Farmworkers sue Wash. farmer over breaks, pay

Farmworkers sue Washington berry farmer over lack of breaks, pay

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- A protracted labor dispute between a Washington berry grower and farmworkers is continuing in federal court.

Last week attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Sakuma Brothers farms saying the farmers deprived field workers of their rest breaks and did not provide accurate paperwork recording their hours worked, which stops them from checking if they were paid accurately.

The lawsuit is the latest episode at the Skagit County farm. During the summer, hundreds farmworkers went on strike several times to protest their wages and living conditions. Later on, after the farmer posted security guards at living compounds but were removed by a local judge.

The Sakumas are one of the most prominent berry farmers in Skagit County, growing strawberries and blueberries. The workers are mostly from Mexico and many are indigenous.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status.

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