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Joint US and British delegation to check on conditions on US tobacco farms

| July 25, 2014

US congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and British members of parliament Ian Lavery and James Sheridan are due tomorrow to participate in a fact-finding delegation to North Carolina tobacco fields that will examine human rights conditions in the supply chain of British and US tobacco manufacturers, according to a Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) press note.

The delegation will be joined by the executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Tefere Gebre, and the president of FLOC, Baldemar Velasquez.

FLOC, a union representing farm workers in the US South and Midwest and the organizer of the delegation, will highlight the efforts of farm workers to engage the companies in guaranteeing their right to negotiate collectively, without fear of retaliation.

The delegation will visit – at the height of the tobacco growing season – farms in the supply chain of various manufacturers, with particular attention to the supply chains of Reynolds American and British American Tobacco, to speak with farm workers about their living and working conditions.

Reynolds, the largest tobacco manufacturer in North Carolina, is a major supplier of BAT, which owns a major share of Reynolds.

Following the field visit, a community forum will be held to further the discussion on the experience of farm workers, while also broadening the conversation to understand the impact that tobacco company policies have had on public policy in the local community, including on immigration reform and child labor.

On July 27, the delegation will travel to Raleigh to meet with farm worker supporters and religious leaders before planned meetings in Washington, D.C, and London to publicize the findings.

Category: Breaking News

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