By Linda Brindle
Kairos Milwaukie United Church of Christ, Milwaukie, OR
CPCUCC Representative Oregon Farm Workers Ministry Board (OFM)
Do you remember the stories of worker abuse at dairy farms that supply Darigold’s milk? For those who haven’t heard the story before, workers have come forward repeatedly describing conditions that include wage theft, unsanitary restrooms, lack of rest or lunch breaks, lack of water and mistreatment of workers. There are at least four dairies in Washington & Oregon which are accused of this worker mistreatment.
In addition there is also animal abuse at the Darigold supplier dairies. One worker tells that “The manager carries around a taser and he was electrocuting the cow so that she would get up. The cow screamed and cried with the shocks until one worker…told him to leave her alone; that they would take the cow outside.”1 In another story “The cows get milked with mastitis because we don’t have enough people to be able to milk right. You can tell that it hurts the cows a lot…because they (are)…very swollen from the (mistreatment) that they receive.”1