tv Lectures in History Agricultural Labor Since 1930 and Organic Farming CSPAN September 6, 2021 1:07pm-1:56pm EDT
next, on "lectures in history" tulane professor jana lipman teaches a class on the rise of organic farming. what i want to do today is i want to give us our third lecture in our unit about labor and american food. we talked about the beef industry on monday and looked at the jungle in upton sinclair. then we looked at the chicken industry here in the american south. today we're going to be looking at agricultural labor. as i said, those in the room who are vegetarians are not off the hook. in fact, we have to think about the ways in which agricultural
labor has often been exploited and the very difficult conditions under which the vegetables that we eat are often consumed. there's been a very large rise in the recent years about the importance of eating locally and eating more vegetarian style food and more vegetables. michael pollan wrote "the omnivore dilemma." we should eat less meat and things that are real food. alice waters, who is a chef, as well as barbara kingsolver have both written about the value of
eating locally. how many of you have been to a farmer's market? it's the idea that we should be eating locally. some of you might have done wolfing. how many of you have friends who have done this? this is the idea you go to organic farms, be involved in local sustainable agriculture. this is actually marketing as a cultural exchange program as well. there is the sense that there's something that is going to make us improve ourselves, that if we eat locally, we'll know about where our food is coming from, it will be better for the environment, our community and our bodies. in fact, this is probably in some ways the satirical version of this is from this portlandia episode in 2011 where they ask, well, what about that chicken,
how local is it? what is the chicken's name, who's taking care of the chicken? it's this ongoing thing about ongoing interest in how local our food is. what our author who you read for today asks us is if you eat locally, does that mean labor conditions are included in this idea of ethical eating. who is growing our organic vegetables? what do we expect in our local farming? she really sort of critiques this idea that it is only about the quality of vegetable or animal and it is not about the working conditions. so today i'm going to be looking at agricultural labor. so michael pollan has said, look, we should eat more plants but we should know where those plants come from as well.
there's a very long history of industrial agriculture in america with very difficult labor conditions and also a long history of labor organizing as well related to agricultural work. i'm going to be looking both at the history of the program in california as well as the rise of the united farm workers and cesar chavez in the 1960s. then we will be looking at new york state and in particular the conditions of smaller farms in the hudson valley region.
this is the single largest piece of labor legislation passed in u.s. history and only followed by other federal law, the 1938 fair labor standards act. the national labor relations act protects the right to organize and establishes a national labor relations board. they're able to have an election. the majority of people voted for the union. the employer is supposed to recognize that union. this sets up our federal labor law. there's a big exception passed in 1935. the exception is agricultural workers and domestic workers. so we talked about this and we talked about meat packing. we talked about the poultry industry. but i don't think i should point out that it doesn't cover agricultural workers and domestic workers. the question is why not, why do
we have a labor law that doesn't cover these two large sectors of american employment? it's really related to american racism and histories of segregation and job discrimination, which is that a large number of southern agriculture in the 1930s is being farmed by sharecroppers and in particular african-american sharecroppers. and white southern democrats, who the democratic coalition needed to pass this legislation during the new deal were not willing to extend labor protections to industries that were largely african-american workers. this means that agricultural work and domestic work, two areas predominantly african-american and disproportionately so, were not protected by the right to unionize. what you should know is this gets up to a majority, it's able to pass, but this still stands. nationally there is no national protection for farm workers to
this day. this also means that farm workers, unlike other types of work, can work overtime and not get paid overtime. so we think our average workweek is 40 hours and you get paid more if you work more than 40 hours a week. that is not true if you are working in agriculture in most states. there are about a dozen states that have individual laws for their states for agricultural protections. but on the whole, there's still no federal protection. so that is in many ways framing this discussion. we talk about agricultural workers, we have to recognize they are working with fewer protections than industrial workers, okay, in our food system. this brings me to california, which is really the iconic place. i just show this image. this is dorothea lange. not only is she famous for this
image and her images of the depression but she goes on to become an extremely important photographer documenting farm labor in california in the 1930s. so i want to begin by talking about california in particular and farm work. we're going to talk about both the rise of agricultural labor in california as well as what will become known as the bracero program. california to this day, some of the largest sort of agricultural industries in the country. are any of you from california? only a few of you. you think about the imperial valley. this is still where we have large, large numbers of farm workers. many, although not all undocumented, still very difficult labor conditions. you can get strawberries in january. we like being able to get this fresh produce year round.
