By Mayan Avitable
June 13, 2012 (San Diego) -- Tickets are on sale now for the Kris Kristofferson & Friends concert series to benefit the 50th anniversary of the United Farm Workers (UFW). The tickets are available at http://www.ufw.org, and limited VIP seats are available. The San Diego area tickets for the concert on Friday, June 15th are also available at Spreckles Theater. The San Diego concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. and will feature Mariachi Divas.
The UFW is the oldest Latino organization to come out of the 1960's civil rights movement, and the largest farm worker organization in the U. S. The UFW labor union was created by combining the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and the National Farm Workers Association when the two groups recognized their common goals, and went out in a grape strike in 1965. The two organizations formed the UFW in 1966.
Despite the length of time this organization has been fighting for good working conditions, abuses continues. As recently as May 2012, farm worker Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez died after tying grape vines at a farm east of Stockton, when the temperature soared well above 95 degrees. The nearest water cooler was a 10-minute walk away, and workers say the strict foreman didn't allow them a long enough break to stop and get a drink. Vasquez collapsed from heat exhaustion.
By the time she arrived at a hospital, Jimenez was in a coma, and her body temperature topped 108 degrees. She died two days later. See details:
Currently, a bill is under consideration in the California Legislature that addresses the issue of excessive heat for agricultural employees. The bill would provide that directing an agricultural employee to perform, or supervising an agricultural employee in the performance of outdoor work without providing continuous, ready access to an area of shade and cool, potable water sufficient to allow the employee to drink one quart of water per hour throughout the work shift may constitute the crime of involuntary manslaughter The bill would require restitution under existing provisions of law to the immediate surviving family of the deceased employee in an amount up to $1,000,000 for the lost future earnings of the deceased employee. To follow the bill, see: