Farm Worker Heat Deaths in California Highlighted in Interfaith Vigil
On Tuesday, July 28th, about 200 farm worker supporters, including members of clergy from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions gathered at the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market to raise awareness about the 15 heat-related deaths in the fields of California since 2004. The vigil was held on the 5-year anniversary of the death of Asuncion Valdivia, the first of the fifteen to pass away who died while he was picking grapes for Guimarra Vineyards. Virginia Nesmith, NFWM director, welcomed the crowd to the vigil, sponsored by NFWM and the UFW. Arturo Rodriguez, UFW spoke as well as farm workers, clergy and several politicians.
Two days later, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) affiliates of Southern California and San Diego and Imperial Counties, and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, filed a landmark lawsuit against the state and its Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) for failing to live up to their constitutional and statutory duties to protect the safety of farm workers. Click here for more information.