farm workers rights

theguardian.com
Alabama immigration: crops rot as workers vanish to avoid crackdown | US news | The Guardian

georgia was just the start and now it’s gaining traction.

Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama’s new immigration law: at least $100,000. That’s the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.

For generations, Cash’s family have farmed 125 acres atop the Chandler mountain, a plateau in the north of the state about nine miles long and two miles wide. It’s perfect tomato-growing country – the soil is sandy and rich, and the elevation provides a breeze that keeps frost at bay and allows early planting.

For four months every year he employs almost exclusively Hispanic male workers to pick the harvest. This year he had 64 men out in the fields.
Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

I just learned that Dolores Huerta is a vegetarian (not sure if vegan). She co-founded the National Farm Worker’s Association with César Chávez (who was vegan). 

More proof that a veg philosophy and farm workers’ rights go hand in hand, no matter what the anti-veg crowd tries to say.

¡Sí, se puede!

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A steady rain falls on velvet green terraces, releasing a powerful scent of newly harvested tea. A ripple of voices tumbles down the hillside as a man barks orders.

The tea pickers, all women, many in bare feet, expertly navigate the leech-infested slopes. Balancing hampers on their backs loaded with freshly plucked tea leaves, they descend for their morning tea break.

It could be a scene out of the 19th century, when the estates of the southern Indian state of Kerala were first cultivated on the mist-shrouded highlands of Munnar. Today, the manicured tea terraces sprawl across the landscape.

The verdant bushes grow year round, spilling down the hills to meet the curving roads. The beauty of these gardens belies the hardships of workers, who produce nearly 50 million pounds of tea a year here at the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company.

For all the timelessness of the place, there’s a very modern twist — the tea pickers have defied the male hierarchy of trade unions who represent tea workers and stood up for their rights.

Indeed, life on tea estates reflects the economic and social challenges facing women across India.

Female Tea Workers In One Indian State Fight For Their Rights

Photos: Julie McCarthy/NPR

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NEWSHOUR: Farmers markets are everywhere. But do laborers see benefits?

Local and organic food movements have boomed in the past decade because consumers are increasingly more concerned about the quality of their produce. Though this awareness can benefit the environment and public health, it has eclipsed the working conditions of the people picking the fruits and vegetables in the fields.

Organic sales from farms increased by 82 percent since 2007 to $3.1 billion in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent statistics. And the number of farmers markets have more than quadrupled to more than 8,600 since the mid ‘90s.

But farm workers and their families who stay with them have sparse protections against cruel conditions. On top of living off meager wages, they work at the bottom of one of the most hazardous industries in the country. In 2011, 570 of them died, which is seven times the rate of the national average among workers in private industries. And on average, about 113 of them are under 20 years old. If they are female, it is more likely they will be sexually harassed or assaulted.

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Really into seeing symbols of indigenous/Chicano/mestiz@ resistance in my grocery store parking lot tho. It makes me think of my grandparents and all their suffering, all their compassion, and all their hard work for my family and our community, and that the fight continues. It does my heart good to see things like this in a place as un-diverse as Portland. I wish I was a more clever or articulate person to describe the feelings it gives me. I raise my fist whenever I pass it✊🏽💕