Innovative Partnership Aids Farm Workers

Go Lean Commentary

“We used to own our slaves, now we just rent them” – Quotation from a farmer in 1960 CBS Documentary

This reminds us of a common expression:

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

CU Blog - Innovative Partnership Aids Farm Workers - Photo 4In the landmark 1960 Documentary by famed TV Journalist Edward R. Morrow, the conclusion was that American Agricultural Interest would always seek some scheme for cheap labor. That even though slavery had been abolished for 100 years, there were still labor practices that were tantamount to modern-day slavery.

So sad! American society hadn’t reformed.

How about now, 55 years later?

Truthfully, despite this innovative partnership here to aid farm workers, there has only been small progress forward for a journey of thousands of miles. Just consider this latest CBS News story/VIDEO here:

VIDEOCBS News – Posted 08-09-2015; retrieved 08-11-2015  from:

August 9, 2015 – For decades, the tomato farms in South Florida have been known for their awful working conditions, but things are changing thanks to some unlikely partners. Mark Strassmann reports on how a coalition of migrant farm workers and some of the nation’s biggest tomato buyers are helping improve working conditions and raise pay. (VIDEO plays best in Internet Explorer).

Welcome to the America of 1865, 1960 and 2015.

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Only now after decades, American society is finally reporting progress for the conditions of migrant farm workers. Too little, too late!

Perhaps the American shores should not be the destination for Latin American Migrant Farm Labor. This is definitely the position of the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The publishers of the Go Lean book campaign that it would be better for Caribbean citizens (subset of Latin America) to remain in their homeland and work to remediate conditions there, than to migrate to American destinations looking for better labor options. (Previously the same futility had been detailed regarding a Jamaican-Canadian Labor Exchange program). Considering the statistics and anecdotal evidence in the foregoing VIDEO, these 2 conclusions appear indisputable:

Considering this reality, it is sad that the eco-systems of Caribbean society are failing so that now many Caribbean citizens still long for the opportunity to emigrate to the United States. There have been many that have taken to the seas on risky vessels to reach this land of their dreams. Many Caribbean member-states (St Vincent, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, etc.) have lost more than half of their populations to foreign shores. While others have lost more than 70 percent of their college educated populations. This situation is so impactful that now 1 out of 11 Black persons in the US is now of Caribbean (or African) descent, and these numbers are only expected to grow. This is a crisis for the Caribbean.

The reasons for this Caribbean crisis are identified as “push-and-pull”. Failures in our society are so acute that many feel compelled to seek their future abroad. While this is “push”, the “pull” refers to the propaganda and image that American life is better – the “place to be”.

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Hopefully this commentary succeeds in dispelling this mis-information that life in the American Migrant Labor eco-system is better than enduring Caribbean society. This is one of the motives of this commentary; another motive is to highlight the success of Farm Labor Reform Advocates, in this case the #FairFoods movement; this innovative partnership to aid farm workers. CU Blog - Innovative Partnership Aids Farm Workers - Photo 3

This cause and campaign is not unfamiliar to the Go Lean movement. The Go Lean book had identified another effective advocate in the farm labor movement: Cesar Chavez of the 1960’s/1970’s United Farm Workers Union movement. (In many ways, #FairFoods stands on the shoulders of the late-great Cesar Chavez).  The book relates (Page 122) this summary of the historicity of Cesar Chavez:

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Chavez (1927 – 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers Union (UFW)). He became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to grant respect to migrant workers, and recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California & Florida.

There is now new update on the national appreciation and societal impact of Cesar Chavez:

Chavez is buried at the National Chavez Center, on the headquarters campus of the United Farm Workers of America at 29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road in the Keene community of unincorporated Kern County, California.[36][37] He received belated full military honors from the US Navy at his graveside on April 23, 2015, the 22nd anniversary of his death.[38]

The efforts of this commentary is not to reform America, but to reform the Caribbean. The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). While the branding Trade connotes economics, the roadmap also addresses labor and justice assurances. In fact, the Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and the Caribbean homeland against abuse from “bad actors” in society.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between CU agencies and member-state governments.

The goal of the Go Lean roadmap therefore is to forge a better society, to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. By optimizing our justice and labor institutions, we would lower our own “push” factors. These requirements were pronounced at the outset of the Go Lean book, in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) with these statements:

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxi. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

How can the Caribbean be different than the United States in the pursuit of labor justice?

The CU/Go Lean roadmap seeks to apply best-practices in labor regulations; we do not want to repeat America’s mistakes; we have enough “push” reasons to contend with already.

This review of American Farm Labor past-and-present also helps with the “pull factors. We see a more accurate portrayal of American values. The Go Lean book cites the historic example and abuses of the Peonage system that emerged in the Southern US after the Civil War (Page 211). It was obvious that many “bad actors” in American society wanted cheap labor even though slavery had just been outlawed in the country. With the realities of migrant farm workers and their need for civil rights, obviously, there remains factions in the American Agriculture eco-system that have not matured in their appreciation of the working classes. This class of people have still “not overcome”.

Welcome to America … a land of two destinations: richer or poorer.

To all those in the Caribbean desiring to emigrate to the US, we urge you to take heed: the “grass is not greener” on that other side! This point was highlighted in other Go Lean…Caribbean commentary, as sampled here: American Jobs – Futility of Minimum Wage American Wage-Seeking – Market Forces -vs- Collective Bargaining American Crony-Capitalism – Prisoners for Profit Cruise Ship Labor-Practices – Getting Ready for Change American Businesses Try to Stave-off Brain Drain as Boomers Retire Jamaica-Canada employment program try to pump millions into local economy

The book Go Lean … Caribbean details these strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to elevate Caribbean society, mitigating the “push” reasons:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principle – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Whistleblower Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – Anti-Bullying and Mitigation Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius – Leadership Skills Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations Page 32
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Mission – Education Without Further Brain Drain Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Tactics to Forge an $800 Billion Economy – High Multiplier Industries Page 70
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Justice Department – Trade Anti-Trust Regulatory Commission Page 77
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Labor Department – Labor Relations Board Page 89
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade Page 128
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Food Consumption – Optimizing Agriculture Supply Chain Page 162
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Labor Markets and Unions Page 164
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Leadership Page 171
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice Page 177
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Foundations Page 219
Advocacy – Ways to Battle Poverty – Third World Realities Page 222
Advocacy – Ways to Help the Middle Class Page 223
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth – Incentivizing STEM Careers Page 227
Appendix – Growing 2.2 Million Jobs in 5 Years Page 257
Appendix – Job Multipliers Page 259

The Go Lean roadmap asserts to all those desiring to flee to the US: America is not so alluring … from a labor justice perspective, especially if you’re poor, Black-and-Brown. The admonition: Lower the “pull” factors for Coming to America.

There is the need for new jobs; exporting workers for seasonal agricultural harvests had been a popular strategy. This Go Lean roadmap though takes an alternate approach; it creates local jobs; high paying, career-enhancing ones. The Go Lean book pronounces this need in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14):

xxvi.  Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries … – impacting the region with more jobs.

More jobs would help to lower “push” factors. We must do this; address all possible “push” factors. The region must address its issues, as to why its population is so inclined to emigrate; this is the purpose of the Go Lean roadmap. It features the assessments, strategies, tactics and implementations to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

Now is the time for the Caribbean region to lean-in for the empowerments described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The benefits of this roadmap are too alluring to ignore: emergence of our own $800 Billion (GDP) economy, 2.2 million new jobs, new industries, new services and optimized justice institutions.

The end result of the Go Lean roadmap – after the defined 5 year plan – is to lower both the “push” and the “pull” factors. Instead we want to incentivize our citizens to remain home, participate in new job initiatives and to prosper here where we are planted. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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