ERIC Number: ED399094
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Workers in the '90s: Where Do We Stand? Food First Action Alert.
During the 1980s, the rise of independent farm labor contractors and Republican labor policies led to a deterioration in the economic well-being of farmworkers and their families. Delays in the implementation of new safeguards under the Worker Protection Standards Act have resulted in continuing exposure to pesticides, causing such exposure to remain a major health risk for farmworkers, their families, and children. Fifty percent of farmworkers live below the poverty level and their life expectancy is 49 years, figures that are unchanged since the 1960s. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) is known for its vision and strategic ability to plan for the future. Its three-way bargaining strategy created annual negotiations among workers, growers, and processors. By revealing the manner in which industries use labor contracting to exploit workers, FLOC has paved the way to innovative labor organizing. FLOC recently established a U.S.-Mexico union commission to oversee negotiations in both countries. They are contacting their counterparts in other countries to fight for agreements, crop by crop and company by company. Though the international tendency toward free trade marked by NAFTA and GATT increasingly plays off workers in different countries against each other, there are signs that labor is awakening and that a new generation of leaders is thinking creatively about trans-border organizing. Strategies for individual action in support of farmworkers include writing to local newspapers, honoring boycotts, supporting the National Farm Worker Ministry, contacting legislators, and getting involved with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF). (TD)
Descriptors: Activism, Agricultural Laborers, Collective Bargaining, Immigration, International Cooperation, Labor Conditions, Labor Market, Migrant Children, Migrant Workers, Occupational Safety and Health, Poverty, Quality of Working Life, Unions
Subterranean Company, Box 160, 265 S. 5th St., Monroe, OR 97456 ($.50 each; 50 copies, $20; 100 copies, $30; 500 copies, $100).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Food and Development Policy, Oakland, CA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: North American Free Trade Agreement