At the annual Strawberry and Justice Festival, May 17, 2017, a presentation by Michael Gasser on “From Beach Flats to San Quintín: Oppression and Hope in the World of Industrial Agriculture”.
A caravan (the #CaravanaNacionalPorUnSalarioJusto) in support of the farmworkers in the San Quintín Valley in Baja California will leave San Quintín on March 4, travel first to Tijuana for an international cross-border gathering, then travel through the states of Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán, and arrive in Mexico City on March 17 for a big national meeting of farmworkers. For more information (in Spanish), see the Facebook event page. To donate in support of the San Quintín farmworkers on their tour, go to this GoFundMe page.
The Union of Independent, National and Democratic Farmworkers (SINDJA) calls for all independent and autonomous boycott committees to unite for a global day of action on November 19th. We invite all families to support the International Boycott against Driscoll’s in solidarity with farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico. In the US, when you sit down at your tables on Thanksgiving Day, we’re asking you to please think of the farmworkers in San Quintín, who work 12 to 15 hours a day for as little as 6 US dollars in take-home pay. Meanwhile, Driscoll’s is making multiple millions in profits.
El Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas (SINDJA) hace el llamado a cada uno de los comités independientes y autónomos que se quieran unir a la acción global por los trabajadores de San Quintín, México este próximos 19 de de noviembre. Invitamos a las familias que respeten el llamado del Boicot Internacional contra Driscoll’s que han hecho los trabajadores de San Quintín. Pedimos a las familias, principalmente de la Unión norteamericano, que cuando se sienten a sus mesas a comer este día de acción de gracias piensen en los trabajadores de San Quintín, México que trabajan jornadas de 12 hasta 15 horas recibiendo un pago de tan solo 6 dólares por todas esas horas trabajadas. Mientras tanto, Driscoll’s está obteniendo ganancias multimillonarias.
Don’t bring fruits harvested through exploitation to your Thanksgiving tables, including Driscoll’s-brand strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. The cheerful Driscoll’s labels and delightful promotions hide the following realities that farmworkers face each day:
No consumen en sus mesas las frutas de explotación, como fresas, frambuesas, arándanos, de la marca Driscoll’s! Las etiquetas alegres y los promociones tan encantadores de los productos Driscoll’s están escondiendo los siguientes realidades que enfrenten diariamente los jornaleros agrícolas.
- Conditions of modern day slavery
- Toxic pesticides
- Child labor
- No health insurance or health care
- Sexual assault of women and teens
- Failure to provide work equipment
- Provision of non-potable, dirty, contaminated water
- Threats and firings directed towards workers who demand their rights
- Condiciones de esclavitud moderna
- Quimicos agrícolas muy venenosos
- El trabajo infantil
- La falta de seguro y cuida médico
- El acoso sexual de las mujeres y muchachas
- La falta de equipo de trabajo
- El suministro de agua imbebible, sucia, y contaminada
- Las amenazas y despidos contra trabajadores que exigen sus derechos
When fruit is produced like this, it cannot be a delight. Happiness cannot exist without human dignity. Join us and Boycott Driscoll’s! Until they sign a collective contract with San Quintin Farmworkers!
La fruta, cuando está producida asi, no es una deleite. La felicidad no existe sin un trato humano. Unenos y Boycott Driscoll’s! Hasta que firme un contrato colectivo con los trabajadores.
Join us in Santa Cruz on Nov. 19 at 1pm in front of Whole Foods Market at 911 Soquel Avenue to encourage customers to boycott Driscoll’s in support of farmworkers as they do their holiday shopping and once again to put pressure on Whole Foods to stop selling Driscoll’s berries.
On October 15, 2016, farmworkers in San Quintín and their allies in Mexico and the United States will reaffirm their support for the Driscoll’s boycott until the workers have a union contract that guarantees them livable working conditions. A year-and-a-half after they went on strike, conditions for the workers remain dire, with people paid dollars a day for working up to 12 hours or more.
