Action Alert from the United Farm Workers:
You can make “Darigreed” listen to workers.
Sign the petition TODAY!
Dairy workers at the Ruby Ridge dairy, which provides milk for the Darigold label are going through hell and need your help. More than a third of them have been fired after they dared asked to have a union. They’re suing the dairy for wage and hour violations and even assault. According to workers, the dairy owner, supported by multi-million dollar loan from a major lender, carries a rifle in his truck and has threatened workers.
According to former employee Miguel Cuevas, the owner told Cuevas, “This rifle is for those people with the union.” While most farm workers aren’t in the urban occupy actions, the fight they are in is the same fight against corporate greed that has led to the occupy movement. They are part of the 99%.
Workers and UFW supporters have repeatedly tried to appeal to Darigold about the reported abuses workers who labor to produce their product face, but Darigold remains silent. At the most recent delegation, Darigold greeted folks with security guards instead of coming out to talk.
Worker Rafael Munoz shared this thought: “By not showing their face, they are showing us that they support the mistreatment of workers. We need the support now of the consumer so that our struggle will become even bigger. The more time that passes, the bigger this will become.”
Help make this bigger. UFW has launched a petition drive. Please add your name to it: http://action.ufw.org/page/s/dgpetition. UFW will present the signatures to Darigold shortly after Thanksgiving
Ruby Ridge is part of the Darigold cooperative, a large dairy processing company headquartered in Seattle, WA. The milk the dairy produces is marketed under the Darigold brand.
Darigold products include milk, butter, and yogurt. You can see where Darigold products are sold by visiting their website by clicking here.
Ruby Ridge is a large dairy located in Eastern Washington. An overwhelming majority of workers employed at the dairy signed union authorization cards asking the UFW to represent them. Workers complained about not being allowed to take breaks, eat lunch, and having to drink water out of a hose used to wash cow manure off the dairy floor. They tell us they continue to not to have any benefits above and beyond an hourly wage. They report that owner Dick Bengen has often carried a rifle with him on his large dairy farm that he uses to scare the workers into line. Mr. Bengen made a point of explaining the special purpose of this rifle to worker Miguel Cuevas, when he told him, “This rifle is for those people with the union.”
When the UFW approached Ruby Ridge owners Dick and Ruby Bengen, their good faith offer was flatly rejected. Workers inform us that it was then the Bengens unleashed their retaliatory campaign against workers, firing over a dozen suspected union activists. With the support of the UFW, a number of those workers have filed suit against Ruby Ridge.
Ruby Ridge subsequently filed a SLAPP lawsuit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) against both Ruby Ridge workers and the UFW in a blatant attempt to silence workers.