No job, no housing for Skagit Valley berry pickers

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - A Skagit County judge has denied a labor group's request for a contempt order against a major berry grower.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that the labor group contended Wednesday that Sakuma Bros. Farms violated Superior Court Judge Susan Cook's order of last week by refusing to immediately hire and house more farm workers.

Cook had ordered the farm to offer housing to workers' families after the farm had said it would house workers but no relatives.

Since that ruling, Sakuma Bros. has provided housing to its current workers and families, but has not yet hired more workers, saying strawberry season is winding down and the expense is unwarranted. Farm officials told those who applied that they would have to wait for blueberry season in a couple of weeks.