Despite Protections, Extreme Heat And Wildfire Take A Toll On Farmworkers

"Nearly half of workers in California say their farms are not in compliance with safety codes for extreme weather, survey finds."

"Mass shootings at two California mushroom farms last month drew national attention to the dismal working and living conditions imposed on California farmworkers. Surveys of California Terra Garden and Concord Farms, where the assailant had worked, revealed families living in trailers and shipping containers, using makeshift kitchens and portable toilets. State and federal officials have opened investigations into the farms, where workers reported earning below minimum wage.

The conditions are “very typical images … for California and for the country,” Irene de Barraicua, director of operations at Lideres Campesinas, a network of female farmworker leaders, told the Washington Post after the shooting.  

Now, the first comprehensive assessment of California farmworker health since 1999, released Friday, demonstrates just how typical those conditions are – and how climate change, and widening inequality, are exacerbating challenges for these workers, some of the most disenfranchised residents of the state."

Blanca Begert reports for Grist February 7, 2023.

Source: Grist, 02/08/2023