North Carolina Tobacco Farm Workers Organize for a Union Voice on the Job

June 12, 2014

Federico is one of about 100,000 tobacco farm workers working in North Carolina this harvest season. Every year, individuals like Federico put everything on the line and migrate from Mexico and Central America to North Carolina to work the tobacco harvest season. Expanding from early July to late September, the tobacco harvest season not only brings a lot of migrant workers to the state, but it also brings lots of revenue. North Carolina-grown tobacco accounts for more than half of the total U.S. production, making tobacco the most profitable cash crop in the state of North Carolina. Companies like Reynolds American Inc., Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Inc., collectively known as “The Big Three,” hold nearly 90% of the tobacco market share in the United States, profiting from the hard labor performed by workers like Federico.

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