Pickers at Washington state berry farm approve contract, $12-an-hour minimum wage

Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County last fall agreed to allow union representation after years of labor unrest.

MOUNT VERNON — As harvest time approaches, unionized pickers have reached a contract with the biggest berry farm in a northwestern Washington state county.

The Skagit Valley Herald reported that the union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, voted Thursday to approve a tentative agreement reached last weekend with Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County.

Union President Ramon Torres says the contract guarantees the pickers a minimum wage of $12 per hour for work in the fields, but targets an average wage of $15 an hour with some incentives for faster picking.

The contract also lays out a process for conflict resolution, something the workers have never had before. Torres says that will give the workers more protection from being…

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