Move to Amend Reports on Farmworkers’ Driscolls Berry Boycott

June 16, 2016

Move to Amend Reports connects you with activists and organizers working on the frontlines of the democracy movement, to bring you the lowdown on corporate rule, corporate personhood, and money as speech.

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In the great tradition of Cesar Chavez and the California farmworkers, Familias Unidad por la Justicia, the first independent farmworkers union in Washington State, is calling for a berry boycott against Driscoll’s/Sakuma Farms, with the aim of ending the exploitative practices against farmworkers.  This spring Familias Unidad por la Justicia is undertaking a West Coast tour to strengthen the boycott.  Join us for a conversation with three organizers to discuss the labor abuses farmworkers face and the steps they are taking to protect themselves and the food we eat.

Edgar Franks serves on Move to Amend’s National Leadership Team and as the Civic Engagement Program Coordinator at Community to Community Development (C2C), working to engage supporters and develop a strategy that ensures the needs of our community are represented. Community to Community works on issues of Food Sovereignty through the lens of Farm Workers, with the goal of creating a politically conscious intersectional base that is fighting to end Patriarchy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism through direct actions, policies, and strategic alliances with other popular peoples movements regionally, nationally, and globally. He is also a member of the Canopy Collective, committed to nourishing community power to heal our connections with our cultures, each other, and the earth.

Ramón Torres was born in Guadalajara, Mexico where grew up helping his father in his construction business before moving to the US to support his family with a better income working the agricultural fields of San Joaquin and Yakima Valley. In 2012, Ramón worked at Sakuma Brothers Farms where he witnessed the exploitation and discrimination targeted toward his indigenous co-workers. In July 2013, he and a few friends organized over 200 farmworkers to march from their labor camps to the company field office in protest of the piece-rate for blueberries picked in their fields. The next day, he was elected President of Familias Unidas and has led fellow farmworkers to recover over $500,000 in back wages, a higher minimum wage, and recognition as the first independent Farmworkers Union.

Stephanie Sisson is a member of the Boycott Coordination Team for Familias Unidas.  She lives in Bellingham, WA and became involved through a student boycott committee on Western Washington’s campus and is now in love with organizing. She plans to stay in Bellingham with all of the fantastic people she has met there.

Move to Amend Reports is hosted by Laura Bonham and Egberto Willies, members of Move to Amend's National Leadership Team. Executive producer is Keyan Bliss. Production team is Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Keyan Bliss, Laura Bonham, Egberto Willies and Renee Babcock.