part of this is because of our agricultural industry in places like california and florida. california alone accounted for 30% of all large scale farms in the united states in 1929. in the 1920s this labor of men and women, because it is women as well, who are working in california is largely migrant workers, disproportionate numbers of mexicans and filipinos. you have a large immigrant population. the number of mexicans doubled during this decade to 1.4 million. initially when mexicans would come, they might get a job on an individual farm, okay? by getting a job on one farm, you'd have certain benefits. the paternalism that gray writes about. you might have a single boss. you might have a relationship with that individual and you might get some more benefits, more days off or a little bit more sort of attention.
but as the agriculture industry grows, you get more and more migrant labor and farms relying on workers going from farm to farm to farm to farm. this would make sure these mexican and filipino workers themselves did not own the land. they would follow the seasons cutting fruit and vegetable crops. they got paid fairly low wages and physically extremely demanding. dorothea lange goes and begins to photograph these workers in the 1930s while she herself is working as a photographer for the federal government. what we need to think about here is the ways in which these workers are then, in fact, as i said, taken out of agricultural farming, out of the labor law, they're not protected.
there are, in fact, union organizing going on in the 1930s. so the cio, just like we talked about in the industrial setting is, in fact, also in the agricultural setting but they don't have the same protections. so you have certain organizing attempts but they're not particularly successful. here's another image of an agricultural worker. if you're interested in this topic carrie mcwilliams is an author in the 1930s who writes this book "factories in the field," one of the first exposes about the discrimination farm workers face. he is the first one to really write about california from an immigrant lens. he writes about mexicans and filipinos and he is really trying to write about this new vision of the united states, one based on immigrants and workers.
he too is a political leftist and activist and these could be seen as parallel books. this is about the 1930s. then in the early 1940s we have the run-up to world war ii. in world war ii agribusiness is having a labor shortage. you begin to have more and more workers in the industry. you also have men who are going to fight in world war ii. this means large agricultural industry in california are saying, wait a second, who's actually going to pick the crops? we're not having as many workers as we're used to. we don't have enough people at the time of the harvest. so they want the u.s. government as well as the mexican government to become involved and to help solve their labor problems. they set up this program called the bracero program.
this is essentially the same program gray writes about in the reading for today which she writes about jamaican guest workers. braceros bring physical labor into the united states. but the united states still has guest workers and guest workers still work on american farms. what is this guest worker program? why was it important for american agriculture? as i said there was a labor shortage during world war ii. you have the u.s. government and the mexican government would get together and they would say we need this many workers in the united states, we'll recruit them in mexico and bring them into the united states, but they can only work for the set of their contract, for six months, three months, a year, and then
they're going to go back to mexico. it's not meant to be an immigration program, it's meant to be a labor program. first the u.s. government was very skeptical of this program. they said a couple of things. the lbor department was worried. we're going to bring all these workers from mexico. isn't that going to bring wages down? secondly, immigration is also worried about this program. they are worried it's going to lead to more undocumented workers. these mexicans are going to come into the united states. are they really going to go back? are they going to stay in the united states. there's definitely skepticism on the view of u.s. government or branches of it about the bracero
program. it's world war ii. we need to get these crops picked, we don't have enough workers. the program, as you can see, lasts for over 20 years and it becomes central to american agricultural labor practices for the mid century. the agricultural industry has a strong lobby. they're able to convince the government this is, in fact, good for the economy, good for the country. so the bracero program gets put in place. the idea of the bracero program and later future guest worker programs is the following. first, you would apply for the job in your home country. these are mexicans lining up for the job in mexico. you apply in mexico for this type of work. you then go through a screening process in your home country. you come to the united states on a very specific contract. you're told how much you're going to get paid. you're told how long you're
allowed to work for and you're told who your employer is going to be. this is really important. it makes it very different from other types of immigrant workers. for example, if we think about someone in a poultry factory and they're an undocumented worker and they don't like their employer, they can quit and go look for another job. they might not have a lot of options but they can in fact quit and look for another job. guest workers cannot quit and look for another job and remain legally on their contract. this means it's very difficult for guest workers to organize or advocate, because they're not allowed to look for other jobs. if they complain or criticize or try to organize, they can be sent home. that can be a violation of their contract. also guest workers are not allowed to stay in the united states past their contract. the idea is they come in, they do the labor, they can send their money home and they are able to then go back to their
home country at the end. here we can see some of the braceros working in the field. you should know there's a couple of different consequences to this. first of all, the wages are fairly low. they start around 30 cents and go up to about 50 cents, but they're very hard to enforce these levels. the department of labor's concern that this was going to depress farm workers' wages was accurate. all these people coming in working at a set price, they're not going to be able to bring up the wages more broadly for american workers. also the u.s. government says we're not going to discriminate against these individuals. they're not going to have to face jim crow like experiences. this is very hard to monitor. but mexicans take these jobs in large numbers and why? because it is more money than they would be making in mexico.
