Advocacy organizations held rallies throughout the region on Sunday calling on the supermarket chain to join the Milk with Dignity program.
The federal legislation would grant legal status to undocumented farmworkers and offer a path to citizenship, but Vermont organizations say it would limit farmworkers’ rights to unionization and legalization and trap them in economic vulnerability.
The letter is a response to nearly two years of campaigning by Migrant Justice to address alleged human rights abuses in the supermarket’s dairy supply chain.
As much as 40% of the housing for migrant farm workers requires moderate or significant upgrades costing at least $5,000. “People shouldn’t be living in the conditions they’re living in,” Rep. Tom Stevens said.
Vermont is creating the first program in the nation to provide comprehensive relief payments to migrant workers and families, though questions remain over how the money will be distributed.
The Open Door Clinic, with offices in Middlebury and Vergennes, is one of the only such centers in Vermont that has developed a program dedicated to serving a group that is often overlooked.
Two of the men face felony charges in the incidents that occurred in late summer at several Addison County farms.
A group of people allegedly surrounded farmworkers’ homes in Addison County, shouting insults and firing guns, an advocacy group says.