Opinion: As Congress refuses to fix immigration and states run amok on enforcement, we need sensible policy that aids 11 million undocumented already here and working

The editors

The New York Times 2011-10-27

As Alabama immigration law takes effect, farm, construction workers flee; farmer sees only 8 of 48 Hispanic workers she needed for tomato harvest show up

By Phillip Rawls

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2011-10-05

Georgia projected to take $391 million hit, shed 3,260 jobs this year because of farm labor shortages; farmers complain about immigration law that scared farm workers

By Jeremy Redmon and Daniel Malloy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2011-10-04

Opinion: Immigrant purge will leave onions, peaches to rot in fields; states' attempts to engineer expulsion of 11m undocumented is lunacy and DOJ needs to work harder

The editors

The New York Times 2011-07-04

Opinion: True cost of the 1 billion pounds of tomatoes Florida ships is told in detail and with insight and compassion by Barry Estabrook in his new book, "Tomatoland"

By Mark Bittman

The New York Times 2011-06-14

Many migrant farm workers seem to be skipping Georgia in anticipation of harsh new immigration law; state's $1.1-billion fruit-and-vegetable industry could lose $300 million

The Economist 2011-06-16

Arizona may revoke business licenses of firms that knowingly hire illegals, Supreme Court affirms; law requires use of federal E-Verify to determine authorization to work

By Robert Barnes

The Washington Post 2011-05-26

Children of migrant farmworkers struggle to keep up in school as parents follow the lettuce and produce season from Salinas Valley to Yuma, AZ, November to April

By Patricia Leigh Brown

The New York Times 2011-03-12

Republicans call for return to large-scale workplace immigration raids like those at meatpacking plants; critics say such sweeps cost upward of $10 million and are needlessly traumatic

By Brian Bennett

Los Angeles Times 2011-01-26

Opinion: It's time to reduce work hours and alter balance between time and cash, to trim dependence on formal market by "self-providing," including small-scale agriculture

By Juliet Schor

The Nation 2010-05-24

In landmark deal, tomato lobby, Florida farmworkers' group agree to raise in pickers' wages, working conditions; industry hopes deal will play well with buy-local supporters

By Laura Wides-Munoz

The Associated Press; ABC News 2010-11-16

Despite our stated aim to stop illegal immigration, our inconsistent laws, policies and attitudes say otherwise, so farmers get cheap labor, illegals get jobs, shoppers get low food prices

By Chris Collins

The Fresno Bee 2010-11-14

Hershey, with its 42.5 percent share of US chocolate market, isn't doing enough to ensure sustainability, elimination of child trafficking and labor in its cocoa purchasing, group says

By Jane Byrne News Media 2010-09-15

After years of winks at employees working off books or with false documents, immigration enforcement sends fear through $550-billion restaurant industry; employers feel forced into detective role

By Sarah Kershaw

The New York Times 2010-09-07

Without labor of illegal immigrants, food in US would cost "three, four, or five times more," which is why we need comprehensive immigration reform, says USDA head

By Roger Simon

Politico 2010-08-25

Citing seasonal nature of work and perishable crops, California governor sides with farmers and vetoes farmworkers overtime bill

By Marisa Lagos

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-07-29

Opinion: Union's sly want-ad for dirty, hard work at low pay focuses on immigration reform and effort to legalize undocumented farm laborers, meatpackers, poultry pluckers

The editors

The New York Times 2010-07-16

Shifting from high-profile raids, feds now scour firms' books for illegals; government has levied $3 million in fines so far this year on businesses that hired illegals

By Julia Preston

The New York Times 2010-07-09

Opinion: Farm labor isn't for everyone, but it should be honored work, with decent wages and working conditions; farm workers feed the nation

By Douglass Adair

Los Angeles Times 2010-07-10

Child labor - picking strawberries at ages 7, 8 in Florida, blueberries at age 7 in Michigan, picking peas in Virginia at age 8 - though often legal, draws scrutiny

Human Rights Watch 2010-05-05

Idaho agriculture contingent - fruit growers, wine makers, and dairy producers - urge lawmakers to reform immigration, guest worker program to ensure steady flow of farm labor

