FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan 24, 2024
Grassroots farmworker organizations from the United States and Canada will convene a People’s Tribunal on the Struggles of Farmworkers in North America from March 29-31, 2024. The Tribunal is being hosted by the Food Chain Workers Alliance at The People’s Forum in New York City.
In this participatory process, workers, organizers and members of the public will hear direct testimony from U.S. and Canadian farmworkers on the daily conditions they face, what protections they need, and what organizing goals should be prioritized in worker-led movements.
The tribunal will focus broadly on three priority areas for the future of farmworker labor organizing: health & safety, freedom of movement, and climate justice. A post-tribunal report will capture all testimonies and articulate a collective, alternative vision of farmworker justice.
This event is organized by members of the FCWA Farmworker Committee: Alianza Agrícola, California Institute for Rural Studies, Comité de apoyo a los trabajadores agrícolas (CATA), Community to Community Development, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, Farmworker Association of Florida, Justicia for Migrant Workers, Migrant Justice, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Rural & Migrant Ministry, Workers’ Center of Central New York, and Worker Justice Center of New York. Together, they represent thousands of workers in the agricultural sector in eight U.S. states and one Canadian province.
“Our current legal and political system will not bring justice for exploited workers. Our members in the farmworker sector are leaders of a grassroots movement, and they have decided to not only work defensively against the forces that oppress them, but also to create their own solutions.”
– Suzanne Adely, FCWA Co-Director
“It’s important to have farmworkers come together at this time to share our stories and strategize collectively across the region. We want to offer a different vision for our food system than the one set by the industry. To do that, workers need to come together and wield our power.”
– Edgar Franks, Political Director at Familias Unidas por la Justicia
“Our voices, of farmworkers, nursery, construction, and domestic workers too many times go unheard when it comes to making and enforcing laws in the United States, and especially in Florida. We have been saying for decades that we need the compensation and protections that are standard in other industries, as we see everyday employers that exploit as much as they can get away with. We are who feeds, builds, drives, and cares for this country. We are people of action, and we are looking for something to be done. That is why we are going to the People’s Tribunal, so our voices will be heard, and that action will happen.”
– Yésica Ramirez, General Coordinator at Farmworker Association of Florida
“Farmworkers across the U.S. and Canada have been demanding worker protections for decades. Most traditional legal remedies for migrant agricultural workers are piecemeal and don’t get to the heart of the systems of oppression that create their conditions. The People’s Tribunal centers workers’ experiences across farms and even across borders to demand real, lasting changes to our food systems.”
– Chris Ramsaroop, Organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers
“In New York State, farmworkers have achieved major victories expanding legal rights and protections. However, these rights are under constant threat by employers who aim to undermine collective bargaining protections, sew divisions among workers based on immigration status, and prevent their employees from organizing in the workplace. In these times, it is critical that we hear from workers on the front lines of the fight to secure safe and dignified working conditions in the agricultural sector.”
– Emma Kreyche, Director of Advocacy, Outreach & Education at Worker Justice Center of NY
More information and updates can be found at https://foodchainworkers.org/peoples-tribunal