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Indybay Feature
Wed Mar 2 2016 (Updated 03/27/16)
Boycott Driscoll's Action at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz
Workers Who Grow, Harvest, and Pack Driscoll’s Berries Struggle Against Systematic Abuses
On February 26, demonstrators gathered at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz to protest Driscoll's, the largest berry distributor in the world with a history unjust labor practices and repression of union organizing. Founded in the Pajaro Valley in 1904, Driscoll's is a privately held company with headquarters in Watsonville. Production of Driscoll’s berries extends into 22 countries. Outside of the Whole Foods demonstration, Michael Joseph urged customers, "Don't buy Driscoll's berries until the farmworkers get the basic human rights they deserve!"

Workers who grow, harvest, and pack Driscoll’s lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor. Demonstrators say they support the farmworkers, including the boycott they initiated against Driscoll's, and cite poor working and living conditions, as well as growers refusing to negotiate with the workers' unions: Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) [Families United for Justice] in Washington State and the Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas (SINDJA) [National Democratic Union of Independent Farmworkers] in Baja California. The union SINDJA is called La Alianza (The Alliance) for short.

Tomás Madrigal explains, "In 2013 farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington, Washington launched a boycott against Sakuma. In response to the successful boycott against their brand, Sakuma Brothers shifted production in 2014 and began packing fresh market berries exclusively into Driscoll’s label cartons." As Driscoll’s continues to stand behind Sakuma Brothers Farms, workers in Washington State expanded their focus from Sakuma Brothers and towards the boycott of Driscoll’s. The call to boycott Driscoll's was internationalized after a farmworker rebellion in the San Quintín Valley of Baja California reached a boiling point in March 2015.

Read More with Photos: photo Boycott Driscoll's Action at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz | photo Picketing in Support of the Driscoll's Berries Boycott at Santa Cruz Whole Foods | See Also: Resource Center for Nonviolence Endorses the Driscoll’s Berry Boycott | Message from San Quintín to the United States: Boycott Driscoll’s

Previous Coverage: Boycott Driscoll’s Action in Watsonville | U.S. and Mexican Workers Call for Boycott of Driscoll’s Berries
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