Yakima workers with Working Washington go on air!

Earlier this month, workers with Working Washington took to the airwaves in Yakima on local radio station KDNA, appearing as guests on the show “Aquí y Allá,” to talk about labor rights and health and safety in the workplace.

The show featured Audulia, an apple orchard field worker, and Saúl, who is on medical leave after injuring his foot and back at his job packing cherries. They talked about discrimination and mistreatment at work, and let other workers know what their rights were & how they could access trainings to learn more.

Audulia, an apple orchard field worker in Yakima

Audulia, an apple orchard field worker in Yakima

The workers addressed issues like the importance of knowing labor rights, common work accidents, discrimination against undocumented workers, and how workers can make their voices heard at the local level under Trump’s administration. Saúl also talked about his experience with seeing workers mistreated after they've been injured at work.

Call-in listeners brought up abuse of women workers in the farm industry, managers they've had who have ignored their on-the-job injuries, the political power of ranch owners, and abuse in the packinghouse industry by supervisors and other management staff.

Saúl, a worker who is on medical leave after being injured on the job

Saúl, a worker who is on medical leave after being injured on the job

Audulia and Saúl invited local workers to join them at the workshops they’ve been participating in with Working Washington. The trainings offer a way for workers — particularly agricultural and packinghouse workers — to learn more about their rights when it comes to health & safety in the workplace, and how they can speak out if their rights are being violated. As Audulia mentioned, trainings like this are also an important way to make managers more accountable — she & her coworkers have already seen better treatment by managers who are aware that they're taking labor rights trainings.

The radio show was a great way for workers to connect with one another and learn about how they can access the trainings that workers with Working Washington have been setting up. Saúl and Audulia made sure workers who listened to the show learned how to get plugged in, and their willingness to speak up & stand up for labor rights will pave the way for many other workers in the Yakima area!

Paul Ryan in Everett

Update: we hit the livestream so hard they shut down the chat. Sounds like they just don't want to hear from us... but comments are still up so go to it! At 9:00 am, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is going to be in Everett hosting a pre-scripted and pre-screened “town hall” at the Boeing plant there. Tell the world what you think & let's fill his YouTube livestream page with your unscreened comments, your 👎 😡 🙃, or whatever else you got.

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Is this any way for a burger chain to treat its employees?

Earlier this year, John, a former worker at local restaurant chain Blue Moon Burgers, spoke out about the discrimination he faced there. He went public with a screenshot showing texts between Blue Moon's owner and a manager calling some of Blue Moon’s employees — including John — a racial slur.

Not only did the owner fail to address the manager’s behavior, he actually contributed his own racist remark to the conversation by insinuating the photo of black employees was "what prison looks like."

Click here to read John's story, sign the petition, & tell Blue Moon's owner you can't support an establishment that discriminates against its workers!

John says:

"I started working at Blue Moon in September of 2014. It felt good to come straight from California and immediately start working in a diverse community doing what I have a passion for, which is cooking. I felt that this was a big step for me to start networking and getting to know more about the opportunities here in this great state of Washington.

After working a few months at Blue Moon, I started to get a feel of how their system worked and felt very comfortable with the people around me.

But in November, one of my former coworkers showed me the picture below — a text conversation between my manager and Blue Moon’s owner.

blue moon for blog.png

I was confused and hurt at the same time — I did not really know what to think in this situation and felt as if why is this even happening at all.

Click here to sign the petition and ask Blue Moon Burgers: what are you going to do about this, and why should we support an establishment that treats its workers this way?

Later that month, I decided to bring the picture to the attention of the owner during a cleaning party. The manager and owner acted as if there was no issue with the picture and said sorry that I felt the way that I felt, but if I felt that way, then I could leave and not come back.

This brings us to the current situation. After I was fired from my job, I filed a discrimination complaint against Blue Moon, but almost three years later, I still haven’t seen justice.

I’m writing to you today because I need your help to seek justice. Can you sign this petition to tell Blue Moon’s owner you won’t support an establishment that would treat its employees in such a manner, and ask how he's going to make sure we see justice?"

Working Washington members step up for the migrant farmworkers of Sumas

Honesto Silva Ibarra was a 28-year-old father of three from Mexico who was working as a blueberry picker in Sumas, Washington — a small town in Whatcom County, just south of the Canadian border.

Honesto died on Sunday, August 6 at Harborview Medical Center. According to his coworkers, before he was hospitalized, his supervisor at Sarbanand Farms ignored his complaints about headaches, telling him to return to work in the fields rather than providing him with medical care.

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