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Farm Labor

August 14, 2005 | Solomon Moore, Times Staff Writer
The nectarine came off the branch with a rustle of leaves and a snap of the stem. The flesh was soft and light, with a tangy aftertaste that was only slightly sour. It was a few days from being perfectly ripe -- and that, said Central Valley labor contractor Fred Garza, was a problem. It might have been too ripe to make the market in time. "The harvest started getting away from us. We should have 25 men here, but we only have six," Garza said while standing in a nectarine orchard last month.
April 21, 2003 | Melinda Fulmer, Times Staff Writer
The sight of farm workers weeding in the field, bent over rows of strawberries, carrots and lettuce, soon could become a thing of the past if farm labor groups have their way. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is considering a request by worker advocates and labor unions to ban all hand weeding in commercial agriculture.
In a trial permeated by the memory of Cesar Chavez, a jury found the United Farm Workers Union guilty Thursday of outrageous conduct during a lettuce boycott but awarded the grower less than a third of the monetary damages it wanted. An official with Salinas-based Bruce Church Inc. said the verdict vindicated the company's view that the union engaged in illegal and malicious conduct in persuading grocery chains to drop Church lettuce in the 1980s.
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.
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.
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