Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Help busloads of farm workers get to Sacramento for Farm Worker Overtime Bill vote

Help busloads of farm workers get to Sacramento for big vote

Right now hundreds of farm workers are in Sacramento lobbying for AB 2757, the farm worker overtime bill. They are rounding up votes for this legislation by visiting the offices of lawmakers and reminding them their food comes from hard working men and women who deserve no less than other workers.
Hundreds of workers want to board buses to come back on the day of the vote to lobby some more. Farm workers want to get the chance to speak with lawmakers. They want legislators to understand how farm workers not having overtime affects their lives and the lives of their children. They want to share stories like that of Leticia Munoz and Gonzalo Santiago.
Leticia shares, “I’m a farm worker in the California San Joaquin Valley. I’m the one who picks the harvest so the agriculture products such as fruits and vegetables arrive at the consumer's table. Field work is very hard, this is the reason many don’t want to do it. We work under high temperatures above 100°F and even when there’s ice and it’s cold we have to enter to work and the fields are contaminated with the different pesticides that are applied. … I am thankful with the United Farm Workers because they are fighting so that farm workers are paid overtime after 8 hours worked. It is time that we get justice."

Gonzalo has been laboring in in the fields of California’s Salinas Valley for 14 years. He tells us, “In California, equality doesn’t exist between farm workers and workers in other industries. The field work is very hard work. The body has to endure low temperatures and the heat of the sun to harvest the crops … I leave my house at 4:30 a.m. while my children are still sleeping and I don’t return until 7 p.m. If it were possible to pass a state law that would have overtime pay after 8 hours and that way farm workers would have more time with their family and pick up their children from school, who are the future of this country.”

Farm workers were left out of overtime laws in the 1930’s to preserve a legacy of racism. It is time to reverse this injustice. History will be made with this vote and you can take part.

We need to canvass the Assembly halls with busloads of farm workers. On average, it will cost $40 per worker to bus them up for the day and provide them a simple lunch. Can you make a donation today to make sure workers can have a seat on the bus and change history?


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