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LAT: (California heat) Deaths Rally Farm Laborers

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:41 AM
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LAT: (California heat) Deaths Rally Farm Laborers
Deaths Rally Farm Laborers
Three men have died after working in the recent intense heat of the Central Valley, sparking a demand for more safeguards.

By Mark Arax, Times Staff Writer

....Even before Zamudio-Rodriguez's funeral Saturday, two more farmworkers died in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley. Both had worked in temperatures of about 108 degrees. The body of a melon picker was found July 14 next to a patch of ripe cantaloupes in west Fresno County. The body of a grape picker was found a week later beneath the shade of a vine in Kern County.

Their deaths have come amid a statewide debate over a proposed law (AB 805) that would require growers to add rest periods and shade to protect farmworkers when temperatures rise above 95 degrees.

The bill generally pits Southern and Northern California legislators who favor the tougher regulations against Central Valley lawmakers who consider the proposals too burdensome for growers.

In his Saturday radio address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threw himself into the fray, calling on employers to voluntarily give workers breaks in the shade and train supervisors about heatstroke. Cal/OSHA, 15 years after first considering the death of a field hand in the heat, is developing a set of emergency regulations to accomplish those goals, though it probably will take a month to fully implement them.

Not surprisingly, the deaths have brought new energy to the United Farm Workers union, which held a march through Arvin on Friday night reminiscent of those in the 1960s and early 1970s when Cesar Chavez led a grape boycott and paralyzing labor strikes up and down the Central Valley....,1,1...
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phusion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:10 AM
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1. Jobs most Americans wouldn't do...
Farm workers are subjected to intense heat, pesticides, fertilizers and other dangerous chemicals, and the constant stooping over to tend the fields. All for less than minimum wage and no rights or benefits.

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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:12 AM
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2. And what is Arnold doing to protect them!

Nothing, he is too busy with the photo ops!
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