We, the rank-and-file members of UE 150 Workers Union at UNC, stand in solidarity with the AFL-CIO’s Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and all farmworkers as they celebrate their victory in a case to strike down the North Carolina Farm Act of 2017, which violated the state’s 90% Latinx farm workforce’s equal protection of organizing and collective bargaining rights.

Among other injustices, the North Carolina Farm Act of 2017 barred farmworker unions from paying union dues through payroll deduction – even by the worker’s request. FLOC represents many guest-workers excluded from US financial services and therefore rely on this to pay their union dues. The considerable logistical hurdle of collecting dues would have – as was intended by the North Carolina General Assembly – so taxed FLOC’s ability to organize that it could no longer advance the interests of its members.

Even in the the worker-hostile environment created by the NC General Assembly, FLOC has delivered many wins for workers, securing critical improvements in working conditions at farms, higher wages, and an end to exploitative recruitment fees and blacklisting. In addition, FLOC has successfully challenged tobacco giants, such as Reynolds American, Inc., to acknowledge their responsibility for the conditions workers face in their supply chains.

In finding that bans on labor organizing and collective bargaining are racially discriminatory, this court decision affirms our human rights as workers to organize, collectively bargain, and defend the rights of all workers.  We applaud FLOC for their contributions to our shared movement.

FLOC and the Worker’s Union are strong allies.  As part of solidarity actions undertaken by the Workers Union, our union members participate in FLOC’s direct actions against Reynolds American, Inc. as part of the FLOC’s #BoycottVuse campaign.  We work together with FLOC to deliver wins to workers in Durham within the Durham Workers Assembly, and many organizers and activists with FLOC support the Workers Union’s direct actions throughout the Chapel Hill community.

Today, FLOC is at the forefront of workers’ efforts supporting many of the most vulnerable communities affected by Hurricane Florence.  Learn how to support FLOC and North Carolina’s communities here (http://www.floc.com/wordpress/floc-clinics-and-score-medical-missions-head-to-north-carolina-in-wake-of-hurricane-florence/).

 

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