Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Farmworkers, Civil Rights Groups Sue State Over Law


Thursday, November 16, 2017   

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state of North Carolina is a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday challenging a state law that prevents farmworkers from organizing to protect their rights on the job.

The case was filed by the ACLU of North Carolina and the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. They argue that the North Carolina Farm Act, passed this summer, violates workers' First Amendment rights.

FLOC organizer Justin Flores said all residents should care about the rights of the people who harvest their food, especially at this time of year.

"As we approach Thanksgiving and even more so Christmas, many folks aren't aware that almost an entirely migrant workforce harvests Christmas trees, as well as sweet potatoes, squash, you name it - it's all produced by immigrant labor,” Flores said.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the government cannot impose special burdens on groups such as unions.

Flores said the law passed swiftly this summer, without time for public comment. It prevents workers from having union dues taken out of pay checks and prohibits farm owners from signing agreements with workers to improve working conditions on farms.

The law's primary sponsor was State Sen. Brent Jackson, who owns Jackson Farming Company and was recently sued for wage theft by Latino farmworkers.

Supporters of the legislation say it's meant to protect workers from being forced to join a union. Flores said that's not an accurate representation of why protecting farmworkers' rights to organize is important.

"The enforcement methods in agriculture are complaint-driven,” he explained. “So even with the best effort, agencies have trouble fully inspecting factories and other fixed-site workplaces."

There are more than 100,000 farmworkers in North Carolina, generating more than $12 billion annually for the state economy. The vast majority are Latino and work under H2A visas.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

get more stories like this via email

Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021