Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando 206-251-6658

September 13, 2016

SAKUMA FARMWORKERS VOTE YES FOR THEIR UNION

HISTORIC UNION ELECTION

Burlington, WA- Farmworkers at Sakuma Bros Berry Farm voted Monday in a historic secret ballot election to have Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) represent them in negotiations for a union contract.

FUJ represents over 500 Triqui, Mixteco, and Spanish speaking workers at Sakuma Bros. Berry Farm and formed on July 11th, 2013 with the hopes of securing a better future for hand harvesters in the local berry fields of Whatcom and Skagit County. On Monday September 12, the local independent farm worker union won a historic secret ballot election with a 77% majority, ushering in a new era for farmworker justice in WA State.

FUJ is the second independent farmworker union to form in WA in 30 years and the first union led by indigenous workers.

After Sakuma Bros Berry Farm agreed to a union election, FUJ worked with them to jointly develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) laying out a fair election process resulting in yesterday’s win.

“This win is a win for all farmworkers, ” said Ramon Torres, President of FUJ, “now we will be getting ready for a union contract negotiation process.”

“We want to thank all our supporters that helped made this victory happen,” said Felimon Pineda, Vice President of FUJ, adding “and we are looking forward to a new and productive relationship with Sakuma.”

Visit FUJ page for pictures and video of Monday’s historic event; please credit the source when using any pictures, videos or materials.

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FUJ is an independent farmworker union in Burlington WA with 500 members and representing workers working for a union contract with Sakuma Farms to ensure living wage salaries, fair treatment, respect and dignity of farmworkers