so they come to the united states. they work for a short time period. they make enough money. they go home, they come back on another contract. this is not a small program. this is about 200,000 people a year. they work in cotton, citrus and lettuce, and they very much for central to american agriculture. also you can see here lived in bunk houses like this one. they'd often have their housing includes, but often very poor and close conditions. and they often did, in fact, complain about what they felt was having their wages rescinded or they wouldn't feel like they got their full amount of money. the most common complaint they had was underpayment. people also complained about housing, about the food not being good enough, about their pay being taken out illegal deductions, about threats, about occupational hazards in the
field. the reason we know about this is they wrote letters to the mexican consulate. they would say about how badly they were being treated and they'd be asking for help. for example, one person said, quote, we were promised room and board, but we had to pay for it. another said i left because i'd not made much money and lost a lot of time because of the rain. the company did not furnish my meals. we stayed in a shack, the roof leaked and there were bugs all over. we could not see how much cotton we picked because they would not let us weigh it ourselves. the companies were taking advantage of them, trying to take money away from them, charging them for food, for their barracks, not giing them a good quality living situation. yet there are enough workers that this program persists well into the mid 1960s. this book called "bracero" is a
good book to start with. people who criticize the bracero program the most were both labor activists, the aflcio did not like the bracero program. they thought it kept wages too low. how many of you have heard of cesar chavez? he really treated chaves as a mexican american labor activist. he comes to prominence because he's very interested in organizing rights to organize. he becomes a leading intellectual and labor activist. he writes this important book called "merchants of labor." and he criticizes this program because he argues the agricultural industry is
intentionally getting vulnerable workers. these vulnerable workers can't unionize because they're not protected by labor law. they can't even quit. if they try to, in fact, campaign for themselves, they could easily just not be hired back or be sent home. and one of the reasons why i think he is very informative is he doesn't criticize the individual braceros. he himself is mexican american. he comes during the early 20th century and comes to san jose, i believe. he is very interested not in criticizing the bracero himself. he's not angry at the mexican worker coming over to work in the fields. he understands why they want to make money, why this is seen as a more desirable job than not. his critique is structural. he says what this does, it allows agri business to pit
undocumented workers against each other, keeping a large group of workers who are largely vulnerable. he said, quote, braceros, he used the term wets, which is a racialized term for undocumented mexicans. he said they aim to cut down the wages of farm labor, to break strikes and prevent union organization, to run american citizens off farm jobs especially on the corporation ranches. so he really becomes a strong advocate. the bracero program does end in 1964. not just because of him but also because of changes in mechanization in agriculture, because of new immigration law getting passed in 1965 and the changes of the agricultural industry. the bracero program is ended in
1964. that leaves an opening for cesar chavez to begin thinking about agricultural labor organizing in the mid 1960s. it's almost impossible to organize because union workers are able to take those places. the end of the bracero program makes it easier for agriculture workers to think about joining a union, although the barriers are still very high. does anybody have any questions? wait one second. >> so using the bracero program, would workers if they, like, renewed or reapplied, were they likely to go back to the same farm, different farms? could they request a different farm? >> that's an interesting question. the short answer is yeah, people go back to the same places all
the time. i guess there are two different ways of answering. in the 1940s and 50s i have somewhat less knowledge of if it's the exact same farm. they're going to multiple farms and then they would often go home for like a month and go back out on another contract. so people do go year after year to california or texas. they also go to other states as well. you should also know that some people overstay and become undocumented. other people get married and become legal citizens. it goes in multiple directions. i'm going to skip forward a little bit. in new york state people do really go back to the same farms over and over again. this was an article about jamaican guest workers which was a similar program. those people do go back to the same farm year after year. it depends a bit. other questions? all right. so i'm going to talk about cesar
chavez very briefly because i do want to get to new york. you can't talk about agricultural labor without mentioning united farm workers and the inspiration this gave for both mexican american act -- activists. what do people know about cesar chavez? any thoughts? in the back over there. [ inaudible ] >> a worker's revolution. do you know anything else or -- [ inaudible ] >> yeah, he's a labor activist. what else? [ inaudible ] >> exactly, right. the focus was on grapes and on california. grapes are going to be the key crop. anyone know anything else about
