Joann Lo, Author at Food Chain Workers Alliance
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FCWA Job Announcement: Strategic Campaigns Coordinator

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Food Chain Workers Alliance

Job Announcement: Strategic Campaigns Coordinator

The Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) is a bi-national coalition of 34 worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. 

FCWA members organize locally and collectively to build a system that values and respects food workers and ensures that they share in the wealth of their labor and have the power to shape their working conditions and their lives. We believe this change is only possible with worker-based organization, worker solidarity, and the leadership of people of color, immigrants, women, and other frontline workers in alliance with a larger food movement grounded in social, racial and environmental justice. The Alliance has worked to fulfill this mission through worker-based organizing, worker leadership development, and critical policy innovations and interventions. 

The Position 

The Strategic Campaigns Coordinator (SCC) will support the capacity of the FCWA Co-directors and staff teams in developing, implementing, and evaluating FCWA programming in support of our organizing vision, goals, and objectives as laid out by our member base, including strengthening organizing infrastructure, external alliances, and developing strategic campaigns.  

Main responsibilities include:

Expand and Strengthen FCWA Organizing Infrastructure and Member Organizing Capacity

  • Lead the development of rapid response systems to quickly scale up member campaigns and respond to urgent organizing needs, along with other infrastructure to support member organizing capacity, with support from FCWA organizing team.
  • Develop organizer roundtable to support member organizers to share strategies through a peer-learning process.
  • Work with Co-Directors and organizing team to support development and implementation of FCWA member leader program.

Strengthen FCWA External Alliances 

  • Develop and maintain relationships and represent FCWA in coalitions with labor and immigrant rights groups and unions engaged in advocacy on policy priority areas in support of FCWA and member strategies. 
  • Work with FCWA Development Co-ordinator and Co-Directors to help identify new sources of funding for organizing and cultivating new funder relationships.
  • Support Co-Directors and board to develop strategic growth processes for Alliance. 

Support the Development and Implementation of FCWA Strategic Organizing and Policy Campaigns 

  • Co-lead the process of identifying new FCWA collective organizing with the organizing team, board and members. 
  • Work with FCWA staff and members to design and implement winning strategies for priority issue campaigns that emerge from collective member planning processes.
  • Support strategic planning with our procurement policy work, especially as it relates to supporting worker organizing. 

Our IDEAL CANDIDATE will possess the following:

  • A minimum of 6-years of experience in worker based and grassroots organizing. The ideal candidate will have experience in both worker center and union organizing models. 
  • Demonstrated ability of meaningful engagement with marginalized workers and communities including immigrant, women, people of color, and/or gender non-conforming people.
  • Demonstrated commitment to building racial and social justice centered in worker leadership, community organizing, and popular education.
  • Experience building multi-racial and diverse coalitions and campaign strategies thatcenter worker or directly affected community members’ leadership.
  • Experience developing policy recommendations and strategic policy campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience assessing and acting creatively and swiftly on shifting conditions to advance campaigns – and demonstrated experience integrating policy, legal, research, strategic communications and other tactics in organizing campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience leading projects.
  • Experience cultivating funder relationships and writing funding proposals for organizing.
  • Experience designing and facilitating organizing training using popular education methodologies.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills. 
  • Good time management skills and ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Ability to travel several times per year.
  • Detail-oriented and ability to work under pressure.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and verbal communication skills.
  • High levels of self-motivation and independence, as well as the ability to work as a team.
  • Ability and willingness to occasionally work non-traditional hours such as nights and weekends.
  • Bi- or multi-lingual (oral and written) in Spanish and/or another language is a plus.

The location for this position is flexible, though ideally it will be based in a region where there are current or potential FCWA members. The start date will be late June 2021.

COMPENSATION: Competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits package.

The FCWA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people of color, immigrants, food workers, women, non-binary, and LGBTQ individuals to apply.

TO APPLY: Submit resume and cover letter to:

We will consider applications on a rolling basis.

