This morning, it was reported on our local news, Channel 29 KBAK, that over 5,000 people have 'signed up' on the website as of today...BUT:
Only three have actually followed through to actually apply for employment as a field worker...aka a farm worker, harvesting fruits and veggies. I have performed this type of work as a teenager, so I ain't no bleeding heart liberal whining about how hard the farm workers have it. But I am of course a bleeding heart liberal. ;)
From their website, some facts:
There are two issues facing our nation--high unemployment and undocumented people in the workforce--that many Americans believe are related.I have blogged and publicly spoke out, ad nauseum, about the plight of the farm worker, undocumented or not. I have done this for decades as a native Californian and Hispanic woman. How they work ten hours or more a day (without overtime), in 100+ degree heat. How the labor laws always have special 'rules' that usually make the farm workers a class of worker that isn't covered by the basic human rights or wage sections of said laws. This is no bullshit folks....farm workers are usually exempt from many if not most of the protections offered the rest of us as employees.
Missing from the debate on both issues is an honest recognition that the food we all eat - at home, in restaurants and workplace cafeterias (including those in the Capitol) - comes to us from the labor of undocumented farm workers.
Agriculture in the United States is dependent on an immigrant workforce. Three-quarters of all crop workers working in American agriculture were born outside the United States. According to government statistics, since the late 1990s, at least 50% of the crop workers have not been authorized to work legally in the United States.
We are a nation in denial about our food supply. As a result the UFW has initiated the "Take Our Jobs" campaign.
Farm workers are ready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace them in the field. We will use our knowledge and staff to help connect the unemployed with farm employers. Just fill out the form to the right and continue on to the request for job application.
** Job may include using hand tools such as knives, hoes, shovels, etc. Duties may include tilling the soil, transplanting, weeding, thinning, picking, cutting, sorting & packing of harvested produce. May set up & operate irrigation equip. Work is performed outside in all weather conditions (Summertime 90+ degree weather) & is physically demanding requiring workers to bend, stoop, lift & carry up to 50 lbs on a regular basis.(emphasis mine)
Most of the responses they have gotten on their website are disgusting, evil, hate-filled comments from rightwing nutters who have no fucking clue.
Every summer here there are dozens of deaths recorded of farm workers that die from heat exhaustion or because a farmer knowingly had a field sprayed with pesticides while humans were working in it. No one is ever prosecuted for these deaths. No ONE.
Spread the word and watch Colbert's report please....they need all the help and press they can get. If all farm workers who were undocumented left tomorrow...we would start paying 10 bucks a head for iceberg lettuce and who knows what for other produce that we all as Americans, take for granted.
Photo is by the great photographer Ansel Adams