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Support Farmworkers: Panel, Workshop and Driscoll's Boycott Picket

Sunday, March 27, 2016
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Alley Cat Bookstore
3036 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Whole Foods Market
2001 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Support Farmworkers!

Join farmworkers from the independent farmworker union Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) for a panel discussion, workshop, and a boycott picket at Whole Foods Market.

This event starts at Alley Cat Bookstore
3036 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

11AM: Hear from the farmworkers as they give a history of their struggle in fighting for an end to systemic wage theft, poverty wages, hostile working conditions, and unattainable production standards. Learn about what they are doing to get a union contract and the direction they are heading in their work.

Lunch/Networking (food not provided)

2PM: Interactive Workshop
Learn about the tactics of a boycott picket, how to have conversations about issues affecting farmworkers, and prepare posters for the boycott picket at Whole Foods Market.

4-5PM: Boycott Picket at Whole Foods Market with Families United for Justice
Whole Foods Market, 2001 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Background information:

Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) an independent farmworker union comprised of 450 migrant farmworkers based in Whatcom and Skagit Counties in Washington state is embarking on a month-long tour along the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries.

For the last two and half years the workers have been fighting to win a union contract at Driscoll’s supplier Sakuma Bros Berry farm, and have endorsed a consumer boycott of Driscoll’s berries. The delegation, including union president Ramon Torres and two rank and file union members, will make stops in 16 cities in Oregon and California.

In union halls, churches and classrooms farmworkers will share their story of working ten hour days picking berries with their children at their side, receiving poverty wages and no lunch or rest breaks for years before rising up and fighting to change these conditions with strikes, court cases and a consumer boycott. In the tradition of Cesar Chavez they plan to organize grassroots boycott committees that will promote the boycott on an ongoing basis until Driscoll’s suppliers negotiate union contracts.

The tour marks a turning point from a localized fight in Washington State with little national media attention to an international effort of two independent farmworker unions taking on the corporate food regime and putting farmworker justice and transformation of the food system back into the minds and actions of U.S consumers. In March of 2015, international grassroots interest in the boycott of Driscoll’s berries exploded when 80,000 farmworkers in San Quintin Mexico launched a general strike, formed an independent union, Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas and endorsed the consumer boycott of Driscoll’s. Since then the two independent unions have announced that neither will sign union contracts with their respective Driscoll’s suppliers unless the other union is signing a contract as well.

“As long as Driscoll's continues the exploitation of workers in Mexico and the US we will fight for the well-being of our families with the boycott. Boycott Driscoll's!” said Felimon Pineda, VP of Familias Unidas por la Justicia

In the United States the average lifespan of a farmworker is only 49 years. “Conditions for farmworkers in the United States are just as bad or worse than they were during Cesar's time” Says Rosalinda Guillen a farmworker and organizer who grew up the Skagit Valley during the 1960s.

On March 17th when Familias Unidas delegation leaves Washington State to begin the tour, thousands of workers in Mexico will be setting out on foot in a four-day march from San Quintin to the US Mexico border to mark the one year anniversary of their strike. Familias Unidas and El Sindicato have seized the political moment and are organizing grassroots power to build a boycott on the scale of the Cesar Chavez grape boycott to take on the corporate ag industry and win union contracts for berry pickers in both Washington State and San Quintin Mexico. Familias Unidas’ west coast tour is manifesting power through a farmworker led grassroots movement to end exploitation border to border.

Halfway through the tour Familias Unidas is calling for a major action to confront the corporate executives of Driscoll’s at their headquarters in Watsonville on March 31st - Cesar Chavez’s Birthday - which is a state holiday in California.

“We can think of no better way to honor Cesar Chavez on his birthday, than to speak truth to the corporate food regime at their front door” said Ramon Torres, President of Familias Unidas por la Justicia.

To learn more about Familias Unidas and La Alianza de San Quintin and their struggles against the largest berry distributor in the world (Driscoll's) visit, like Familias Unidas on Facebook, or find your local boycott committee.
Added to the calendar on Wed, Mar 23, 2016 7:30PM
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