him. you might see streets named after him. he's probably the most well known mexican american activist from this time period. in general there's a very romantic idea around cesar chavez. he's born in arizona. his family moved to california. he himself works as a migrant farm worker for a short time. he then becomes a community organizer in the 1960s. he's very interested particularly in mexican american rights. he wants to improve the quality of life for mexican american farm workers. he's in delano, california. names you might be less familiar with are phillip veracruz and this man here. i'm going to be talking about chavez and mexican americans,
but this was actually a coalition between filipino workers and mexican americans. we should think about this as an interethnic coalition as well. in fact, the filipino workers pushed chavez on strike the first time. initially this is 1965. the goal was a higher hourly minimum wage of $1.50 an hour, the right to unemployment insurance and also the right to have a union and have them be hired by the union hall. chavez always wanted more than just a union. he thought of this as a larger movement, as a movement for mexican american rights and labor rights. the first strike happens in 1960. chavez uses three tactics to help workers unionize in the agricultural industry. the first was the most in some ways iconic, which is the strike. farm workers were going to go on
strike. it's actually the filipino workers, a.w.o.k. they wanted to go on strike. they thought they're not getting paid enough. they wanted to increase their wages. so they basically put some pressure on chavez and the mexican americans and said we're walking out, are you going to be with us? chavez thought they weren't quite ready and he calls a strike for the ufw. in this way he becomes a national figure. the strike gets national attention. they set up roving picket lines in the field where they would send picket lines out to different places in the california fields with a goal of trying to prevent other workers from taking their place. this is only partially successful. sometimes the employers could hire other workers. again, they're trying to move
this around. they have a whole group of sort of theater going out and doing guerilla theater in the fields. they're able to get higher wages, but not across the board. huelga is spanish for strike. the second thing that chavez does is he begins a march. again, thinking about what are the tactics that could be used to improve these workers' working conditions. they were not getting everyone to strike. we can't actually stop production. we're going to march that more people see us. in 1966 the ufw and chavez lead a march from delano to sacramento. sacramento is, of course, the capital of california. at this point, the strike had been going on for six months. the idea was to bring more
attention to the workers, get out of the fields. who's going to see them in the fields? we need to be public, we need to be political. people need to see us. this was also embued with religious connotations. they used images like the virgin mary. this was done both to give an ethical argument to the idea of farm workers' rights as well as resonating with the mexican american population that was strongly catholic. so here we hav the march. we can see these marches going up to sacramento. finally what they become most associated with is this boycott. the strike, useful but not totally successful. the march, they're able the get their message known to a larger population, particularly in california but also nationally.
but they still don't have a union and they still don't have better wages. how are they going to do this? this is where it again ties into our reading for today. they decide to focus on consumers. all of us in this room. they said rather than trying to focus on the company or on the state legislature, we're going to bring consumers into this and we're going to tell them it's not ethical to eat grapes, that if they eat grapes, they are supporting poor working conditions, that they don't care about the farm workers. if they boycott grapes, this is in solidarity with us, because we care about where our food comes from and how it is, in fact, grown, produced, packaged. and we won't eat grapes if we think they are being unethically produced. this is an interesting sort of tidbit. the national labor relations act that i talked about in 1935
actually outlawed the boycott. you can't use the boycott if you're trying to actively start a union. however, because the farm workers aren't covered by labor law, they're able to use the boycott. this is a moment where they're able to navigate around the law and the fact they're not protected like it means they can use something like the boycott. this becomes a national boycott. it's very successful because it's cross class. just like we think about the movement today in many ways targeting middle class consumers, people who can go to the farmers market on sunday afternoon, this movement targeted middle class, largely liberal women consumers in cities across american. my grandmother still to this day doesn't eat grapes. she lives in california. she's like what do you mean you eat grapes? it's tied to the sense of liberal politics of standing up
with the grape workers. the way the uufw was able to mae this a national worker, they send farm workers all over and they create coalitions between farm workers and consumers. they say this is what we need to do to actually get improvements in farm workers' lives and there's a real sense of optimism. the high point of the 1970 when in fact many of these farms do sign contracts with the united farm workers and there are millions of supporters across the country. it really is seen as one of the most successful boycotts in 20th century history. however, the story is not all so romantic. 1970 is the high point. that means things go off afterwards. as much as i would like to say
