2009 — will recover wages they say were stolen by Ruby Ridge. The dairy has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the UFW and the 12 individual workers, which the workers and UFW maintain was filed in retaliation for workers seeking to recover their wages.

Jesus Perez

“I am satisfied and happy,” said Jesus Perez, one of the Darigold Dozen. “We are being recognized for the effort that was made to fight for others to receive breaks and lunch at work. That the 10 years of struggle were not in vain. And me and my co-workers prevailed until victory.”

All 12 dairy workers — Margarito Saucedo Martinez, Miguel Espiritu, Elvis Flamenco, Miguel Cuevas, Rafael Munez, Armando Herrera, Saul Solorio, Cirilo Ramirez, Teresita Anguiano, Manuel Reynaga, Jesus Perez and Gildardo Perez — will receive back pay that they contend they lost from not receiving their rest periods and meal periods. These unpaid wages will be paid by an anonymous supporter.

While this is a triumph for these 12 workers, the fight continues to advocate for the fair treatment and safety of thousands of other dairy workers still employed on Darigold member farms. The UFW is determined to continue its fight to ensure dairy workers employed on Darigold dairies are protected from employer retaliation, sexual harassment and unsafe and deadly working conditions.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Starbucks must hold Darigold accountable for work conditions (March 21, 2019) — The message was loud and clear outside Starbucks’ shareholders meeting: this multi-billion dollar company has a responsibility to its customers and community to prevent labor abuses in its supply chain. That means insisting that Darigold, a major milk supplier to Starbucks, must address a chronic pattern of labor violations at its member farms, including allegations of sexual abuse, wage theft, unsafe conditions, and illegal retaliation.

Darigold Dozen will be fasting for all dairy workers (Sept. 14, 2018) — Twelve courageous workers — Margarito Martinez, Manuel Reynaga, Rafael Muniz, Teresita Anguiano, Jesus Perez, Gildardo Perez, Cirilo Ramirez, Miguel Cuevas, Miguel Espiritu, Saul Solorio, Elvis Flamenco and Armando Herrera — were wrongly denied their lunch and other breaks, and not paid all their wages by Ruby Ridge Dairy in Pasco, which is part of the Darigold cooperative. After Ruby Ridge wouldn’t address their concerns, the workers filed a lawsuit and this week they won.

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