NEW Report: WE ARE NOT DISPOSABLE: Food Workers Organizing on the COVID Frontlines

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Today the Food Chain Workers Alliance is launching the report “WE ARE NOT DISPOSABLE: Food Workers Organizing on the COVID Frontlines.” The report documents the devastating and disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on food workers, especially for Black and Latinx workers, and exposes how the pandemic exacerbated long-standing problems for workers in the food sector. It features interviews about and analysis of trends on how workers across the country are organizing in response to the crisis, from launching strikes and walkouts to protesting unsafe conditions, filing lawsuits against mega corporations, fighting for legal protections, demanding hazard pay and excluded worker funds, and forming new unions and worker organizations to build worker power. 

The report outlines trends in worker experiences at each step of the food chain and across industries–from farms to processing plants, warehouses, restaurants, retail storefronts, and more. Food workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to provide essential services as cases surged.

“We went on strike because the company didn’t care to give us basic protections, and kept exposing us to get sick or die. For weeks we demanded the company to allow us to socially distance by not ending the staggered shift program to reduce the numbers of workers coming in contact with each other. Even though the company reinstated the program after the strike, we know the fight is not over, we will keep fighting until we are treated with dignity.” 

— George’s poultry worker in Springdale, Arkansas

“We worked through the virus, we wore masks but we still started to get sick. We continued to work with what started as a headache and other symptoms of COVID-19. Three weeks later, with pain and fever, the employer of the company said that all workers had to take tests for the coronavirus. The results came out positive. Then the boss said we couldn’t work, and he sent three of us home to be quarantined. We were afraid to seek more medical support, we had to use home remedies to combat pain and cure ourselves. We were alone, only people who sent food came to drop off the food and left. It is unfair—we have to have better protection because we could have avoided this situation. We are still human beings and we deserve to be protected!”

— Erika, apple packing worker, Oswego County, New York

I make about $1,000 a month with sales. Not enough to pay the rent, definitely not enough to catch up with previous payments. The city hasn’t helped, the government hasn’t helped. I don’t qualify for one cent from the stimulus packages. I’m undocumented, we don’t qualify for anything. There’s an eviction moratorium that lasts until March 2021. I’m scared that when it is gone we will get kicked out, and I can’t even get another apartment. Where would I go? I don’t have job security as sales vary day to day. What will help is rent forgiveness, as I don’t see myself catching up.

Sonia, street vendor in New York City 

“I feel very strongly that we need more than just the gains we might earn under what basically feels like plague time. Caribou workers deserve to have family leave…we deserve to have higher pay. We deserve to have sick and safe time across the board. There are so many things that we as workers have realized that we deserve and we’re not getting…there are things that I do love about my job that have led me to stick around. Thanks to organizing, I think I’m even more motivated to stay involved., I have a lot of faith we can build something better for ourselves. “

— Lux, Caribou worker in Minneapolis, Minnesota 

“Employees are supposed to come first. After what I saw, you’re telling me my safety isn’t important and your profit is.” 

— Mark, Mars Candy warehouse worker in Joliet, Illinois


Hoy la Alianza de Trabajadores de la Cadena de Alimentos está lanzando el reporte: “NO SOMOS DESECHABLES: Trabajadores de alimentos organizandose frente a COVID.”  El reporte documenta los devastadores y desproporcionados impactos de COVID-19 en los trabajadores en la cadena alimenticia, especialmente para los trabajadores Negros y Latinxs, y expone como la pandemia ha exacerbado los problemas que vienen desde antes para los trabajadores en el sector de alimentos. El reporte cuenta con entrevistas y análisis sobre las tendencias de cómo los trabajadores alrededor del país se están organizando en respuesta a la crisis, desde el lanzamiento de una huelga y paros hasta protestar por condiciones peligrosas, presentando demandas contra mega corporaciones, peleando por protecciones legales, exigiendo pago por trabajo peligroso y fondos para trabajadores excluidos, y formando nuevos sindicatos y organizaciones de trabajadores para construir poder. 

El reporte describe las tendencias en las experiencias de trabajo en cada paso de la cadena de alimentos a través de las industrias—desde granjas hasta las plantas de procesamiento, almacenes, restaurantes, tiendas, y más. Los trabajadores de alimentos han estado en la primera línea de la pandemia de COVID-19, proveyendo servicios esenciales mientras los casos aumentaban. 

