Jornaler@s Mexican@s en Estados Unidos March 16, 2024: Luchando por el derecho de regresar a trabajar

Luchando por el derecho de regresar a trabajar by Eli Porras Carmona, March 16, 2024, Jornaler@s Mexican@s en Estados Unidos

“La razón más grande de la existencia de tantos abusos por el programa H-2A es la facilidad de los patrones para castigar a los trabajadores agrícolas que se quejan o defienden sus derechos laborales y humanos. Los trabajadores entienden que el derecho de regresar año con año no existe, y por esto muchos trabajadores no se quejan cuando sufren de alguna injusticia. En el año 2004, pensamos que esto cambiaría en Carolina del Norte, Estados Unidos, al luchar por un contrato colectivo entre la North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA) y nuestro sindicato, el Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Desafortunadamente el sindicato no ha hecho su trabajo y ahora muchos de nosotros tenemos que luchar por el derecho de regresar a trabajar, cuando los patrones quieren tomar represalias contra nosotros. Esto lo estamos haciendo por medio de la organización El Futuro es Nuestro, una organización que trabaja contra las injusticias que sufren los trabajadores H-2A en Carolina del Norte.”


NC Newsline/ The Pulse, December 18, 2023: Women, people of color hold majority on Gov. Cooper’s new environmental justice council…

Women, people of color hold majority on Governor Cooper’s new environmental justice council, NC Newsline/The Pulse, Dec. 18 2023

IOF congratulates our own Justin Flores on being appointed to this new council!

“Gov. Roy Cooper announced his 11 appointees to the new N.C. Environmental Justice Advisory Council today; seven of them are women and 10 are non-white.

The governor created the new 22-member EJ Advisory Council in October,  as part of Executive Order 292, “Advancing Environmental Justice for North Carolina.” Housed within the governor’s office, the new group expands on the Environmental Justice & Equity Advisory Board that was under the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.”


Carolina Public Press, December 12, 2023: Migrant farmworkers in NC face a challenging system…

Migrant farmworkers in NC face a challenging system by Claudia Rivera Cotto and Grace Vitagolione, Carolina Public Press, Dec 12, 2023

“Eleazar was 24 in 2014, when he began working seasonally with a H-2A visa for temporary farmworkers at a tobacco farm in Benson, North Carolina.

Eleazar, who requested that only his first name be published for fear of retaliation, lived in a bunker with 49 other workers, without a cooling or heating system.

The now 33-year-old described how workers often suffered illnesses that they blamed on continued exposure to nicotine in the tobacco, as well as symptoms from heat in the fields.”


WFAE 90.7, November 14, 2023: Migrant worker’s death prompts calls for extreme heat labor laws

Migrant worker’s death prompts calls for extreme heat labor laws by Anne Blythe, WFAE (Charlotte’s NPR News Source), Nov. 14, 2023

“As the sun dipped toward the horizon, pulling the last streaks of daylight from the sky over North Carolina’s capital city, dozens of migrant workers raised flickering tealights.

They gathered with advocates a bit more than a stone’s throw from offices of the state Department of Labor to rally for measures to protect workers from extreme heat in agricultural fields, the food service industry, construction, transportation and warehousing jobs.”


Enlace Latino NC, November 6, 2023: Exigen justicia por los trabajadores agrícolas fallecidos….

Exigen Justicia por los trabajadores agrícolas fallecidos en Carolina del Norte by Walter Gómez, Enlace Latino NC, November 6, 2023

“Más de 200 trabajadores agrícolas firmaron una petición exigiendo a la Asociación de Granjeros de Carolina del Norte (NCGA, por su sigla en inglés) que protejan la salud y vida de los trabajadores agrícolas en el estado. Esto debido al fallecimiento de al menos cinco trabajadores agrícolas en Carolina del Norte en lo que va de este 2023.

Uno de ellos es José Arturo González Mendoza, quien murió a comienzos del mes de septiembre por presunta deshidratación mientras laboraba en la cosecha de batatas en Barnes Farming & Farm Pak. Una granja ubicada en Spring Hope, en Carolina del Norte.”


The Assembly October 13, 2023: Shepherds of the FLOC

Shepherds of the FLOC by Tina Vasquez, The Assembly: October 13, 2023

“As Eli Porras Carmona boarded a bus on August 22 headed for the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico, it was hard not to think of the money he would typically have made by then. For nearly 20 years, he’s harvested many different North Carolina crops: cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tobacco. 

“But everything has gone to hell,” Porras Carmona said. 

The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program allowed American employers to bring in about 372,000 seasonal workers last year. Most years, it operated like clockwork: Longtime H-2A workers like Porras Carmona would know their employer and U.S. location by early spring. He’d have a date to appear at the consulate in Monterrey, where he’d obtain his visa and hop on a bus headed for the United States.”


The Charlotte Observer October 12, 2023: Migrant Farmworkers help NC farms survive…

Migrant farmworkers help NC farms survive. But some end up abused, lawsuits say. By Gavin Off and Aaron Sánchez-Guerra, Charlotte Observer, October 12, 2023

“A visa program designed to protect and provide for temporary farm workers has been used to abuse them in North Carolina, according to nine federal lawsuits filed since 2017. Every year, thousands of migrant workers, drawn to the U.S. by the promise of good money, leave small towns across Mexico for the farm fields of North Carolina. Issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, the visas they hold, called H-2A visas, require paid transportation, $14.91 an hour currently, and clean housing while workers remain in the country up to 10 months at a time.”


La Noticia September 7, 2023: Trabajador agrícola mexicano muere en campo…

Trabajador agrícola mexicano muere en campo de Carolina del Norte by Kayla Young, La Noticia, Sept. 7, 2023

“El Departamento de Trabajo de Carolina del Norte está investigando la muerte de un trabajador agrícola de Guanajuato, México, el 5 de septiembre por la mañana en el condado de Nash. 

José Arturo González Mendoza, de 30 años, se encontraba en Carolina del Norte con una visa H-2A para trabajadores agrícolas temporales.”


Prism, August 29, 2023: There is slavery in the fields…

There is slavery in the fields of North Carolina by Tina Vásquez, Prism, August 29, 2023

““I’ll never forget something that advocate and former farmworker Leticia Zavala said to me during an interview. 

“There is slavery in the fields of North Carolina.” She said it almost in passing, as part of a larger laundry list of abusive and deadly conditions experienced by farmworkers in the state as part of the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, a guest worker program overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that allows American employers to temporarily hire migrant workers to perform agricultural work. A whopping 90% of these workers hail from Mexico. This is not surprising, given that the H-2A program is an iteration of the Bracero Program, a bilateral agreement with Mexico that, from 1942 to 1964, allowed for the temporary entry of millions of migrants to perform agricultural labor in the U.S. The program was ultimately abolished because of systemic wage theft, abuse, and exploitation. Lee G. Williams, the DOL official in charge at the time, described the Bracero Program as “legalized slavery.“‘


WUNC 8/16/23: Workers are at risk in extreme heat…

News story on WUNC 91.5, August 16, 2023

Workers are at risk in extreme heat, but North Carolina has no protections by David Boraks and Kayla Young

“The past two weeks have seen some of the year’s hottest weather in North Carolina with temperatures in the high 90s and “feels like” heat index values in parts of the state over 110. Extreme heat is a risk for workers, but like most states North Carolina has no standards or regulations to protect them. As the situation worsens with global warming, advocates say it’s time for that to change.

In Wilson County, about 40 miles east of Raleigh, Abel Cruz and his coworkers were picking tobacco one day last week. The temperature was in the low 90s, and even hotter when they’re working under the plants, Cruz said.”