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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!

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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Despite decades of media attention and lawsuits, North Carolina agricultural interests continue to frequently subject migrant workers to the kind of treatment one would associate with barnyard animals. A new Wake Forest University study offers the latest outrageous news on this subject. Here’s a news release sent out by the Justice Center this morning:

Wake Forest University Study Finds Violations Rampant in Migrant Housing

Study reveals multiple housing law violations at every camp inspected; advocates urging NCDOL to increase inspections of farm worker housing

RALEIGH (March 30, 2012) – A newly released study from the Center for Worker Health at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that migrant housing in North Carolina is plagued with Read More

Why should the United States interefere with the market to allow employers to import foreign workers so they can pay them less than the prevailing wage in a particular community? And why in the hell aren’t the free market fundamentalists railing about it?

Fortunately, the editorial page of Raleigh’s News & Observer seems to get it.