****UPDATE: If you haven't heard
already, the Gardenburger boycott was successful! They have now severed their ties
with the oppressive Norpac distributers, so it is once again safe to enjoy the
tasty treats of Gardenburger. For the full scoop on this success visit
PCUN's site. I'm leaving this page up for the
explanation of the boycott and because we should all continue to boycott Norpac
products, including FLAV-R-PAC.
The answer is yes, my friend.
Under PCUN (The Treeplanters and Farmworkers Union of Oregon), farmworkers have been trying to secure increased wages, the rights to breaks (to have any) and to receive overtime pay, fair treatment, and decent living conditions from growers that produce for Norpac Foods. Sound like reasonable enough demands, right? Trying to secure a standard of living that is above dirt poor is ok, right?
Not according to Norpac and Gardenburger®. Norpac growers (they put out frozen vegetables and potatoes under the name FLAV-R-PAC, boycott these, too!) have refused to participate in any attempt at negotiation with farmworkers. Rather, they opt for the oh-so-glamorous methods of threatening to fire, evict (many workers rent a room/bed from farmowners), and beat up anyone seen trying to organize. Pleasant, huh?
So what does Gardenburger have to do with all of this? Well, they are asking PCUN the same question! It seems as though they are trying to weasel their way out from taking any of this heat. (this gets sort of confusing…) OK. There are these two "separate" (harhar) companies, Norpac Foods, and Norpac Food Sales. Separate, eh? How many unaffiliated companies do you know of that share the same logo, address, phone number, office and refer to themselves as "us" and "we", not "us" and "them". So Gardenburger's tactic is to say that they only use Norpac Food Sales as their distributor, therefore distancing themselves from teh real evil of Norpac Foods (who deals with the growers.). But anyone over the age of 2 can see this is a bunch of crap. The two Norpacs are economically dependent on each other for survival and anyone going through one company must at some point go through the other.
So basically, the boycott is the only way to force the growers and Norpac to negotiate with its mistreated, underpaid employees.
So is the boycott working?, you might ask. We'll I know that one college in Oregon has removed all FLAV-R-PAC and Gardenburger® products from their dining halls and other eating facilities. We're still battling with our wretched school president here at the U of O, Dave Frohenmyer. But PCUN thinks we may have Norpac and Gardenburger® scared.
Why do you think Gardenburger® is doing a commercial?