Striking Mexico Farm Workers Receive U.S. Labor Support

Striking farmworkers in Mexico are receiving international support for their efforts to secure decent living and working conditions and be paid a living wage. The women and men who pick berries and vegetables for the U.S. market make about $10 a day, and they see the employers’ latest offer to increase pay by 6 percent as a “slap in the face.”

In a letter to Mexico’s secretary of labor, the AFL-CIO urges the government to work with organizations representing the workers to rectify serious worker rights violations, among them employers’ refusal to pay overtime, child labor, worker exposure to pesticides and sexual harassment, as well as to release workers arrested for exercising their right to protest. (Read the letter in English and Spanish.)

A recent Los Angeles Times series on the farm laborers found many workers on export-oriented farms “essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply.”

Further, the Times reports that “some camp bosses illegally withhold wages to prevent workers from leaving during peak harvest periods.”