PCUNista’s. In the midst of devastation, grief, and loss during COVID-19 and extreme wildfires – we’d like to pause to take a moment to honor one of ancestors, Cipriano Ferrel.
Today, PCUN is fighting harder than ever to ensure agricultural workers – and working class people- are treated with dignity and respect. 34 years ago, Cipriano and 80 farmworkers realized a dream to start a union of their own. Despite not having collective bargaining rights… defying odds, and with a “si se puede” attitude, these workers (many with little to no formal education, and with little money) started what today is PCUN, Farmworkers and Latinx Families United.
Today on September 13th, 2020 it has been 25 years since Cipriano’s death shocked all who knew him. He died of a heart attack at his apartment in Salem, about three weeks short of his 47th birthday. He became an ancestor 25 years ago – some say they can feel his spirit at PCUN still today. We believe it’s true, because frankly – the energy of “si se puede”, fighting for workers, and for a better tomorrow is present in every corner of our building.
Today, PCUN continues the struggle to improve the collective lives of agricultural workers, and low-wage workers across the state. By advocating for pro-immigrant and pro-farmworker policies; building strong multicultural coalitions; and advancing an unapologetically political electoral program that turns out Latinx voters – we’ve built one of Oregon’s longest standing Latinx organizations.
Today, his legacy continues in the womxn, men, and gender non-conforming leaders in the Alianza Poder movement.
We simply wouldn’t be who we are without Cipriano. Rest in Power Cip.
Check out Cipriano’s Poem, and his updated biography in the links below.
PCUN leadership wrote a letter to agency directors, Commissioners, and the Governor – asking for their support in protecting workers. Outdoor Agricultural Workers were called in to work during Level 2 Evacuations while air quality became more and more hazardous. We need to ensure Outdoor Agricultural Workers have N95 Respirators if they are going to need to work through the conditions; need a site manager to inform them as conditions change (in Spanish, and Indigenous Languages); and need to be able to stay home during Level 2 Evacuations so they can be ready in case they move into Level 3 in order to prioritize their families safety. Here was OSHA’s response.
This response is important. We must understand what the protocol is when these natural disasters occur. Unfortunately, due to climate change, this isn’t the last Oregon will see of red skies and hazardous air. We need to come together as industry stakeholders to ensure people have the support they need in these difficult times. And talk about long term solutions to combating climate change, and protecting workers.
Workers will show up – because we don’t want to lose our jobs, and because we’re proud of the service we provide our state, and our country which is to put food on America’s table. But please, do not take advantage of our dedication, we need Oregonians to consider us too – especially as conditions get worse.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
America Needs Permanent Solutions, Not A Wall
Woodburn, Oregon – As word spreads about plans to put a deal on the table, and President Trump’s so-called immigration compromise, PCUN’s stance continues to stay the same. The President’s offer is expected to include $5.7 billion demand for wall money in exchange for extended protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and legislation to extend the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.
PCUN’s position stays the same: #Not1Dollar. More money for DHS will allow this already-rogue agency to build more private prisons, hire more ICE agents, carry out more terrorizing raids, further militarize southern border communities and separate more children from their moms and dads. The House has passed two spending bills to reopen the government, but Senator McConnell has refused to bring them to a vote on the Senate floor. Budgets are moral documents that should reflect the values of our country, not a white nationalist agenda.
The fights for DREAM and TPS are not mutually exclusive fights. PCUN and our national networks are fighting for DREAM and TPS, but also reiterating our long-standing position of not one dollar for this administration’s hateful agenda. More money for DHS means more pain for our families.
PCUN’s Executive Director, Reyna Lopez, says, “ DREAMer’s and TPS holders are not bargaining chips. It’s time for the President and Republicans to stop playing politics with people’s lives. Hundreds of thousands of families are being hurt by this shutdown. This “deal” exemplifies just how out of touch Trump is with working families in our country. Budgets are moral documents that should reflect the values of our country, not a white nationalist agenda. We call on Republicans to step up and end this shutdown and end this agenda of hate. We need a permanent solution for DACA, and TPS holders that ensure they have a permanent pathway to legalization.”
As you may already know, on October 20th, PCUN will have a new Secretary-Treasurer (Jaime Arredondo). We are organizing a series of informal receptions to introduce Jaime and hear the very latest about immigration reform from our president Ramon Ramirez. Here are the reception dates, times, and locations:
1. 11/5 in Eugene @ Wayne Morse Center in UO Law’s School, 4:30pm-6pm
2. 11/7 in Salem @ Willamette University Law School Rick’s Cafe (lower floor), 4:30pm-6pm
3. 11/12 in Portland @ UO “White Stag Room 152” Building campus (70 NW Couch St.), 4:30pm-6pm
4. 11/13 in Corvallis @ OSU’s Waldo Hall 201A, 2pm-4:00pm
We hope you can join us at whichever reception is more convenient for you.