USA: Farm worker activists say Reynolds American should "stop relying on human trafficking" in its supply chain - company responds

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8 May 2014

Farm Labor Activists Get Audience with Reynolds American Shareholders [USA]

Author: Kathryn Mobley, WFDD Radio (USA)

Farm labor activists want Reynolds American to fight on behalf of North Carolina’s tobacco workers...[About] 300 members of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) protested outside Reynolds American [offices]...Inside, the annual shareholder's meeting was taking place. FLOC president Baldemar Velasquez [said]... "[To begin]...with stop relying on human trafficking for your labor supply. Two, end the fighting in the labor camps with contract farmers. Three, guarantee protection from retaliation if workers complain against abuses"... Reynolds American spokesman, David Howard, says the company is proactive on behalf of all farm workers... “The multi-lateral farm labor practices group is up and running and meeting regularly, including meetings with FLOC to address such issues as freedom of association, grievance mechanisms and child labor," says Howard.

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26 April 2014

Tobacco companies, growers and workers to meet [USA]

Author: Owen Covington, Triad Business Journal (USA)

A meeting between tobacco companies, growers and workers to discuss the freedom of association — or workers' right to organize — appears to be in the making after several years of urging by the AFL-CIO union. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) of the union announced that a committee has been formed between the three groups that will work toward setting a meeting to discuss "the issue of freedom of association without fear of retaliation, wages, housing and forced labor, among other supply chain inequities." The committee responsible for setting the meeting will include representatives from FLOC, the N.C. Growers Association,...Reynolds American Inc., and Philip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, both owned by Altria Group Inc.

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