Farm Labor Organizing Committee volunteer/interns

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, FLOC, is in search of 3 creative and committed volunteer/interns to be part of the struggle for farm worker justice in the tobacco industry for 2-6 months between May-November, 2019. 

Every year, tens of thousands of migrant workers travel to North Carolina to harvest tobacco. While the contract between FLOC and the NC Growers’ Association has helped end many of the abuses in the H2A “guest-worker” program, there are many outside of the contract who are still denied the most basic labor rights. Many of these farm workers continue to face slave-like hardships, such as lack of freedom of association, wage theft, lack of access to water, harassment in their work, discrimination, exposure to lethal nicotine and pesticides, poor health and limited access to health care, and denial of basic labor and human rights protections.  

Justice in the fields volunteer/intern would support in one following projects:  

1. Wage theft and sexual harassment elimination project – In coordination with FLOC staff, volunteer/intern would help develop educational material around wage issues and sexual harassment. These materials would be used to host educational workshops. The volunteer/intern would aid in conducting intakes for members on wage theft, workers compensation, and other pertinent issues. In addition, the volunteer/intern would do legal research, draft legal documents, and help in developing legal strategies that will support organizing work.  

2. Exposing green tobacco sickness short and long-term effects on farmworker health - Green tobacco sickness is a condition suffered by tobacco farm workers. The nicotine their bodies consume during the cutting of the plant makes them ill. Yet, because there is very little research on it, diagnosis and treatment are scarce. FLOC hopes to obtain surveys and research on this condition to use in negotiations with tobacco companies to improve farm workers' health protections. The volunteer/intern will help in coordinating camp meetings with workers and in conducting surveys regarding farm workers' health conditions during the tobacco harvest. This volunteer/intern would also support in conducting intakes for workers compensation and other accidents on the job.  

3. Fraud and corruption at the Mexican border - because many workers travel in and out of Mexico and other countries to come to work, they have become a target for corruption by the government and violence by the drug cartels. The volunteer/intern will help in developing a report based on interviews with workers regarding corruption at the border. This volunteer/intern will help with leadership development and a coordinate a story telling project that will allow farm workers to expose the flaws in government protections for migrant workers.  

FLOC is an international union of farm workers fighting for better working and living conditions. Founded in 1967 by Baldemar Velasquez, FLOC has changed the agricultural industry by pioneering multi-party supply chain agreements that involve farm workers, farmers, and big agribusinesses. Through the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements with a strong grievance mechanism, farm workers can advocate for themselves to improve their working conditions. 

Desired Qualifications and Skills: 
1. Interest in immigrant and farm worker issues as well as a commitment to labor justice.
2. Fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole, or any other indigenous language from Mexico or Central America. 
3. Strong listening and communication skills
4. Ability to interact well with people of different nationalities, ethnicities, gender, and education levels. 
5. Comfortable with situations of conflict
6. Ability to travel in the evenings (Tuesday - Sunday) for at least two months (May-November), with some schedule flexibility. 7. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
8. Volunteers will commit to comply with the Farm Labor Organizing Volunteer Policies. 

To find out more about the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.floc.com.