Farm workers marching for equal rights in the fields
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - Many farm workers and community members marched down the streets of Sunnyside Sunday afternoon calling for fair working rights, inspired by Cesar Chavez's legacy.
United Farm Workers Pacific Northwest Regional Director Victoria Ruddy said this is the second year they are marching. She said it's an important issue because many workers are still facing injustices out in the fields.
"Our belief is that all workers deserve to earn a living wage, to work under safe conditions and to be treated with respect and dignity," Ruddy said.
A big issue many farm workers still face today is not being paid overtime. Ruddy said they should be treated like every other worker.
"It's not right, it's not fair and it needs to be fixed," she said. "Farm workers work long hours in the heat and in the rain and in the snow and they deserve to be paid and have the same protections and benefits as the rest of the workers in this country."
One local union farm worker Fortino Lopez said he's just here to work and he wants respect for the work he does.
"We come to work here, we are not trying to take anyone's job," Lopez said. "We come to work only."
Lopez said many workers also fear immigration raids, which can result in separation of families here in the community.
Ruddy said without farm workers people wouldn't have food on the table.
"Essentially we all depend on them, so they should be treated with enough respect and dignity for the work that they do for our communities," she said.
United Farm Workers said they'll continue to speak out until all workers in the fields have the rights they deserve.