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.
March 30, 1993 |
Most of the workers who plant and harvest America's bountiful crops are still exploited and mired in poverty nearly 30 years after Cesar Chavez began his once promising crusade to help them. You shouldn't get rich leading a charity organization or a crusade to help the poor. Some people do, but not Chavez, president of the United Farm Workers of America. He makes $5,000 a year, which is about the income of the average farm worker.
November 13, 1992 |
After 10 hours a day in the broccoli fields outside Oxnard, Olga Martinez's back aches from constant stooping and bending. Martinez left Jalisco, Mexico, last year to join her parents, brothers and sisters in Ventura, all of whom work in agricultural jobs around the county. Martinez found a job as a cutter that paid $4.80 an hour. "Everything's a strain on my back," said Martinez, during a break Monday from hours of chopping broccoli stems. "I'd like benefits, but there aren't any."
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.
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.