this is a story and things really improve a lot, in fact things quickly go back to the same types of long hours, difficult working conditions and without labor recognition in the years that follow. in many ways the united farm workers with a much more successful social movement and much less successful as a union. if you're interested, i have many books i can suggest to you. there are fights between the ufw and the teamsters. there are fights within the ufw itself. they're able to represent fewer and fewer farm workers over the '70s, '80s around '90s. in addition, chavez himself has an interesting longer history as well. he himself is very critical of
undocumented workers because he sees them competing with the mexican americans he's trying to represent in california. here are some images again of the boycott. they're clearly trying to not look like hippies. they're in suits. they're trying to demonstrate respectability politics. boycott california grapes. it's a cross class, cross racial coalition. this is a symbol of this idea of consumerism and labor politics coming together. any questions about chavez, the grapes boycott, et cetera? questions? okay. so i'm going to move to the last segment of this lecture, which is going to be about new york state. thinking about how this affects what we eat today and about the
ongoing relationship between farm labor and work, often very difficult conditions and often far fewer rights than those of us who work whether it's in universities or fast food restaurants or poultry plants who are protected by labor law, at least on paper, while farm workers are not. how many of you guys are from new york? more of you from new york than california. okay. new york still has a large agricultural sector. how many of you have been to the hudson valley? it's beautiful. new york is promoting this idea of going to the farm, that you're going to be close to nature, that there's something pastoral, this sort of agrarian tradition that we are going to be at one with the countryside, the earth and this is going to give us a respite and a sense of
ethical or moral sensibility. new york is urban as most of us know, but has a large agricultural industry, important for both agriculture and tourism. they have a very high direct to consumer sales, which means they really care about this idea of localism. they make a lot of money saying our farms are local. these are small farms. this is not florida. we know our workers. we have a small farm, et cetera. this is what we have here and how new york is different. the question then is who is working in new york? who are our workers in new york state? the first answer is the jamaican guest worker program. i talk about the bracero program having ended in the 1960s, but this doesn't mean guest workers program ends. in fact, the program morphs. this is a really good book about
it "no man's land." it's an excellent book about the history of guest workers in the united states. we still have guest workers working in new york state in large numbers, though increasingly less. this is an article just last month in the "new york times" about these jamaican guest workers. this allows farms in the northeast to recruit non-u.s. labor, okay. and also the idea that the farm has to actually advertise, say there's no american who wants these jobs, and then get the paperwork to bring in the guest workers. many of these workers come back to these same farms over and over again for multiple years. they send much of their money back to jamaica. and the idea is at the end they will not stay in the united states, but they will in fact return to jamaica. jamaica sees this program as beneficial for their country because the economy there is
depressed. this is a way to bring dollars into jamaica in particular. however, it is also, again, these workers have relatively few options in many ways. they cannot quit and stay in the united states legally. they make them difficult to protest their working conditions and they often are very isolated as well. unlike in california, where you have large numbers of workers working on these farms, the downside of a small farm if you're a farm worker, you might be one of seven or eight people on a farm, you might be isolated, farther away from your community. some of these workers drop out and become undocumented. some ma marry u.s. citizens. gray writes about that in the readings that you did for today. it goes on the decline as more
and more farms begin to, in fact, hire undocumented workers. i was listening to npr this morning. there's going to be a story about this on the news this afternoon. if you're listening to npr and "all things considered," they're doing a whole segment. these men are not young and what this means for them as workers and the commitment these farms have made to them. do they need to keep hiring them year after year because they feel a commitment to these workers, or do they simply go to less expensive workers. this is what gray argues happens in new york. there's a move from guest workers to undocumented workers. this is from an npr story in 2012. today new york farms generally hire undocumented workers rather than guest worker programs. this is not across the board, but the guest worker program is
bureaucratic. it requires a lot of paperwork and you do have to pay people at a particular level. so many farms now have turned to undocumented workers. those populations are vulnerable. both populations in many ways have limited ability to advocate for their labor rights, and farms are able to use these populations in concert as they work and need their crops to be picked. some of the guest workers -- if i was a u.s. citizen, i could ask for more money. i could walk off the job any time i was ready, i could get an easier job. the department of labor says, look, this is all a strategy, again, to pay people less. the department of labor, quote, you and i know the reason you bring in jamaican and mexican workers is control. they're abused, they can't leave. don't push it under the rug.
