Michael Durbin August 8, 2023: A union divided…

A Union Divided by Michael Durbin


“Baldemar Velasquez, founder and president of the nation’s largest farmworker union in the eastern United States, once told a reporter he makes more right decisions than wrong ones. His decision to hold the union’s convention last September in Ohio, where he was re-elected by a wide margin, may turn out to be one of the wrong ones.

Following a US Department of Labor investigation into complaints that the election was undemocratic and violated the union’s constitution, Velasquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, has agreed with the DOL to conduct a new election. This one, to be held before the end of September 2024, will be supervised by the US Secretary of Labor. In return, the DOL agrees to postpone legal proceedings against the union.”


The Virginia Worker August 2023: The Civil War in the Farm Labor Organizing Committee…

Article in The Virginia Worker by SNR and Sal Rojo, August 2023


“On a sweltering hot day early in July, a meeting was held in the back of the Cleopatra Beauty Salon. The space was decked out with “Virginia for Baldemar” banners – Baldemar being the 56-year long union president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). 

FLOC is the only farmworker union operating in the eastern half of the US, pioneering collective bargaining agreements for H-2A Visa migrant workers coming from Mexico. 

The meeting was promoted as a rally to support two Virginia immigrant women FLOC members under attack from nefarious forces within FLOC.”


Nat’l Catholic Reporter 10/20/22: Prolonged leadership dispute…

Article in National Catholic Reporter, October 20, 2022


Prolonged leadership dispute rankles major farm labor union by Patrick O’Neill

“At age 21, Baldemar Velasquez, son of a Mexican family that spent years working in U.S. agriculture, decided to take action to address the deplorable conditions imposed on farmworkers. 

Angered and aggrieved and following in the footsteps of Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mohandas Gandhi, Velasquez founded the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, or FLOC. According to its website, the union “has set international precedents in labor history, including being the first union to negotiate multi-party collective bargaining agreements, and the first to represent H2A international guestworkers under a labor agreement.””


Civil Eats 1/30/23: A Contested Election…

Article in Civil Eats, January 30, 2023

A Contested Election Is Fracturing a Farmworkers’ Union

Baldemar Velasquez has presided over the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the nation’s second-largest farmworker union, for its entire 55-year history. This year, he faced a challenger in a contested election for the first time. Chaos ensued.


JANUARY 30, 2023

Daylight was quickly fading by the time a group of five migrant farmworkers, just returning home from harvesting tobacco, boarded a white passenger van. Soon, everyone was either sleeping or softly chatting as the van moved along stretches of dark roads, passing by sweet potatoes and tobacco fields and the occasional traffic light. Two volunteers took shifts driving the 700 miles from Deep Run, North Carolina to Toledo, Ohio.

It was early September and the height of tobacco season, the most demanding time for one of the most demanding jobs, and it was hard for the farmworkers to take time off. Yet by driving overnight and returning the following day, they managed to miss just one day in their usual six-day work week to vote in their union’s election.


A Contested Election Is Fracturing a Farmworkers’ Union. Civil Eats. January 30, 2023

Enlace Latino Article: FLOC members seek union convention to be held in NC (5/24/22)

Miembros de FLOC piden celebrar convención en Carolina del Norte
La petición firmada por miembros de FLOC argumenta que la solicitud obedece que Carolina del Norte es donde trabaja el 95% de los miembros del sindicato

por WALTER GÓMEZ, Enlace Latino
24 MAYO, 2022

Carolina del Norte, Raleigh – Trabajadores agrícolas solicitaron a Baldemar Velásquez, presidente de Comité de Organización de Trabajadores Agrícolas (FLOC), celebrar la convención constitucional de emergencia en Carolina del Norte.

La petición firmada por más de 250 trabajadores de Estados Unidos y México, miembros de FLOC, argumenta que la solicitud obedece que Carolina del Norte es donde trabaja el 95% de los miembros del sindicato.

«He sido miembro del sindicato durante casi veinte años y nunca he podido asistir a una convención en Ohio porque no puedo conseguir los días libres en el trabajo», dijo Luis Zamora, miembro de FLOC, en un comunicado.

Elección en septiembre

Esta, se llevará a cabo en una Asamblea Constituyentes de los miembros del sindicato.

«En el pasado asistimos a las convenciones de Ohio», mencionó Roberto, miembro de la lista de It’s Our Future.

«En ese momento era un número pequeño de miembros», explicó Roberto.

Por primera vez en 50 años Baldemar Velásquez tendrá una lista opositora para lograr su reelección.

«Entendimos la necesidad de compartir con nuestros hermanos y hermanas de Ohio, que abrieron el camino para nosotros, y les honramos. Vinimos a Ohio en el pasado con grandes gastos personales”, agregó.

Según lo expresado por Roberto, Carolina del Norte representa el 95% de la unión de FLOC.

Acerca de FLOC

FLOC fue fundado en 1967 por Baldemar Velásquez, quien, junto con su padre, comenzó a organizar a los trabajadores agrícolas migrantes en Ohio.

Velásquez, presidente desde entonces, fue pionero en el uso de contratos multipartidistas

El diriginte gramil dirigió FLOC a través de múltiples campañas exitosas en varios estados, incluyendo la firma del primer contrato sindical de trabajadores agrícolas en Carolina del Norte.

El sindicato es importante para el movimiento de los trabajadores agrícolas por ser el primero que representó a los trabajadores invitados H2A bajo un acuerdo laboral.