Tag Archives: Farm

Agricultural Warehouse Workers Claim Employers Failing to Protect Them From Novel Coronavirus, Follow L&I Rules

by Carolyn Bick


Every morning at 6 a.m., Penelope punches into work at a food processing warehouse in Eltopia, Washington. She works seven days a week with no days off for $13.65 an hour. With the exception of a 30-minute lunch break, Penelope is on her feet sorting spears of asparagus for up to nine or 10 hours a day. It’s difficult work in normal times. But now, it’s become dangerous.

Penelope says her employer is not providing her or other employees with enough personal protective equipment or allowing them any space to social distance to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. She is undocumented, so she’s afraid of repercussions if she speaks out or tries to involve the Department of Labor and Industries, which is responsible for overseeing safe workplace conditions. But she is also afraid that these conditions will get her killed: she’s 40 years old and suffers from diabetes and heart disease, and has breast cancer that has recently reemerged.

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In Photos: Seattle Farm celebrates 100 years

By Carolyn Bick

Gloria Sferra remembers when her late husband “went completely insane,” because a young woman decided to board her horse in the couple’s farmstead basement, right after Sferra’s husband had finished remodeling the space.

Then, there was the time a fox decided to bring his entire family to live on the farm. The canine family soon became used to the presence of people –– so much so that they eventually became almost tame.

“One night, I stayed in my barn, and I almost had a stroke, because here comes my kitty … and here are the foxes, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God, my cat is going to get eaten in front of me, before my very eyes,’” Sferra recalled. “And the fox just totally ignored him –– he wandered into the barn and cuddled up with me.”

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