Letter Courtesy of Move On~~
Martin Sheen here. I am a longtime supporter of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and I'm proud to have called Cesar Chavez a personal friend. Farm workers' rights are a cause that's near and dear to my heart—and that's why I'm asking for your signature on our MoveOn petition to oppose harmful changes to the H-2A guest worker program under which many immigrants come to work in America's agricultural industry.
One of the best ways we can fight back is to have the public submit comments to the government stating their opposition to the harmful changes. A comment period has recently been opened through September 24. I am working with the UFW to submit these petition signatures en masse, and we will also follow up to encourage you to take additional actions with us.
My deep commitment and spiritual connection to farm workers are why I am so aghast about the devastating changes which amount to huge giveaways to enormous corporations at the expense of the rights and wages of the workers who are doing all the real labor.
Some of the shocking and cruel proposed changes include:
- Making it easier to deny jobs to American farm workers so employers can hire more temporary foreign field laborers and pay them less.
- Depressing pay for domestic workers and reducing existing protections for both domestic and foreign workers.
- Instituting a new policy that would deny American workers the right to apply for jobs as the season begins. Employers could now chain together multiple jobs at multiple locations in a single H2-A application.
- Denying jobs to local workers who have skills in specific crops or want to work shorter seasons. Professional, skilled farm workers who are in the United States already should have the opportunity to get the highest possible pay during peak production.1
Thank you on behalf of myself and the United Farm Workers.
Martin Sheen, actor and activist
1. "Trump's proposed H-2A rules would harm, not help, U.S. farm workers and reduce protections for both domestic and foreign field laborers," United Farm Workers, July 26, 2019
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