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Farm work is work: Who pays the price of agricultural labor?


This is the legacy of the Jim Crow era. We have FDR advancing New Deal reforms that broadened worker's rights, and in order to get the southern segregationists to agree, they excluded farmworkers, who at the time were majority African American. That demographic has shifted to being predominantly Central American workers - this is a legacy that this country has been exploiting, and following these workers since the very beginning.

Writer Olivia Heffernan reports on the work of building a farmworker labor movement - from the racialized exclusion of agricultural labor from the gains of the New Deal and organized labor at large, to the fight against the precarity and invisibility of workers central to an industry packaging itself to consumers as humane and honest.

Olivia wrote the article Are we prepared to pay the price for farmworker justice? for openDemocracy.

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Olivia Heffernan

Olivia is a soon to be graduate of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, editor-in-chief of Columbia's human rights publication, RightsViews and works part time at the Marshall Project and the Justice Lab.


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