MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Some 700 farmworkers and their supporters marched five miles from Burlington for a rally here Feb. 12. “Worker rights and the rights of immigrants are under attack,” said the call for the action, issued by Familias Unidas por la Justicia. “We want to show our community that we will not be silenced or intimidated.”
Familias Unidas is an independent farmworker union that has been fighting for a union contract with Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington. The march and rally were co-sponsored by Community to Community, a farmworkers support organization based in Bellingham. The action protested the Donald Trump administration’s moves to further criminalize immigrants and step up deportations, as well as threats to do away with environmental protections affecting farmworkers.
“The bosses rob us. The new president calls us criminals. We just want something better,” Filemon Pineda, vice president of the union, told the rally, speaking in both Mixteca and Spanish. Ramon Torres, president of Familias Unidas, told the Militant that Sakuma Brothers agreed in September to negotiate a contract, but ”is stalling in meeting with us.”
Mary Martin, inset, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Seattle, gave greetings. “My party calls for amnesty for all immigrant workers and demands an end to the raids and deportations,” she said. “This is a life and death question for the labor movement. We say organize and unionize all workers, regardless of where they were born or how they got here.”