Hundreds of FLOC Members Gather to Participate
in Union Democracy
The FLOC Convention is the most important assembly in the union's democratic process, where the field workers that provide food for American tables directly express their voice. The farmworkers' resolutions direct the activities of their union, their votes decide the leadership of the movement and their active involvement in the union declares their solidarity in the face of opposition to justice.
On October 3, 2009, over 400 FLOC farmworker delegates representing the membership from the Midwest and South met in Toledo, Ohio for the 11th Constitutional Convention. Farmworkers engaged in the democratic process, discussing FLOC initiatives and setting policies for the direction of the farm labor movement.
The involvement of FLOC farmworkers in directing their farm labor movement was evident in the election of officers and presentation of resolutions. These Resolutions, which set the FLOC agenda, had been discussed and developed by worker committees in the months leading up to the convention. The 17 resolutions included taking action on conditions in the fields and camps and on immigration issues. For example, workers called for installing indoor bathroom and bathing facilities in labor camps, and development of clear work rules in packing sheds. They also called for full human rights for those immigrant farmworkers who produce food for the tables of American families, and just federal rules for H2A guest workers. FLOC farmworkers also called on Reynolds CEO Susan Ivey to meet with FLOC to discuss the conditions of the farmworkers who produce its leaf product. Another resolution called for justice for Santiago Rafael, a FLOC organizer who was assassinated in the FLOC office in Mexico.
FLOC members also elected the officers to lead in the struggle for farmworker justice: President: Baldemar Velásquez Vice President: Maria GarciaSecretary-Treasurer: Beatriz Maya. Members at Large: Belia Garrobo, Angelita Morris-Roe, Diego Reyes, and Christiana Velásquez
A number of speakers addressed the convention declaring their support. Bishop Leonard Blair and Pastor Gene Genne led a number of clergy in a convocation. Mayor Carlton Finkbeiner of Toledo personally welcomed the delegates, and Fred Azcarate declared the solidarity and support of the AFL-CIO.
Following the convention, more than 600 FLOC members and supporters marched for immigrant rights. A key focus was a call for immigration reform that includes legal residency for those current and future immigrant workers who are helping build the nation, reunification of families separated by borders, full human and labor rights for all immigrant workers, elimination of violence and militarization of the borders, and elimination of employer penalties.
A tremendous amount of work was involved in putting together the FLOC convention. Farmworker members held meetings to go over the convention rules and proceedings, and member committees spent long hours after working in the fields to discuss and draft resolutions. The staff was also involved in planning and arranging all the details of the convention, including facilities and materials.
Thank you! FLOC wishes to thank the farmworker members, staff, and supporters who made this event possible. As always in the history of the FLOC movement, none of the advances in justice for farmworkers would be possible without the involvement and commitment of people like you.
10th FLOC Constitutional Convention, 2006
At the 2006 FLOC Convention,FLOC members vote on a resolution calling for the union to fight anti-immigrant discriminationand to promote fair immigration policies.
John Sweeny, AFL-CIO President addresses FLOC members at the
10th Constitutional Convention