Every day, farm workers use tools to get the job done in the fields, orchards and farms where they work. Now, you can use tools to help them.
In a new campaign and website that opened today, Except Farmworkers shows how you can step up and take action to support the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act before the legislative session ends in several weeks. Sending a letter to legislators on the new site takes less time than, say, eating a plump strawberry – which comes to your table thanks to the farmworkers.
The proposed legislation ask only for laws that are already in place – for everyone except for farmworkers. The right to overtime pay. The right to a day off a week. The right to collectively bargain. The right to disability insurance should they get injured on the job – like Eliseo Sanchez, who came to the Capitol last month to advocate for the bill. Sanchez worked on a dairy farm in Geneseo moving cows, and was gored by a bull. He fell back and hit his head and woke up to a bull on top of him. Because he was injured and unable to work, he was fired and thrown out of the housing the farm owner had provided to the crews.
Gored. Homeless. Unemployed.
That’s a lot of bull.
The new website, developed by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, provides information for teachers, activists, students, and anyone interested in civil rights. That’s what this really comes down to. Civil rights. Human dignity. Safer working conditions for people that work seven days a week, often late into the night. People who live in rough, often unsafe housing. Did you know that minors working the field get paid $3.80 an hour?
New York native Michael Pollan, a New York Times bestselling author of books on food and a journalism professor, calls the conditions “shameful.” He’s one of many people from all walks of life – including owners of small farms – who are working to get this law passed.
The Except Farmworkers website contains fact sheets about farm workers situations, a labor economist analysis on the effects of raising the wages of farm workers, a panel discussion, and information on the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act.