Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Washington State Labor Movement Applauds Historic Farmworker Overtime Pay Law

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation earlier this week at the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1439 union hall in Yakima that will make Washington the first state in the nation to bring the 40-hour workweek and overtime pay to all agricultural employees. Passage of legislation ensuring the 40-hour workweek and overtime pay rights for all Washington farm workers has been a priority for the Washington State Labor Council and its affiliated unions, including the United Farm Workers and Familias Unidas por la Justicia. S. 5172 establishes a three-year phase-in period for the new requirement that agricultural employers pay overtime to their employees.

“S. 5172 will end a racist legacy and correct an injustice that has existed for too long,” said Larry Brown (IAM), president of the Washington State Labor Council. This major victory for farmworkers has drawn national attention. Inslee also signed bills that will increase worker safety protections and expand support for frontline workers during public health emergencies.