Sakuma Agrees To Negotiate A Contract With Farm Workers

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Four Years Struggle Three Years Boycott, Sakuma Finally Ready to Negotiate- FUJ Response to Sakuma Press Statement on MOU

Burlington, WA – We at Familias Unidas Por la Justica (FUJ) are certainly encouraged that Sakuma Berry Farms has relented to the pressure of the ‪#‎BoycottDriscolls‬ campaign and the workers voices in the fields to finally agree to begin negotiations.

We want to make three things very clear:
1. Sakuma Brothers Farms approached us at FUJ indirectly to begin the process.
2. We have agreed to meet on a date proposed by them.
3. They asked for confidentiality about this prior to our meeting with them.

While we certainly were encouraged by Sakuma approaching us initially, unfortunately, the recent press statements and actions by Sakuma, are far from encouraging.

First, FUJ did not receive the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from Sakuma directly but rather indirectly through an intermediary. FUJ received it on July 4, 2016 not on June 27th as Sakuma stated.

Second, the draft MOU proposed by Sakuma Berry Farms was slated to be mutually discussed by both parties in a meeting scheduled on July 14th at their request. This draft MOU has not been negotiated nor has it been discussed between FUJ and Sakuma.

Third, we the leadership and members of FUJ have in good faith honored the request to remain the preliminary process confidential until our mutually agreed upon meeting on July 14th. We are shocked at their decision to release this press statement. In further that it has so many inaccuracies and breach their proposed confidentiality.

“Despite Sakuma’s attempt to unilaterally impose an election process, FUJ has been and is ready to meet and negotiate a fair process for the workers to choose their union representatives without intimidation or coercion onJuly 14th or before if necessary”, said FUJ President Ramon Torres.

Farmworkers members of FUJ will be available to address this issue at the upcoming march on Monday July 11th at 3:30PM at the Sakuma fields on Cook Road, Burlington.

Carpool leaves from Public Market parking lot in Bellingham, 2:30 Monday.

Solidarity!

Whatcom-Skagit General Membership Branch, Industrial Workers of the World