Thursday, May 29, 2008

Death of a Farmworker

Mariaphto Susan Ferriss tells the sad story of a farmworker who died on the job.  it starts:

"Until her death on May 16, Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez was another undocumented farmworker at the bottom rung of California’s farm production chain. On Wednesday, nestled in a white satin coffin, the 17-year-old girl became to farm labor advocates more a symbol of what they say are secretive and abusive conditions in some of the state’s orchards and vineyards. California occupational safety authorities are investigating the girl’s death in Lodi as a heat-related fatality. The United Farm Workers Union is calling her treatment an “egregious” violation of safety regulations put into effect three years ago after three farmworkers and a construction worker died of the heat. “Maria’s death should have been prevented,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement . . . ."

UPDATE: The Sacramento Bee has put an excellent multi-media presentation of the funeral, which was attended by Governor Schwarzenegger.  The United Farm Workers are organizing a pilgrammage starting on Sunday in Lodi and ending in Sacramento on Tuesday.


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