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Judge blocks NC law provision aimed at farm workers’ union – Washington Daily News – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-09-16 17:44:32 –

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina’s only agricultural workers’ union organizes for better interests and terms, despite various federal court decisions so far on 2017 legislation It states that it interferes with Latin field activities.

Judge Loretta Bigs of the U.S. District Court this week declares a permanent injunction that the provisions that prevent legal reconciliation between workers and farms from including the obligation to conclude collective bargaining agreements on farms are unconstitutional. Was issued. Negotiation agreements between FLOC and North Carolina farms are voluntary.

The Agricultural and Labor Organizing Committee, which has more than 9,000 members in the state, disputed the law in court because FLOC organized it in a state with a small number of members, so the power of lawmakers related to agricultural interests He said it included a struggle.

“Agricultural workers are indispensable workers who put food on the table of families across the country,” FLOC president and founder Valde Mar Velázquez praised Bigs’ actions in a news release Thursday. “They are worth better than being bullied by politicians trying to deprive them of the same rights that all other private workers have.”

Biggs had already agreed in March to the recommendation of a US Magistrate Judge that the Settlement Clause violates the First Amendment and other Equal Protection Clauses. Judge Patrick Old wrote the statement, “Widely bans all settlement agreements between FLOC and farmers.”

However, she also agreed with Old in support of other union-related provisions in the bill prohibiting agricultural work from entering into contracts to collect union fees from workers. Old failed to provide evidence of how FLOC would affect its members, and the law does not prevent the farm from agreeing outside the negotiating agreement to provide such membership fees. I wrote.

FLOC has already appealed Biggs’ previous membership fee check-off decision to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. “Agricultural workers are free to choose the same rights as other North Carolina workers,” said Christie Graunke, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina, who represents the plaintiffs. Stated.

Senator Brent Jackson, a Republican, farmer, and chief sponsor of North Carolina farming in 2017, did not comment on the ruling on Thursday, a Senator Republican spokesman said. The union’s words were initially added to the House bill.

Spokesman Nazneen Ahmed said the only defendant currently enforcing state law, Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, is considering the decision. Stein was able to appeal the decision of Judge Bigs in the Federal Court of Justice in Greensboro on Wednesday.

Bigs told Stein to make sure that local prosecutors and state labor commissioners were aware of her decision. The North Carolina ACLU said it was unaware of such pending indictments related to the union settlement clause.

Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, who signed the bill, was initially nominated as a defendant but was dismissed. He took heat from FLOC when he signed the bill. Cooper’s office pointed out bipartisan support for the bill and other provisions that helped North Carolina’s agriculture.

FLOC currently has one collective bargaining agreement in the state for 9,400 workers and 700 farms within the North Carolina Cultivation Association, state ACLU said. Most workers under the association contract are guest workers from Mexico. The minimum wage for these “H-2A” workers is $ 13.15 per hour.

Judge blocks NC law provision aimed at farm workers’ union – Washington Daily News Source link Judge blocks NC law provision aimed at farm workers’ union – Washington Daily News

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