ALL MARCH to the hourly Corporate mandate (EBITDA), maximize profits, cut costs……………………………….. AND ’unspoken, unacknowledged’, destroy lives.
The worst commute? California farm workers
EXICALI, Mexico — Norma Cortez, 59, a farmworker for 35 years, limps into her simple kitchen at 12:30 a.m. to make a cup of coffee. She is getting ready for work after only a few hours of sleep, a routine she does five to six days a week through the six-month winter vegetable harvest. She is one of tens of thousands who work the rich agricultural fields of Yuma, Ariz., packaging heads of lettuce for shipment across the United States for such brands as Dole Foods, Church Brothers and Tanimura & Antle. The work is tedious and rough — she still feels yesterday’s eight-hour shift in her swollen hands and aching back as she prepares bag lunches for her and her husband Roberto, 60, then washes the dishes from last night’s meal.
The day’s work ahead is tough and low-paid, but the worst part is the commute. From Mexicali, just south of the California border, the morning trip to the Arizona fields typically takes seven hours, including a mind-numbing wait to cross the border, plus two more hours coming home. “The life of a farm worker is hard enough,” Norma says, “but the waiting time to get to work is worse.”….more