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Last summer while I was visiting my family out in Utah I tried my hand at working at a farm picking raspberries. My family did it every season because it was good money and the farm owners needed the help harvesting. I put in a days work and I said to myself never again. Picking raspberries out there wasn’t as labor intensive and demanding as picking grapes, lettuce and other foods out in the valleys here in California. Or having to live out there and breathing in all that pesticide and chemicals used out there. But half way into the day my arms were scratched up, I was sneezing, I had watery eyes from all the pollen and my back was already aching from all the bending. There’s no machine or technique for this kind of work. It has to be done by hand and with care, other wise it all goes to waste.
I made $60 that by filling a few boxes full of those little green baskets and walked away with new found appreciation for all the labor that goes into the foods I eat. That’s why the United Farm Workers have created the “Take Our Jobs” campaign to hire citizens and legal residents to work out in the fields and do the work that undocumented individuals are doing already.
“Take Our Jobs is a national campaign led by United Farm Workers aimed at hiring U.S. citizens and legal residents to fill jobs that often go to undocumented farm workers.Â The effort spotlights the immigrant labor issue and underscores the need for reforms without which the domestic agricultural industry could be crippled, leading to more jobs moving off shore.
As part of the movement, the campaign is sending a letter to U.S. lawmakers, offering up farm workers who are â€œready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace immigrants in the fields.â€ The campaign is encouraging Members of Congress to refer their constituents to vacant farm worker positions in locations across the country. All who are interested or unemployed and are legal residents or U.S. citizens are encouraged to apply.”
It’s time people who keep talking all this shit about undocumented individuals taking American jobs and all that B.S. put their money where their mouth is. Let’s see how they hold working in the same conditions farm workers live with on a daily basis.