Rallies will take place at least in Tijuana, New York City, Chicago, Bellingham, WA, and Driscoll’s distribution center and berry store in Aromas, CA. The Santa Cruz Support Committee will be in Aromas. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The text of this post is from the Food Chain Workers Alliance.)
Congratulations to Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ)! FUJ is an independent farmworkers union and one of our newest members! After a three-year struggle, on September 4, 2016, FUJ reached an agreement with Sakuma Brothers Farm in Washington state to conduct a secret ballot election so the workers on the farm can vote whether they want FUJ to be their union. Sakuma Brothers is a supplier to Driscoll’s Berries.
This is a big victory as FUJ has been asking to negotiate a contract with management on behalf of farmworkers since 2013 because of child labor, wage theft, hostile working conditions, poverty wages, and impossible standards of production. Please see below for a message from the officers of FUJ about this agreement.
Farmworkers in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico, continue to organize for living wages and safer working conditions, and they have called on consumers to continue boycotting Driscoll’s Berries. The Food Chain Workers Alliance will continue to support and honor the Driscoll’s boycott until the farmworkers in Mexico win the dignity and respect that they deserve.
As of today, Sept. 4, 2016 Sakuma Brothers Farms and Familias Unidas por La Justicia have mutually agreed to conduct a secret ballot election within the next 8 days. The election will determine if the employees want to be represented by Familias Unidas por La Justicia in collective bargaining with Sakuma Farms. Thanks to your tireless efforts we are entering into this next phase of our union’s development with hope and determination. At this time we are calling for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities. Out of respect for the process and our memorandum of understanding with the company please do not contact past, present or potential customers, purchasers, sellers or users of products coming from Sakuma Bros Berry Farm to convey criticism of any and all aspects of Sakuma’s business and operations.
Please stay tuned at the Familias Unidas por La Justicia Facebook page for updates.
On Saturday, May 14, in solidarity with the Day of Global Action called by SINDJA in San Quintín, there will be two events in Santa Cruz County.
- Picketing at the westside Safeway in Santa Cruz, organized by the UCSC student boycott support committee. Meet in front of Panda Express for orientation at 12:30 pm.
- Action in the Watsonville Downtown Plaza on Main St., 12-2pm, organized by the Watsonville Brown Berets. Facebook event. To carpool from Santa Cruz, meet in front of Java Junction at Gateway Plaza on River Street.
On May 7, the FUJ Boycott Driscoll’s International Day of Action, we went to the Santa Cruz Costco and the Whole Foods store on Soquel Ave., delivered letters demanding that the stores honor the boycott, and hung around as long as they let us for pictures. Here are the flyers for the event.
And here are some pictures.
- May 1, 3-8pm, 134 Maple Ave., Watsonville
La Peña Campesina (poster, Facebook event) is a gathering organized by a group of Watsonville community organizers in support of farmworker rights and the Driscoll’s boycott. It featured a variety of music, including the rap artist and activist from Oaxaca, Mare Advertencia Lirika. There is a GoFundMe page to help fund the event.
- Apr. 15, 6-9pm, Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz
The third Friday of every month, MAH celebrates Third Friday, an evening of exhibits and activities on a particular topic. April’s theme was Beyond Borders (Facebook event), and we, along with the Center for Farmworker Families, had a table there with the title, “Berries and Borders: Farmworkers and Multinational Big Ag”. Our table featured Jorge Flores discussing his real-life experiences in the fields, Ann López from CFF, and a hands-on activity about how the cost of strawberries is divided up among those responsible for them.
Five representatives of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the independent union in Burlington, Washington that started the Driscoll’s boycott, along with (hopefully) Gloria Gracida of the Alianza de Organizaciones por la Justicia Social in San Quintín, are on a tour of Washington, Oregon, and California. They’ll be in Santa Cruz March 30-Apr. 2. Here are the events planned for their visit. There is an overview flyer for the events in English and Spanish. All flyers and press releases can also be found here.
- Wed., March 30
- Thu., March 31
- 11:30 am, direct action, Driscoll’s headquarters, 345 Westridge Dr., Watsonville (meet at 11am in the nearby Applebees parking lot to march to Driscoll’s HQ) [flyer]