"Reynolds, we're in the house!" chanted demonstrators Friday as they delivered petitions with over 20,000 signatures to the tobacco's company's DC offices on F Street. The petitions -- gathered by the AFL-CIO and the International Labor Rights Forum -- called on Reynolds -- the largest tobacco company in North Carolina -- to sign an agreement with FLOC to guarantee collective bargaining rights for workers in its supply chain so they can negotiate fair wages, decent housing, and safe work conditions in the fields. Workers have described years of grueling work in deplorable conditions, for low wages with no overtime, and having to live in overcrowded, poor-quality housing. In addition, Human Rights Watch has identified wide-spread presence of child labor in the tobacco supply chain. "We'll be back until farmworkers get justice!" the demonstrators promised after they delivered the petitions. photo: FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez heads up petition delivery; photo courtesy AFL-CIO Twitter feed
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After years of public pressure from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), Reynolds American continues to refuse to guarantee collective bargaining rights, fair wages, and decent housing in their supply chain. Today, youth members of FLOC, including teenage tobacco farmworkers from North Carolina and members of the FLOC Homies Union in Toledo will deliver over 20,000 petitions to Reynolds' Washington office, calling on the company to sign an agreement with FLOC to improve conditions for tobacco farmworkers across the Southeast. The action starts at 12:30p at the AFL-CIO, where workers will provide a brief update on the campaign, after which they’ll lead a march to Reynolds’ office.
A petition urging the White House to grant GS scale pay and full Title 5 rights and protections to Transportation Security Administration officers has gathered thousands of signatures. The TSA officers, who protect their fellow citizens from terrorist attacks, are paid less than nearly every other Federal employee. “It is unjust to continue to ask these officers to perform their critical and dangerous duties while not allowing them equivalence with their fellow Federal employees,” says the petition, which is being promoted by AFGE, which represents TSA officers. Click here to sign the petition.