Threemile Canyon

Taking the fight to the courtroom

“This was new. There was no boycott associated with it,” said Julie Taylor, Executive Director of the National Farm Worker Ministry, about the United Farm Workers’ campaign to improve working conditions for dairy workers at Threemile Canyon Farms, the largest dairy farm in the country. “Advocacy had changed so much because UFW had started going to court. We did some letter writing and NFWM did a series of on-the-road public witness testimony campaigns. Oregon Farm Worker Ministry [predecessor to Farm Worker Ministry Northwest] took up a lot of that work.”

The campaign began in 2003 when workers began filing suit against the company, “complaining that they were shorted wages and not being given breaks,” reported The Oregonian(1). 

Finally in 2007, the UFW signed a contract with Threemile Canyon Farms. It was the first major union contract protecting farm workers in Oregon, according to an article in Catholic Rural Life(2).

The three-year contract gave the approximately 300 farm and dairy workers at the 93,000-acre complex a method to deal with future disputes, ensured a safe working environment, and created a formal process for employees to advance within the company. It also allowed workers to participate in the UFW sponsored medical and pension plans and provided an extra week of vacation and an additional paid holiday.

  1. McCarty, E. (2007, July 16). Agreement signed between Threemile Canyon Farms and United Farm Workers union. The Oregonian.
  2. Farmworkers: Advocating for Justice. Catholic Rural Life.
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