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Agricultural workers celebrate repeal of law limiting their rights

Atlanta (GA), Sep 17 (EFE News) .- North Carolina agricultural workers won a victory this week after a federal court struck down part of a state law that they say obstructs their union organization to obtain better benefits and conditions. labor.

“We are encouraged by this important repeal of a state law that targets the only farmworker union in North Carolina,” said Baldemar Velásquez, president and founder of the Farmworker Organizing Committee, which has filed a lawsuit against the legislation.

Judge Loretta Bigg declared that the “Settlement Provision” – a part of the North Carolina Farm Bill of 2017 – violates First Amendment-related protections of the US Constitution, which protects rights to free speech. .

“Farmworkers are essential workers who put food on the tables of families across the country. They deserve better than being intimidated by politicians who try to deprive them of the same rights that all other private sector workers have, ”added Velásquez.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the farm bill, which was enacted in July 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper, would have stripped mostly Hispanic farmworkers of their rights to collectively bargain to resolve legal claims, rights enjoyed by everyone else in the state.

“This is an important victory for farmworkers across the state that will ensure that they can once again come together to improve their working conditions,” said Julia Solórzano, an attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), that along with the ACLU joined in the lawsuit against the measure.

Solórzano stated that this law was designed to prevent agricultural workers from fighting for these rights with the help of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee that negotiates on their behalf. “These efforts to undermine the rights of these workers must not be sustained and we will fight until they are defeated,” he said.

“Farmworkers, like all workers, have the right to be represented by a union,” said Carol Brooke, lead attorney for the North Carolina Justice Center Workers’ Rights Project, who was pleased with the court’s decision.

(c) EFE Agency

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