Labor Rights in Agriculture - Strategy Workshop

Date: 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: 

Solidarity Center, 1130 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite #800 Washington DC 20036

 Supply Chain Advocacy to Secure Organizing and Collective Bargaining Rights

*Please RSVP by May 19th to Gabriela Rosazza, USLEAP fellow at ILRF, at usleap [at] ilrf.org.

Goal:  Share and develop campaign strategies to support worker organizing in agriculture supply chains in the Americas. 
 
Problem Description:  STAS and Familias Unidas por la Justicia are organizing melon workers in Honduras and berry workers in the United States, respectively. Both groups are fighting to address long hours, poverty level wages and poor health and safety protections.  Sexual harassment is commonplace and preventing child labor remains a constant challenge.  
  • STAS’ majority women workers are organizing in an export industry in a region where there are few other economic opportunities and wages are being repressed below the legal minimum wage.
  • Familias Unidas is organizing in a context where child labor is still legal, wage theft is rampant and workers are threatened by increased pressure around U.S. immigration policies. 

Strategies to Stop Abuse:  The approach they share is union organizing, which has the potential to secure long term protections and negotiate better contracts for workers.  

  • Familias Unidas won an organizing fight at Sakuma Brothers berry farm in Washington state after it led a boycott of Driscoll’s berries, which sourced berries from Sakuma Brothers.
  • STAS is in the midst of an international campaign to mount pressure on Fyffes, which owns melon plantations in Honduras where 80+ workers were fired for organizing a union.