(en) Oregon farm worker campaign

Shawn Ewald (shawn@wilshire.net)
Sun, 23 Nov 1997 15:14:36 -0700

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 14:16:56 -0800 (PST) To: CLR All Campaigns e-mail list <clr@igc.org> From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> Subject: Oregon farm worker campaign

Labor Alerts: a service of Campaign for Labor Rights To receive our email labor alerts, send a message to CLR@igc.apc.org Phone: (541) 344-5410 Become a member and receive our (hard copy) newsletter. Send $35.00 to Campaign for Labor Rights, 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. Sample newsletter available on request - include your postal address.

[The following message comes from PCUN, the Oregon farm worker union.]


WHAT IS GOING ON IN OREGON'S WILLAMETTE VALLEY? =============================================== When you hear stories about workers being forced to work 12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week with few or no breaks, no overtime pay and for less than minimum wage, you probably imagine an Asian sweatshop or a Central American plantation. Stories about workers being fired for trying to form a union, or forced to live in squalid company housing sound like historic relics out of the 19th century.

Few of us realize that these things are taking place in the richest country on earth, in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Over 100,000 in all -- mostly from Mexico and Central America -- Oregon's farm workers face firings, evictions from grower-owned housing, and even physical violence in retaliation for efforts to improve living and working conditions.

WHAT IS PCUN? ============== In 1985, eighty farmworkers met and formed Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (or Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United, known by its Spanish acronym PCUN). PCUN has registered over 4,300 members, runs a Service Center to assist farm workers and advocate in immigration cases, workers compensation, wage claims and many other matters. Growers have refused every effort to arrive at a mediated settlement of this dispute.

Instead, they have turned to repression and violence to suppress farm worker efforts to unionize.

WHY BOYCOTT GARDENBURGER AND FLAV-R-PAC? =========================================== The boycott of FLAV-R-PAC and Gardenburgers was called precisely because growers are refusing even to talk about recognizing the farm workers' union. As long as growers continue to profit from the mistreatment of Oregon farm workers, they have no incentive to negotiate.

Many of the growers fighting efforts by farm workers to change their living and working conditions are members of NORPAC. NORPAC is one of the largest food-processing cooperatives west of the Mississippi, owned by 300 growers in the Willamette Valley. In 1992, PCUN called for a national boycott of NORPAC products (Flav-R-Pac brand frozen and canned fruits, vegetables, and juice concentrates.) The boycott was later extended to cover Gardenburger, which is breaking our boycott of NORPAC by contracting with the sales and distribution arm of NORPAC to move their product line.

So far, the boycott has been endorsed by 60 organizations, including the United Farm Workers of America, the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, the National Farm Worker Ministry and over 16 labor unions.

Yet much more remains to be done.

Only an economically effective boycott can force NORPAC to the negotiating table.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? =======================

1-Boycott Gardenburger and Flav-R-Pac. Urge your friends, family, church group, school, workplace, food co-op or favorite restaurant to do the same. This is the most direct and effective strategy at your disposal.

2-Send an e-mail to Gardenburger urging them to stop underwriting the exploitation of Oregon's Farmworkers by using NORPAC's distribution system. Please cc. PCUN a copy of your letter. Gardenburger's e-mail address is: whfi5@mail.easystreet.com

3-Forward this message to as many people as possible. The internet can be a powerful tool to help us get the word out about the boycott, but only if you give us a hand.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE? ========================== You can visit our website at: www.pcun.org

Or you can send us e-mail at: FarmworkerUnion@pcun.org

With your support, Oregon's farmworkers can obtain the dignity and justice they deserve.

Leone Bicchieri Boycott Coordinator Leonebicchieri@pcun.org

__________________________ Radio4All: http://www.radio4all.org/ The A-Infos Radio Project: http://www.radio4all.org/radio http://radio4all.web.net/

****** A-Infos News Service ***** News about and of interest to anarchists

Subscribe -> email MAJORDOMO@TAO.CA with the message SUBSCRIBE A-INFOS Info -> http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ Reproduce -> please include this section