Food is the elephant in the room here at Camp Justice. We, of course, are fed a variety of Mexican-style foods donated by local restaurants. But, it’s impossible to ignore the sumptuous grapes, pistachios and almonds inviting us from wherever we look. So, it is particularly ironic that we are camping in the very spot where Cesar Chavez fasted for 25 days during 1968’s planting season to reconfirm his support for non-violent social change. It was in the vacant garage facing Garces Highway where Bobby Kennedy joined Chavez as he ended his fast. It is also here where, twenty years later, Chavez fasted for 36 hungry days to protest the use of pesticides in the fields that so dramatically affect farmworkers’ health. cheapest pharmacy More than 10,000 people swelled into the Camp’s parking lot to toast Chavez as he ended his fast. And it is impossible to ignore the anemic wages workers are paid. Farmworkers earn between $7.00 and $7.25 an hour, about the cost of a glass of wine in an upscale restaurant. Seventy-five percent of workers earn less than $10,000 a year, according online canadian pharmacy phentermine to the federal Department of Labor. In fact, it’s been 12
years since farmworkers have had an increase in their wages that wasn’t tied to the paltry, incremental increases in the minimum wage. This week’s news that Sacramento raised the minimum wage to $8.00 as of January 1st – a dollar more per hour than most farmworkers currently make – was greeted with hearty cheers here at Campo
de Justicia. $1.00 doesn’t sound like much, but when you are feeding and clothing your family on less than $10,000 a year, that extra $160 each month is vital. But, so much more is needed. Farmworkers’ backbreaking day begins in the field at 6:30 and ends at 3:30, with a legally cialis using mandated half-hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks, although some growers skirt the law and push the workers to produce more. Wages have
not kept up with either inflation or the cost of gas, and farmworkers’ standard of living remains stagnant. In 1965, an historic, bitter, 5-year strike earned farmworkers about $3.00 an hour, less than half of what they earn 36 years later. Farmworkers feed our nation. It’s time they earn enough to buy the foods they so lovingly pick.