In December 2011, a group of North Carolina organizations led by the Beloved Community Center (BCC) wrote Kangaroo Chairman of the Board Ed Holman asking for a meeting to discuss how the NC based chain can help end human rights abuses in the tobacco fields of its home state. FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez also reached out to McLane CEO Rosier for help in arranging a meeting between Reynolds and FLOC. For months, neither BCC nor President Velasquez received a response.
Looking for a response from McLane and Kangaroo, supporters delivered letters to 18 of McLane’s distribution centers, urging CEO Rosier to respond to President Velasquez’s request and take immediate action to end the abuse of NC farmworkers. Representatives from BCC, UNC Chapel Hill, FLOC, and the AFL-CIO also attended the Pantry, Inc. (the company that owns Kangaroo) shareholders meeting, and pressed executives for an answer on why they had not responded to the coalition letter sent in December. In April, supporters visited nearly 100 Kangaroo gas stations throughout the Southeast, and delivered letters to store managers to pass along to Kangaroo CEO Holman, encouraging him to respond to to the letter from Beloved Community Center and encourage Reynolds to meet directly with FLOC.
Both McLane and Kangaroo report that they did in fact contact Reynolds and encourage a meeting with FLOC. Unforutunately, Kangaroo says that’s all they’re willing to do. But we know they can do more! In July, BCC invited Kangaroo COB Holman to visit the tobacco fields of NC to see the conditions with his own eyes, and has never received a response.
Consumers take action!
Consumers continue to visit Kangaroo stores and deliver letters asking Holman to do the right thing and support justice for tobacco farmworkers.