Over the last several weeks, delegations of farm workers and community supporters delivered written notices to employers in support of FLOC members calling for an end to abuses and corruption in their workplace. They are demanding that the farms recognize their union and negotiate to end wage theft, abuse, and intimidation they have suffered at the hands of corrupt farm labor contractor (FLC) Salvador Barajas.
Watch a video of 2 FLOC members discussing this summer’s problems and reasons for joining FLOC. The video was filmed by Oxfam America and we are grateful for their support.
Salvador Barajas, the FLC on these farms, has stolen workers’ wages and put workers’ health at risk through dilapidated housing and by forcing them to purchase unsanitary and inhumane meals at illegal prices.
Growers frequently outsource the recruitment and management of farm workers to FLCs because the costs of hiring workers directly, paying good wages, maintaining proper housing, and ensuring compliance with laws and benefits in a union contract cost money. FLCs save money by stealing from workers and not complying with the law, using threats and intimidation to keep workers quiet. FLOC has been informing the tobacco industry about these types of abuses by H2ALCs for years, but continue to meet with inaction.