Mexican nationals who worked on a blueberry farm in Sumas, Washington, have filed a class action lawsuit against their former employer, alleging that the company threatened and intimidated them into completing backbreaking work under terrible conditions.
Employees of Sarabanand Farms, owned by Munger Bros., told workers they had to be working every day “unless they were on their death bed,” according to the lawsuit. The farm did not distribute work visas, putting workers at risk of deportation if they left. They received substandard meals and insufficient water. One man, Honesto Silva, died, leading to a strike, which resulted in participants being dismissed.
Columbia Legal Services and Schroeter Goldmark & Bender filed the suit in federal court.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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