workers' rights

Indentured servitude right now in North Carolina

Crossposted at Daily Kos; posted here by invitation. Thanks, James.

Indentured servitude is, essentially, debt bondage. By definition, an indentured servant would work under a contract that specified the terms of his indenture, especially how long he would work until his indenture was redeemed. However, one business owner here in North Carolina has found a way to keep two of his workers in perpetual economic bondage. It's been easy for him because one of the workers in question, "John," is a paroled felon and uniquely vulnerable for exploitation.

I'm hoping that someone reads this and provides me with contact information for ex-convict prisoner rights groups or something that can help John and his fellow worker, his girlfriend "Mary," get some representation and some help. Right now they're, essentially, economic slaves with no hope of escape.

Hitting the Road: Paid Sick Days Town Hall Meetings

Throughout March and April, and the NC Justice Center will be traversing the state and hosting Town Hall meetings in communities across North Carolina. These meetings will be to build support for NC's Campaign for Paid Sick Days, to hear from folks about their experiences with or without paid sick days, and to dialogue about this important issue.

Come join one of these town halls and please help spread the word.  To RSVP for any of the Paid Sick Days Town Hall meetings, contact Ajamu Dillahunt at or (919) 856-3194.

March 16: High Point Town Hall
Deep River Friends Meeting
5300 West Wendover Avenue, High Point, NC

March 19: Durham Town Hall
Durham Main Public Library

Top-10 poultry plant hides injuries to workers

Cross-posted at DKos and my blog

Today's Charlotte Observer includes the first of a potentially devastating six-part series on poultry-plant safety.

The first part focuses on House of Raeford, one of the ten largest poultry producers in the country. It's based in Hoke County, half an hour south of Fayetteville and operates plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. It supplies deli turkey and chicken products to companies such as Blimpie, Golden Corral and Food Lion. It also counts several school systems among its customers--including my hometown system, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. It claims to have one of the best safety records in the industry--but the Observer amply demonstrates that this record is a mirage.

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