"This is a historical moment. Because farmworkers are excluded from the National Labor Relations Act, which establishes the framework for unions and collective bargaining for most other workers, there are few farms where workers have organized and even fewer independent unions," said Fair World Project Campaign Director, Kerstin Lindgren. "This agreement is a clear indicator that Familias Unidas and Sakuma are committed to finding a mutually beneficial outcome. It will hopefully also provide a model for farms," continued Lindgren.
Familias Unidas has called for an end of the four-year consumer boycott of both Sakuma and major buyer Driscoll's. While Familias Unidas has asked all of their boycott committees to cancel events in opposition to Sakuma and to start promoting the farm, some advocates may continue promoting the boycott of Driscoll's berries on behalf of farmworkers in Mexico who are still struggling for increased pay and dignified working conditions.
In May of 2016, 32 organizations including Fair World Project sent Driscoll's a letter asking that they uphold their stated commitment to freedom of association by requiring Sakuma management to meet with the workers organized as Familias Unidas. Driscoll's response was positive and Fair World Project hopes that Driscoll's continues to insist their suppliers negotiate fairly with workers who choose to organize.
"This news from the fields of Sakuma Brothers Farm is truly inspiring," said Dana Geffner, Executive Director of Fair World Project. "This agreement is both proof of the power of workers organizing and also proof of the power of consumers who stood in solidarity with these farmworkers during their four-year quest to negotiate a fair contract," continued Geffner.
Fair World Project (FWP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the use of the term "fair trade" in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, advocate for policies leading to a just economy, and facilitate collaborative relationships to create true system change. FWP publishes a bi-annual publication entitled For a Better World. For more information, visit: http://www.fairworldproject.org.
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SOURCE Fair World Project