Thursday, September 13, 2012
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. advocacy is featured in the most recent issue of The American Prospect. “As Common As Dirt: In the Fields of California, Wage Theft is How Agribusiness is Done,” details the case of CRLA’s client Ignacio Villalobos from Imperial County. Villalobos has been a farmworker for nearly 70 years starting as a young boy in Texas with his family.
Author Tracie McMillan, takes a closer look at the life and wages of the Coachella migrant farmworker and spotlights some of the challenges of low-income workers in rural areas. In April 2012, CRLA filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Villalobos. The lawsuit claims that the grower, along with a number of its contractors, subjected the workers to extreme unsafe and unhealthy conditions in its Los Angeles County and Riverside County fields; and routinely underpaid the workers by manipulating their time records and paystubs, and by failing to reimburse them for the tools they need to plant, harvest, and pack the onion crop.