Harvest of Dignity campaign seeks improvements for farmworkers' living and working conditions

New campaign seeks improvements for farm and poultry workers' living and working conditions
RALEIGH (Nov. 18, 2010) -- On Thursday, November 18, farmworkers and allies from all walks of life, including local chefs, farmers and faith leaders, will share a Thanksgiving meal together and break ground on a new campaign entitled Harvest of Dignity(www.harvestofdignity.org).  The new campaign takes aim at the substandard living and working conditions faced by people working in North Carolina's agricultural and poultry processing industries. The event is an opportunity to learn about the new campaign and interview farmworkers and supporters about issues confronting the people who work to put food on our tables.
What:  Press conference and luncheon to launch the Harvest of Dignity Campaign
When: Thursday, Nov. 18, 12 - 2pm
Where: Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27605
The program begins at 12:30 p.m.  Speakers and other supporters will be available for interviews at 1 p.m.
The Farmworker Advocacy Network (www.ncfan.org) is launching the campaign this fall to mark the 50th anniversary of Edward R. Murrow's  documentary Harvest of Shame, which highlighted the deplorable conditions that farmworkers faced 50 years ago. Many workers continue to face the same conditions a half-century later.
The Harvest of Dignity Campaign will emphasize the need for reform in three main areas that field and poultry workers have identified as urgent:
* Safe places to work: field and poultry workers should be protected from injury, illness and toxic chemical exposure on the job. Poultry processing plants should be required to keep line speeds safe.
* Safe places to live: Employer provided worker housing should be safe, sanitary and ensure basic decency, such as privacy in bathrooms and locks on the doors.
* Smarter enforcement of existing laws: State agencies should work together to enforce our state's current laws protecting field and poultry workers and to crack down on repeat offenders who ignore the law and put people in harm's way.
Farmworker Advocacy Network (FAN) is a statewide coalition of organizations that work to improve living and workers conditions for field and poultry workers in North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ncfan.org.
CONTACT: Ana Duncan Pardo, Toxic Free North Carolina
(919) 818-5933 | ana@toxicfreenc.org
Chris Liu-Beers, NC Council of Churches

(919) 641-0180 | chris@nccouncilofchurches.org