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Home » Recent News » Tobacco Workers Face Deplorable Conditions

Tobacco Workers Face Deplorable Conditions


This summer Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) toured North Carolina’s tobacco farms with a delegation that included members of Britain’s parliament and Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) President Blademar Velásquez.  Velásquez, who has been fighting for farm worker rights for more than 35 years, is appealing to elected officials and community leaders to pressure tobacco producers R.J. Reynolds and British American Tobacco (BAT) to stop practices of labor trafficking, pay workers a decent wage, and provide humane living conditions.

Here’s an excerpt of what Kaptur wrote about her visit in a column for The Nation: … “I found workers who labor 11 hours a day, under grueling conditions, at high season for $7.25 an hour. As Many as 12 men sleep jammed inside ramshackle, dilapidated trailers or barracks. There is no hot water, no decent laundry facilities, no air conditioning, substandard electrical and gas wiring, and flush toilets are a luxury … I heard women testify of the sexual abuse they face to secure work and pay, but still they and their children live in squalor in the richest nation in the world.”

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