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Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project

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FLAP has been advocating on behalf of low-income workers in Illinois since 1999.

The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project-Proyecto de Ayuda para Trabajadores del Campo y Jardineros-FLAP's mission is to improve working conditions and opportunities for low-income workers and their households in the cannery, farms, greenhouse, landscaping, meat, nursery, packinghouse, poultry, restaurants, and snow plowing industries. 

The organization carries out its mission through advocacy, community outreach and education, litigation, community legal education, information and referrals, partnering with other organizations to fight human labor trafficking, preventing family separations by helping immigrants secure dual citizenship for their children and facilitating access to cash transfers to very low-income populations. FLAP provides these services free of charge and without regard to immigration status.

FLAP’s vision is to ensure a good quality of life for Latinx immigrant workers and their children, keeping them living and working in Illinois, paying local taxes and frequenting local businesses, and attending local schools, instead of leaving the area because they can no longer afford to live here. As most Latinx immigrant workers are employed at companies that are part of the food supply chain, without them the chain might break down. Their ability to sustain themselves and their families, therefore, affects each of us.

The community that FLAP seeks to help consists of low-income Latine immigrant workers and their families in Illinois. They travel to the State to escape poverty, have better salaries and working conditions and build a better life for themselves and their families. They take whatever jobs they can, mostly as farmworkers, landscapers, nursery workers, packinghouse workers, cannery workers, restaurant workers, greenhouse workers, snow removal workers and meat and poultry workers. In other words, they are the key ingredients in America’s food supply chain. Their annual household income is around between $10,000 and $14,000. Many are Mexican citizens, others are from other Latin Countries, some of whom return to their home countries each winter to visit family. Others stay in the area to work at factories, restaurants and do snow removal. The majority speak only Spanish. Approximately 85% are adults (18 to 64 years), 10% are seniors (aged 65 and over), and 5% are young adults (less than 18 years of age). Sixty percent are female and 40% are male.

Low-income Latine workers are difficult to reach even for FLAP who specialize in servicing them for more than 24 years.

There are numerous reasons for this difficulty:

Language: The vast majority of low-income Latine in Illinois are fluent only in the Spanish language.

Cultural background: most have a Mexican heritage. Even if they have grown up in the United States, it has usually been in a Spanish-speaking community. They are thus unfamiliar with local customs, morals, legal procedures, and unwilling to speak out in order to enforce their rights.

Lack of Communication Devices: Almost none of them have a computer, smartphone and/or car or any other means of transportation, and thus are unable even to drive to find services somewhere.

Despite their many contributions to our society, however, these low-income workers remain the most vulnerable employees in our workforce. They live and work under hazardous and unsanitary conditions and survive on wages that usually place them below the poverty line.

Because low-income Latine immigrant workers cannot communicate in English well enough to understand their rights when faced with such injustices as workplace discrimination, their employers find it easy to exploit them by stealing their wages, offering substandard working conditions, exposing them to toxic chemicals, and even participating in labor and sex trafficking. Workers should be treated better, not worse. They should be earning more, not less. They should have more hope for the future, not a lack of hope that things will change! Many who come from countries with few freedoms just assume, “asi es”, or “that’s how it is.”

FLAP has been advocating on behalf of low-income workers in Illinois since 1999.

The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project-Proyecto de Ayuda para Trabajadores del Campo y Jardineros-FLAP's mission is to improve working…

Temáticas Incluídas

  • Derechos Humanos & Libertades Civiles
  • Inmigrantes o Refugiados
  • Capacitación Laboral & Empleo
  • Asistencia Legal
  • Abuso Sexual & Tráfico de Personas

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