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.
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.
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!