Freedom Network USA is proud to support Farmworkers Awareness Week and all member organizations that work tirelessly to defend the rights of laborers.
Courtesy of Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF)
Farmworkers feed the world- 85% of our fruits and vegetables are handpicked. There are an estimated 2-3 million men, women, and children work in the fields in the United States. Farms are in every state, including yours, yet farmworkers remain largely invisible and continue to live and work in horrific conditions. We demand dignity for farmworkers.
Farm work is the third most dangerous job in the United States. The people who plant and harvest our fruits and vegetables suffer from the highest rate of toxic chemical injuries of any other workers in the nation and have higher incidences of heat stress, dermatitis, urinary tract infections, parasitic infections, and tuberculosis than other wage-earners.
Farmworkers are treated differently under the law. Overtime, unemployment insurance, and even protection when joining a union are not guaranteed under federal law. Farmworkers were excluded from almost all major federal laws passed in the 1930s. The Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 1978 to mandate minimum wage for farmworkers on large farms only and it still has not made provisions for overtime. We work for just living and working conditions for farmworkers and an end to unfair treatment under the law.
For more information about these issues, visit the SAF website.
Here are 5 things you can do today to support farmworkers rights and help end human trafficking.
Freedom Network will present on labor trafficking and other related issues at this year’s annual conference held April 21-22 in Washington D.C.