‘It’s time to bring this fight to an end’: AG Ferguson backs Hanford workers

AG Bob Ferguson is joined by several Hanford workers standing up for HB 1723

PASCO, Wash. — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says President Joe Biden needs to stand up for Hanford workers and drop an appeal against HB 1723 which helps workers access compensation for becoming sick at work.

On Thursday, more than a dozen Hanford workers joined Ferguson at Local Union 598 in Pasco to stand up for the law passed in 2018.

RELATED: AG Ferguson: Biden admin ‘cruel’ for fighting Hanford worker law

“It’s time to bring this fight to an end, and a president, Joe Biden, a president who says he’s on the side of workers, needs to do the right thing and stand up for workers here at Hanford and drop this appeal,” said Ferguson.

Bob Ferguson vowed to continue to fight for the workers at Hanford.

“That bill made it easier for Hanford workers to access worker compensation benefits when they’re found to have certain illnesses related to their work at Hanford,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson says, just after Labor Day, President Biden’s Department of Justice filed an appeal against the law.

RELATED: Law makes it easier for Hanford workers to get worker comp

“To say this was a surprise and a disappointment would be an understatement,” said Ferguson.

Several people spoke at the press conference Thursday including Bertolla Bugarin, the wife of Hanford worker Abe Garza.

Bugarin says her husband was hospitalized after an incident at Hanford and suffers constant ringing in his ears, diabetes, vocal cord disfunction, and loss of smell and processing.

“I’m saddened they are challenging this law,” said Bugarin. “Without this law, many people have died and they will continue to die, and others injured.”

Ferguson says this can end with a simple decision from the Department of Justice to file a statement with the courts saying they are not going to appeal the bill.

It’s unclear when the Supreme Court will decide whether or not its justices will take the case.