you know more than all of us. you see it every day. farmers say, look, we have such a small margin. if there's a bad season, if it rains, what are we supposed to do? we can't pay people more because they themselves are working on such a small margin. what we have then is yet a final strategy for trying to improve workers' conditions. margaret gray works alongside the justice for farm workers campaign. think about her in comparison to sinclair. what does it mean for these writers to be activists and writers? what are their politics? justice for farm workers decides to focus on legislation. they say, look, we're never going to get anywhere unionizing. people are too spread out, too scared, they can be fired. we're going to work on legislation. we're going to try to change the law in new york state. they are able to get some good
laws passed, in my opinion, in the '90s. again, we talked about this last week with the bathroom breaks, basic dignity. in 1996 the law was passed in new york that law was passed inw york that employers were required to provide drinking water for all farm workers. this was before the you had a certain number of workers and if you didn't have a certain number you didn't have to provide water. now it didn't matter if you have 1 employee or 10 employees, everyone deserved water. in 1988 a law passed you had to have a port-a-potty, toilet and hand washing facilities. if you have three, four, five, six workers, before you were exempt. now even if you're a small farm, only six workers, you need to provide people a place where they can use the bathroom. and in 1999, they raised the minimum wage. up to the standard state minimum
wage. in 2010 they try to pass new legislation. and this was called the farm workers fair labor practices act. and it reaches the new york state senate. the first real debate about labor protections in almost a century. or at least 70 years. and this is what the law would have done. one, it would have said that farm workers deserve overtime. again, farm workers currently do not get overtime pay and that is legal. the reason is the idea is that a farm needs people to work long hours. it's not, they said, like a factory where someone can work eight hours and hire someone else for eight hours. you need someone to milk the cow every four hours. can't just hire someone for an eight-hour shift but need to hire someone for longer. this bill would have created overtime, although it was overtime after 55 hours. so it was still longer than what you would work in an industrial
setting. they also said that people should be required one day off a week of 24-hour rest period. again, even though they're in farm labor, they should be able to get a day off of rest. and third, that they would have collective bargaining rights. so if someone was trying to organize, they would not be fired and that would be legal. right now if you're trying to organize and you're fired there's no protection against that on a farm based on federal law. so these would be the three things in this law. and yet, it did not pass. it was very close. it was 31 down against 28 for. this largely fit around urban/rural lines. not surprisingly, many of the sort of city reps were supporting the union rights, and the upstate representatives, both democrat and republican, said you don't understand the farm industry. we can't have this because this is, in fact, going to kill family farms. and, in fact, what was argued
was really interesting. many of the attacks against the labor legislation used the same sort of rhetoric of agrarrianism. don't turn farms into factories. they used paternalism to say look, the factory and the farm are different. we don't need the same protections. we take care of our people. we won't be able to make enough if we have these protections in place. and it's really interesting to think about how this comes together, right? this is, in fact, a moment where the rhetoric of sort of the pastoralism is used to explain away labor rights. where i'd like to conclude with the thinking about is just this summer there's yet another court case, again, should farm workers in new york have the right to organize. this is going through new york state courts right now. and i think it challenges us to think about when we eat our vegetables, and i do eat organic
apples and organic strawberries and also these things. i also like going to the farmer's market. to think about this beyond just the question of what pesticide was used. to think about this beyond the question of, does the chicken get to roam around. think back to that portlandia skit, how much space did the chicken have? too many antibiotics, how was it fed? but thinking about the epics of the men and women who grow these vegetables, pick them in the harvest and, in fact, need to cultivate these vegetables so that someone like myself can go and buy them. does this mean that as consumers people need to think about paying more for local food? does that mean when we pay more for organic but also pay more for food that was grown under better working conditions. and this is something that one might ask themselves. as one worker said when the lead sort of plaintiffs in this case here, quote, we deserve to be treated with dignity. our labor is important to mr. hernandez, who no longer works
in the dairy industry. they treat the cows better than they treat us. the whole industry, this is this way. so when we think about this question of eating, to make sure we recognize who is actually producing that food in front of us. margaret gray ends her book by saying, this new approach to pursuing justice could be characterized as the inverse of upton sinclair's maxim, farm worker advocates are aiming at the public stomach trying to make us think about what we're eating in order to get to our hearts. so rather than the reverse. a couple of things. think about things you need to know. one is thinking about the projects of guest workers. thinking about chavez and united farm workers and thinking about the politics of smaller farms, particularly in upstate new york. again, make sure your name is on this list and we'll see everyone in discussion section on monday. and we are exactly on time.
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