February 10, 2012
Tell Cherie Berry to show farmworkers some love
Maybe Valentines Day is a made-up holiday marketed to boost the sale of flowers, cards, and candy, but this year you can send a valentine that matters – and help farmworkers in the process.
Our friends at the North Carolina Farmworker Advocacy Network (http://www.ncfan.org/) have come up with a novel campaign to sway our state’s anti-labor Commissioner of Labor to take seriously the health and safety of 58,000 of North Carolina’s hardest workers. Sadly, Cherie Berry’s labor department has a record (PDF) of ignoring the plight of these workers.
“We want to tell Cherie Berry that she is “breaking our heart” this Valentine’s Day If you’re feeling crafty, make your own card with an original message!with her department’s responses that fall shockingly short of addressing the concerns about enforcement of farmworker protections raised by farmworker advocates. For example, the agency brushed off an official complaint (CASPA) filed by NC attorneys with the US Department of Labor last year that cites the NCDOL’s failings.
“And more recently, when concerned members of the public mailed Christmas cards to Berry’s office asking for serious examination of farmworker hazards in the fields, all they received in return was a generic letter stating that the department “is committed to enforcing the[law]”, which contradicts the department’s record of routinely neglecting to enforce it.
“We believe the NCDOL should do more than that–lives depend on it.”