Written by Jimi Izrael
A 10-year boycott of Norpac Foods Inc., called for by Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noreste(PCUN), has ended with both parties at the table and guidelines set for talks about labor relations in the region.
The boycott was called in 1992 to protest working conditions and other labor concerns.
"Farm workers needed to be treated with dignity," says the Rev. Eugene Ross, Central Pacific Conference Minister. "Justice demanded that farm workers have the right to bargain for their own well- being."
"This is an historic accomplishment for farm workers," said Ramon Ramirez, president of PCUN, in a statement. "(They) will now have clear and enforceable guidelines that provide them with an opportunity to elect PCUN to represent them."
Virginia Nesmith, executive director of the National Farm Worker Ministry, says the UCC played an important part in jump-starting successful negotiations.
"The UCC is and always has been at the forefront of this movement, more so than other denominations," says Nesmith, "from the very beginning of this struggle."