Tulip Workers In Washington State Suspend Strike
NWPB’s Johanna Bejarano reports on new negotiations that led to the suspension of a strike by tulip workers / Runtime – 1:48
Tulip workers at Mount Vernon, Washington, suspended their strike to begin negotiations with Washington Bulb management. Union recognition, wages and health and safety conditions are among the demands.
The Skagit County tulip farmworkers celebrated the beginning of negotiations on the outskirts of Washington Bulb and the temporary suspension of the strike that has halted operations at the Mount Vernon, Washington facility.
Ramon Torres, president of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia union, and Edgar Franks, political director of the organization, announced the start of discussions during live streaming through the Community2Community Facebook profile.
“Familias Unidas and the worker’s community are gonna be negotiating with the management of Washington Bulb.”
Yesterday, 93 workers presented signed union cards. Their recognition as union members is perhaps the main negotiating point, says Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community-to-Community Development.
“I think one of the most important things in negotiating is the representation of the union that they recognize that these workers are now part of Familias Unidas por la Justicia and that the union representatives will be representing them from now on, so that’s one of the biggest points.”
Wages calculation, mistreatment, and the safety and health conditions for working in the fields are part of the complaints that workers have expressed for years. According to Guillen, workers have not found answers to their petitions.
“There is also a lot of what we call prep time. It involves things like sorting the rubber bands, getting ready to actually get into the field that they have to do before they start cutting the flowers, and they don’t get paid for that time. They’re asking to be that that’d be part of their hourly wage”.
Negotiations began at 10:50 a.m. Friday morning.
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