Farmworkers are vital to society. Their product satisfies one of our basic needs: sustenance. Their work is not only extremely important, but also difficult. They work long hours in the elements, planting, caring for, and harvesting crops to be sold for our consumption. Despite the difficulty and necessity of their work, farmworkers around the world are taken advantage of and exploited by large businesses and corporations.
Source: BBC News/YouTube
According to The Guardian, only 1% of farms own 70% of the world’s farmland. Thus, there is a huge discrepancy between the land owned by smallholders or family farms and larger farming conglomerates. Thus, most farmworkers are at the mercy of large corporations, who care more about their own profits than workers, the environment, and the local communities surrounding each farm.
Right now, one of the largest workers’ strikes in the history of the world is taking place in India. The protests were spurred by recent laws that the government passed that grant shocking levels of power to corporations and disempower workers who are already struggling. One of these laws gives corporations the ability to set agricultural prices and undercut farmers who already live at subsistence levels. Another restricts citizens’ ability to sue corporations and even limits courts’ jurisdiction over said lawsuits. These laws will thereby, “allow big companies to drive prices down to levels where individual farmers are unable to compete.”
During COVID, people are already struggling due to unemployment, food insecurity, deteriorating mental health, and the other stressors that inevitably accompany a global pandemic. Sadly, many large corporations, such as Amazon and those that will benefit from India’s new farming laws, are taking advantage of the situation to increase their own wealth at the expense of everyday individuals. However, in India, the people are fighting back. Workers from all sectors, over 250 million individuals, have come together and we need to show our support. Sign this petition to demand that Modi and his government repeal these egregiously anti-worker laws!
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Petition: Tell Amazon to Improve Working Conditions and Pay Fair Wages
- Pay H-2A Workers Fair Wages
- Demand Justice for Abused Women on Palm Oil Plantations
- Demand Hazard Pay for Veterinary Workers
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