Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The saga, oft repeated on this blog amongst many others, of the workers at Beef Northwest who wish to be represented by the United Farm Workers continues. Now the UFW has a pinch hitter in their corner, one who might be described as "heavy artillery". one wonders who the bosses at Beef Northwest will be voting for this November. Here's the story from the UFW.

Join Senator Obama in supporting the Beef Northwest workers :
Presidential candidate Barack Obama knows the truth about the situation at Beef Northwest, which has industrial feedlots in Eastern Oregon and Washington. He recognizes that a majority of workers have already voted for the union. He urged Beef Northwest to begin negotiations with the UFW, which is the representative the workers voted for.

In a letter sent to Beef Northwest owner John Wilson, Senator Obama wrote, "I encourage you to recognize the card check election of June 13, and to negotiate with your employees' chosen bargaining agent, the United Farm Workers." (Click here to read Senator Obama's letter.)

For more than a year, workers employed at this industrial feedlot have been demanding that their desire to have the UFW represent them be recognized by Beef Northwest. Instead, the company has resorted to anti-union tactics of threats, intimidation and retaliation against workers who support the union. The company is also being sued by three women who maintain that Beef Northwest discriminates against women of color in its hiring practices.

Equally disturbing, Whole Foods, the company that prides itself on being "socially responsible", is one of the largest sellers of Country Natural Beef, whose cows are fattened at Beef Northwest's feedlots. Workers met with Whole Foods executives in Austin TX to personally explain their situation. Yet, Whole Foods chose to ignore the workers. Instead it choose to believe the company consultants' "facts".
Are these the actions of a socially responsible company?
Please join Senator Obama in adding your voice to the workers' struggle. Demand that Whole Foods recognize that a majority of workers want a union. It’s time for Whole Foods to join Senator Obama and thousands of others in adding their influence to help these workers, instead of fighting workers who simply want a better life.
Please encourage everyone you know to sign the petition .
* If you want more background information on the Beef Northwest campaign go to:
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following petition to Edmund La Maccia, Vice President of Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Vice President Edmund La Macchia
I strongly support Senator Barack Obama's call for Beef Northwest to recognize that a majority of workers have already voted for the United Farm Workers to be their union. It is incomprehensible why Whole Foods would not add its voice to this issue, instead siding with an employer who has repeatedly threatened and intimidated workers. Senator Obama has called for Beef Northwest to negotiate with the UFW. Whole Foods should live up to their claims of social responsibility.

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