in solidarity with workers

posted April 26, 2014

Our Farm Worker Community needs your help today. As many of you know, Familias Unidas por la Justicia has been in a labor dispute with Sakuma Bros. Farms in Skagit County.  Familias Unidas por la Justicia want a just wage, fair treatment, and decent housing and have been trying to negotiate with the farm since last summer. Many of the Farm Workers have been working at Sakuma Bros. Farms for many years and have helped it become one of the most recognizable names in agriculture within the region. However the workers that have helped the Sakuma Farm throughout the years are now in danger of losing their livelihood because as of Monday April 14, 2014 Sakuma Bros. Farm has applied to bring in over 400 workers under the controversial H-2A program. Under H-2A the farm can displace the families that are already here and have been working at the farm with contracted workers from outside of the US.
We are asking supporters to email Charlene Giles from the Dept. of Labor in Chicago, who plays a critical role in determining the status of the H-2A application that Sakuma applied for and also email Alberto Isiordia from Employment Security Department in Olympia, Washington who also oversees the H-2A process. We want workers to be treated with dignity considering all the contributions they make to our local economy and food system and don’t want the further exploitation for our brothers and sisters with the systemic implementation of a quasi-slave labor force.
We are recommending that the following action be taken: Reject the H-2A application that was submitted by Sakuma Bros. because:
1.      Over 450 workers and families that have been at the farm for years have already committed in returning to work this season
2.      The majority of the 450 workers are already here in the area
3.      Workers that are here locally should be able to work at the farm without fear of reprisals
Please support Familas Unidas por la Justicia.
Charlene Giles
Dept. of Labor
Alberto Isiordia
Employment Security Dept. of WA
aisiordia@esd.wa.gov