Until Reynolds signs an agreement with FLOC, drop VUSE!
7-11, Couche Tard, and Wawa
For ten years, FLOC has been challenging Reynolds American to work with FLOC to end abuses and human rights violations in their tobacco supply chain by guaranteeing a process that would protect freedom of association on their contract farms. After five years of refusing to meet, Reynolds began meeting with FLOC in 2012, but these talks have not led to an actual mechanism that would allow farmworkers a voice on the job and the ability to negotiate better working conditions. Last year, FLOC members voted to boycott VUSE, an e-cigarette brand made by Reynolds, until Reynolds signs an agreement with FLOC that guarantees farmworkers freedom of association.
The VUSE e-cigarette brand is Reynolds’ hallmark product and is sold at most convenience stores. 36% of tobacco sales are via convenience stores. FLOC and its allies have made significant efforts to communicate with the corporate officers of 7-11, Couche Tard (Circle K and Kangaroo), and WAWA convenience store chains, but the chains have not responded to repeated letters and emails.
We need you to stand with farmworkers by boycotting VUSE and demanding that convenience stores stop selling this product until Reynolds agrees to give farmworkers a voice and a practical mechanism that they can use to negotiate better working and living conditions without fear of retaliation!
7-11, Couche Tard, and Wawa
From: [Your Name]
As a customer of your convenience stores and supporter of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee's (FLOC) organizing efforts in the tobacco fields, I am urging you to support the VUSE e-cigarette boycott by removing this product from your shelves until Reynolds American Inc. signs an agreement with FLOC guaranteeing farmworkers in their supply chain freedom of association.
Today, many tobacco farmworkers suffer from exploitative and abusive conditions. As a result of poverty wages, many children have to pick tobacco to support their families, exposing them to toxic levels of nicotine and pesticides. Moreover, thousands of the workers experience work-related sicknesses and injuries, and many women farmworkers face sexual harassment on the job. These abuses will continue until workers are able to speak out without risking their jobs.
In 2007 FLOC asked Reynolds to end abuses in their tobacco supply chain by guaranteeing a process that would protect freedom of association on their farms. In response, Reynolds denied responsibility and refused to meet with FLOC. In 2012, Reynolds began meeting with FLOC but ultimately engaged in dead end discussions, seeking to use charity programs and multi-stakeholder discussions to avoid direct negotiations with FLOC. Recently, British American Tobacco (BAT) bought Reynolds for $49 billion making BAT the biggest tobacco company in the world.
FLOC has made significant efforts to communicate with you about these concerns, but we have not gotten a response to our repeated letters and emails. Hundreds of individuals and organizations have already pledged to support this boycott and are calling on you to remove the product from your stores. Until Reynolds takes responsibility for the abuses in their supply chain, I will stand with farmworkers and boycott VUSE e-cigarettes.