Farm Contractor Resumes Work

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 3, 2008

The state alleges that the company – Merced Farm Labor – had 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jiminez working in unsafe conditions. She didn’t have access to shade and water and collapsed while pruning grapes near Stockton last May. 

Farm worker advocates say the state's decision to let the company resume work is wrong. Vicki Adame is with the United Farm Workers.  

"It’s just a slap in the face to Maria Isabel’s memory and to her family. It’s just, it’s absolutely unfathomable that they are back in business." 

But a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health says the state is trying to revoke the company’s license.

Meanwhile, Merced Farm Labor must report to state officials every day where its employees are working. Regulators will also make unannounced visits to farms where the company’s laborers are working.