A delegation of students, church leaders, labor leaders, and other Kangaroo Express  consumers will be will be visiting the company’s headquarters on March 1, 2013 to request an in person meeting with Chairman of the Board, Ed Holman. The delegation is seeking to discuss their concerns about the serious human rights abuses facing tobacco farmworkers and ask the company to convey those concerns to Reynolds American, a producer of cigarettes sold at Kangaroo stores.
A recent report by Oxfam America and FLOC shows that human rights violations, including dilapidated housing, sub-minimum wages, work-related illness, and fear of retaliation for speaking out, are widespread in the fields of North Carolina.
Tobacco products account for 39% of Kangaroo Express sales. Consumers believe this makes The Pantry Inc., the parent company of Kangaroo Express, an integral part of the tobacco supply chain and want their voices to be heard. Over the past few months, members of various community groups in North Carolina have attempted to communicate with The Pantry Inc. executives several times in writing and have yet to receive a response. Consumers have also delivered petitions to Kangaroo Express stores throughout North Carolina to express their concerns.
For over five years, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), a farmworkers’ union representing tobacco farmworkers, has sought after Reynolds to sign a written agreement guaranteeing labor rights for tobacco farmworkers in its supply chain. To date, the company has not done so.
Reynolds American claims that the company has taken steps to ensure these exploitative conditions do not exist on their contract farms, but more can be done to guarantee that all farm workers have a safe and healthy work place. Reynolds should work with FLOC to develop a written agreement that guarantees freedom of association and collective bargaining to tobacco farm workers.
WHAT: A delegation of Kangaroo consumers will once again deliver letters to the company that have gone unanswered, and request a meeting with Pantry Inc, Chairman of the Board, Ed Holman. Consumers want the company to stop ignoring their concerns about mistreatment of farmworkers in the South and to convey theses concerns to Reynolds American,calling on the tobacco giant to work with FLOC to develop a written agreement that guarantees freedom of association and collective bargaining to tobacco farm works. Banner and other visuals will be in front of the building following the letter delivery.
WHO: Kangaroo consumers and stakeholders including UNC-CH Alianza, a student/farmworker solidarity group, Beloved Community Center, NC AFL-CIO
WHEN: Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 3:30pm
WHERE: The Pantry Inc., 305 Gregson Drive, Cary, NC 27511
QUESTIONS? Contatc Anna Maria Reichenbach, 919-896-1932, firstname.lastname@example.org