Show Wal-Mart that their blatant disregard for basic human rights and labor rights in their farms and food processing facilities will not be tolerated any longer! Support the International Labor Rights Fund and Georgia Poultry Justice Alliance sponsored spring Worker Speaking Tour and hear the experiences of farm and food processing workers from Georgia, California and North Carolina who have been abused by Wal-Mart.

This speaking tour will feature 3 speakers: Tyson poultry processing worker from Georgia, Californian farm-worker and Smithfield pork processing worker from North Carolina.  All of the speakers have experienced first hand the unacceptable conditions on farms and in processing facilities because of the purchasing practices of big box retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Contact Trina.tocco[at]ilrf[dot]org or 269-873-1000 for more specifics.

Mon Apr 16: Durham, NC (7pm at Duke University)

Tues Apr 17: Winston Salem, NC (morning at Wake Forest and then evening event at the local library sponsored by American Friends Service Committee)

Wed Apr 18: Hickory & Fayetteville, NC (noon lunch and dialogue with Western NC Workers Center in Hickory & evening event in Fayetteville with CLC)

Thurs Apr 19: Athens & Gainesville, GA (U of Georgia afternoon classroom events)

Billy Harpe worked at Tyson Foods Inc. in Buena Vista, Georgia for 15 years. He worked as a Mechanical De-boned Meat Machine Operator, separating the meat from the bones of chicken. Tyson Foods produced chicken products for Wal-Mart, as well as for Oscar Mayer, Church’s Chicken and KFC. He helped affiliate his factory with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (now part of the UFCW). Harsh conditions inside the poultry processing facility led to back problems for Billy in 1999.  As a result of his work-related injuries, he had to take workman’s comp. However, the company doctor was able to dictate the terms of his treatment and leave. Billy has 5 children.

Lorena Gomez Ramos worked at the Smithfield Packing in Tar Heel, North Carolina for five years. During this time, she saw firsthand the dangers, abuses and unfair working conditions that workers face every day at this massive plant, where 5500 men and women slaughter and process 32,000 hogs per day. She worked on the general line, producing pork chops, bones, bacon, sausage and other pork products. Smithfield is a Wal-Mart supplier, but also produces for Harris Teeter as well as brands like ButterballT, John MorrellT and Farmland FoodsT. While working there, she recalls frequent worker abuse, including excessive workloads and inhumane working conditions. She now works as a union organizer educating her former co-workers on their rights to form and join a union.  She is married with three children.