Mexican Farmworkers Strike As Millions of Dollars Worth of Crops Rot
More than 50,000 Mexican farmworkers are striking in Baja California, violently demonstrating against low pay, abuses and poor working conditions. As millions of dollars worth of crops rot in the fields, protest leaders are set to meet with growers.
Farmworkers are burning tires and throwing rocks in Baja, an agricultural border state that supplies millions of dollars worth of tomatoes, strawberries and other produce to the US. Hundreds of protesters have blocked the Transpeninsular Highway, the main north-south highway, on and off as the strike has spread across the state, the Associated Press reported.
Demonstrators are demanding healthcare, overtime pay, days off, water, breaks, an end to arbitrary firings and abuse ? especially sexual abuse ? by field bosses, and for wages to be raised to about $20 a day. Currently, most farmworkers earn $8-10 for a full day of labor spent stooped over the crops in hot-house farms.