Organizations: Workers and the Food System

Connect with farmworker coalitions, labor unions, federal services for migrant workers and pro bono legal & immigration services.

Photo by Noah Lanard.

National Associations & Coalitions

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
CIW is a worker-based human rights organizations internationally recognized for its achievements in corporate social responsibility, community organizing, and sustainable food. CIW is a leader in the growing movement to end human trafficking in agriculture.

Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA)
SFA is is a national network of students and youth organizing with farmworkers to eliminate sweatshop conditions and modern-day slavery in the fields. SFA works closely with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA)
The Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. FCWA also has mapped all the organizations in the U.S. that regularly interact with food workers.

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) En Español  
A national organization composed of local coalitions and immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights and labor organizations and activists. It serves as a forum to share information and analysis, to educate communities and the general public and to develop and coordinate plans of action on important immigrant and refugee issues.

Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF)
Focuses on bringing students and farmworkers together through summer internships, providing year-round opportunities for direct service, and carrying out community education, advocacy and community and labor organizing.

Farmworker Justice 
Engages in litigation, administrative and legislative advocacy, training and technical assistance and public education. Focuses on wages and working conditions, immigration policy and welfare reform issues, women’s issues, occupational safety and health and access to the justice system.

CATA: The Farmworker Support Committee
CATA is a migrant farmworker organization that is governed by and comprised of farmworkers who are actively engaged in the struggle for better working and living conditions.

Brandworkers is a non-profit organization bringing local food production workers together for good jobs and a sustainable food system.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United)
The mission of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United is to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce.

Warehouse Workers for Justice
WWJ supports warehouse employees by holding workshops on workplace rights, uniting workers to defend their rights, building community support and fighting for policy changes.

Labor Unions  

United Farm Workers (UFW)
California-based national union of farmworkers. Organizes around the protection of farmworkers’ rights and promotion of their interests such as higher wages, job safety and housing regulation.

UNITE HERE is the largest worker organization in North America representing food service workers.

Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
FLOC is a union of migrant farmworkers working to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect them and bringing multiple stakeholders to the conversation to address industry-wide challenges.

Federation of American Labor Unions (AFL-CIO)
The AFL-CIO’s mission is to bring social and economic justice to our nation by enabling working people to have a voice on the job, in government, in a changing global economy and in their communities.

Federal Programs and Services

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program 
The H-2A temporary agricultural program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Bureau Services (USCIS)
USCIS provides information to applicants and others looking for U.S. immigration information. The immigration benefits the USCIS oversees are: citizenship, lawful permanent residency, family- and employment-related immigration, employment authorization, inter-country adoptions, asylum and refugee status, replacement immigration documents and foreign student authorization.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Migrant Education (OME) 
The Office of Migrant Education (OME) administers grant programs that provide academic and supportive services to the children of families who migrate to find work in the agricultural and fishing industries. OME also administers several contracts and special initiatives.

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program 
The Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program makes comprehensive vocational rehabilitation (VR) services available to migrant or seasonal farmworkers with disabilities.

National Farmworker Jobs Program 
The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) assists migrant and other seasonally-employed farmworkers and their families to achieve economic self-sufficiency through job training and other services that address their employment-related needs.

National Agricultural Workers Survey 
The National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) is an employment-based, random survey of the demographic and employment characteristics of the U.S. crop labor force.

Legal and Immigration Services

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) 
ILRC staff attorneys provide on-site and telephone consultation, training workshops and seminars, and educational curricula on immigration issues to pro-bono attorneys and nonprofit agencies serving immigrants throughout the United States. They also offer litigation support in select cases, including representing clients, filing amicus briefs, serving as expert witnesses and providing analysis of rules and laws, both proposed and enacted.

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) 
MALDEF works to safeguard the civil rights of Latinos in the U.S., concentrating on the areas of employment, education, immigration, political access, language and public resource equity issues. MALDEF achieves its goes through advocacy, community education, collaboration with other groups and individuals and the awarding of higher education scholarships.

Migrant Legal Action Program (MLAP)
This advocacy and support organization was established to protect and further the rights and interests of migrant farmworkers. There are more than 50 migrant legal services, field programs, numerous private attorneys and groups for which MLAP provides services, such as resource materials, technical assistance, policy development, litigation support, public education and training.

Updated 9/2014