Governor's 'Shade and Water' Vetoes Upset Farm Labor
Labor advocates say they're disappointed that Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed bills that would have added protections for farm workers.
The bills would have made it a misdemeanor for farmers not to provide adequate shade and water for field workers and would have given workers a legal option if heat regulations were not enforced.
Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers of America, says the bill gave more teeth to the state’s current heat rules. "We would have a right to a private right of action where the farm workers could go and get an attorney in event that the state wasn’t enforcing the law."
But Bryan Little of the California Farm Bureau says farmers are already making changes, including adding thousands of water coolers and shade structures on farms.
According to the state, seven farm workers have died from heat exhaustion since California's heat rules were made permanent in 2006.