Photo Essay: California Farmworker – LeRoy
Syndic Literary Journal

Photo Essay: California Farmworker – Peligro

PELIGRO! DANGER! DO NOT ENTER! STAY OUT!
 
 Photo by Gayanne Fietinghoff (c.1972)
 
Think about it!  Your job site was sprayed 12 hours ago with a deadly pesticide. You report for work and see the Peligro sign. Is it safe to go to work? What chemical was sprayed? The Peligro sign lists two chemicals, but one is crossed out, which one is correct?
 
I am pregnant, will this exposure be harmful to my unborn? Farmworkers ask the very same questions but there is no one to answer them, there is no one to assure them and take responsibility that the work site is safe. No one knows.
 
If I need the work to support my family, I have to work – safe or not safe. What other choice do I have?
 
All other workers in our country have a choice and can assure themselves the work site is safe,  farmworkers do not. Their labor rights were denied them in 1935 in order to pass national labor legislation guaranteeing the labor rights for workers in other industries.
 
This labor apartheid is shameful and unjust!

 

Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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Syndic No. 33
October 2020
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