skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tornadoes kill 5 and injure dozens in Iowa; coalition presses lawmakers to put climate bond on CA November ballot; More residential care coming for children with acute mental health needs; and ND again ranks high for workplace danger.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Ohio Farm Workers Still Shut Out of Federal Labor Protections

play audio
Play

Tuesday, September 13, 2022   

An organization defending the rights of thousands of farmworkers in Ohio and other states is creating its road map for the future.

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee recently held its 14th Quadrennial Convention in Northwest Ohio.

Baldemar Velasquez, president of the committee, explained one major challenge is farmworkers are not protected under the National Labor Relations Act because they are not defined as employees. Some experts suggest Congress wanted to protect the family farmer from the effects of collective bargaining in the 1938 law.

But Velasquez argued it was actually to appease segregationists.

"President Roosevelt needed the Southern Dixiecrats to vote in favor of the law and their condition was (to) keep agricultural workers out because most agricultural workers were Black, and they didn't want Black people to have the same rights as white people," Velasquez asserted. "We've been living with that racist legacy ever since."

Velasquez noted while Black laborers were the group most impacted at the time, now most farm laborers are Mexican Americans and Mexicans. While there are no federal protections, 10 states -- not including Ohio -- allow farmworkers to collectively bargain for employment conditions.

Union campaigns making headlines recently, such as Starbucks and Amazon, have a legal framework for organizing. Velasquez said the committee has the daunting task of creating independent contracts with manufacturers through private agreements.

He explained they are currently campaigning with the RJ Reynolds tobacco company with the understanding most of its farming suppliers are very diversified and grow a variety of crops.

"If we get a concrete agreement with the tobacco manufacturer that'll spill over into other companies that farmers supply, like the Mount Olive Pickle Co.," Velasquez stressed. "It might take us into the realms of dealing with the Walmarts and other major retailers."

Velasquez contended competition from other countries marginalizes the people at the bottom of the food-supply chain. He added if protections are not in place for the men and women who harvest fruits, vegetables and other crops, the future of the nation's food supply is in jeopardy.

Disclosure: The Farm Labor Organizing Committee contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, Rural/Farming, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A partir de 2023, uno de cada cinco adultos inmigrantes legalmente presentes dice que no tiene seguro, en comparación con menos de uno de cada diez adultos ciudadanos naturalizados y nacidos en los EE. UU., según KFF. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

La administración Biden finalizó una norma que ampliará la cobertura de atención médica a los beneficiarios de la Acción…


Health and Wellness

play sound

The Biden administration has finalized a rule that will expand health care coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, who will …

Environment

play sound

Alliance Medical Center in Healdsburg just switched on new solar panels and battery backup as part of a plan to make the clinic more resilient to powe…


Some 170 community groups and nonprofits rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday in favor of a proposed bond measure to fund a variety of climate-related projects. (Community Water Center)

Environment

play sound

A huge coalition of 170 groups rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to put a climate bond measure on California's November ballot…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Colorado lawmakers are investing more than $15 million to ensure children experiencing complex behavioral challenges, including trauma, major …

The meal pictured above was served at a recent Minneapolis event designed to call more attention to climate change and its effect on food production. (Photo courtesy of Jayme Halbritter)

Environment

play sound

By Cinnamon Janzer for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public N…

Social Issues

play sound

North Dakota has not managed to substantially reverse its rate of workplace fatalities. An annual report puts the state in the top five in the …

Environment

play sound

North Carolina's 220,000 acres of salt marshes face multiple threats to their major roles in climate protection and ecosystem health, from rising …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021