Driscoll's Exec Responds To Boycott
The ongoing berry boycott has prompted response from Driscoll's corporate headquarters. The company looks to affirm their position on union organizing and worker welfare.
John Erb is Vice President of North American Operations for Driscoll's. He says the company has not intervened to negotiate wages or labor practices because their business model is not “vertically integrated.” That means their growers are independent, they farm on their own dime and they manage their own work force, union or non-union.
The activists picketing outside the Eugene Costco Sunday, complained that minors worked in Washington berry fields under unfair conditions.
Erb: “Driscoll's standard is that you cannot have workers below the age of 15. Our standards are written with a global view in mind. Really to make sure that children are protected, that is of utmost concern and we have zero tolerance for infractions of those standards.”
Erb says concerns about how underage workers are treated should be directed to lawmakers. Washington State allows children under 12 to do fieldwork, with provisions.