Ag Today August 3, 2020
For these workers, getting Covid means getting fired [Bloomberg]
As coronavirus cases explode at U.S. farms and food factories, the foreign migrants who pick fruit, clean seafood and sort vegetables are getting trapped in tightly packed bunkhouses where illness spreads like wildfire. Often, they can’t leave — unless they’re willing to risk deportation. … Farm visas, known as H-2As, mandate that employers provide housing. Even in normal times, it’s not much of a perk: conditions are often cramped and facilities meager. Now, the bunkhouses are turning into petri dishes for disease. … Border-crossing figures from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol show...
Ag Today July 31, 2020
Editorial: COVID is ravaging California’s essential workers. Stop stalling and protect them [Los Angeles Times]
One of California’s worst failures in the pandemic has been the woeful effort to protect the essential workers who are bearing the brunt of COVID-19. The state cannot slow the spread of the coronavirus and return to some sense of normalcy without keeping workers safe. Yet too often essential workers have been treated as an afterthought. Or expendable. That has to change. … State safety agencies and county health departments have to be much more aggressive in targeting at-risk workplaces for education, inspection and enforcement.
Opinion: Covid-19 shines a...
Ag Today July 30, 2020
California lawmakers advance three bills spurred by coronavirus [Associated Press]
California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced several bills spurred by the coronavirus, including one designed to aid food sector employees and another to stockpile personal protective equipment so the state isn't caught short again. …Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge said his bill expanding paid sick leave for food sector workers, including farm workers, would mean people who are sick "do not have to choose between a proper quarantine and going to work.” The two weeks of “COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave” would be in place for as long as...
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