April 14, 2013
Contact: Robert Willis, RWillis@rjwillis-law.com, 919-821-8031
Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO Endorses Immigration Reform Compromise with Labor Protections for Farmworkers
FLOC founder and President, Baldemar Velasquez, pledges support for bi-partisan compromise between farmworker unions, growers associations, and a bi-partisan group of Senators.
Toledo, OH – After FLOC members joined with the United Farm Workers, PCUN, and other farmworker and labor organizations in Ohio and Washington, DC, to push for immigration reform over the past week, farmworkers, growers, and Senators have reached a compromise proposal on reform, which includes labor protections for current and future farmworkers, as well as a special path to citizenship for current farmworkers.
This compromise was brokered by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The proposal will be included as part of the comprehensive bill which will now include both a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants and a separate process towards legalization and citizenship for farm workers. FLOC has been working with the UFW in negotiations with growers to ensure that farmworkers are not left behind in the immigration reform process.
“Farm workers are the backbone of our agriculture industry here in the United States and a speedier process toward proper documentation provides an incentive for those farm workers who are currently working in agriculture to continue working in agriculture,” said Arturo Rodriguez, President of the UFW.
Farm workers will have the option to apply for paperwork to legalize their status in the U.S. either through the general process, or through a special process created for those working in the agriculture industry.
“This compromise bill is an important first step toward ending the exploitation of the hardest working people in this country. With a path to citizenship and labor protections, farmworkers will have the tools to fight back against the inequities that cause poverty at the bottom of the supply chains of some of the wealthiest corporations in the world,” said FLOC President, Baldemar Velasquez.
“We applaud the hard work of farmworkers, who have organized in their workplaces and made immigration reform a priority for their unions. We also appreciate the work of the Senators and all of the community members who worked to make this happen.” Velasquez added.
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (FLOC) is a labor union representing thousands of agricultural workers in Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina.