August 4, 1992 |
Like so many times before, Philip Vera Cruz, a 60-year-old Filipino farm worker, was picking grapes one hot, late-summer afternoon in the San Joaquin Valley. But this day in September, 1965, was to be like no other. As Vera Cruz stooped and plucked the ripe fruit to a monotonous beat, another man ran up to report that seven miles away, Filipino migrants were sitting down in the grape fields of Delano and vowing not to work again until they got a raise.
May 16, 1992 |
A Ventura County flower rancher, originally charged with enslaving hundreds of farm laborers, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to illegally smuggling hundreds of Mexican field workers into the United States and to violating federal labor laws. The rancher, Edwin Mitchel Ives, also agreed to pay $1.5 million in restitution to laborers who worked at his 50-acre ranch in the Ventura County community of Somis in the 1980s.
December 16, 1991 |
The sweet fragrance of hope fills the citrus groves of Central California. The navel oranges are maturing, and the harvesters are returning to work--some for the first time since a devastating freeze swept through the state nearly a year ago. Barring another disaster, it will be a good crop in California this year--a predicted 2.5 billion pounds, more than twice last year's ravaged harvest. The orange trees are mostly healthier than growers expected.
October 10, 1991 |
Mexican citizens working legally in United States will be able to obtain health insurance for their dependents at home under an agreement negotiated with the Mexican government by three U.S.-based labor unions and an agricultural employers association. Previously, Mexican families whose wage earners worked in the United States were not able to receive benefits through the Mexican social security system.
September 29, 1991 |
Drive the highways of the San Joaquin Valley in late summer, during the height of the raisin grape harvest, and you see a pastoral setting. Workers cut grapes and lay them out to dry between the vines, the rows of pale green fruit stretching as far as the eye can see. But take the back roads after the workday ends, and you are confronted by jarring Third World scenes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 1991 |
She opens the door of her Santa Ana home wearing a "Boycott Grapes" T-shirt and a Larry Agran for President button. Inside, antique furniture and Latin American art and artifacts decorate the restored home. A Mercedes sports coupe is parked outside. This is the home of Enriqueta Lopez Ramos, professor of Spanish and Chicano studies at Cypress College, and it is brimming with the evidence of ideas, opinions, plans, projects and dreams that consume her every day.
April 25, 1991 |
Along the banks of the San Luis Rey River, migrant laborers craft makeshift dwellings with bamboo plucked from the shoreline, timber culled from trees and dumps, and plastic sheeting scavenged from nearby strawberry farms--bound together not with nails, but with strips of agricultural string and hoses.
April 1, 1991 |
This spring, unexpected good fortune has visited Cirilio Zafra, a Mexican field hand long accustomed to living in crude dwellings constructed amid the brush, like so many who work the fertile fields of northern San Diego County. Now, Zafra sleeps on a crisply made bed, purchases fresh and reasonably priced hot food at a clean cafeteria, views a big-screen television on idle evenings, has access to modern toilet facilities and avails himself of the heretofore unimaginable luxury of hot showers.
March 26, 1991 |
Gov. Pete Wilson will visit an unemployed orange picker and a food bank in Visalia today to underline the plight of those left destitute by the pre-Christmas freeze. Wilson is scheduled to visit the home of Concepcion Meza, who has been struggling to find enough food for his wife and 10 children. Meza, who has picked oranges since coming to the United States 18 years ago, has been out of work since December, when a bitter freeze wiped out this season's orange crop.