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Friday, January 14, 2011

UFW delivers Ruby Ridge Petition

For regular readers of my blog it's no secret that I support the efforts of farmworkers to obtain justice. I carry in my wallet a card that says I am a supporter member of the United Farmworkers.  I recently inserted a link for those who wanted to sign the UFW petition to help the workers at Ruby Ridge farm.  ( UFW has emailed its supporters to thank them for posting links on Facebook or blogs. Here is a press release and a photo.  Yes I know that I should rewrite the press release and that the photo is a little blurry, but I have only a little time for this today.  Thank you to any readers that responded. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

Thousands urge Spokane lender to help end 

Ruby Ridge Dairy’s abuse and retaliation against workers

More than 30,000 signatures gathered during online petition

Ruby Ridge Workers and supporters on the way to deliver petitions.

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON – A delegation led by Ruby Ridge Dairy workers, UFW leaders and supporters will hand deliver thousands of signatures from an online petition urging Spokane-based lender Northwest Credit Services to help halt labor rights violations by Ruby Ridge Dairy.

According to Ruby Ridge Dairy workers, they are not allowed to take breaks or provided with clean drinking water. Workers also say that they have been threatened with a gun by the owner when they ask for better working conditions. Workers from Ruby Ridge approached the United Farm Worker for its assistance in the summer of 2009 in trying to solve those issues. As a result, Ruby Ridge Dairy fired 12 workers, all of whom have filed suit against the Dairy for wage and hour and other state law violations.

Ruby Ridge workers and their supporters approached Northwest Credit Services last summer asking the bank to consider labor and human rights as part of its corporate responsibility. The lender has not responded. Northwest Credit Services lent Ruby Ridge dairy $13 million. A Northwest Credit Services loan document issued to Ruby Ridge on January 28, 2008 clearly states: “Mortgagors agree to comply with all laws, ordinances, regulations, covenants, conditions and restriction affecting the Property use including without limitation all environmental laws. Also not to use or permit the use of the Property for any unlawful or objectionable purpose or for any purpose that poses an unreasonable risk of harm, or that impairs or may impair the value of the Property."

Dairy workers will be joined by farm workers from other Washington areas, students from Eastern Washington University, Whitworth College, Peace and Action League, MeCHA from EWU and other local Spokane organizations to hand in the petition signatures gathered by the UFW, Americna Rights At Work (ARAW) and other local organizations.

Who: A delegation of Ruby Ridge Dairy workers, students, farm workers and community organizations.
What:  Delivering online petitions with more than 30,000 signatures to Northwest Credit Services protesting abuse at Ruby Ridge Dairy
When: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Northwest Credit Services Headquarters, 1700 S. Assembly St., Spokane, WA

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