FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez led a group of FLOC members, FLOC Homies Union members, and other activists in a march to Reynolds American Inc. headquarters in Washington D.C to deliver a petition with 20,000 signatures. The petition calls on Reynolds American to end human rights violations by signing an agreement that guarantees the farmworkers in their supply chain the right to negotiate improved wages and work conditions.
Using an online medium to collect signatures, FLOC was able to gather 20,000 signatures for the petition, which was made out in letter form to Mr. Thomas C. Wagner, Chairman of the Board of Reynolds American Inc.
The march began at the AFL-CIO Washington D.C. headquarters and included the following keynote speakers: Saray Cambray Alvarez and Javier Gomez of FLOC, Diana Arguello of LCLAA, Abby McGill, Campaigns Director of International Labor Rights Forum, Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea of National Farm Worker Ministry and a Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Jim Deene of IBT Local 355 (Baltimore, MD)
FLOC Homies Union member, Javier Gomez of Toledo, OH, also presented a letter to Reynolds American Inc. that he penned after a visit to the North Carolina tobacco fields. The conditions left an impression on FLOC youth. His letter was delivered along with the signatures.
FLOC has been rallying and attempting to reach an agreement with Reynolds American for the past 8 years.