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Farm Labor

December 12, 2008 | Teresa Watanabe, Watanabe is a Times staff writer.
Aiming to ease farm labor shortages, the Bush administration issued sweeping changes to the nation's agricultural guest worker program Thursday, but California growers said the action would have only a minimal effect on their needs. The controversial rules, many months in the making by U.S.
December 11, 2008 | associated press
As it prepares to leave office, the Bush administration is moving to make it easier for U.S. farming companies to hire foreign workers, which farmworker groups say will worsen wages and working conditions. The farmworker groups said changes to the H2A visa program, used by the agriculture industry to hire temporary workers, were posted on the Labor Department's website at midnight Tuesday but later taken down.
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 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
As Americans feast on Thanksgiving meals, the agriculture industry and workers who supplied the bounty have a plate full of worries. Farmers are caught in a political stalemate over a farm bill designed to provide a safety net for production of their crops, some of which are being enjoyed across the country today. Many agriculture employers fear that crackdowns on illegal immigrants will leave them with labor shortages.
October 7, 2007 | Nicole Gaouette, Times Staff Writer
With a nationwide farmworker shortage threatening to leave unharvested fruits and vegetables rotting in fields, the Bush administration has begun quietly rewriting federal regulations to eliminate barriers that restrict how foreign laborers can legally be brought into the country.
July 11, 2007 | Claudia Lauer, Times Staff Writer
Sites associated with the life and work of Cesar E. Chavez, the farm labor organizer and activist, will be considered for national historic landmark status or addition to the National Register of Historic Places under legislation passed Tuesday by the House.
April 12, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Authorities arrested a 24-year-old man and a juvenile who allegedly targeted a group of avocado pickers on their payday Saturday, robbing and shooting at about 20 workers and wounding two. Esau Bravo Vasquez and a 16-year-old boy were arrested for the shooting in an avocado grove in the unincorporated community of De Luz, said Riverside County Sheriff's Inspector Jerry Franchville. The pair allegedly threatened the group and when the workers tried to run, opened fire.
March 3, 2007 | David Mas Masumoto, DAVID MAS MASUMOTO, an organic farmer and author in Fresno, is a fellow at the Kellogg Foundation.
I HAVE A CHOICE of growing one of two types of peaches, but which one will be decided by Congress and President Bush. Without immigration reform, the better peach will be lost. One peach is complex; the other is simple. One involves many hands; the other would be the product of technology that controls the process as much as possible.
January 29, 2007 | From the Associated Press
At least 6,000 people lined up this weekend when local businesses and a church gave food to residents who lost jobs after freezing temperatures earlier this month destroyed an estimated $1 billion in California produce. The event Saturday, organized by Fresno's Cornerstone Church, Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino and other businesses, sent more than 200 tons of food home with local families.
January 11, 2007 | Nicole Gaouette, Times Staff Writer
California's Democratic senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would put some illegal immigrant farmworkers on a path to citizenship and revamp a little-used agricultural guest worker program. Flanked by Republican colleagues, immigrant advocates and a California pear grower, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer presented the bill as matter of survival for labor-strapped farmers across the country. "Today, many farmers are on a precipice," Feinstein said.
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