Sweet Potato Farmworkers Win Union Contract
In 2014, four members of FLOC courageously spoke out against issues at Burch Farms in Faison North Carolina, exposing violations that many of their coworkers were too afraid to speak about. They filed a lawsuit for multiple types of wage theft and other labor violations. Last month, the FLOC members negotiated a settlement that included a payment of $7,125 for each plaintiff as well as $40 for each worker for each season that they had worked for Burch from 2012 to 2014. In total, the grower agreed to pay over $200,000.
As part of the settlement, the workers won a 3-year collective bargaining contract which includes: just-cause termination, a pay raise to $10.72, a mechanism to file grievances through FLOC, and the right to be a union member and collectively bargain.
This contract was an important win for workers who were previously not covered by the FLOC-North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA) Union Contract.