Why Farm Workers Have No Reason To Celebrate Labor Day?
Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed bill that would have helped protect farm workers
(Keene, La Paz, CA) - In a day when most American workers celebrate the social and economic success achieved through organized labor union, U.S. farm workers continue to labor under deplorable conditions and excluded from most national and state labor laws designed to protect workers.
Ironically, just days before Labor Day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to veto the California Employee Free Choice Act, also known as SB 789. The legislation would have helped protect farm workers from abuses and improve their working conditions by allowing them to protect themselves through the collective bargaining process.
"When Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 789 this week, he condemned U.S. farm workers to a life of fear, sexual harassment and heat exposure at the work place," said Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.
Besides the fact that farm workers don't get Labor Day off, they routinely labor under blazing temperatures with no access to water or shade. The men and women, who harvest the fruits and vegetables that feed America, often don't have enough resources to feed their own families. These farm workers are easy victims of sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination because of their immigration status.
"As we get together to celebrate with our families Labor Day, we must not forget about farm workers and their contributions to this great nation," said Rodriguez.