Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Is This Farm Using Guest Workers as Strike Breakers?

By law, a company can’t hire H-2A guest workers if it is in a labor dispute with its US workforce. But that is exactly what this Washington State berry grower is trying to do.

By David Bacon, The Nation
May 2, 2014

In 2001 Rosario Ventura came to the United States from Mexico and went to work in Washington State, picking blueberries for Sakuma Farms. “I was expecting a different type of work here,” she recalls, “but this is all there is. I thought I would save up something here and go back, but I haven’t been able to do it. It is too difficult.”

The first job she had was pruning blueberry bushes. “It was really hard. After cutting the branches, they’d spring back and hit me in the face or all over. It really hurt.” She stuck it out though, working summers in Washington, and in the winter trying to find work further south in California, near Fresno. [...]

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