KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – It appears relations between Sakuma Brothers Farms and their migrant farm workers are no longer as sweet as the berries they produce.
Migrant workers are encouraging a consumer boycott of the farm’s products across the Pacific Northwest.
A press release from Community to Community Development, a non-profit group representing the berry pickers, claims Ryan Sakuma has broken their verbal agreement over the piece rate price per pound.
They had agreed upon a 48-cent per pound pricing for blueberries, but on August 14, workers say the piece rate was lowered to 40 cents.
The workers claim this 8-cent drop means they are getting less than the agreed-upon $12 an hour minimum, and say it’s less than what the H-2a guestworkers are getting.
Some of the farm workers will be in front of several grocery stores later today, including The Market on Lakeway Drive, where they will be passing out boycott information to shoppers.
The workers have already gone on strike twice this summer protesting low wages.