Thursday, June 12th was a full day of picketing and passing out flyers at the Burlington Haggen to honks of solidarity. Later that evening, with the help of our local faith based supporters, WWU SFWJ finally managed to get a hold of the elusive farm president Ryan Sakuma at his home and held a silent vigil in solidarity with the farm worker families who will be homeless this season if the farm continues retaliating and denies them housing. The congregation members spoke with Sakuma asking that he come to the table and actually communicate with the farm workers. Sakuma stated that he would be willing to come to do so. Now it’s a matter of keeping his word, which hasn’t carried much weight in the past.
Hopefully the Sakumas will see the impact this will have not only on the farm worker’s families but their own if this struggle continues to be dragged out. The berry season has already begun and soon berries will be rotting in the fields if they don’t rehire the more than adequate workforce (460+ farm workers) ready and willing to work.
All they are asking is that their dignity as professional laborers is respected, that the racist abuse and wage theft they have had to endure will become a thing of the past, and that their families will be safe.