farm workers

Elaine Thompson / AP

The top attorney in the state of Washington is bringing light to a pattern of alleged sexual assaults at a small-town farm. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a federal lawsuit against Horning Brothers LLC and a supervisor.

Oregon Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has officially declared today “Cesar Chavez Day."  Immigrant rights and farm worker groups are holding marches through the weekend to honor the famed Latino activist, and to protest President Trump’s immigration policies. 

President Donald Trump signed executive orders to increase immigration enforcement officers, deport individuals living in the country illegally and build a wall along the border with Mexico. All while Northwest farmers say they can’t hire enough people to pick fruit or work in packing houses.

Most farmers in rural eastern Washington state say they only hire legal workers. But there’s a polite fiction of living and working there. Federal immigration officers raid farms and ranches here. And people get deported.

Flickr user Jetsandzeppelis

Pesticides are often sprayed on Northwest crops like apples, grapes and cherries. And those toxic chemicals can pose major health risks to people who work in the fields. The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Monday to protect farm workers from pesticides.

State Supreme Court Sides With Farmworkers On Pay For Breaks

Jul 16, 2015
Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Flickr

The Washington State Supreme Court dealt a victory to farmworkers today in a closely watched case governing pay for rest breaks. The unanimous ruling covers pay for “piecework”—that is, when you’re paid by the task, like picking a pound of fruit, instead of by the hour.

NW Farmers Anxiously Await Overdue Guest Workers

Jun 30, 2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Hundreds of farm workers from Mexico are now making their way to the Northwest, after a major delay. A computer glitch crippled the U.S. visa system. Including a guest worker program that Northwest farmers increasingly rely on.

Buses sat on the U.S. side of the Tijuana border, ready to shuttle workers north. Workers sat at hotels, waiting for a final stamp on their visa. They’d already waited two weeks. But finally, on Tuesday, it looked like all systems were go. And hundreds of seasonal workers will arrive at Washington farms this week.