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April 1996, Volume 2, Number 2

Rural America

The Latinization of Rural America
Newspapers report that more and more Mexican and Central American immigrants are making their way from California, Texas, and Florida to farm and

Farmers, Meat Packers, and Rural Communities
The meatpacking industry increasingly relies on immigrant workers, and these workers are transforming the midwestern rural communities in which

Watsonville/Santa Paula, California
Watsonville, California has been hard hit by the closure of food processors who froze vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. In February,

Rural and Farm Employment
About one-fourth of the 263 million US residents in 1995 lived in rural or non-metro areas--it should be noted that both rural and non-metro are

Farm Workers

UFW Settles with BCI
On March 29, 1996, the UFW and Salinas vegetable grower Bruce Church, Inc. settled a labor dispute that dates from 1978. Under the pact, the two

House Rejects Guest Workers
Congress in March took up proposals by Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY)--S S269 and S1394--and Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)--HR2202--to deal with

ALRB: Boycotts and Definitions
The California Supreme Court on April 11 upheld an earlier court of appeal decision which held that the California Table Grape Commission could not

Minimum Wages/Workers Comp
The US minimum wage of $4.25 has fallen to its lowest-ever in relation to average wages. The US Senate held a vote on raising the minimum wage over

Farm Worker Services
The US UI system pays about $25 billion annually to an average two million unemployed workers each week. California requires all employers

California Extends Methyl Bromide Use
On March 12, 1996, Governor Wilson signed a law that permits the use of the soil fumigant methyl bromide through December 1997. The 1984 Birth

US Changes Farm Policies
Basic US farm policies that support farm incomes by establishing minimum prices for crops such as corn and wheat were enacted in 1938 and 1949.


INS Raids Farms
Independent Agricultural Workers Union leader Ventura Gutierrez pressed the INS to check Altman Specialty Plants in San Diego county for

Migrant Beatings
On April 1, two white Riverside county sheriff's deputies were taped beating two unauthorized Mexican aliens who had led them on an 80 mile


NAFTA and US Agriculture
In 1994, the US exported farm commodities worth $5.5 billion to Canada and $4.5 billion to Mexico-- agricultural exports to Mexico fell to $3.3

India Steps Up Produce Exports
India is the world's second largest producer of fruits and vegetables--after the US. India's exports of FVH commodities more than doubled to $137

Japanese Agribusiness
Japan is the largest food importer in the world--Japan imported over $10 billion in farm commodities from the US in 1995, and is expected to import

Russia Privatizes Farm Land
Farm workers in November, 1995 were declared Russia's worst-paid employees, averaging just R294,000 (about $60 per month), while the average wage

Isreal Replaces Palestines
After a three-week ban on Palestinians entering Israel due to a series of suicide bombings, the government announced on March 24, 1996 that it was


US/California FVH Production
The 39 billion pounds of fresh vegetables produced in the US in 1995 were worth about $7.4 billion, up almost $1 billion from 1994, and the 55

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