Last month, dairies across the lower Yakima Valley were visited by Jesse Rojas and Silvia Lopez, activists with the organization Pick Justice. If you’re not familiar with Pick Justice, it’s an organization in California that warms on the behalf of farm workers, sharing the potential pit falls of union membership and representation. Silvia Lopez, one of the founding members of Pick Justice said with the United Farm Workers Union looking at expanding into the Northwest, it vital local workers stand up for themselves and have their voices heard.
“The workers here, they’re in good condition. I went to the dairies I walked, I talked to them, I saw their condition of work, it’s good. And I asked them, I asked the workers, are you mistreated here by your employer.”
Lopez said despite the conditions dairy workers enjoy locally, UFW is leaning on Darigold, Starbucks and others to not purchase milk because of working conditions. Jesse Rojas said their message does not sit well with the UFW, which he says is struggling to increase membership in California. And he added because of their business practices in the Golden State, it’s easy to see why workers are taking a second look before joining.
“But the reality is the union will never give you all of the information, that’s why they say things like this. They always tell employees don’t listen to those brainwashers, to those anti-union, union busters, we actually tell employees don’t trust us, listen and verify the information. Go talk to the union go ask them for documents go ask for sample contracts if they are so good. We actually encourage people to listen to all sides.”
Rojas, stressed they are not anti-union, but want to ensure workers are well informed before making any decisions.
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