UFW Demands Schwarzenegger Issue Heat Illness Regs
The United Farm Workers Union is demanding that Governor Schwarzenegger issue an emergency decree requiring growers to provide hourly shaded rest breaks for workers toiling in the sun.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Triple digit heat is baking California fields and the farm workers in them. U-F-W spokesman Marc Grossman says the demand to Schwarzenegger came after the death last Wednesday of farm worker Salud Zamudio Rodriguez. "On Friday, when we learned of the most recent death from heat illness by a farm worker in Kern County, state bureaucrats were meeting in an air conditioned office in Oakland to consider a regulation first proposed fifteen years ago."
Grossman says the next eight weeks are the height of the annual harvest season. He notes that there is a bill now before the state Senate that would require hourly work breaks in shaded rest areas where feasible, and would mandate immediate medical treatment for farm workers suffering heatstroke.
A spokeswoman for Governor Schwarzenegger says the governor has not received the U-F-W’s request for the emergency regulation.