At this time of high summer, if you happen to pass by fields of crops, you may see figures toiling under the scorching sun. Such scenes serve as a stark reminder -- much like those "made in Bangladesh" clothing labels -- that laborers face economic power structures of Goliath proportions. In the biblical story, Goliath and his henchmen are famously overcome by little David, but in today's world, with global corporations wielding so much power, does David have a chance? For crucial insights on this question, be sure to check out the Bill Moyers program "Fighting for Farmworkers."
Give Bill Moyers and his guest, Farm Labor Organizing Committee director Baldemar Velásquez, a minute of your time and you will find yourself hooked -- captivated by a story as gripping and inspiring as it is important.
Thanks to that master interviewer Bill Moyers, we have a rare window into the soul of someone who lays it all on the line, and who does so in the spirit of his models, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, both of whom took young Baldemar under their wing. Your heart will be touched by this quiet but inspiring man, who harbors no illusions about what he calls "the diabolical elixir" of forces arrayed against the global labor movement, but who takes to heart the Greatest Commandment -- love -- and refuses to hate his opponents.
Learn how this visionary activist and his Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) are among those in the vanguard of the global labor movement: signing up temporary contract laborers in Mexico, who then carry their union cards with them into the tobacco fields of North Carolina.
As you watch, keep in mind the cutting-edge nature of this labor organizing: that these workers, who have no right to remain in the U.S. -- let alone become citizens -- nonetheless have more rights to file grievances against their employers than do many other employees in the Tarheel State. No wonder the FLOC director won a MacArthur "genius" award. Although many individuals around the globe have been awakening to the need for global worker rights, especially after the unprecedented number of preventable factory deaths in Bangladesh, it is the people organizing unions without regard to national borders who are the leading the way in the effort to achieve a turning in the power relations of the global economy.
From nation's heartland to the heart of Mexico --and from rural fields to multinational board rooms -- FLOC is bringing to the transnational level the organizing tactics it has perfected at the national level -- and there, "They've never lost yet ." So reports Bill Moyers. Learn all about it in "Fighting for Farmworkers" on Moyers and Company -- and be moved.
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