NFWM California visits Giumarra fields to share shade and hope

Giumarra shade example_0.jpg A Giumarra worker points out what his foreman usually provides him for shade: one tattered black tarp draped over a few vine rows, underneath which, he says, “it’s actually hotter.”
On Thursday, May 13th, supporters from several congregations in Los Angeles went with pastors from several Bakersfield churches to participate in an action to express their support for the workers at Giumarra Vineyards who are organizing to win a UFW contract. Even after 2 farm workers have died in their fields of heat stroke, Giumarra continues to put their workers at risk by not complying with the heat regulations in California. Just before the start of the intense heat of the Central Valley, the supporters and pastors delivered “shade” to workers in one of Giumarra’s crews to symbolize what workers should be receiving from the company. Radio Campesina provided food and during their lunch break the workers were able to interact with this group of supporters. Pastor Victor Perez said a blessing on the canopies of shade that were delivered and on the workers and their labor, with prayers that no worker might suffer from heat stroke or die in the fields of California this year.
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Pastor Jesse Muñoz, from Believers in Jesus Foursquare Church in Bakersfield, said afterwards, “To me it was a very special experience…it’s been awhile since I had come to a place like that. Looking at the workers in between the vines, resting. They would not approach us at first because they feared losing their jobs because there are people who are there who want to support them who aren’t from the company. But my heart is very grateful because I feel as a pastor that we should be there giving the people hope, and I think today we gave them a little hope.”
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