PCUN signs two more union contracts

WOODBURN, OR - Farmworkers, union members, and their supporters celebrated with Moon Ridge Farms in Beavercreek and Thomas Paine Farms in Philomath after both signed first-time, one-year collective bargaining agreements with the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers Union (PCUN).

The Moon Ridge pact marks the third for PCUN this year. Moon Ridge currently has three full-time employees and Thomas Paine Farms has two, and both farms plan to hire more full or part-time labor.

"This is another step forward in the state of Oregon. The dream is becoming reality that farmworkers will be treated with respect and dignity," said Ramon Ramirez, PCUN president.

The agreements guarantee a starting wage of $6.75 and workers' rights to union recognition, seniority, a grievance procedure, just-cause for firing, non-discrimination, overtime pay, paid breaks, holiday pay, sick pay, and hazardous materials information.

The agreement is an especially great victory for farmworkers, Woodburn-based PCUN said, because of its benefits to all employees after 90 days of work. Each employee will receive 15 days of vacation or sick leave annually and full medical, dental, disability, and life insurance.

Eric Schwartz, owner of Thomas Paine Farms, grows chestnuts and specialty apples and pears and sells its products to the East Coast and locally to Nature's Fresh Northwest.

Lauren Hartmann and Patricia Stamm own Moon Ridge, an organic farm for blueberries, fruit and nut trees, Christmas trees and holly.


October 16, 1998 issue

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