Report Highlights Struggles of Farm Workers

Organizers with CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) issued a nine-page report on the eve of California Agricultural Labor Relations Board hearings on farm field conditions throughout the Santa Maria Valley, detailing what they describe as prevalent wage theft, long hours, and substandard working conditions. According to surveys taken of 300 field workers in Santa Maria and Guadalupe between this May and August, nearly 25 percent reported getting injured on the job, and 72 percent of them said they continued to work despite the injuries. Twenty-five percent reported a discrepancy in what they thought they should get paid and what they actually were paid. Many claimed having to work through their breaks.

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