FLOC Update – January 2020

FLOC is joining forces to demand that Whole Foods clean up the labor practices in its supply chain.

When Oxfam, a nonprofit working to end the injustice of poverty, assessed human rights violations, it found major concerns with Whole Foods. It scored Whole Foods below Walmart in its supermarket chains. What is disappointing is that Whole Foods is considered a humane company and a sustainable grocer that features locally grown and organic products. It could lead the industry but there are problems with how farm workers are treated in its supply chain. https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/something-rotten-whole-foods/

As a farm worker union, FLOC organizes farm workers, some of the most exploited workers in our country. They speak to growers, but also companies who have farm workers in their supply chain. The first three-way collective bargaining agreement was brokered by FLOC in 1986 when they signed a contract with Campbell’s Soup Company, growers and farm workers. Building on that experience, they also facilitated an agreement between Mt. Olive Pickles and the North Carolina Growers Association in 2004.

FLOC is constantly speaking for farm workers about collective bargaining, fair wages, and decent working/living conditions. They have asked Whole Foods to meet with them to talk about this but Whole Foods has refused. Now they are working with Oxfam and the Teamsters Union to address this. It led them on January 16 to protest at the headquarters of Whole Foods in Austin, TX, and at the headquarters of Amazon, owner of Whole Foods, based in Seattle, WA.

The Teamsters are in this because the contract they worked out with UNFI, Whole Foods’ partner, is not being honored. Before the holidays, workers were laid off and UNFI refused to protect the workers’ rights.

Watch the video about seeking workers rights, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7s5wKw3_r8&t=24s

To see more about FLOC, go to http://nfwm.org/farm-workers/farmworker-partners/floc-campaign/

Currently, FLOC is working on a petition which will demonstrate to these companies how much consumer support is behind FLOC, Oxfam and the Teamsters. NFWM will promote this when it becomes available. Right now, if you are a church or have a community event in North Carolina or Ohio, contact us so we can connect you to a speaker from FLOC.

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