Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Many California farmworkers fear a winter of hunger and homelessness amid the pandemic



Anita Chabria for the Los Angel3es Times reports on the vulnerability of a large group of essential workers.  No, I am not talking about Vice President Pence and his crew on the 2020 campaign trail.

Farmworkers have been declared essential for California’s agriculture industry, but they often do not qualify for unemployment, eviction moratoriums or stimulus aid. Roughly half of farmworkers reportedly lack legal immigration status.  

In the ordinary year, field laborers conserve earnings from earlier months to plan for the cold season when fewer people are needed for work. But this year, there has not been enough work and many are dreading a winter of scarcity.

Already, the coronavirus has sickened many agricultural workers and sent others home to quarantine, often without pay. Schools have closed, leaving many families scrambling to meet child-care costs, or forcing some to quit their jobs. Wildfires have compounded the misery.



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