skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Some South Dakota farmers are unhappy with industrial ag getting conservation funds; Texas judge allows abortion in Cox case; Native tribes express concern over Nevada's clean energy projects.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Colorado Supreme Court weighs barring Trump from office, Georgia Republicans may be defying a federal judge with a Congressional map splitting a Black majority district and fake electors in Wisconsin finally agree Biden won there in 2020.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

Farmworkers, Civil Rights Groups Sue State Over Law

play audio
Play

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

more stories
More than 2,000 patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities have received dental care in group home day center settings across North Carolina, according to Access Dental. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …


Social Issues

play sound

Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …

Social Issues

play sound

A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…


A study on earth.org reveals a 6 1/2-foot artificial Christmas tree would have to be used for at least 12 years for it to be more ecofriendly than a real Christmas tree. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…

Social Issues

play sound

Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…

Environment

play sound

Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…

Environment

play sound

While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …

 

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