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Farm Labor

June 14, 2008 | From the Associated Press
State officials are shutting down a San Joaquin Valley farm labor contractor that hired a pregnant teen who died while pruning grapes last month. Authorities suspect 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez died because Merced Farm Labor denied her proper access to shade and water even as she worked in 100-degree heat. The California Department of Industrial Relations issued the stop-work order Thursday.
November 30, 1999 | From a Times Staff Writer
The California Highway Patrol on Monday announced a toll-free hotline on which farm workers, motorists and others can report the illegal operation of agricultural labor vehicles. The phone number, connected to the CHP's newly expanded farm labor strike force in Fresno, is (800) TELL-CHP. The hotline was part of a legislative response to a traffic crash in the San Joaquin Valley on Aug.
July 4, 2003 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Seizing on a powerful new weapon aimed at ending contract disputes, the United Farm Workers union requested Thursday that state agricultural officials impose mandatory mediation to resolve a long-running labor fight at Southern California's largest mushroom farm. The filing is the first by the UFW under a new state law that allows agricultural workers or employers to seek mediation in cases where farm-labor negotiations reach an impasse.
October 4, 2006
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have required farm labor contractors to include on pay stubs the names and addresses of the growers whose fields their farmhands work. The legislation, by Assemblyman Juan Arambula (D-Fresno), sought to help farmworkers track down liable growers when fly-by-night contractors cheat them.
The head of the United Farm Workers union has told an Assembly committee that fraudulent collection of unemployment benefits by agricultural workers is costing the state millions of dollars a year. UFW President Arturo Rodriquez said some unscrupulous farm labor contractors and growers are responsible and are encouraging the practice because it enables them to keep wages low.
April 9, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The spring harvest is at hand, and the Salinas Valley labor pool is showing strains. No one is reporting a severe labor shortage, but the peak harvest season is looming and the high cost of housing and increased security at the Mexico border is troubling for some. Alonzo Bayardo, general manager of farm labor contractor Escamilla and Sons, said that although the availability of workers remains level, business has been affected.
January 6, 2005 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
A family of third-generation growers has taken over the operation of Southern California's largest mushroom farm, preserving more than 300 jobs and a landmark union contract forged under a 2003 state law designed to resolve farm labor disputes. Brothers Charles and James Ciarrocchi head an investment group that bought the Ventura plant for an undisclosed amount in late November from the Pictsweet Co., which announced plans in October to shut down and sell the 45-year-old facility.
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