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Monday
Dec122011

All I Want for Christmas

This holiday season, send your wish for farmworker justice to North Carolina's Commissioner of Labor.

North Carolina Christmas trees generate $100 million for our state each year. But the people who do the hardest work are in danger. This holiday season, the Farmworker Advocacy Network is asking the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) to step up its efforts to protect all NC farmworkers.

Check out the links below to learn more about the dangerous and dehumanizing conditions that farmworkers face on a daily basis:

- Behind the Scenes in Santa Land
- From the Ground Up: Focus on Christmas Trees
- Farmworker Living & Working Conditions 

You can help make a difference by printing and signing our postcard (right) and mailing it to:

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1101

You can also call in your wish to the Commissioner's office: 1-800-NC-LABOR.

Federal and state audits, as well as independent research, have recently revealed the following serious problems in NCDOL’s enforcement practices:

1) NCDOL is inconsistent in the way it issues penalties. 
2) NCDOL does not classify violations correctly, resulting in incorrect penalties.
3) NCDOL routinely reduces and/or negotiates fines downwards.
4) NCDOL does not focus its inspections on the worst migrant camps. 

Click here for more detailed reports on the NC Deparment of Labor.

(Robyn Levine, USA, 2011) SAF Fellow Robyn Levine documents the experiences of a group of migrant farmworkers who live together and work in the Christmas tree fields in Boone, North Carolina.

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