According to the latest update in the ongoing dispute between Ruby Ridge Dairy and employees, Ruby Ridge is threatening to sue workers as part of their continued attack on worker's rights. This is just yet another attempt by the owners of this dairy to clamp down on workers who have been trying to unionize since 2009. These attempts to union bust have included threats of violence. A little history:
In 2009 several workers were fired for reporting unsafe and unfair work practices, and for circulation of pro-union pledge cards.
Workers report a climate of fear at the dairy, which employs some forty people. They also report that they received less than the wages to which they were entitled, that they were required to work long hours without rest or lunch breaks, were not allowed sick leave with or without pay, and that they were required to use machinery without proper instruction or protection. Bengen, who is vocal in his opposition to the union and who has stated that a union would "take the fun away from diary farming" alleges that the workers were fired for cause.
The workers fired quickly filed a lawsuit against the dairy for the claims outlined above, and eventually modified the lawsuit to include federal civil rights complaints, as workers had been subjected to racial slurs and threats of physical violence.
In January 2011 the UFW began circulatiing a petition to take to the dairy's lender, informing them of the conditions at the dairy. It would seem that Ruby Ridge's mortgage agreement prohibits any illegal activity at the dairy farm. TomP wrote about this in his diary from Jan. 10th.
The UFW and 50 supporters delivered the petition to Northwest Farm Credit Services after gathering 32,300 signatures of support.
In response, Ruby Ridge has threatened to sue workers and the UFW.
The UFW is attempting to keep the pressure on Northwest Farm Credit Services to enforce their mortgage agreement and request that the dairy stop engaging in unlawful practices against their own workers.
Click here to send an email to Northwest Farm Credit Services
Update: Based on psilocynic's comment below, I went and checked and it appears Darigold is Ruby Ridge's primary buyer. Link