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A New Farm Worker Union Is Born

David Bacon The American Prospect
Indigenous Oaxacan farm workers win themselves a union in the Pacific Northwest. Members are filled with ideals, starting with their own organization. Its principles for organization sound like those of radical unions throughout U.S. history. Union leaders should be workers, and the rank and file should make all decisions. No leader or staff member should have a salary higher than a worker in the fields. The union shouldn't accumulate property and large bank accounts.

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Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the Legacy

Duane Campbell Talking Union
“When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of people we are. ..I am convinced that the truest act of courage..is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice.” Cesar Chavez (1927-1993)

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Good Cheer for South Africa's Winery Workers

Gary Herman Union Solidarity International
South African winery workers, are among the lowest paid and most harshly treated in the country. Yet their union just won a strike through a combination of worker action at home and interntional solidarity that targetted the employer's brand.

Inside DuPont and Monsanto's Migrant Labor Camps

Robert Holly / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting In These Times
An in-depth investigation reveals that multibillion-dollar Big Ag corporations—including DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto—as well as small-scale farmers routinely use labor recruiters who crowd migrant workers in housing riddled with health and safety violations, such as bed bug infestations and a lack of running water. When state inspectors visit migrant labor camps, they find violations as much as 60 percent of the time.

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Berry Pickers' Win Could Result in Better Conditions for Many Farmworkers

Elizabeth Grossman Civil Eats
Farmworkers at Washington's Sakuma Brothers farms have voted to join what could be the first union for Driscoll's berry pickers in the nation. In September, they voted to be represented by Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), the first farmworker union led by workers who are indigenous to Central America.

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Building Alliances to End Gender-Based Violence at Work

Tula Connell Solidarity Center AFL-CIO
There is a specific set of behaviors that constitute gender-based violence at work that includes sexual violence, verbal abuse, threats of violence and bullying. A meeting in Brazil sponsored by the International Trade Union Confederation and the Solidarity Center discussed a campaign to shape a worker-driven International Labor Organization standard ending gender-based violence at work, based about successful initiatives by local worker organizations.

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When Labor Laws Left Farm Workers Behind — and Vulnerable to Abuse

Kamala Kelkar PBS NewsHour
“The original, Southern desire to preserve an exploited, economically deprived non-white agricultural labor force pinned to the bottom of the social and economic hierarchy continues to manifest itself full force,” Law Professor Juan Perea of Loyola University said. “The only difference today is now it’s brown and black people.”

This Day in Labor History: September 16, 2004

Erik Loomis Lawyers, Guns and Money
On September 16, 2004, Mt. Olive Pickles finally came to an agreement with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, ending a lengthy boycott of the company. This groundbreaking farm workers union launched one of the most successful organizing campaigns of the last 25 years in the South and demonstrate the continued vitality of farmworker unions in the present. FLOC was successful with these workers because they became a way for workers to express their own power.

The Fight Isn’t Over for Farm Worker Overtime

David Bacon Capital and Main
For the state’s first hundred-plus years, certain unspoken rules governed California politics. In a state where agriculture produced more wealth than any industry, the first rule was that growers held enormous power.

Berry Farmworkers Toil 12 Hours A Day For $6. Now They’re Demanding A Raise.

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee Think Progress
For the past three years activists have been fighting hard for unionization efforts for farmworkers supplying berries for Driscoll’s in the United States and in Mexico. In 2014, workers in Washington state went on strike after complaining that the piece-rate wage was set too low. Sakuma Farms allegedly brought in hundreds of guest workers under a H-2A visa program to replace the strikers, The Progressive reported.
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