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NO. R-48. JOINT RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED FARM WORKERS OF AMERICA STRAWBERRY ORGANIZING CAMPAIGN.

(J.R.H. 34)

Offered by:Representatives Murphy of Ludlow, Brady of Bennington, Bristol of Brattleboro and Klopchin of Clarendon.

Whereas, farm workers toiling in strawberry fields are among the most exploited workers in the nation, and

Whereas, over 20,000 women, men and children who are working in California strawberry fields typically spend 10 to 12 hours a day picking fruit from ankle-level plants, suffer chronic back pain and injuries, and experience the dangerous effects of pesticide poisoning, and

Whereas, strawberry workers have not received a pay raise above poverty level wages for 10 years, and

Whereas, strawberry workers have few or no medical benefits, sexual harassment is common, and bathrooms in the fields are filthy, and

Whereas, a few large cooler corporations shoulder most of the responsibility for establishing a rational system for labor relations in the strawberry industry, and

Whereas, eight of these large corporations exercise great control over roughly 270 growers by supplying them with loans and plants from nurseries, by packaging and marketing the crop, by developing varieties of strawberries and by setting the prices, and

Whereas, over 20,000 strawberry workers are tired of these terrible conditions and seek safety, security and a voice on the job, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That it commends the United Farm Workers of America’s California strawberry organizing campaign and expresses its concern at the abuses committed against farm workers, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the United Farm Workers of America.