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Thread: Coronavirus

  1. #1071
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    Default Re: Coronavirus

    This story is about "guest workers" on US farms. The number of people that come into the US to work the farms has increased each year. Under the H-2A program, more then a quarter million people come here from Mexico just to pick and supply us with farm fresh products.
    Now they are caught in the cross hairs of this virus, without adequate testing or protections.

    Guest workers on US farms are in the eye of the coronavirus storm
    In April, President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that, while stopping almost all kinds of legal immigration for at least two months, he was placing no limits on the continued recruitment of H-2A temporary migrant farm worker by growers. Trump claimed the escalating COVID-19 pandemic made his order necessary but cited no evidence to show that a ban covering all forms of family-based migration would stop the spread of the virus, while leaving employer-based migration unchanged would not.
    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue explained, in a January speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the apparent schizophrenia. He wants Trump “to separate immigration, which is people wanting to become citizens, [from] a temporary, legal guest-worker program. That’s what agriculture needs, and that’s what we want. It doesn’t offend people who are anti-immigrant because they don’t want more immigrant citizens here. We need people who can help US agriculture meet the production.”
    Although growers have claimed the coronavirus has created a labour shortage making the H-2A programme vital, the scheme had begun to mushroom long before the pandemic hit. In 2019, the US Department of Labor gave agribusiness permission to fill 257,667 jobs with workers brought almost entirely from Mexico, with H-2A visas. That amounted to 10 per cent of all the jobs in US agriculture.
    All interviewees in the CDM report suffered violations of basic labour laws, including minimum wages and breaks. Eighty-six per cent reported that companies would not hire women, or paid them less when they did. Half complained of bad housing, and a third said they were not provided needed safety equipment. Forty three percent were not paid the wages promised in their contracts.
    There is no testing for them as they enter the country nor while they are working in the US. Additionally, employers are not required to provide health insurance to H-2A workers. If they stop working because they get sick, the conditions of their visa require them to leave the country. Once in Mexico they then have to find medical care, while their families and communities face the danger of infection.
    https://www.equaltimes.org/guest-wor...n#.Xs-fTFVKjIV

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  3. #1072
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    Default Re: Coronavirus

    This article has an interactive map showing the OSHA complaints across the country, including safety issues during the virus.

    This Map Shows the Staggering Number of Reported OSHA Complaints
    The health and safety of workers in the United States has never come under more scrutiny in the history of this country than it has in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic, for good reason.
    A staggering number of employers, small and large, including Whole Foods, McDonald’s, and Amazon have failed to provide workers with basic protective gear and sanitation and social distancing protocols to keep them safe at work. More than 48 meatpacking workers have died, and thousands more have gotten sick.
    So far, workers have filed more than 4,000 coronavirus-related complaints. This is undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg, given the amount of time and fortitude it takes to file a federal complaint against one’s employer.
    The OSHA Complaint Tracker map created by Strike Wave has tracked complaints filed through May 17, and will be updated as more data is made publicly available. Industry data is available for all complaints. Not surprisingly, most of the complaints have called out hospitals, nursing care homes, physician’s offices, and supermarkets.
    Quick link to the interactive map. https://www.thestrikewave.com/osha-complaint-map

    Link for the story. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j...sha-complaints

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  5. #1073
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    Default Re: Coronavirus

    Remember these are the people picking our crops so we have a steady supply of food. They deserve care too.

    Every Single Worker Has Covid at One U.S. Farm on Eve of Harvest
    All of the roughly 200 employees on a produce farm in Tennessee tested positive for Covid-19 this month. In New Jersey, more than 50 workers had the virus at a farm in Gloucester County, adding to nearly 60 who fell ill in neighboring Salem County. Almost 170 were reported to get the disease at a tomato and strawberry greenhouse complex in Oneida, New York.
    The outbreaks underscore the latest coronavirus threat to America’s food supply: Farm workers are getting sick and spreading the illness just as the U.S. heads into the peak of the summer produce season. In all likelihood, the cases will keep climbing as more than half a million seasonal employees crowd onto buses to move among farms across the country and get housed together in cramped bunkhouse-style dormitories.
    Unlike grain crops that rely on machinery, America’s fruits and vegetables are mostly picked and packed by hand, in long shifts out in the open -- a typically undesirable job in major economies. So the position typically goes to immigrants, who make up about three quarters of U.S. farm workers.
    President Donald Trump has sought to maintain the flow of foreign workers to U.S. farms during the pandemic, waiving interview requirements for some guest workers when consular offices shut down and exempting them from a temporary immigration ban. But so far, the administration hasn’t created rules to protect the workers.
    In Florida, oranges are “literally dying on the vines” as not enough migrants can get into the country to pick the crops and things like processed juice will probably cost more in the coming months.
    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-...eve-of-harvest

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  7. #1074
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    Default Re: Coronavirus

    Quote Originally Posted by fxstc07 View Post
    Remember these are the people picking our crops so we have a steady supply of food. They deserve care too.

    Every Single Worker Has Covid at One U.S. Farm on Eve of Harvest





    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-...eve-of-harvest
    Wow!!!

 

 
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