A representative from the North Carolina Growers Association, an organization representing farm owners in North Carolina, attacked union organizer Oscar Sanchez last week during an outdoor meeting.
Oscar Sanchez, who is the “Respect, Recognition, and Raise!” campaign leader and organizer for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, a union group, had previously met with farm workers who were exploring their options after a slow season. Following his meeting, FLOC filed a request to help the workers survive, due to bad weather and scarce work.
While the business fund administration is generally conducted through email, Sanchez arrived on the farm after dropping several FLOC members at a local food bank to find the North Carolina Growers’ Association representative discussing the fund with the workers in person.
During this meeting, and in front of the farm worker’s employer, the Growers’ rep singled out farm workers who had signed the request, apparently attempting to intimidate them.
When the rep mispronounced one worker’s name, Sanchez intervened to correct him. The conflict precipitated from that, and escalated until the representative walked over and punched Sanchez in the face. Prior to taking the punch, Buzzfeed reports that Sanchez was asking the Rep “What are you going to fix, man? What are you going to fix?”
The grower’s rep told Sanchez that,
“It’s clear that you were threatening me.”
Sanchez contended that,
“I didn’t threaten you. I’m relaxed.”