“Entramos en huelga porque a la compañía no le importó darnos protecciones básicas, y siguió exponiendonos para qué nos enfermamos o nos muriéramos. Por semanas le exigimos a que la compañía nos dejara seguir el distanciamiento social a través de no terminar el programa de horarios escalonados para reducir el número de trabajadores que tuvieran contacto con sí mismos. Aunque la compañía restituyo el programa después de la huelga, sabemos que la pelea no se ha terminado, seguiremos peleando hasta que nos traten con dignidad.” 

  — Trabajador de avicultura de George en Springdale, Arkansas 

“Trabajamos durante el virus, usamos máscaras pero todavía así nos empezamos a enfermar. Continuamos trabajando con lo que empezó como una fiebre y otros síntomas de COVID-19.  Tres semanas después, con dolor y fiebre, la compañía dijo que todos los trabajadores tenían que tomar el examen del coronavirus. El resultado salió positivo. Luego el patrón dijo que no podíamos trabajar, y envió a tres de nosotros a la casa para estar en cuarentena. Teníamos miedo de conseguir ayuda médica, tuvimos que usar remedios caseros para combatir el dolor y para curarnos. Estuvimos solos, solamente las personas que nos mandaban comida podían dejar la comida y luego se iban. Es injusto—tenemos que tener mejor protección porque hubiéramos podido prevenir esta situación. ¡Somos seres humanos y merecemos ser protegidos!”

— Erika, trabajadora de empaque de manzanas, Condado de Oswego, Nueva York 

Yo hago como $1,000 al mes en ventas. No es lo suficiente para pagar el alquiler, definitivamente no es lo suficiente para ponerse al día con los pagos. La ciudad no nos ha ayudado, el gobierno no nos ha ayudado. No califico ni un centavo para el paquete de estímulo. Soy indocumentada, y nosotras no calificamos para nada. Hay una moratoria de alquiler hasta marzo  2021. Me da miedo de que cuando esto acabe me echarán, y no podré conseguir otro apartamento. ¿A dónde iré? No tengo un trabajo seguro ya que las ventas varían de día a día. Me ayudaría el perdón del alquiler ya que no veo cómo me podría poner al día con los pagos. 

Sonia, vendedora ambulante en la Ciudad de Nueva York 

Siento muy fuertemente que necesitamos más que las ganancias que podríamos ganar bajo lo que básicamente se siente como un tiempo de plaga. Los trabajadores de Caribou merecen tener el tiempo pagado para cuidar a sus familiares…merecemos un salario más alto. Merecemos tener tiempo pagado y asegurado por enfermedad para todos. Hay tantas cosas que como trabajadores nos hemos dado cuenta que necesitamos pero que no tenemos…estas son cosas que amo de mi trabajo las cuales me han hecho quedarme. Gracias al hecho de que organizamos, me he quedado. Tengo mucha fe de que podemos construir algo mejor para nosotras mismas. 

— Lux, trabajadora de Caribou en Minneapolis, Minnesota 

“Los empleados supuestamente tienen que ser prioridad. Después de lo que vi, usted me está diciendo que mi seguridad no es importante y que su ganancia si lo es.” 

— Mark, trabajador de la empacadora Mars Candy en Joliet, Illinois

Support Grocery Workers – One job should be enough

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Support grocery workers, not Wall Street
Corporate grocery stores are making record profits but refuse to provide workers enough pay or hours to support themselves or their families. Sign this petition to support grocery workers!

Nobody should work 2 or 3 jobs and not be able to afford housing, food, and basic healthcare. Especially when the CEO of Ralphs-Kroger Co. makes 547 times what the average worker earns in a year. As shoppers, let’s join together with workers to fight for what’s fair.

International Food Workers Week: November 13-19, 2016

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International Food Workers Week (IFWW) is held annually close to the week of Thanksgiving to engage the public about the importance of food workers and to move people to take action in support of the workers. Events or actions around the U.S. are organized by the FCWA, member groups, and allies.

During IFWW, on November 14, we are releasing a new report No Piece of the Pie: U.S. Food Workers in 2016. This update from our original report The Hands That Feed Us in 2012 will provide the most recent data on food workers and their wages and working conditions, highlights interviews with 20 workers throughout the food system, and shares solutions to addressing the problems they face.

Organize an event or action in your city! You can submit your event info here. Stay tuned for a list of actions and events taking place that week.