…. your hands are swollen. They’re cut up. They’re stained. And the women that oftentimes they’ll work on their knees and their knees are brown so they won’t wear skirts because they’re ashamed of showing that off to people. I mean those are just the realities that farm workers face every single day. So it’s a grueling effort, a grueling job that takes place and they get very little recognition for what they do. But the reality is, that if it wasn’t for them, we would not have food on our tables every single day.
An excerpt from an interview with Arturo Rodriquez, President of the United Farm Workers, which has created a program called Take Our Jobs!, inviting unemployed U.S. Citizens to take a stab at agricultural labor, helping put produce on the shelves of every grocery story in this country.
Take Our Jobs!
July 31, 2010
By Ariana Pekary, producer
“It seems so simple: if the complaint about increased immigration is that the new people are taking jobs from American citizens, then you should proactively hire legal citizens for those very jobs. That’s what the United Farm Workers union has set out to do with a program called Take Our Jobs. We’ll see how successful they will be at getting Americans to work in the 100-degree heat for minimum wage. Bob talks with the union’s national vice president Giev Kashkooli about the program.”
It was refreshing to hear what in this place and time I believe everyone needs to be reminded of–the U.S. food industry relies heavily upon a migrant worker population.
Not only are the migrant workers not “stealing our jobs”, but it is very unlikely that any U.S. citizen, in particular of the middle class, will be willing (or able) to work an entire season (let alone a few days) in the physically grueling condition that we all take for granted every time we purchase readily available fruits and vegetables in our local grocery.
Looking for a job? Minimum wage. 10-12 hours a day. No health benefits. 200,000 openings.