August 6, 2013 UPDATE
The elected worker committee met for the second time with the agreed upon neutral mediator yesterday August 5th for four and a half hours. At 9:00pm there was a meeting with families at farm labor camp #2, with families from the other camps joining the committee. A full report was given to all and agreement was reached that the negotiations continue. Next session will be tomorrow.
The youth pickers over 14 returned to work this morning after a lot of worry and uncertainty. they thanked the committee members for protecting their jobs. The security vehicle that appeared in the fields was removed.
WE ASK OUR COMMUNITY ALLIES TO PLEASE HOLD OFF MAKING CALLS TO SAKUMA FARMS FOR NOW – WE ASK THAT YOU STAND BY AS THESE IMPORTANT NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE.
Update to the update: The H-2A guestworkers did NOT arrive today. At this time, enough local farm workers have applied for those jobs, showing an ample labor supply. THANK YOU to all the community members who have been getting farm workers to apply to these jobs. It’s working!
The committee thanks all socially just consumers and community supporters in general for your support. We will continue to keep you updated and as soon as we can we will announce the gains made towards farm worker justice in Skagit County.
Donations for gas and other needs are still needed and now more than ever as the committee has a lot of work ahead of them to continue the organizing of over 240 farm workers.
The fight continues – AUGUST 1 update from Community to Community
The democratically elected committee of over 240 families met with a third party mediator last night brought in by Sakuma Brothers Farm management. the committee once again decided to meet in good faith to try and resolve the labor dispute that keeps getting more complicated as the management continues to take extreme actions against their workers, such as hiring consultants and security and a myriad of minor retaliations in the field by supervisors. Nevertheless the two parties dialogued through the third party mediator and Sakuma management agreed to remove the security as of this morning August 1st – in return the committee agreed to hold a vote with the entire community at Camp#2 on continuing negotiations with management via a third party mediator. The result of this vote will be published soon.
The families ask their supporters and allies to STAND BY at this critical time for them. they ask that you keep calling Sakuma Brothers Farm asking them to respect their elected committee and hold negotiations in good faith at this number- 360.757.6611
Please stay updated via the websitewww.foodjustice.org
Donations are still needed – the families have been without full wages for 3 weeks as of today. Si Se Puede! Donate at www.foodjustice.org, click on the “donate” button to the right of the screen or send a check written out to Community to Community Development labeled “Sakuma Workers’ Fund” to 203 W. Holly Street, Ste. 317, Bellingham, WA 98225.
31 July, 2013 From the web site for C2C
THANK YOU TO ALL FARM WORKER SUPPORTERS!
Because you continue to stand by the elected farm worker committee at Sakuma Farms there is real action here on the ground. Yesterday mattresses with (bed?)bugs that were biting adults and especially children – causing sores with pus and rashes started being replaced. Also the overcrowding was eased as several families were moved into larger cabins. We hope these improvements continue. According to the workers complaints have been made for years – families stood by and watched with HUGE smiles and their hearts were touched because YOU all continue to stand by them! DO NOT ABANDON THIS STRUGGLE! IT IS NOT OVER!
27 JULY 2013 – The strike is ended and workers are back to work with some concessions. More negotiations are ahead.
Supplies are still needed and can be taken to either Democratic headquarters on Bay Street or at Community to Community.
Go to the Food Justice/Community to Community web site HERE to see how you can help. There are many ways to donate food, supplies or money.
Members of Occupy Bellingham are showing solidarity for the Sakuma Farmworkers, who are striking for the second time after their demands for fair wages and treatment have been rebuffed.