27. RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF FLOC AND JUSTICE FOR TOBACCO HARVESTERS

lclaa2008 CONVENTION

27.    RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF FLOC AND JUSTICE FOR TOBACCO HARVESTERS


Whereas, Reynolds Tobacco Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. based in Winston Salem, NC, is the second largest tobacco company in the United States. 

Whereas, the farm workers harvesting tobacco utilized by Reynolds Tobacco suffer hardships such as long hours of stoop labor in the fields, harassment in their work, abject poverty, miserable housing in their labor camps and the denial of basic labor and human rights protections.

Whereas, each year countless numbers of tobacco farm workers are effected by green tobacco sickness, caused by an overexposure to nicotine and other harmful chemicals found in tobacco leaves.  Many of these workers receive little or no medical attention.  The vast majority of tobacco farm workers in North Carolina and the South harvesting tobacco are not covered under workers compensation insurance.

Whereas, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO has launched a campaign to gain dignity, respect and safe working conditions for tens of thousands of tobacco farm workers in North Carolina and the Southern Region through a FLOC labor agreement. A FLOC contract will ensure justice for these tobacco harvesters.  FLOC now represents thousands of migrant workers from Mexico employed by members of the North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA).

Whereas, FLOC wants Reynolds to honor their responsibility for the conditions and compensation of the workers in the fields that produce their tobacco.  Reynolds has a fundamental responsibility for how tobacco farm workers are paid and how they are treated. 

Whereas, Ms. Susan Ivey, the CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., has repeatedly refused to meet with FLOC to discuss the conditions of the tobacco farm workers harvesting tobacco used by Reynolds.

Therefore be it resolved, that LCLAA calls on Reynolds American CEO Susan Ivey to meet with FLOC to discuss conditions in the tobacco fields as soon as possible.

Be it further resolved, that LCLAA will communicate directly with CEO Ivey by letter and other means calling on her to meet with FLOC, and continue these activities until FLOC is satisfied with the company's response.

Be it further resolved, that LCLAA will mobilize its local chapters and members to communicate directly by letter and other means with CEO Ivey calling on her to meet with FLOC.  Moreover, LCLAA will through its national office, chapters and members reach out to organizations especially in the Latino community with which LCLAA has relationships and organize them to communicate directly by letter and other means with CEO Ivey calling on her to meet with FLOC.  LCLAA will continue these activities until FLOC is satisfied with the company's response.

Be It Further Resolved, that LCLAA commits itself, its chapters and its members to bring justice to tobacco farm workers in the South and to engage in activities to support FLOC until FLOC informs LCLAA that its goals have been achieved.

Respectfully introduced by:
Baldemar Velasquez
Toledo, Ohio LCLAA Chapter

REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE:¬_________________________
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