By Brad Iverson-Long

Idaho Reporter 2010-05-01

Wages, benefits lag for restaurant workers, survey of 2,500 workers and 150 employers in five cities shows

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2010-02-11

In one week, Iowa's meatpacking industry loses 1,450 jobs at Smithfield plant, 480 at Tyson plant

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-01-23

Flu bill would grant 5 paid sick days to lunch ladies, waiters

In effort to slow spread of swine flu, new legislation would guarantee five paid sick days for workers with contagious illness who are sent home by their employers. School cafeteria workers, restaurant employees, others in contact with public and without paid sick leave (click 'See also') otherwise would go to work with H1N1 and spread virus, says bill's sponsor. 39 percent of private-sector workers do not receive paid sick days, while among the bottom 25 percent of wage earners, 63 percent do not. Bill would apply to businesses with 15 or more employees.

By Steven Greenhouse

The New York Times 2009-11-03

See also 

Opinion: Bigger - not boutique - farms often better deal for workers

For workers, big farms are far more appealing than mom-and-pop operations - they are more likely to provide full-time jobs with better benefits, offer longer gigs, and working conditions are more regimented. Larger enterprises also hire more of their work force directly, rather than through farm labor contractors. Smaller growers have smaller economies of scale with smaller budget; keeping prices competitive means finding creative ways to keep costs low. Farmers may not be able to control price of land, seeds, and equipment, but they can squeeze what they pay for labor.

By Tracie McMillan

Slate 2009-11-02

Wrongful death award looks past anti-immigrant sentiment

After Archer Daniels Midland offers $500,000, and later, $1 million to settle after death of worker in steam explosion at its Illinois BioProducts plant, lawyer takes a chance on trial despite anti-immigrant sentiment. Jury awards family $6.7 million to family, which lives in Mexico (click 'See also'). Since 1995, nine people have died at company's Decatur sites. Latinos have highest workplace death rate of any ethnicity because they tend to work in dangerous professions - meatpacking, forestry, construction. Union official says judgment sends message that workers' rights should be respected.

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-10-11

See also 

Compass Group to pay more for tomatoes; subsidiary's workers lose hours

Compass Group, which buys 10 million pounds of tomatoes annually and operates 10,000 cafeterias, agrees with Florida's Coalition of Immokalee Workers to buy winter tomatoes only from growers that pay fair wage, offer good working conditions. And: After Chartwells, a Compass Group subsidiary, takes over Connecticut school food service from Sodexho, some workers say their hours were curtailed; one says cutback made her ineligible for insurance (click 'See also'). Others say they lost paid sick leave, holiday leave, were transferred with little notice and had problems receiving paychecks.

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-09-25

See also 

As workers' diet-related health costs rise, employer mandates checkups

After years of steep costs for employees' diabetes, heart disease, Pennsylvania firm mandates free health testing and some workers get 'wake-up call,' make diet, lifestyle changes. In health reform efforts, chronic conditions like diabetes are major focus - they affect 130 million-plus Americans, account for three-quarters of total health spending.

By Anna Mathews

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-07-08

Pilgrim's Pride idles plant to reduce chicken supply, raise prices

As demand for chicken declines, bankrupt Pilgrim's Pride idles Georgia processing plant that provided 1,000 jobs, $300,000 in annual county tax revenues. It also shuns prospective buyers, saying that selling to competitor wouldn't reduce chicken supply. In town, poultry insurer braces for drop in business; hospital girds for more uninsured patients. Most big chicken companies reducing output; chicken prices have increased since Pilgrim's closed its plants.

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-06-30

Aftermath of immigration raid at Iowa slaughterhouse

After massive raid on kosher meatpacking plant in northeast Iowa, what was a center of commerce teeters toward collapse as plant sputters in bankruptcy, managers face prison time and shrinking town fights to stay solvent. Other ripples: Midwest livestock farmers who supplied the plant set back; nation's kosher meat supply was ruptured, federal immigration policy evolving to target employers, not employees.

