Farmworkers from Baja California moving forwardby Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project
Jun 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oxnard, California: June 8, 2015
Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project
Contact: Arcenio J. López, Executive Director
Telephone: (805) 814-8809,
Farmworkers from Baja California moving forward by winning some of their demands
Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) celebrates the victory of the workers of San Quintin in their long and just struggle for higher wages and improved working conditions. On June 4, 2015 the movement leaders met with government representatives and signed an agreement that guarantied government-required benefits and salary increase. Although the monetary gains were very small, they represent a significant validation of the workers’ demands and are an important victory. We salute the many family, friends, and supporters of the workers’ struggle here in California who helped to publicize the workers’ struggle and put pressure on the Ag industry and the Mexi-can government to reach a settlement.
We praise the leaders of ALIANZA and their allies whose brave organizing tactics including their strike, their marches, and their call for boycotts helped to secure their victory and to displace the sham PRI “union” which never represented the workers’ interests.
We call upon the workers and their leaders to continue to organize a democratic and participa-tory ongoing bargaining structure which includes all workers’ voices to continue the fight for de-cent wages, benefits and working conditions.
We call upon industry giants with US ties such as BerryMex and Driscolls, who wish to present themselves as the most progressive forces in the industry to use their power and resources to ensure that the current labor agreement is honored and that there is continued progress toward living wages, adequate health benefits, housing and working conditions, and an end to abusive practices including child labor, sexual harassment and wage manipulation.
We call on all consumers of fruits and vegetables to consider the human labor involved in pro-ducing the food we consume, and support changes in the agricultural industry which enhance the human dignity and well-being of those whose labor makes it possible.
The June 4 agreement represents a major achievement for the San Quintin workers. We need to ensure that these agreements will be implemented and that they are adequately monitored, not just by the government or growers, but by the workers’ representatives themselves though a democratic union structure. MICOP stands ready to offer its support to our brothers and sisters in struggle in Baja, and to continue to advocate with growers and distributors in the US to ensure and extend this victory.