Posted: Sep 08, 2020
“For the workers, their hands were forced by a combination of circumstances as toxic as the ash that falls over the region’s famous vineyards.”
This Labor Day, immigrant and worker’s rights advocates are sounding the alarm in response to reports of migrant grape pickers, many of whom are undocumented, being forced to work in fire evacuation zones by California growers in a situation critics say demonstrates how some of those deemed “essential” at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic have been rendered “disposable” in the face of a record-setting heat wave and extremely dangerous conditions.
While the threat of flames and smoke was strong enough in Sonoma County to provoke the relocation of area residents, “the county agriculture commissioner invited workers to continue laboring in the fields, doling out evacuation-area access passes to dozens of agricultural producers,” Alleen Brown reported for The Intercept.
Members of Movimiento Cultural de la Unión Indígena, a local Indigenous workers’ group, worry that the effects of wildfire smoke on their lungs will increase their susceptibility to Covid-19, Brown reported, but growers are keenly aware of the material desperation experienced by migrant farmworkers suffering from a lack of economic support and fearful of deportation.
By Common Dreams
Source and complete article by: rawstory.com
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