Frequently Asked Questions

It’s Our Future is a campaign to increase the participation of rank-and-file members within the leadership of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC).  Following in the footsteps of President Baldemar Velasquez’s 55 years of visionary leadership, long-time FLOC leaders Leticia Zavala, Francisco Javier Cerecedo, Roberto Ceballos, along with many other worker-leaders are now ready to join the national worker movement for a more organized workforce. The team is poised to take on the challenges that workers are facing in post-pandemic times and advocate for members’ priorities, from COVID protections, to addressing workplace abuses under the union contract, to fighting corruption on the journey from Mexico to the U.S., and expanding those benefits to others in the South.

After 55 years, FLOC rank and file leaders, as well as board members, are excited to support the union in its first transition of leadership. Leticia and the team want to carry on the vision inspired by FLOC founder and president Baldemar Velasquez. A transition of leadership will allow us to continue our fundamental strategies with updated, fresh ideas for how to achieve justice and self-determination for farmworkers. We believe this transition will support fostering deeper connections with our members, informing how we educate and mobilize from within, as well as informing our tactics and strategies on a day-to-day basis.

It’s Our Future is committed to work towards the same vision and principles that FLOC has always championed: Farmworkers need a voice in the decisions that affect them; All parties must be at the table to address industry-wide problems; and, in order to get to the root of farmworker exploitation, we must fight on a global front.

  • It’s Our Future wants to make sure that workers are leading this movement.  In recent years, the voices of the workers themselves have sometimes been overshadowed by grower-focused agreements. We want to ensure that there is more involvement by rank-and-file FLOC members in leadership and decision making, and that the union addresses worker grievances when contract violations happen.
  • We want to ensure there is accountability by the major corporations in the supply chain that earn profits from the labor of farmworkers. We believe in effective partnership with growers and all parties in the supply chain. It’s Our Future wants to ensure that FLOC members are at the table for negotiations, and that commodity pricing is inclusive of working conditions.
  • We want a true multi-national union. The ten years that Leticia worked and lived in Mexico opened up new visions and opportunities of where the union can go, and the realities facing FLOC members on both sides of the border.  Leticia and the team want to expand on President Velasquez’ vision of creating a global union, where prices are established with farmworkers, sharecroppers, and farmers all at the table.  We can only do this if we create an international plan. We must start with our own members in Mexico, many of whom own land where they plant and grow the same fruit and vegetables they come to harvest here in the U.S.   

You can read more about the vision of It’s Our Future in our campaign platform

Baldemar Velasquez founded FLOC in Ohio in 1967 and has been president ever since. President Velasquez pioneered the use of multi-party contracts, transforming how farmworker unions negotiate contracts. He led FLOC through multiple successful campaigns in multiple states, including winning the first farmworker union contract in North Carolina (and the whole Southeast, outside of Florida). Baldemar has served the union well for many decades and has mentored most of FLOC’s current organizers, including Leticia. He has been a visionary leader in the history of the farmworker movement, and after these many decades, the members are ready to take leadership during this time of transition.

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Leticia Zavala, running for president, has been involved with FLOC since she was a child. She worked with her parents in the fields migrating from Florida to Ohio and Michigan following the crops. In 1984, her parents became members of FLOC and she has been involved ever since.  Her father and sister were camp stewards under Vlassic Foods and Dean Foods contracts. Leticia led FLOC’s organizing efforts in North Carolina from 2000-2008, and has again served in that role since 2017 (she also spent 10 years working with workers in Mexico). Leticia understands the dynamics of being served by the union as a member as well as serving members as an organizer.  

Other members of the new leadership slate include Vice President Francisco Javier Ramirez Cerecedo and Secretary Treasurer Roberto Ceballos. Both have been FLOC members for eight years. Francisco Javier has focused on addressing complaints of corruption at the border and  Roberto is experienced in organizing workers and leading community meetings. 

Longtime supporters and FLOC Board members Justin Flores and Angelita Morrisroe stand firmly with Leticia and It’s Our Future to support the new slate of leadership. 

You can read more about our slate here

Some of the biggest issues facing farmworkers and FLOC members include…

COVID-19 protections: Farmworkers everywhere continue to face COVID risks at a disproportionate rate, and It’s Our Future advocates for establishing and improving COVID protocols for FLOC members and for farmworkers across North Carolina, Ohio and other states where FLOC has a presence. We have fallen short of what our members need in terms of these protections.

Contract enforcement: FLOC has worked tirelessly over the years to establish protections to address the many abuses farmworkers face, but increasingly, grievances are not being addressed as members would like. It’s Our Future wants to make sure our members’ rights are protected, including issues such as health, safety, kitchen access, retaliation etc. Currently, FLOC’s only Collective Bargaining Agreement is the NCGA/FLOC contract, and 95% of our approximately 2000 members are in North Carolina. We also need to expand our organizing campaigns to win new contracts, including reviving organizing in the fields of NC, Ohio, and additional states.

Fighting Corruption: It’s Our Future wants to increase FLOC’s work fighting corruption that confronts our members on the journey from Mexico to the US that guestworkers travel. There also continue to be abuses from labor contractors who extort workers in the US that we want to address. 

You can read more about the vision of It’s Our Future in our campaign platform

You can make a donation! You can spread the word. And you can stay tuned for more details.