Fernando E. Gapasin, Bill Fletcher Jr. and Bill Gallegos
Veteran labor organizer Fernando Gapasin is interviewed by Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Bill Gallegos. "I dedicated myself to ending racism and building worker power by building democratic working-class organizations from the bottom up."
High-wages and secure jobs for farmworkers can only come by discarding the old deportation/guestworker model, and instead supporting families with legalization, family-based visas, and unions and labor rights.
The choice confronting the Biden administration is whether to expand an immigration program prioritizing grower profits over workers’ and immigrants’ rights, or to reinforce an immigration system based on family reunification and community stability.
"Looking at these corporate supply chains, we've been able to achieve more by getting union agreements through supply chain actions than we've ever been able to achieve in legislative campaigns," says Justin Flores, FLOC's vice president.
The “essential workers” picking our food are facing fires, heat waves, and the pandemic, all at once. California’s farmworkers, many undocumented, and many without a choice, have been working through a summer of increasingly brutal conditions.
Students tend to measure fair compensation on two scales. How many years of training and/or dollars of tuition did a worker have to invest to become “qualified” for the job? And how important is that worker’s labor to the rest of society?
Some labor historians say this new militancy resembles the 1930s, when a huge strike wave helped lead to landmark pro-labor legislation and one of the biggest bursts of unionization in American history.
This week the COVID-related strike in Washington state’s Yakima Valley quadrupled in size, as workers walked out at three more apple packinghouses with two main demands for safer working conditions and an extra $2 an hour in hazard pay.