As we we celebrate Labor Day weekend, please remember that some workers are still not entitled to the 8 hour work day that many of us take for granted.
It has been 74 years since farm workers and domestic workers were left out of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the landmark federal law setting minimum wages and overtime for nearly all American workers.
To win votes from Southern lawmakers back in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was forced to exempt farm and domestic workers. Nearly all of those workers in the Southern U.S. then were African Americans. Today in California and across the country, most farm workers are Latinos.
The United Farm Workers is sponsoring AB 1313, by Assemblymember Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa), to provide overtime pay for farm workers after eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. This bill passed the state Senate and will soon be on California Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Can you please send him an email today asking him to sign this vital bill?
The exclusion of farm workers from overtime after eight hours was wrong in 1938. It is wrong now. The time has come for it to end. Progress was made in 1976 when Gov Jerry Brown permitted California’s farm workers to receive overtime after 10 hours of work. But there is more to be done. California provides 80 percent of the nation’s fresh produce and as a result its agricultural laws set the standard for the nation. Tell Gov. Brown to end this shameful legacy of racism in California by signing AB 1313.
Bill to end shameful legacy of racism for farm workers can soon go to Calif. governor this Labor Day weekend