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View Diary: 17 yr. old farm worker who died of heat stroke connected to "Two-Buck Chuck." (241 comments)

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  •  This is an epidemic problem in California (22+ / 0-)

    I appreciate this journal, however, this type of thing happens every day -- in some form or another -- to many, many Latino people here in California.

    The action plan is good, but this entire state is built on the labor of underpaid and maltreated humans. I see little difference between the Tobacco Industry in the Old South and the Wine Industry in Modern California.

    So, of course Trader Joe's won't be doing much AND if they do, big deal. Really. Big deal. Because this problem is as big as California, and getting Two Buck Chuck to change because a very bad PR-moment happened with a pregnant yount girl doesn't alter what happens daily with the terrible treatment of people, men, women, young, old alike, every single day.

    The entire problem needs to be addressed as the civil rights issue that it is, and it needs Federal and State intervention by as many progressives as possible.

    It is one of the most important domestic issues for you, as a progressive reading this, to deal with, since it's underdiscussed and many simply don't know what is really involved in the immigration situation.

    All true progressives should support amnesty for those here, unionizing for migrant laborers, accountability for employers, strong oversight on the agriculture and wine businesses, voting only for those with progressive immigration reform goals. But short of boycotting domestic wine, period, it's not an easy problem to solve.

    But we fixed the cotton and tobacco problems in the South and we can address this head on in the same way: with compassion and action both.

    ...on a good day I bowl a 19

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:41:03 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's bigger than that. (14+ / 0-)

          While it's true as you said:

      The action plan is good, but this entire state is built on the labor of underpaid and maltreated humans.

          The fact is that the entire US food chain is now based on exploiting illegal immigrants.

          The book "Fast Food Nation" details how the meatpacking industry has transitioned into an almost 100% illegal immigrant labor base.

          Employers are so addicted to illegal labor, I doubt that a single agribusiness could operate without it.

          From what I've seen, some employers hire illegal workers less for the low wages, but instead more for the ability to inflict horrible working conditions on the workers without fear of a complaint.

          Want to use dangerous equipment or dangerous chemicals without the bother of safeguards? Don't want the hassle of providing drinking water or bathroom facilities? Don't believe in training? Easy- Just hire illegal workers...

          Having witnessed businesses of all types degenerate into such a mindset, I have to wonder if they are in business to make money, or are they in business just to be cruel to illegal workers- Just because they can.

          I have seen workers of awsome talent and dedication working at poverty wages because of their illegal status.

          Our current policy of luring illegal immigrants to the US by promising them amnesty if they just wait long enough, and exploiting them without mercy in the meantime is just too cruel.

          We gotta stop it.





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