Tobacco Farmer

We’re urging faith leaders across the U.S. and around the world to sign a letter to Mr. Richard Burrows, Chairman of the Board, British American Tobacco. We’re asking BAT to ensure freedom of association for farm workers on Reynolds American contract farms.

How you can help NOW:

1) If you haven’t signed already, click the link below and add your name.

2) Pass this request along to faith leaders in your congregation, your synagogue, your mosque, your faith community. Contact your pastors, your priests, your nuns, your rabbis, your bishops, your imams, your youth leaders, your women’s and men’s group leaders, and urge them to add their names. Simply reach out to them by email, social, phone, etc., with links to the letter as well as the FAQs. You are welcome to copy and paste this text to your faith leaders, and suggest you add a personal request.

Letter to British American Tobacco

We’re asking for two things:

  1. For BAT to negotiate a memorandum of understanding – as requested by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee – that will guarantee freedom of association, without retaliation, to farm workers employed on Reynolds American’s contract farms. 
  2. For BAT to prohibit contract growers and H2A farm labor contractors from retaliating against farm workers for exercising basic workplace rights. Workers who sign union cards, advocate for higher wages, or organize for better living and working conditions should not be subject to retaliation.

This is the time for FLOC’s campaign to ensure freedom of association for tobacco farm workers, and the voices of faith leaders are particularly important. UPDATE: Over 500 signatures were delivered to BAT on May 4, and another batch is scheduled with signatures up until May 28. We are continuing to push so we can send a third after June 25. 

These are critical principles that are violated every day on some NC farms that supply Reynolds American. Reynolds American could easily, with small financial cost, require growers to follow human rights principles to everyone’s benefit.

FLOC staff, led by President Baldemar Velasquez, have recruited a national faith leader convenor group (see list below). Join them and help recruit more faith leaders.

Farm workers need your help TODAY: please distribute this urgent message throughout your networks and among the faith leaders in your communities! 


National Farm Worker Ministry has joined with the following faith leaders to lead this effort:

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Repairers of the Breach
Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, Minister for Economic Justice, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries
Clayton Sinyai, Executive Director, Catholic Labor Network
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministries
Julie Taylor, Executive Director, National Farm Worker Ministry
Rabbi David Teutsch, The Louis and Myra Wiener Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Jewish Civilization, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Mira J. Washington, National President, Church Women United
Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA



Signatures Delivered 5/4/21:

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