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Farmworker Union Reaches Tentative Contract Deal With Sakuma Berry Farms

Just in time for the strawberry harvest, leaders of a union representing hundreds of farmworkers have reached a tentative contract agreement with Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County.

Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), which represents about 500 workers, announced the deal Sunday afternoon, saying it had been approved by negotiators Saturday evening.

It’s the first such contract since the workers voted to unionize in September.

Union president Ramon Torres, who helped negotiate the agreement, said through an interpreter he did not want to reveal specific terms before informing union members. But he called it a good deal for berry pickers.

“These are some of the best wages that farmworkers have in the state of Washington,” Torres said.

He said the proposed two-year contract also would protect workers from unjust firings and lays groundwork for establishment of a medical plan in the near future.

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