On Sunday August 10, FLOC members filled the FLOC office in Dudley to discuss the “Respect, Recognition, and Raise” campaign as well as upcoming contract negotiations with the NCGA. FLOC members listened to FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez as he gave an update on the Reynolds Campaign, as well as the current sign up campaign. While the tobacco companies remain unresponsive to FLOC’s call to issue clear mandates to their growers to halt the harassment, intimidation and retaliation of workers who join or discuss the union, organizers continue to make gains as hundreds of workers sign union cards. Current members on union farms were encouraged to report and grieve matters over long-standing issues such as bad supervisors who engage in bullying tactics and sometimes threats of violence. Jaime, a member since 2004, said “…we need to end the discrimination because crew leaders and supervisors take advantage of all workers.”
Members came together to discuss issues at their camps, and make decisions on priorities for the upcoming contract negotiations. Members expressed their excitement about the union and urged the union to continue to fight for better rights for all farm workers including them. Reminded that they are the glue that holds the union together, workers left with high spirits and ready to continue fighting alongside FLOC to gain respect, recognition, and a raise.
FLOC members would like to thank all the volunteers that donated their time to make sure that the members are actively participating and expressing their opinions on union matters.