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Farm Labor

December 17, 2010 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
The ground trembles on Mike Young's almond farm as the forklift-size yellow machine grabs a tree trunk and shakes it hard. Nuts rain like hailstones to the ground, where they'll lie until another machine comes and sorts them. Young once grew tomatoes, cucumbers and cotton. But in recent years, he's shifted almost exclusively to nuts as worldwide demand has made the crop more profitable. There's another reason for abandoning row crops: Employees are a headache. Automation means Young no longer needs large crews of farmworkers to plant or harvest ?
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.
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.
September 13, 2000
A bill on Gov. Gray Davis' desk, intended to offer farm workers a modicum of protection from abusive labor contractors, is a pale shadow of its original form, but it's a beginning. It deserves Davis' signature. As passed by the Legislature after much compromise with the agriculture industry, AB 2862 would require growers only to verify that their labor contractors, who supply most of the seasonal labor in the industry, are properly licensed by the state.
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