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Cross-posted from the blog of the Farmworker Advocacy Network:

By Michael Durbin

Two excellent op-eds illustrate how misinformation is used to block sensible attempts at giving farmworking children the same protections as other children.

In the New York Times, Marjorie Elizabeth Woods writes in “Pitting Child Safety Against the Family Farm” about the Department of Labor’s ill-fated attempt to prevent children under age 16 from working in dangerous farm jobs. Read More

Workers Memorial Day honors victims of workplace accidents

WHAT: Workers Memorial Day

WHERE: North Carolina Department of Labor, 4 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh

WHEN: Friday, April 26, 12:00 p.m.

Workplace fatalities are all too common in North Carolina. Yet the lives of these men and women, and the facts of their deaths, are too quickly forgotten. Join us for Workers Memorial Day on Friday, April 26, for a ceremony in remembrance of the lives of all 68 workers who died on the job in 2012.

The event will be held at noon at the North Carolina Department of Labor at 4 W. Edenton Street in Downtown Raleigh. Bring one or more pairs of shoes — they will line the street curb and symbolize our loss.

Workers Memorial Day is sponsored by Triangle Jobs With Justice, National Committee for Occupational Health and Safety, Farmworker Advocacy Network, North Carolina Justice Center, Western North Carolina Workers Center, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and Student Action with Farmworkers.

Be there if you can!

FarmworkersFrom time to time The Progressive Pulse is happy to publish the submissions of guest bloggers. This is a good one. 

My New Year’s Resolution: Understanding and Advocacy
by Leigha Kiger of Student Action with Farmworkers

Now that the New Year has come and gone and it’s the peak time for “get healthy” New Year’s resolutions, many people are attempting to adopt healthier eating habits. Eating fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables is an integral part of this process.

Unfortunately, while the public has taken an interest in the healthy food movement, oftentimes the farmworkers who work tirelessly to harvest these products are forgotten. For this reason, my New Year’s resolution is Read More

You know things are pretty darned bad when Americans are forced to turn to the United Nations in a search for justice for an abused group of people. The following is from a statement released to the media yesterday by a coalition of 28 organizations including groups in North Carolina:

First-ever Joint Legal Aid Complaint Submitted to UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights:
Complaint argues that denying social service providers access to migrant farmworker labor camps is a violation of human rights law

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2012A coalition of 28 non-profit legal and social services organizations submitted a complaint today to the U.N. arguing that the practice of denying farmworkers the right to have visitors and social services providers the right to meaningful access to migrant farmworker labor camps is a violation of human rights law. Read More

Uncategorized

The good folks at a group called North Carolina Focus on Increased Education Leadership & Dignity (NC FIELD) are raising up an issue that deserves your attention year-round, but especially at Thanksgiving time: the plight of farmworkers and farmworker children. This is from an email the group sent out today:

“Tomorrow we remember the struggles of newcomers and the generosity of strangers….In eastern North Carolina, in just one county where some farmworker youth organizers live and work, the economic impact of agriculture is estimated at 30%. The jobs are some of the most dangerous in our nation, pay no overtime, legally employ children, and expose workers regularly to dangerous chemicals. The labor force responsible for that windfall is largely invisible, poverty-stricken, and as young as twelve years old.” Read More