In two of the most critical agricultural counties in California, farm workers banded together with other low-wage workers in the food industry, demanding a “Bill of Rights” that would ensure higher wages and improved treatment.
The workers characterized the bill as a “rule of law” for these workers, who work extremely long hours for little money and are at very high risk of injuries and abuse. The bill is primarily aimed at addressing the struggles of workers in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, just north of Los Angeles.
Most of these problems stem from the fact that nearly half of these workers are undocumented immigrants, which means they live in constant fear they will be reported and returned home, where they may face not just crushing poverty but constant danger. So when they suffer abuse at work, they are more likely to do so silently. Continue reading