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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Labor rights advocates turn out to support justice for Ruby Ridge Dairy workers

August 30, 2011

Portland, Ore.-- On Saturday,  Ruby Ridge Dairy Workers, supported by farmworkers and farm labor advocates, held a march and rally for farmworker justice in Portland. Although workers are seeking better conditions and treatment with respect through a United Farm Workers (UFW) contract, Ruby Ridge Dairy has refused to recognize the union. Participants marched two miles from Portland State University to Darigold to urge the cooperative to press for fair worker treatment at the Pasco, Washington based dairy, a Darigold member.

According to workers,  Ruby Ridge Dairy owners have created a "climate of fear at the dairy".  In addition to claims about workers being fired for trying to start a union, there are reports that workers received less wages than they were entitled, not given access to drinking water or allowed to go to the bathroom, required to work long hours without rest or lunch breaks, were not allowed sick leave with or without pay, and were required to use machinery without proper instruction or protection.

Those supporting the Ruby Ridge Dairy Workers on Saturday included farmworkers from Oregon and Washington, United Farm Workers (UFW), Oregon Farm Worker Ministry (OFWM), National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM), Portland Jobs with Justice, Oregon New Sanctuary Movement (ONSM), Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United) PCUN, and other farm labor advocates.

Former employees sue Ruby Ridge Dairy for lost wages

The Dark Side of Dairies: A broken system leaves immigrant workers invisible -- and in danger.


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