March 1, 1994 |
Two inventors who were watching the strawberry harvest from a Laguna Niguel window have improved the process of timing and paying agricultural workers. Their invention, DataTrack, is a small button that attaches to a worker's identification card. The card can be scanned, and field supervisors can keep accurate count of the number of flats of strawberries or buckets of chili peppers picked by each worker.
April 29, 1993 |
A quarter-century after Cesar Chavez rattled the nation's conscience by publicizing the plight of those who tend our crops, California farm workers such as Juan Maciel enjoy protections denied to laborers in other states. Laws ban many hazardous tools--notably the notorious short-handled hoe--and have brought toilets, drinking water, lunch breaks, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation benefits to the fields.
December 30, 1990 |
Juan Arreola crouched over a makeshift grill beneath an interstate bridge, heating his supper of corn tortilla and chili peppers. "We are the poorest of all the workers, and that's why we are here," Arreola says of the chili pickers who sleep under the bridge they call "Hotel Mira Estrellas," or "The Hotel Star Gazer."
April 3, 1992 |
Farm workers have seen their wages and working conditions deteriorate in recent years while their employers have prospered, according to a federal commission. The Commission on Agricultural Workers' preliminary report, obtained by the Associated Press, found that an overabundance of cheap labor continues to be the problem, despite a 1986 law that was meant to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and punish employers who knowingly hire them. Rep. Edward R.
April 19, 2000 |
California's main program for enforcing fair wages and working conditions in the farm industry imposed the lowest total fines in its history last year. The program alleged just 11 minimum-wage violations statewide. Only three dozen times did its inspectors charge the state's farms and ranches with illegally hiring children, one-quarter the number of citations for underage workers issued six years earlier.
July 8, 1988
The state labor commissioner is investigating apparent violations of the new state minimum wage law at a Fresno chili pepper farm reported in The Times on Thursday, state officials said. Instead of the new legal minimum wage of $4.25 an hour, the workers were receiving a piece rate that netted some of them as little as $1.35 an hour. None of the more than 50 workers interviewed was averaging more than $2.70 an hour.