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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

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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

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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

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Author and Duke University history instructor Gabriel Rosenberg has an excellent op-ed in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer about the Obama Administration’s recent and unfortunate capitulation to big business over proposed rules that would have provided somewhat tougher restrictions on child labor in dangerous occupations.  

About all you need to know about the proposed regs and their importance is to know that Sarah Palin was one of the big critics.

Here’s Rosenberg: 

“The criticisms contained startling inaccuracies. Read More

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It looks incremental, but it’s progress…

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012

Contact: Justin Flores, FLOC Director of Programs Office: 919-731-4433; Cell: 704-577-3480

MAJOR TOBACCO COMPANIES AGREE TO MEET WITH FLOC TO DISCUSS FARMWORKERS’ RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Group Includes Reynolds American, Inc.

In a landmark breakthrough, several of the largest tobacco companies have agreed to designate a committee made up of representatives of tobacco manufacturers, tobacco growers, and farmworkers. FLOC will represent the workers, the North Carolina Grower’s Association will represent the growers and Altria will represent Altria/Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American and Philip Morris International.   The committee is charged with Read More