He’ll Be Back—To Break Your Back
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have given farmworkers a minimal set of protections. According to Politics of the Plate:
SB 1121 was hardly a radical-sounding piece of legislation. Among other things, it would have given California’s 700,000 farm workers the right to take one day off out of every seven. Hourly paid agricultural employees would have received overtime pay after eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.
As the LA Times noted, farmworkers are the only workers in California who are not entitled to these considerations. Hmmm, why would that be, I wonder? Certainly not because lobbying groups like the California Farm Bureau Federation mounted an extraordinary campaign against this bill, as they have against health reform and other attempts to bring the status of farmworkers in line with that of the rest of the state.
It’s funny, too when you read the CFBF website, where all the farm owners are complaining about the shortage of workers. How could one attract more workers? Maybe pay them more????? Like overtime? Nah, that would never work.