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On Tuesday, September 1st, two workers were fired from Marks Dairy Farms (near Watertown, NY) the day after standing up for their rights. They were going door-to-door telling their co-workers that they are allowed to have visitors at their homes at the farm. Farm managers had been using intimidation tactics to prevent workers from exercising their rights—including calling the police when Rebecca Fuentes from the Workers’ Center of Central New York was meeting with workers.
This past Spring, a Marks Dairy Farm supervisor, Michael Talbot, used physical violence against a worker and then fired him. Why? The worker complained about working on his day off. The worker was brought to the emergency room with a concussion. Talbot was finally arrested and charged on August 5, 2015–the court case is pending.
Clearly Marks Farm has a pattern of worker abuse.
It is imperative that we show our solidarity with these workers who refused to back down to the ruthless, unethical, and illegal intimidation tactics of employers and the police. Moreover, we need to send a message to the farm and to the remaining workers that Freedom of Association is a human right.
We demand that Marks Farms:
– Immediately STOP all use of violence and verbal abuse against farm employees
– Respect the rights of all farm employees to receive visitors in their homes
– Stop retaliation against workers who are working to improve conditions on the farm
We encourage you to support this campaign by:
- Signing the petition and helping us to collect 1000 signatures. Members of the WCCNY have already collected more than 200 hundred signatures at the NY State Fair on Labor day and other events and presentations in Upstate and Central NY.
- You can download the petition form here, and ask people in your community to sign it, then send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Writing and sending a letter to Marks Farms
- Donating to the Workers’ Center of CNY to continue our work in support of dairy farmworkers.