Since then, we have made a
conscious effort to invest all resources into revising
scientific recommendations, staying up to speed on frequent
changes, and speaking with members about concerns and possible
action items. During this time, we communicated with hundreds of
union members, growers’ organizations, and allies in the labor
community to review options and keep members up to date on
developments. Union leadership made a conscious decision to
avoid public proclamations and decide what the most effective
concrete actions our union can take to assist farmworkers
immediately during this crisis. During this time, we have
received a lot of request for protocols or information on FLOC
positions, so have decided to release the information we are
sending to members and our general assessment of where we can
make the biggest impact as a union, which fall under three key
Containment and safety: Focusing on
getting good information out to the membership and community,
dispelling bad information, hearing from directly affected
members about what needs are and reacting to them. Empowering
members to avoid getting or spreading the illness and dealing
with increased restriction of movement in a way that protects
against unfair treatment by law enforcement to our community is
key. Review with members physical
preparedness in labor camps for quarantines and if no plan is
available contact grower’s representatives and the union as
Ensuring medical treatment:
Like most people around the world and even more severely than
most, there is great concern over access, cost, and quality of
health care and treatment if someone is sick. This has been a
challenge to survey the constantly changing framework of
clinics, hospitals, and other providers, discerning where these
providers are equipped for providing care to those suspected of
COVID-19 or otherwise in need of health care. We are focused on
getting up to date information to members, ensuring members are
empowered to get needed transportation from employers without
fear of losing a job where needed, and making sure that
government efforts to provide relief reach the farmworker
community and avoid preventative costs. The agricultural
workforce includes undocumented workers and in order to address
worker’s confidence in seeking treatment, Federal, State and
Local government must cease all immigration apprehensions, raids
and release those in detentions with monitoring who may have
relatives that can facilitate stay at home policies.
Financial Support: Ensuring that historical
exclusion of farmworkers doesn’t continue through state and
federal emergency planning, getting information about paid leave
and unemployment insurance to members, and working with members
whose potential medical bills and leave may be covered by
workers’ compensation insurance will help protect members
financially while encouraging testing and treatment as soon as
Farmworkers are a key part
of rural communities and removing barriers to their ability to
deal with this crisis means protecting all regions of our
Country. All of this is done understanding the very important
differences among conditions and processes throughout different
regions and at each individual farm. We understand that a
failing labor-rights enforcement system is made much worse by
this pandemic and highlights the need for farmworkers to be
equipped to be their own inspectors and enforce their own
protocol independent of government agencies.
Attached is our membership
protocol we plan to enforce through a cooperative relationship
and three-step grievance procedure where members have a
collective bargaining agreement and through individualized and
creative methods where members are working without one.
Guidance for members re
*note, that changes will occur as things develop, so this is
valid only until updated
Upon arrival to the US Consulate (usually Monterrey), you should
not have to interview and do not need to have an overnight stay
in Monterrey as long as you can arrive in time to meet with the
agent at the agreed upon time. Communicate regularly with agent
to ensure you have up to date information.
While on bus and away from home, follow protocol to avoid being
infected (see attached flyer)
It is recommended to avoid bringing large suitcases and to pack
food from home to the extent possible to avoid the need to visit
crowded places to leave suitcase or to eat at restaurants.
Remember that FLOC negotiated a requirement that SENDA reimburse
workers for 50% of their bus ticket price if the buses are not
functioning. Take pictures and notify union via whatsapp ahead
of time and ensure that you notify an NCGA representative of
your request for a refund and document who you spoke with and
what their answer is.
During the bus ride up, you are free to eat wherever you would
like so long as you get off the bus where it stops and are back
on the bus before it leaves. You should organize a group to ask
the driver to stop at locations where there are less crowds and
document his response. Document anything the driver does or says
in response to these actions and report to union ASAP.
Upon arrival to Vass, try to maintain distance from others, six
feet if you can, and wash ahnds and use hand sanitizer
At least until April 3, FLOC organizers can only visit farms on
an emergency basis, so it is important that you and your
coworkers provide up to date contact information and collaborate
to use phone, texts, and video conferencing to stay up to date
on the latest information. If you have Facebook account, please
follow the FLOC pages
Upon arrival to your farm, the housing should have cleaning
supplies, soap, and hand sanitizer and sufficient conditions to
protect yourself against the virus. These should be re-stocked
weekly or as needed. If not, notify the grower and/or FLOC.
During work hours, there needs to be soap, water, and paper
towels to wash hands frequently. We recommend you take a hand
washing break at least every hour or after touching commonly
touched surfaces. If your employer does not allow this, document
it and contact the union.
The grower should require and pay for someone to clean the bus
and other commonly touched surfaces at least daily. If this is
not happening, advise the employer of these recommendations by
the State Government and/or contact the union.
When you go to buy groceries, it is recommended to limit the
time out as much as possible and to collaborate with coworkers
to limit the number of coworkers that go to the store.
If you or a coworker are feeling sick or see any of the symptoms
of Corona Virus (see attached flyer), you should notify the
employer immediately and ask for transportation to a medical
care site. Employers are required by the union contract to
provide transportation to medical appointments. Document any
response and if it is unsatisfactory, contact the union.
New federal law requires that the employer pay each worker for
up to 80 hours they miss from work due to illness related to the
Corona Virus, including doctor visits, rest, testing, or
quarantine. You should be paid the same amount as your coworkers
who worked up to 80 hours.
Illness related to the Corona Virus may be covered by workers
compensation insurance. It is very important you tell the doctor
your living and working conditions in detail so that they can
include whether or not these conditions contributed to your
contraction of any illness in the doctor note. To ensure this
goes smoothly, we recommend you speak with a union
representative before your doctor appointment for additional
If someone is suspected of having Corona Virus, the grower
and/or NCGA is responsible to ensure they have separate living
facilities to make sure they don’t infect other coworkers.
If you test positive for Corona Virus, the employer must notify
the health department and provide you a living space in
quarantine. Again, this may be covered by workers compensation
insurance so it is very important to be in constant
communication with the union should you test positive to ensure
you receive the required pay during time out of work.
If you test positive for the virus, you should not return to
Mexico without authorization from a doctor.
Many counties and states are enacting stay at home orders.
Generally, farmworkers are considered essential workers and
generally excluded from those while working in agriculture.
Traveling to the grocery store or pharmacy are also excluded.
Contact the union for more information.
There have been shortages of certain things reported in stores.
Call the union for info about support resources in your region.
Respuesta de Trabajadores Agricolas al COVID-19