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Farm Labor Organizing Committee FLOC, AFL-CIO

Called upon to challenge the deplorable conditions of the broader workforce that remains voiceless, powerless, and invisible to mainstream America

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Bring Justice to the Tobacco Farmworkers of North Carolina
FLOC looks to Reynolds' customers for support
 
 
 
What Can Kangaroo Do?  In December 2011, a group of North Carolina organizations led by the Beloved Community Center (BCC) wrote Kangaroo Chairman of the Board Ed Holman asking for a meeting to discuss how the NC based chain can help end human rights abuses in the tobacco fields of its home state.  FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez also reached out to McLane CEO Rosier for help in arranging a meeting between Reynolds and FLOC.  For months, neither BCC nor President Velasquez received a response.
 
Looking for a response from McLane and Kangaroo, supporters delivered letters to 18 of McLane's distribution centers, urging CEO Rosier to respond to President Velasquez's request and take immediate action to end the abuse of NC farmworkers.  Representatives from BCC, UNC Chapel Hill, FLOC, and the AFL-CIO also attended the Pantry, Inc. (the company that owns Kangaroo) shareholders meeting, and pressed executives for an answer on why they had not responded to the coalition letter sent in December.  In April, supporters visited nearly 100 Kangaroo gas stations thoughout the Southeast, and delivered letters to store managers to pass along to Kangaroo CEO Holman, encouraging him to respond to to the letter from Beloved Community Center and encourage Reynolds to meet directly with FLOC. 
 
Both McLane and Kangaroo report that they did in fact contact Reynolds and encourge a meeting with FLOC. Unforutunately, Kangaroo says that's all they're willing to do. But we know they can do more!  In July, BCC invited Kangaroo COB Holman to visit the tobacco fields of NC to see the conditions with his own eyes, and has never received a response.
 

Allies and consumers take action 

Consumers around the country have signed letters and petitions asking Holman to do the right thing and support justice for tobacco farmworkers. Check out these reports from allies who are taking action

>UNC, NC State, and Greensboro support farmworkers with actions at Kangaroo Stores for International Human Rights Day 

 

>YAYA and LCLAA allies deliver letter to Kangaroo store in Florida

 

>Workers and allies deliver 5,000 letters from consumers to Kangaroo store in Charlotte, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 3, farmworkers and allies delivered nearly 5,000 letters from consumers around the country to Kangaroo, calling on Holman to visit the tobacco fields with FLOC. Leonardo, who works in the tobacco fields, explained to the manager on duty what his job is like.

 
 

"We have to work long days, and the chemicals get stuck on our hands. We get tired and sometimes we get nauseous." The manager quickly cut him off and took the stack of 5,000 letters inside.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On September 5, following the SC AFL-CIO Convention, nearly 50 delegates visited a Kangaroo store in Georgetown, SC to deliver the petitions and again call on COB Holman to visit the fields. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On September 14, following the NC AFLO-CIO Convention, delegates visited a Kangaroo store in Raleigh, NC and delivered the same letter to the manager on behalf of the delegates.  He promised to make sure the letter was delivered to Holman.
 
 
  
We will continue to pressure all those who profit from the tobacco supply chain until Reynolds ensures labor rights in its supply chain!