Make a donation to the strike funds, call the fruit-packing companies, share news about these #EssentialWorkers
YAKIMA (May 20, 2020) — Two weeks ago on May 7, more than 50 workers at the Allan Brothers fruit warehouse in Naches went on strike over inadequate safety precautions on the job, lack of hazard pay and paid sick leave, and lack of transparency over COVID-19 cases at the facility.
Inspired by this collective action, workers at six more fruit warehouses in the Yakima Valley walked out on strike in the ensuing days. (Workers at one of those warehouses returned to work after a few hours when their employers granted them a significant raise.) These fruit warehouse workers work shoulder-to-shoulder on assembly lines, but often lack the personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety measures needed to prevent spread of the this deadly illness. They have received great assistance from Familias Unidas por La Justicia (FUJ), an independent farmworker union affiliated with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC), to get organized and appoint representatives to meet with management.
The WSLC stands in solidarity with all of these workers. These essential workers are keeping our grocery stores stocked so we can feed our families during this crisis. All of us should join them in demanding workplace safety, hazard pay, paid sick leave, and respect on the job.
TAKE A STAND — These workers remain on strike and are showing remarkable solidarity, but as it drags on, they need our help and support. The WSLC is calling on all union members and community supporters to show their support in the following ways:
DONATE! — Please make a contribution to support the Strike Fund set up for striking workers and their families who are experiencing financial distress. Also, please consider making a contribution to FUJ, the small union that is supporting the organizing on the ground.
POST VIDEOS AND PICTURES with messages of solidarity to the strikers to your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages. Use #IStandWithFarmworkers and #Yakima so they can be found and shared with workers on the strike line.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR of the Yakima Herald-Republic (if you live in the area) or to your local newspaper. Share the news that essential workers we rely on for our food supply do not feel safe at work and deserve safe workplaces and extra pay.
CONTACT THE COMPANIES — Please take a few minutes to call each of these companies and urge them to negotiate with their workers and not retaliate against them for striking!
1) Allan Bros. Fruit in Naches, WA — 509-653-2625
2) Hansen Fruit in Yakima, WA — 509-457-4153
3) Jack Frost Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA — 509-248-5231
4) Matson Fruit Co. in Selah, WA — 509-697-7100
5) Monson Fruit Co. in Selah, WA — 509-697-9175
6) Columbia Reach in Yakima, WA — 509-457-8001
The Stand (May 13) — Solidarity is contagious right now in the Yakima Valley (by WSLC’s Dulce Gutiérrez) — Inspired by the ongoing Allan Brothers strike, other fruit warehouse workers are walking off the job to demand safe workplaces and hazard pay.