farm workers union

Children of farm workers! Please don’t let your parents struggles go unnoticed! The hardest thing for undocumented workers is to speak out; whether it be from fear or embarrassment, which is why their children, our youth, need to demand justicia. Especially for our our hermanas who have been sexually harassed out in the fields. Survey says 90% of the farm working women in California have listed sexual harassment as a major problem. These women are exploited and traumatized. An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawyer in Fresno, CA said that hundreds and thousands of women had to have sex with supervisors to get or keep jobs and/or put up with grabbing and touching and propositions for sex by supervisors. Undocumented female farm workers are often times too scared to speak up for fear of getting deported. We have to be the voice, we have to speak up for them and let their stories be heard. Give them a chance to demand rights and let them be heard. Use your platforms. These are not just some immigrants picking your food, these are real people.

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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

On This Day: April 14
  • 1775: The first abolition society in N America established -“The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage”.
  • 1816: Bussa, a slave in British-ruled Barbados, leads a 400 other slaves in rebellion and is killed by British troops.
  • 1874: During the German Revolution, the Freikorps, counter-revolutionaries and fore-runners of the Nazis suppress Communists in Dresden.
  • 1892: Marxist archaeologist V Gordon Childe born.
  • 1905: Birth of Jean Pierre-Bloch in France. He was an activist, resistance member and anti-racist.
  • 1919: American individualist anarchist Josiah Warren died.
  • 1930: Over a hundred Mexican and Filipino farm workers arrested for union activities in Imperial Valley, CA. Eight are later convicted of “criminal syndicalism”.
  • 1930: 17 year old Jimmy Hoffa leads Kroger warehouse co-workers in job action, forcing the company to give in to their demands.
  • 1937: Spain’s Friends of Durruti Group issued a manifesto stating its opposition to celebrating the anniversary of the Second Spanish Republic.
  • 1964: Rachel Carson dies. Ecologist, activist and author of Silent Spring
  • 1968: The Easter Sunday “Love-In” is held in Malibu Canyon, CA.
  • 1978: Thousands of Georgians demonstrate against Soviet attempts to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.
  • 1986: Death of French writer Simone de Beauvoir. She was an existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and intellectual.
  • 1988: French anarchist Daniel Guérin died.
  • 2005: United Steelworkers and Paper, Allied-Industrial and Chemical and Energy Workers merge to form North America’s largest industrial union.
  • 2007: At least 200,000 demonstrators in Ankara, Turkey protest against the possible candidacy of incumbent PM Erdoğan.
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Recent Dolores Huerta interview 

Today in labor history, September 4, 2013: Labor organizer and civil rights activist Jessie Lopez de la Cruz dies at the age of 93. Born in 1919 in Anaheim, California, de la Cruz worked as a migrant farm worker from a young age. She joined the United Farm Workers in 1965, became the union’s first female organizer, was involved in numerous strikes, and helped ban the crippling short-handle how. De la Cruz remained a political activist until her death.