Hard winter for California farm workers

by David Bacon

(MERCED, CA) Vidal Cota is an immigrant farm worker from Los Mochis, Sinaloa. He cleans the plastic tubes used for drip irrigation from a watermelon field, after the melons have been harvested. Photo: David Bacon

In October in California’s farmworker towns, unemployment rates begin to rise when the harvests end. In Coachella, not far from the wealth of Palm Springs, one of every eight workers has no job. In Delano, where the United Farm Workers was born in the grape strike 50 years ago, it’s one of every four, as it is in other small towns of the southern San Joaquin Valley. In the coastal farming towns of Santa Maria and Lompoc, the unemployment rate is 13.8 and 15.5 percent, respectively. In the Imperial Valley, next to the Mexican border, the unemployment rate is over 26 percent in Brawley and Calexico.

  • World Hunger Education
    Service
    P.O. Box 29015
    Washington, D.C. 20017
  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
    • Educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
    • Advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
    • Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
    • Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.

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