By Antonio Olivo

Chicago Tribune 2009-05-12

Two pesticide suits against banana grower dismissed

Judge dismisses two lawsuits against Dole after its lawyers said that poor people in Nicaragua were recruited to file complaints. At least 16,000 Latin American workers have sued over 20 years seeking damages from chemical companies that made the pesticide dibromochloropropane, or DBCP, and growers that used it. More than 40 related cases with thousands of plaintiffs pending in L.A.

By Edvard Pettersson

Bloomberg 2009-04-24

Japan recruits urbanites to short-staffed farming sector

As recession in Japan worsens, government recruits young underemployed workers to farmer training program with whirlwind lessons in rice and vegetable planting, cleaning pigsties, feeding cattle. Only 4 percent of Japanese labor force works in agriculture and profession is graying and short on workers, but reverence for rice-farming heritage is strong. And: Japan's rural economic system built on tiny, woefully inefficient family farms (click 'See also').

By Hiroko Tabuchi

The New York Times 2009-04-15

See also 

After tuna sandwich tussle, fired worker fights for benefits

Fired for misconduct after setting aside one of 30 tuna sandwiches destined for trash at Whole Foods, former deli clerk fights for unemployment benefits - and wins. Legal services worker says they're seeing uptick in similar cases; nationally, in 66 percent of cases, employees win. In New York, as in other states, employers' unemployment insurance rates based on amount of benefits their former workers collect.

By Jennifer 8. Lee

The New York Times 2009-03-16

In tomato capital of nation, modern slavery

In Florida's Immokalee tomato fields, slavery, squalid living conditions are symptoms of system that exploits immigrants so supermarkets can sell winter tomatoes and fast-food outlets can add them to sandwiches. In 12 years, officials have freed 1,000-plus workers.

By Barry Estabrook

Gourmet magazine 2009-03-01

Feds probe labor practices at turkey processor

Investigators probe practices of Iowa meat processor after evacuating disabled workers from 'deplorable' town-owned living quarters. Since late 1970s, Henry's Turkey Service has shipped mentally impaired men from Texas to Iowa to pull guts, pluck feathers at turkey processing plant. Company acted as employer, landlord, caregiver, leaving men with as little as $65 per month in salary. All of them expected to lose their jobs in the next few weeks.

By Clark Kauffman

The Des Moines Register 2009-02-08

Opinion: Stability, dignity at confluence of labor, immigration

Obama's nominees for homeland security, labor and commerce posts are on right track to reverse Bush administration's immigration tactics, which attacked problem upside down, backward. Two share well-informed disdain for foolish, inadequate schemes like the border fence; the third is staunch defender of immigrants and workers, like those found working at hellish slaughterhouse in Iowa (for update click 'See also').

The editors

The New York Times 2008-12-26

See also 

9,311 child-labor violations at Iowa meatpacker

Kosher slaughterhouse owners face 9,311 child-labor violations; two executives charged with felonies after 400 arrested in May immigration raid at Iowa plant. And: Barack Obama doesn't name meatpacker, but urges crackdown on employers who are taking advantage of undocumented workers (click 'See also') 'to avoid paying decent wages and providing decent benefits.'

By Tony Leys and Jennifer Jacobs

The Des Moines Register 2008-09-09

See also 

Opinion: Bottom-feeding kosher slaughterhouse, immigration disgrace

Iowa slaughterhouse workers treatment is disgrace. Bush administration abandoned mercy and proportionality, devised new, harsher traps for illegal workers. By treating desperate employees as criminal class, government is attempting to inflate illegals' menace to level that justifies its rabid efforts to capture and punish them. And: Immigrants' stories (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York Times 2008-08-01

See also 

Iowa slaughterhouse raid netted under-age workers

Teens found working at kosher slaughterhouse during immigration raid; afterward, they described labor violations that could result in criminal charges, lawyers say. And: Demonstrators expected in Iowa to protest immigrant treatment at Agriprocessors; Jewish groups debate buying their meat, labeled Aaron's Best and Aaron's Choice. (click 'See also').

