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April 1999, Volume 5, Number 2

Rural America

California: Citrus Freeze Effects
The December 20-28, 1998 freeze caused an estimated $700 million in damage to California crops, primarily navel oranges in the San Joaquin

Rural Housing
The year 1999 may be a watershed for rural and farm worker housing. In Washington state, a compromise that lets short-season farm workers live in

Midwest: Hispanic Immigrants
The INS is using Operation Vanguard to eliminate illegal workers from the meatpacking industry by subpoenaing and comparing I-9 information with

Farm Workers

Florida: Mechanization
For many years, economists thought that higher farm wages, effectuated by farm worker unions, the availability of nonfarm jobs or reduced

UFW: 1999 Campaign
The UFW is poised to renew its effort to organize strawberry workers. Growers increased acreage planted to 24,600 in 1999. Strawberries

North Carolina: FLOC, Legal Services
The Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee in March 1999 began a boycott of North Carolina's Mount Olive Pickle Co., with rallies

Oregon, Idaho
Farm worker advocates in Oregon demonstrated in March 1999 in favor of an increase in the state's Housing Trust Fund from $15.5 million to $160

Farm Labor Data, 402S
USDA's NASS conducts a quarterly survey of persons employed on US farms during the week that includes the twelfth of the month. The quarterly Farm

MSFW Programs: $850 Million in FY00
The President's FY00 budget includes a proposed seven percent increase in funding for the major MSFW assistance programs, bringing their funding

California: Enforcement
As a result of the December 1990 freeze and slow relief efforts that left many farm workers in dire straits, ex-Governor Pete Wilson ordered state

In mid-January 1999, Governor Gray Davis appointed three aides to be members of the ALRB for one day, and thus block the ALRB from launching an


INS: Raids, Do Not Hire
Fewer Workplace Raids. The INS announced in March 1999 that it was adopting a new interior enforcement strategy, de-emphasizing workplace

Mexico Wants Guest Workers
After a March meeting between the US and Mexican labor secretaries, former Mexican Labor Secretary Jose Antonio Gonzalez said that Mexico would ask

H-2A in California
In September 1998 and again in December 1998, the US Department of Labor certified the need for nonimmigrant foreign workers to harvest crops in

Reorganizing Labor Certification
Employers requesting permission to employ temporary unskilled foreigners or to sponsor permanent immigrants must receive certification from the


How We Eat II
About 2.5 million individuals do farm work for wages sometime during a typical year, so that farm workers represent less than two percent of

Commodity Updates
California's 1998 wine grape crush totaled 3.2 million tons, down 19 percent from the 1997; the leading grapes crushed were Thompson seedless,

Australia: Migrant
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock announced in March that Australia would not make it easier for nonimmigrant tourists to obtain temporary work

UK Migrants
The UK admits up to 10,000 students from Central and Eastern Europe each summer to fill temporary jobs, often in agriculture. Some do not return,

EU-US Banana War
The US and the European Union skirted on the edge of a trade war in March 1999 because of bananas. The EU has a quota system that favors banana

Brazil: Slavery
The Employment Ministry has set up an armed team to rescue enslaved men, women and children who are attracted to farm worker jobs in the poor

Migrants and Pork
The $28 billion US pork processing industry is in transition, moving from the beef model of independent farmers, feedlot operators, and processors


Conference Announcement
The 1999 Changing Face conference will be held on the September 2-4, 1999, with an all-day field trip to the Yuba City area on September 3. The

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