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January 2003, Volume 9, Number 1

RURAL AMERICA

California Politics, Housing, Welfare, Budget
Voters in California went to the polls on November 5, 2002 and elected Democrats to virtually all statewide offices- Democrats also control the

Southeast, Midwest
Dalton, the carpet capital of the world in northwestern Georgia, attracted Mexican immigrants in the 1990s to staff carpet factories. Gangs and

Population
Hispanics are the largest US minority group. In July 2001, there were 37 million Hispanics and 36 million Blacks, plus 196 million non-Hispanic

FARM WORKERS

ALRB: Mediation Regulations
California took another "innovative step" to regulate farm labor relations by requiring mandatory mediation when farm employers and unions cannot

California: Labor Law, Unions
The California Industrial Welfare Commission in January 2003 rejected a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage, currently $6.75 an hour and

Florida: Slavery, Housing
Three men, brothers Juan and Ramiro Ramos, and a cousin, Jose Ramos, were sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison for enslaving 700 unauthorized

Virginia: Christmas Greenery
Three counties in Southwestern Virginia-- Carroll, Grayson and Floyd -- produce $74 million a year in Christmas trees, holiday garlands and wreaths

Midwest: Migrant Deaths
In October 2002, 11 people, seven men and four women, were found dead in rail cars in Denison, Iowa, population 7,500. The train had originated in

MSFW Assistance Programs
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) wins more publicity than other migrant assistance programs. The television documentary program P.O.V. on August

 
IMMIGRATION

Mexico: Migrants: NAFTA
Before September 11, 2001, there was an expectation in the Mexican government that the US and Mexico would soon reach an agreement on legalizing

H-2As: California
Harry Singh & Sons, a San Diego county tomato grower, was certified by DOL to hire up to 200 H-2A workers between September 26 and December 1,

H-2Bs: Maine
A maximum 66,000 foreign workers a year may receive H-2B visas and enter the US to fill temporary nonfarm jobs for up to one year; the INS does not

Unauthorized Migrants, RICO, Tyson
Tyson Foods Inc., the largest US poultry processor, was indicted December 19, 2001, charged with 36 counts of recruiting unauthorized workers from

Canada: Migrants, Unions
A coalition of trade union and community activists launched the Global Justice CareVan Project in 2001, and resumed activities in 2002. In June

OTHER

US: Farmers, Food Spending
The US had 1.9 million farms in 1997, including 963,000 very small farms with sales of less than $10,000; 792,000 small farms, with sales of $10,000

California: FVH Commodities, Water
There are too many grapes, and especially too many raisins and wine grapes. Total grape production was estimated to be 6.7 million tons in 2002,

Brazil, India, Bananas, Ecotourism
AgBrazil, a US company that helps US farmers get started farming in Brazil, estimates that there are 200 US farmers in Brazil. Many of the

EU Agriculture
About half of the EU's budget is spent on agriculture, some E45 billion of the EU's E98 billion a year budget. The EU proposed that farmers, who are

New Zealand Agriculture
New Zealand has the highest percentage of workers employed in agriculture among rich nations, and labor-intensive agriculture is expanding. New

RESOURCES

Organizing Immigrants
Milkman, Ruth. Ed. 2000. Organizing Immigrants: The Challenge for Unions in Contemporary California. Cornell University Press.

US Unions
In 2001, there were 16.3 million union members among 121 million employed workers, 13.5 percent, and 18 million workers represented by unions, 15

Napa: Agricultural Eden?
Napa is one of California's smallest but best-known counties, largely because of its 40,000 acres of vineyards and 280 wineries. Journalist James