Yakima and Wenatchee apple workers who claimed they were fired for trying to organize a union have been reinstated, the Teamsters Local 760 said Tuesday.
Six workers who lost their jobs last month at Stemilt Inc. in Wenatchee and two who were fired last week at Washington Fruit in Yakima have returned to work at the same pay scale. The companies clean and pack apples.
The workers claimed they were fired after talking with fellow employees about forming a union, a process that is protected by federal law. The companies said the workers were released because there was no work for them, though September apple harvest was in full swing.
The National Labor Relations Board is investigating the matter.
Teamsters are working with the United Farm Workers of America to gain union representation for apple orchard workers and packing shed employees. The effort has won support from the Washington Federation of State Employees and the Washington State AFL-CIO.