Saturday, November 20, 2010


The Ruby Ridge Dairy in Washington State has a long record of abusing its workers, and now it is applying for yet more money to continue on as before. The United Farm Workers are asking that you help them apply pressure to the lender Northwest Farm Credit Services to withhold further loans until Ruby Ridge mends its ways. Here's the appeal....

Would You Lend this Dairy $13 Million?
Does continuing to invest $13 million in a dairy that is being sued for violation of Washington wage and hour laws, unlawful discharge by firing 1/3 of the workforce and even assault sound like a good investment?

Apparently Northwest Farm Credit Services thinks so. They’re the bank who lent Ruby Ridge Dairy $13 million. Here’s the language from their January 29, 2008 mortgage. It states, "Mortgagors agree to comply with all laws, ordinances, regulations, covenants, conditions and restriction affecting the Property use including without limitation all environmental laws. Also not to use or permit the use of the Property for any unlawful or objectionable purpose or for any purpose that poses an unreasonable risk of harm, or that impairs or may impair the value of the Property." It sure appears that Ruby Ridge is not fulfilling the terms of their mortgage.

The lawsuit is only the tip of the iceberg. The workers who haven’t yet been fired are afraid they’re next. They tell us how pro-union workers have much higher daily quotas to meet that anti-union workers. The workers at Ruby Ridge believe are supporting the union are being segregated from the rest of the workforce. The pro-union workers report they work in a room that there is no safe drinking water. They either drink from hoses used to remove manure from the room’s floor or water barrels from which the cows drink. These workers also do not have a break room, so they are forced to eat alongside the cows. And when the owners see them taking a lunch break they are yelled at.

The UFW has repeatedly tried to bring these issues to the bank’s attention. So has the faith community and the Ruby Ridge workers. Northwest Farm Credit Services simply turned a blind eye.

We now need your support. Please send the email below and join our call for this bank to use its power to resolve the problems at Ruby Ridge Dairy.
Please go to this link to send the following letter to the Northwest Farm Credit Services.
Your bank has a moral and legal responsibility to address the issues at Ruby Ridge Dairy, a business to whom you’ve lent $13 million. No human beings should be subjected to the treatment that the workers at Ruby Ridge have been suffering. Twenty-five workers have filed suit against the dairy for wage and hour violations, assault and outrageous conduct. Your mortgage agreement clearly stipulates that Ruby Ridge must comply with all laws.

I call on you to immediately use your influence to resolve this situation. Please demand that the owners of Ruby Ridge meet with the United Farm Workers to resolve this dispute.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Since UFW has a lawsuit in progress, let the courts decide who's right and who's wrong...If the workers are unhappy with their conditions, they can find work elsewhere, as there are many dairies in the area...Could it be a ploy by the UFW to exploit hepless undocumented workers for their benefit????