United Farm Workers will be protesting at Whole Foods in the Pearl District this Saturday; while I can’t go myself due to a prior commitment, I hope this event is strongly supported by our community because I think that the people that grow our food should be treated justly. Spotted on the Portland Grassroots Media Camp’s site (mentioned in PGMC schedule); announcement below with more details is courtesy of Jobs With Justice.
Saturday, Aug 25th, 11am Action at Whole Foods to Support Beef Northwest Workers Who Are Organizing with the United Farm Workers. At Whole Foods-1210 NW Couch. Beef Northwest is Whole Food’s only supplier. We want Whole Foods to do the right thing and show support for the workers at Beef Northwest–who are backtracking on their commitment to neutrality! We need leafletters–show up a little early to get your stack of fliers OR…
Meet with leafletting expert Lauri King a little earlier for an exciting leafletting training at 10:30am at the coffee shop at Powell’s at 10th and Burnside. Learn techniques for making sure that flier gets read.
Update: Steve Witte of United Farm Workers emailed me the following in response to my request for more information about why workers are protesting.
For over six weeks Beef Northwest professed neutrality, to allow workers to choose representation without interference from the company. While negotiating with the United Farm Workers the company continued to pressure workers with anti-union activates — in effect lying to both the union and its members. If the company is not honest with it workers, can it be trusted to be honest with its customers?
Beef Northwest is the exclusive feedlot for Oregon Country Natural Beef which is sold at Whole Foods. The UFW has asked Whole Foods to help workers improve their workplace, particularly in the areas of health and safety. Whole Foods did not. The UFW contacted Oregon Contrary Natural Beef requesting their help as well and they refused. This beef is sold as grass fed and natural but what they neglect to mention is that for at least 90 days these ‘natural’ cows are fed potatoes, corn and vegetable oil that had been used in processing plants prior feeding it to the cows — this is hardly natural.
We are sharing information with consumers. This product is not at ‘natural’ as touted and comes with a high human cost.