|Ruby Ridge firings reach crisis level. You can help.
We need your help in what’s turning into a crisis at the Ruby Ridge Dairy Farm in Washington State. Workers are being forced to work as much as 14 hours a day. Often they don’t get lunch or rest breaks. Drinking water is not provided as required by law. Sometimes workers aren’t even paid for all the hours they worked.
Workers came to us asking for help. We responded immediately. Among other things, we helped the workers find lawyers to file a lawsuit on their behalf. Now workers are being unlawfully fired and threatened for reaching out to the UFW for help. We believe that as many as 25% of the workforce at Ruby Ridge has been fired just for trying to stand up and claim their legal rights. Also, the owner of the dairy farm is threatening workers with his gun.
Romaldo Larios, one of the fired workers, told us that the dairy owner, Dick, said "that we are assholes and dumb…He continued screaming, asking why I signed up for the union and the lawsuit…Dick mentioned that he carries a weapon in his truck and that he is going to kill every worker that gives him problems. On one occasion he mentioned that he broke the ribs of an employee and that he ended up in the hospital. All the employees know that he carries that weapon in his truck and in reality we are all scared to risk our lives because Dick will shoot us with his weapon."
Fired worker Jose Garcia told us, "When I picked up my last paycheck, the manager Alex Aripe asked me if I wanted to know why I was fired and when I said ‘yes’, he responded to me that it was because I had brought the union to the company."
Terecita Angiano, a mother of two, tells us how the company called her and co-workers into a room and kept them there until "they forced us to sign a petition where we (against our will) renounced being part of the union. They told us that if we didn’t sign that meant that we were against them and they would fire us."
She and the other workers still have hope. She told us, "we are strong and we have the support of the union and others who are supporting the lawsuit, which we are now a part of, and we will continue until we obtain our contract."
The situation at Ruby Ridge is just outrageous. You can just imagine the fired workers’ despair at losing their jobs in this tough economy–especially with the holidays approaching. Recently fired worker Rafael Munoz, a father with two children tells us, "I think this holiday season there won’t be any gifts or turkey on the table…We have a house we have to make payments on; it is the future for our kids. We don’t want to lose our house because of these people that have no heart. They don’t respect the law and much less, their workers."
Farm workers count on the UFW to be able to act rapidly. And UFW counts on dedicated supporters like you to help provide the resources that make it possible for UFW to go after corrupt employers like the owners at Ruby Ridge Dairy. Please help us get these workers their jobs back and a UFW contract that will provide them the protection they need from these abusive dairy owners. Your secure online donation today can make all the difference for these workers.
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.
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