Thursday, April 9, 2009

Farm workers rights

"The boycott transformed a local union struggle into a nationwide social justice movement that engaged hundreds of activists and millions of supporters. An estimated 17 million Americans refused to buy grapes between 1966 and 1972, creating economic pressure that helped the UFW to win over 200 grape contracts covering 70,000 workers.
Another brilliant strategy of the UFW was its campaign against pesticides. Farmworker illness and death from exposure to DDT and other toxic insecticides were commonplace, yet the only federal regulations were those that protected the growers from being "wrongly accused of causing harm." Through a nationwide publicity campaign, the UFW convincingly showed that a union contract was the only way to limit growers' use of pesticides, which would protect the health of consumers as well as farmworkers. This campaign provides a model for connecting the issues of environmental and social justice." (Thanks Marcy)

I want to work on the rights of farm workers in Lebanon, especially women and marginalized groups such as Bedouins and migrant labor.

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