– Speaks about the work of the United Farm Wokers of America’s work with CATS in the 1980’s to “eliminate the use of certain cancer causing chemicals that were used on grapes in the United States.” These toxic chemicals had a negative impact on farm workers, and especially their children. “Children are more affected than adults because of their lower body weight.”
– “Right now, we do not have any major chemicals that we are trying to ban from use..we continue to research with our health and environmental partners.”
– “In addition to pesticides, another big issue that has impacted farm workers for decades is heat, and farm workers dying from heat stroke and stress.” California recently enacted a new law giving more protections to farm workers including requiring a paid 10 minute break every 2 hours when the temperature exceeds 95 degrees.
About Arturo Rodriguez
Arturo Rodriguez, has been the president of the United Farm Workers of America since 1993 The UFW union was founded by Cesar Chavez. He first became active with the UFW’s grape boycott in 1969 as a college student. At the University of Michigan in 1971, Rodriguez organized support for farm worker boycotts. He first met Cesar Chavez in 1973. The next year he also met Linda Chavez, the union leader’s daughter. They were married in March 1974. Arturo has organized and led boycotts and protests against growers who mistreat workers all over the United States. Rodriguez recruited 10,000 new farm workers in the first year he assumed the UFW presidency. UFW victories include the first agreement in 27 years with Gallo winery, covering 450 vineyard workers in Sonoma County. Now, about 70% of mushroom workers on California’s Central Coast are protected by UFW contracts–as are more than 50% of Central Valley rose workers. UFW continues pushing legislation in both houses of Congress that would allow undocumented farm workers and their family members to earn legal status by working in agriculture.
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