February 5, 2021
RALEIGH, NC – Several major North Carolina producers have agreed to compensate a group of seasonal workers for stolen wages and other expenses in settlements totaling more than $ 160,000.
Plaintiff Jorge Bautista came to the state in 2019 with the promise of work. Through a translator, the Mexican citrus farmer and seasonal worker said he had not been reimbursed for his trip, was forced to buy substandard food and was misled about the workload.
“That’s why you go there to work – and it wasn’t,” said Bautista. “And that’s why we decided to start the fight to improve this whole situation.”
Bautista said winning the case and paying back his wages and travel allowances should inspire other migrant workers to fight for their rights.
“Because a lot of people in the US, like it happened to me at the beginning, were afraid to speak and such,” said Bautista. “But anything that can be improved can be solved. You just have to speak, you just have to decide and come together. Change can be possible.”
The president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee has said he is committed to helping the more than 200 North Carolina workers who have been victims of wage theft collect the money they owe.
This story was originally published by the Public News Service. More information is available at publicnewsservice.org.