by Jocelyn Sherman
The United Farm Workers have created awareness about the grueling, decade-long battle dairy workers at a Darigold member dairy have been fighting. We want to share fantastic breaking news with you. A settlement has been signed between the “Darigold Dozen,” the United Farm Workers and Ruby Ridge Farms.
The UFW is thrilled that the “Darigold Dozen” — the twelve dairy farm workers who a filed wage and hour lawsuit against Darigold member farm Ruby Ridge in 2009 — will recover wages they say were stolen by Ruby Ridge. The dairy has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the UFW and the twelve individual workers, which the workers and UFW maintain was filed in retaliation for workers seeking to recover their wages.
“I am satisfied and happy,” said Jesús Pérez, one of the “Darigold Dozen.” “We are being recognized for the effort that was made to fight for others to receive breaks and lunch at work. That the 10 years of struggle were not in vain. And me and my co-workers prevailed until victory.”
All 12 dairy workers — Margarito Saucedo Martínez, Miguel Espiritu, Elvis Flamenco, Miguel Cuevas, Rafael Munez, Armando Herrera, Saul Solorio, Cirilo Ramírez, Teresita Anguiano, Manuel Reynaga, Jesus Perez and Gildardo Perez — will receive back pay that they contend they lost from not receiving their rest periods and meal periods. These unpaid wages will be paid by an anonymous supporter.
While this is a triumph for these twelve workers, the fight continues to advocate for the fair treatment and safety of thousands of other dairy workers still employed on Darigold member farms. The UFW is determined to continue its fight to ensure dairy workers employed on Darigold dairies are protected from employer retaliation, sexual harassment and unsafe and deadly working conditions.
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