By Julia Preston

The New York Times 2008-07-27

See also 

Farms follow labor south of the border

Political standoff over 12 million mostly Mexican illegal immigrants, high land prices and water shortages move American companies to set up farming on more than 45,000 acres of land in three Mexican states, employing about 11,000. But cheaper labor and diesel fuel often are offset by lower productivity and high training costs, especially in food safety.

By Jessica Bernstein-Wax

The Associated Press; Fox News 2008-05-27

Iowa slaughterhouse workers sentenced

After nearly 400 workers arrested in Iowa raid at meat-processing plant, many face deportation - some, dissolution of families - after pleading guilty to using fake documents so they could work. Because 697 people were on the complaint, many believe government is still hunting about 300 illegal immigrants. And: At hearing, lawmakers, advocates question why plant owners haven't been charged (click 'See also').

By Nigel Duara and Grant Schulte

The Des Moines Register 2008-05-24

See also 

Poultry workers deported

Illegal immigrants arrested at Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant in Arkansas will be deported. Other than using fake documentation, U.S. Attorney says the accused are law-abiding and came here to better their lives and those of their families. Arrests were part of sweep at company operations in Florida, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

By Jon Gambrell

The Associated Press; Houston Chronicle (TX) 2008-04-21

Opinion: Cruel and wrong

After three years of gutting, clipping, boning and slicing turkeys at a rate of about 30 a minute at a poultry plant in the Carolinas, Karina Zorita, 32, struggles to grasp a spoon, hold a broom, brush her hair or pick up a glass of water with her wounded hands. That's wrong, and it's wrong for the thousands of poultry workers who clean and process America's best-selling meat.

The editors

The Charlotte Observer (NC) 2008-02-10

'Inhumane and dangerous' conditions

Lawmakers promise hearings on poultry worker safety after The Charlotte (NC) Observer documents problems at House of Raeford Farms. Employees say company ignored, intimidated or fired mostly illegal immigrant workers hurt on the job. Company failed to record injuries; federal safety inspections at U.S. poultry plants have dropped to lowest point in 15 years.

By Peter St. Onge, Kerry Hall, Ames Alexander and Franco OrdoƱez

The Charlotte Observer (NC) 2008-02-17

See also 

Price of food

Six family members indicted on charges of beating and threatening Guatemalan and Mexican workers, locking them in trucks and forcing them to pick tomatoes and other produce in Florida. Indictment was announced as U.S. senator was touring Immokalee area, where advocates have been pressuring growers and Burger King to raise wages for tomato pickers.

The Associated Press 2008-01-18

See also 

Fork in the road

Culinary union in Nevada, after considering candidates, endorses Barack Obama, NBC News reports. The group's 60,000 members work at casinos along the Las Vegas Strip and in Las Vegas, the airport, the hospital, industrial laundries and in Reno casinos.

By Mark Murray

NBC News 2008-01-08

See also 

Review: Bittersweet

Review: Bittersweet

"The Price of Sugar" focuses documentary lens on Dominican Republic and horrific conditions of mostly Haitian illegal immigrant sugar cane workers there, then tells story of Catholic priest who sets out to improve their lot.

By Stephen Farber

The Hollywood Reporter 2007-08-23


Immigration officers, with help from sheriff's office, raid 500-employee Koch chicken processing company near Cincinnati and its headquarters in Chicago; many U.S. meat industry workers are immigrants, mainly Hispanics.

By Andrea Hopkins, with additional reporting by Bob Burgdorfer

Reuters 2007-08-28

Immigration fears:

Growers, now hiring thousands of seasonal workers for peak harvest months, cry foul over crackdown on illegal immigrants, declaring it's an effort of government to look good at the expense of the people with the hardest and lowest paid jobs.

By Juliana Barbassa

Associated Press; 2007-08-16

Opinion: Illegals

Bush administration deserves credit for pushing immigration reform, but enforcement-only plan for handling illegal immigrants could create potentially devastating consequences for farmers at harvest season.

The editors

Denver Post 2007-08-14

Harvest worries:

Bush administration's plan for fines, sanctions against growers whose workers have improper documentation could be devastating to the coming fall harvest, and could encourage an underground economy, California farmers say.

By Ashley Gebb

Appeal-Democrat (CA) 2007-08-14