Seattle, WA – Today, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that Ostrom Mushroom Farms, a former mushroom producer based in Sunnyside, WA, would pay former workers $3.4 million dollars to resolve the Attorney General’s lawsuit in response discrimination based on gender and immigration status, displacing the local female workforce in favor of nearly-all male H2A guest workers.
Attorney General Ferguson’s announcement also establishes a framework for close monitoring of the current and future management of Windmill Farms (also known as Greenwood Mushrooms Sunnyside, formerly known as Ostrom Mushroom Farms) to prevent future violations. The resolution of this lawsuit in no way functions as an indication of approval of Windmill Farms, its management, or current working conditions by the Attorney General or the UFW.
“The facts of gender discrimination and illegal workplace retaliation including physical violence established in this case are just the tip of the iceberg,” said UFW President Teresa Romero. “Workers at Windmill Farms in Sunnyside, WA continue to suffer some of the harshest working conditions and most hostile workplace cultures in the industry. We commend the proactive work of the Attorney General in robustly defending the rights of these workers. The UFW will continue to support these workers and their fight for union representation until the workers win the union contract they deserve.”
“We are in this fight, and we are not going to stop until we get a union contract,” said current Windmill Farms worker Isela Cabrera. “I am very happy for my coworkers who experienced humiliations and retaliations by Ostrom management. I hope this announcement will help begin to improve conditions at Windmill Farms – as this new management continues to commit favoritism and retaliation. We want our fired friends to get their jobs back and for Windmill Farms to recognize our union.”