WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WCTI) – Members of the Farmworker Advocacy Network and others are calling on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to take action in support of agricultural workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They say the first confirmed and suspected farmworker cases of COVID-19 have already appeared in the state, making it urgent that the governor act quickly.
The coalition will present testimony from workers; faith leaders, including Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina; and advocates in a Zoom press conference on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
They’re expected to address concerns for the health and safety of agricultural workers amid the pandemic and say North Carolina’s field and food processing workers face many barriers to accessing essential services, especially during times of emergency.
Agricultural workers are particularly vulnerable during this pandemic, advocates say, because language barriers, a lack of transportation, and a lack of connection to services in the community leaves them isolated from resources. Because migrant agricultural workers live in group housing, usually travel to and from work in shared transportation like buses, and work closely next to each other in the fields, the group adds, “social distancing” is not something they can choose to do, leaving them at constant risk of exposure to the coronavirus.Continue reading this article