Congress Should Tap CCC Funds to Protect Farmworkers

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(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Friday, May 22, 2020

WASHINGTON – To protect farmworkers from the risks posed by COVID-19 and support food supply chains, Congress should tap funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to ensure farmworkers are protected.

“Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, the Heroes Act would provide farmworkers with critical protections, including mandatory worker safety standards, premium pay, paid sick leave, paid family leave and child care assistance,” said Bruce Goldstein, president of Farmworker Justice. “Farmworkers are essential workers who are taking enormous personal risks to feed us, and we must ensure they are protected. As Congress considers whether to increase CCC funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators must make farmworkers a priority.”

“We applaud Rep. Panetta and other legislators for making farmworkers a priority,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “If Congress increases CCC funding, legislators must ensure that funds flow to states and organizations that protect and support farmworkers from COVID-19. Although the CCC is not the only source of funds Congress should tap, Congress created the CCC during the Great Depression to ensure our families have a stable food supply. If farmworkers are not protected, basic staples could become scarce, and food prices could soar.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential role of farmworkers in our nation’s agricultural and food systems and the hazards they confront every day for our food security. As Congress provides the CCC with funding to support agriculture, the funding should prioritize prevention, testing and premium pay for farmworkers and their family members, and reduce their fear of what will happen if they become ill,” Goldstein said.

A link to the letter from Rep. Panetta and 72 other House members can be found here: https://panetta.house.gov/sites/panetta.house.gov/files/documents/2020.May_.22_CongressmanPanetta_Letter_Farmworkers.pdf