Just last month, New York State directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ban the pesticide chemical chlorpyrifos from all use by July 2021. Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic pesticide used on agricultural products. Numerous studies have linked the use of this toxic chemical to many adverse health effects in children, like impaired brain development. These concerns are elevated for pregnant women who live near farms where chlorpyrifos is sprayed.
This past Thursday, Corteva, the world’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, announced that it will stop producing the chemical by the end of 2020. Corteva attributed its decision to the declining sales, however, thousands of environmental and farmworker advocates throughout the nation have worked hard to bring an awareness to government officials and allies of farmworkers concerning the danger of these toxic chemicals.
At the Worker Justice Center of NY, our worker rights advocates conduct outreach to rural communities and educate agricultural workers on their rights to know which chemicals have been used in the fields where they work. Our staff provide workers and their families with the tools to prevent exposure. Our staff also assist workers that choose to file complaints with the DEC, which has oversight of proper labeling, handling and use of pesticides in New York. While we at the WJCNY are excited about this victory, we must recognize there is still much work to lift the voices of farmworkers to stop all production of chlorpyrifos and ban all sales of this known toxic chemical. All our communities deserve to work in a safe environment with dignity and respect.
We are proud to have fought and WON access to driver's licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. The Driver's License Access & Privacy Act--better known as the Green Light law--takes effect on Monday, December 16th. WJCNY is committed to making sure those we serve are fully informed about the process and understand their newly won rights. We have been working tirelessly with our Green Light NY Coalition partners across the state to ensure smooth implementation of the law and equal access to licenses in every corner of our state.Read more
Yesterday, Forbes reported on an open letter addressed to Chobani’s Founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, calling on him to support the right of farmworkers to unionize. Chobani recently announced that it will partner with Fair Trade USA to certify dairy suppliers, including on “Worker Wellbeing.” But we are concerned about Fair Trade USA’s spotty record on respecting workers’ rights to organize after the organization certified a Central American melon farm with a history of union busting and grave worker exploitation. The letter was co-signed by WJCNY along with our partners, the Workers' Center of Central New York, SEIU Local 32BJ, and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Read about it here in Forbes!Read more
Autumn Update from the Advocacy Department by Emma Kreyche.
Call-to-Action on the harmful pesticide Clorpyrifos by Sara Curtis, Advocacy & Communications Specialist.
"The WJCNY staff and board are beyond overjoyed with two major legislative wins in 2019. The passage of the “Green Light NY” bill permitting access to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrant New Yorkers along with the Farm Laborers’ Fair Labor Practices Act were long-overdue victories for NY’s immigrant and farmworker communities. These are historic victories!..."
Anti-Human Trafficking Autumn Update by Renan Salgado.
"WJCNY's Anti-Human Trafficking program continues to excel in its role as the leading organization focusing on labor trafficking in the state of New York. Thus far in 2019, the program has assisted 29 victims of human trafficking. In addition, WJCNY’s expertise on the subject of labor trafficking continues in high demand across the country..."Read more
Survivor Services Autumn Update By Cheryl Gee.
"WJCNY works with some of the most vulnerable survivors of domestic violence – undocumented workers. For undocumented workers, barriers to leaving abusive relationships include immigration status, fear of deportation for themselves or family members, language access to systems of care, and cultural barriers in close-knit undocumented communities..."
Autumn update from Outreach and Education, by Irene Sanchez.
"Driving across New York State performing outreach to agricultural workers has its perks: beautiful sunsets, the glaze of snow in the winter, the bloom of the apple trees in the spring and colorful autumn landscapes..."Read more