A group of unhappy berry pickers were outside Ballard Market Tuesday, calling for a boycott against a Skagit Valley farm. KUOW Public Radio reports that about a dozen pickers gathered, waving handmade signs and asking customers not to buy berries from Sakuma Brothers Farms. The boycotters are asking for wages of $12 an hour, better housing conditions and an improved complaint process, according to KUOW.
“Pay people what is fair, give them bathroom breaks and don’t make them fight for jobs,” immigrant rights consultant Maru Mora-Villalpando told KUOW as she stood in the store parking lot. She works with Latino Advocacy, a nonprofit based in Seattle.
Reporter Liz Jones spoke to customer Gary Oman who agreed with the workers. “We’re not buying any berries here. It’s not fair,” Oman told the farm workers in Spanish.
Berry pickers were boycotting at several other grocery stores as well; they had a presence in Mount Vernon and Bellingham. This is the second boycott effort from the workers. Last month, a negotiation failed between Sakuma and the pickers, so now the workers are hoping the grocery store boycotts will add more pressure to the company to reach a deal.
To read the full story from KUOW, click here.