Saturday, October 22, 2016
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
Why I Pick Your Lettuce ...
Not many grandmothers could do the work I do six days a week. Most days, I work long shifts under the California sun, weeding and hoeing the lettuce that ends up in produce sections at grocery stores all over America. Many of my friends, neighbors and loved ones are also farm workers. I hear the stories of abuse and mistreatment. and I’ve been there, too. I hope you can help.
Javier Santiago works picking lettuce. Workers like him often handle 20 heads in a minute, about three seconds per head, bent over without standing or stretching. If he asks for a break, his boss yells at him. “Our supervisor exhorts us to work harder and says he does not care if we faint or die ... When it’s very hot, we aren’t allowed to rest in the shade and are pressured more. When it rains, we aren’t allowed to stop working, but aren’t given protective rain gear either.”
Virginia Isidro works in a lettuce field for a farm labor contractor. She has no benefits, no medical insurance, no vacations. And her boss cheats her wages. “When on occasion, we have to work a Sunday, they pay us with a personal check to avoid having to pay us overtime.”