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Farm Labor

In grand fashion, the U.S. Department of Labor bestowed its first regional Agricultural Employer of the Year award Friday on Southern California's largest tomato grower, Harry Singh & Sons, for improving the working and living conditions of farm workers. But the award was immediately booed by some state labor investigators and workers' advocacy groups. The reason: The state says the Oceanside farm owes about $1 million in unpaid overtime wages to hundreds of workers.
November 18, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Del Monte Fresh Produce, one of the world's leading producers of fresh fruit and vegetables, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit related to the mistreatment of Thai immigrants working on pineapple farms in Hawaii. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Del Monte and several farm labor contractors in 2011, accusing the companies of discriminating against workers recruited from Thailand from 2003 to 2006. The EEOC said the money will be distributed to the Thai immigrants who were mistreated.
May 24, 2013
Re "Open the talent door," Opinion, May 21 While UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi called very rightly for immigration reforms to better attract foreign scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs, another article in Tuesday's Times detailed the attempt by Congress to shape legislation providing for much-needed and relatively inexpensive farm labor, primarily from Mexico. Traditionally, our country's immigration policy has allowed the poor and uneducated to move here with their families to take the low-paying jobs that Americans don't want.
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.
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