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April 2003, Volume 9, Number 2

RURAL AMERICA

INS to DHS, Border
The Immigration and Naturalization Service went out of business on March 1, 2003. Its functions were moved to the Department of Homeland Security

US: Employment, Unauthorized, Census
The US unemployment rate was six percent in December 2002, 5.7 percent in January 2003, and 5.8 percent in February.

Southeast: Migrants
Georgetown, Delaware has only about 6,000 residents, but they include an ever-increasing number of Hispanics

Midwest: Meat Packing
Many cities that are approached by meatpackers are reluctant to allow them to establish businesses

California: Welfare, Health, Budget
Welfare recipients who "time out" after five years of cash assistance lose the portion of the monthly cash payment meant for adults

FARM WORKERS

Florida: Tomatoes, Pesticides, Housing
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers held a 10-day hunger strike involving 30 to 50 protestors outside the Irvine, California headquarters

Midwest, Northeast
The Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) held a rally April 13, 2003 in Mount Olive, North Carolina

Northwest
The Oregon Farm Bureau has a bill in the Legislature, HB 2351, that would grant farm workers collective bargaining rights

UFW: Coastal, Gallo
The UFW won the right to represent more strawberry workers at Coastal Berry, but may have lost the right to represent 350 Gallo of Sonoma employees.

ALRB: Mediation, Pictsweet
The ALRB on March 4, 2003 adopted draft regulations to implement mandatory mediation. For unions certified to represent at least 25 workers

 
IMMIGRATION

UK: Foreign Farm Workers
The UK has had a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) since 1945 to allow foreign students to work on British farms.

Canada: Guest Workers
Canada admitted about 17,000 foreign farm workers for seasonal employment on Canadian farms in 2002

The Bracero Program
Most calls for a new guest worker program with Mexico begin with the assertion that the proposal will NOT be like the discredited Bracero program

New Guest Workers for Ag?
The US has a program called H-2A that allows farm employers anticipating labor shortages to apply to the US Department of Labor

Sanctions: Tyson Acquitted
After a seven-week trial, Tyson Foods and several managers of poultry processing plants were acquitted in March 2003

OTHER

China, India, Vietnam
China has about a third of the world's 1.5 billion farmers, and many of them are migrating to cities.

Wine Woes
In 2001, California had 480,000 bearing acres of wine grapes, 50 percent in the San Joaquin Valley, and 90,000 non-bearing acres

Food, FVH Crops
US residents spent $440 billion for food at home and $298 for food consumed away from home in 2001

California: Water, Agribusiness
In 2002, the US Bureau of Reclamation agreed to pay owners of 33,000 acres on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley $107 million

RESOURCES