September 29, 2015 Dena Jensen
A little over a week ago, farm workers and their supporters picketed PCC Natural Markets in Seattle to urge the chain of member-owned cooperatives to boycott Sakuma and Driscoll’s berries.
Elliot Stoller posted a video of the event available at this link: https://vimeo.com/139892120
When I visited the PCC Natural Markets website today I found they now bear the following message on their front page:
Click the graphic above to read PCC’s explanation of how they are handling the issue with Driscoll’s.
Farm workers who pick berries for Sakuma Bros. have been working to negotiate a union contract with Sakuma Bros. farms in Skagit County for over two years now. Sakuma and their distributor, Driscoll’s, sell berries through some Whatcom County markets. Sakuma also sells their berry plants to Whatcom County farms. The goal to end racial harassment by supervisors, systematic wage theft, substandard housing, and withholding lunch and rest breaks has, unbelievably, still not been accomplished. No union contract has been negotiated to date. The Bellingham Herald does not cover this ongoing story of unfair labor practices, oppression, and abuse.
The write up on Sakuma Bros. Farms on infofree.com reports this information about them: “Sakuma Bros Farms Inc is classified under flowers, nursery stock & florists supplies – wholesale and has been in business for 10 or more years. With an annual income of $100 to 500 million this business employs 500 to 999 associates. Sakuma Bros Farms Inc is a private business and is considered small. Sakuma Bros Farms Inc is located in Burlington, WA.”
Here is contact information for Sakuma Bros. where you can insist that the owners immediately negotiate a union contract with farm workers that provides humane working conditions and adequate and attainable wages for workers.
Contact The Bellingham Herald to request their coverage of this important local human rights issue: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/customer-service/contact-us/
Visit boycottsakumaberries.com and the Familias Unidas por la Justicia Facebook page to learn more about what you can do to help.