“Are Farmworkers really safe in California’s Salinas?,” Labor rights activists questions


farmworkers salinas california

Labor rights activists have raised their concerns over the treatment of the farm workers and their safety on field. The activists have stepped up efforts to ensure safety practices to these workers by urging legislators to make moves to protect them.

The concerns are increasing in the city of Salinas in California making the activists reach out to the political figures for some relief. After repeated reach outs, the legislators finally took the route to farmworkers in Salinas along with the activists this week.

The issues are not limited to the financial procedures. There are huge concerns regarding the smoke coming from wildfires and also the pandemic. The wildfires have been a bother for over a month and the continuous smoke is a major concern to their lives also, stressed the activists.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is another threat that is immensely affecting these workers. There is a ‘neglection’ in the measures taken to ensure the curb of the virus spread, which is another threat to their lives.

The people who have organised the whole campaign for the farmworkers have executed it as a part of the Covid-19 workplace outreach project. The aim of this project is to educate workers and employers on the pandemic and the threats that it poses. Through this campaign, the workers will be taught on how they can ensure protection from the virus.

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One of the farmworkers, Estela Martinez, also expressed her concerns especially to die from the pandemic. She has been working in strawberry fields for ten years and highlighted that many of the workers are not being told about their rights. “Unfortunately farmworkers aren’t always told what their rights are and sometimes people can’t work like when they go get the vaccine,” she stressed.

She also added that during Covid-19, there were certain changes in their rights such as granting them eighty hours of sick leave which they are not informed about. She further went on to add that the workers are unable to trust the California government because of the problems at work as well as the community. To make workers aware of their rights, this caravan is telling them about the sick leaves, their right to have water amid working, and their right to take shade during hot weather. Gracia-Brower said that, knowing that these workers are not aware of their rights is making officials come forward and exercise those rights.

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