MY NOTE: The heat wave here this week makes this
message even more important. Without workers to pick
the food, we would not eat, so please read and pass along.
The headline message goes a little beyond my margins, but
I think it is still readable. Sorry, but I cannot change that
If you click on the TAKE ACTION link below, the message
should fit your screen.
Shouldn’t farm workers get the same protections as animals?
UFW bill before Public Safety panel.
Please send your message in support NOW!
California Assembly member Charles Calderon
has written a new United Farm Workers-sponsored
bill, AB 2676, that applies criminal sanctions
for employers whose mistreatment of farm
workers causes their deaths or illnesses from
exposure to extreme heat. Longstanding penalties
in the state Penal Code apply to anyone who “inflicts
unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner
abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with
proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from
the weather.” Now AB 2676, called the Humane Treatment of Farm
Workers Act, says agricultural employers must treat farm workers
at least as good as animals or face the same criminal penalties.
Another UFW-backed bill, AB 2346, by Assembly member Betsy Butler, would
let farm workers go to court to enforce state heat rules when growers refuse to
provide shade and water in hot weather. Now, with AB 2346, we have two
complementary bills by Assembly membersButler and Calderon that
together will bring about the protections farm workers desperately need.
Farm workers are still dying from the heat. Since California issued its
landmark 2005 regulationsÂ to keep farm workers from dying of extreme
heat, preventable farm worker deaths are still occurring at a similar pace
as before. The UFW filed more than 75 serious heat illness complaints with
Cal-OSHA in summer 2011, but as of March 2012, the state work safety agency
issued heat citations in only three of those cases.
We cannot allow this to continue! The UFW is sponsoring the
Butler and Calderon bills because the state has failed to
adequately enforce its own heat standards. And AB 2676
would impose criminal penalties on delinquent employers whose
workers suffer heat illness or in some cases heat death. AB 2676’s |
proposed criminal penalties are fair when compared with state
Penal Code sanctions for persons who fail to provide animals with
the same protections. AB 2676 does not impose any costs on taxpayers.
The problem of heat-related farm worker deaths must be solved. Farm
workers cannot keep having their lives endangered due to employer indifference.
AB 2676 will soon be heard by the state Senate Public Safety Committee!
Please e-mail Public Safety Chair Loni Hancock in support of this critical bill.
After you take action please share this campaign with
your friends and family.
You can send them an e-mail, post this campaign on your Facebook
and/or Twitter page by |clicking here or going to :
Want more information? Check out the UFW’s AB 2676 (Calderon),
Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act page.