California's Farmworker Protection Laws Aren't Being Enforced
|Not pictured: heat stroke.|
While many farms do erect moveable shade canopies, not surprisingly, many farm workers don't know of their rights, and cash-strapped agencies aren't investigating reports of abuses within the quick timeframe required to catch offenders.
Earlier this week, Ruth Reichl told Inside Scoop that she thinks the next big food issue will be "social justice for [farm] workers." But this isn't necessarily a social-justice issue. Laborers like the ones who furtively talked to the Times reporter may fear for their jobs if they complain, but with illegal immigration from Mexico plummeting, many states are hurting for farm workers. If farms don't protect the workers they have, they might some day find themselves without enough workers to protect.