Imágenes de páginas

the worker's earnings is withheld to provide the disability insurance coverage. It is interesting that an out-of-State migrant becoming disabled upon his return home can file a claim for benefits based on his earnings in California.

An industrial welfare order governs the agricultural employment of women and minors in our State. Women and minors 16 and 17 years of age now work at minimum hourly rates of $1.30 and $1.10, respectively. Piece-rate earnings must also yield the equivalents of these amounts, or more, to at least 80 percent of the women and 80 percent of the youth employees. Such women and youth workers who are required to report to work but are furnished less than 4 hours of work, for any reason other than an act of God, must be paid the regular rates for 4 hours. Standard working conditions for women and youth provide for accurate time and pay records and regulations governing equipment, meal and rest periods, weight lifting, drinking water, toilet and handwashing facilities. Employers of fewer than five women or youth are exempt from all conditions except the working conditions and recordkeeping. There is no minimum wage requirement for the 12-15 year olds. During the September 1965 harvest peak, estimates of women and youth employed in seasonal agricultural activities totaled some 75,000, and represented more than 38 percent of the seasonal farmwork force.

Safety orders govern agricultural employment and transportation of farmworkers. Notable improvements have been made in the provision and accessibility of cool drinking water and sanitary facilities in the field. Recent legislation concerning the latter makes it a misdemeanor not only for the employer to fail to provide sanitary facilities, but for workers to fail to use them.

A major problem continues to be the housing of agricultural migrant families. The expiration of Public Law 78 and exodus of braceros from our farmwork force left many empty barracks and single beds. Recruitment of single men to replace braceros has met with but limited success. Families have offered a greater potential in labor supplies, providing housing could be made available. Good progress is being made to increase family housing. The Office of Economic Opportunity recently reported that about 1,000 units of "flash peak” temporary housing were open or were to be ready by August 1. The Farmers Home Administration reported nearly 2,000 family units—permanent dwellings—under construction or planned. Projects in three counties will provide 36 family units, each demonstrating a different type of permanent construction. Operated by the local county housing authorities, these are to be occupied by farmworkers for at least the first 2 years.

The California Legislature, in 1965, acted to expedite private housing construction and remodeling by authorizing the Division of Building and Housing Standards to update and devise specific rules and regulations applicable to farm employee housing, including temporary camps and mobile home facilities. A good number of barracks formerly accommodating braceros have been converted into family apartments. Some farmers have acquired motor coaches and put in trailer park facilities for their workers. As the present major harvest season gets underway, workers are finding much more housing and more attractive housing than last year.

A word about our employment service to agricultural workers and employers. In addition to the recruitment and placement of farmworkers, our agency has a number of programs to upgrade the farmworker and the farm job. We were instrumental in initiating farm foreman training in the agricultural industry. Too often, the causes of labor turnover and labor shortages have been due to poor supervision, inconsiderate treatment, and lack of understanding of the worker.

Under the Manpower Development Training Act, farmworkers are being trained to upgrade their skills and extend their opportunities for employment. Mechanization has accelerated since the termination of the bracero program, and we are working with growers, agricultural engineers, equipment manufacturers and dealers, and vocational educators in a joint program to assess the future needs for training operators to man the farm machines.

We are developing a worker orientation and training program, utilizing motion pictures and film strips to acquaint the worker with the job ahead of time—thus helping to screen the applicant and prepare the worker selected for entering the employment.

We have done a great deal to extend youth employment in agriculture—both in gaining acceptance of young workers by employers, and in gaining acceptance of farm jobs by youthful workers.

Time is too brief to cover all factors which have a bearing on the California agricultural labor situation. The industry competes with other States in the produce market, and competes with other California industries in the labor market. Farm job inducements have been at a disadvantage in competing for workers during periods of high labor demands outside of agriculture.

However, our farm wage rates have advanced favorably. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California's average hourly rate for 1965 was $1.40—5 percent above $1.33 for the previous year. The 1965 rate was also the highest for any State and 47 percent above the national average of 95 cents an hour.

Preliminary summaries of 1965 wage data, from California employers' disability insurance reports, show that domestic agricultural workers in California earned $730,200,000, which was 18 percent greater than the $616,300,000 earned by domestic workers during 1964. More domestic workers did farmwork and worked at higher rates of pay in most activities. .

You may be interested in some long-range California local wage trends. For example, rates reported for seasonal activities in Imperial County in 1959 ranged from 70 to 90 cents an hour. In 1965, the range was $1.05 to $1.25; and in 1966, $1.40 an hour seems to be prevailing. In 1959, San Bernardino County reported that navel orange pickers were paid 14 cents a 50-pound box. In 1965, the rate was 27 cents a box-nearly double. Ventura County lemon pickers, in 1959, were paid according to a scale from 21 to 65 cents a box. The scale in 1965 was 35 cents to $1.25 a box,

Periodically, various efforts have been made to organize California farmworkers, and some union contracts have been written. However, neither the National Labor Relations Act nor any California law provides procedures for election, by agricultural workers, of collective bargaining representatives. No California law provides the right to file a petition with any State agency to demonstrate that the petitioner represents the majority of farmworkers, which would require their employer to recognize and bargain with them. Governor Brown of California recently recommended that the National Labor Relations Act be amended to cover agriculture. This would establish such collective bargaining procedures.

At present, our Department of Employment is involved in farm labor-management controversies only through our responsibility to investigate labor dispute situations (1) to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, workers may be referred to the employment involved—to assure that no person shall be referred to a job which is vacated because of the dispute; and (2) to determine appropriate action on a claim for unemployment or disability insurance which may be related to the labor dispute.

Mr. Haughton, without condemning or endorsing the previous election, recommended holding another election under the supervision of the American Arbitration Association on or before August 30. Both parties involved in the dispute have accepted this recommendation, which the Governor proceeded to place before them. Mr. Haughton's report also outlines guidelines to be adhered to in the absence of specific legislation in this and in other similar elections should the occasion arise. I would say, with little fear of contradiction, that the consensus of informed observers in California is that the trend toward unionization and collective bargaining among farmers is irreversible.

We are hopeful that farm labor-management relations will be provided for under the orderly processes of legislation and that this can be accomplished with adequate safeguards to protect the production of the agricultural industry.

Meanwhile, Governor Brown recently asked assistance from the American Arbitration Association to investigate a disputed union representation election growing out of the widely publicized Delano farm labor dispute. Ronald W. Haughton, a Michigan industrial relations mediator, was selected by the association to investigate the situation whereby the election by DiGiorgio farm employees, to be represented by the Teamsters Union, was challenged by the National Farm Workers Association which had initiated the Delano dispute.

Governor Brown has advocated the extension of unemployment insurance coverage to agricultural workers. Some California employers now have voluntary coverage of their farmworkers. Governor Brown has also recommended that a national minimum wage provision be established in agriculture. This would be an advantage to California growers whose commodities have to compete in the market with those from States where producers have lower labor costs.

I hope I have given you a view of some of the problems and progress of agricultural labor in California. We have made advancements but we have yet a long way to go toward our objectives to improve the outlook for the farmworker, promote a sound agricultural economy, and resolve the interrelated problems of workers, growers,

and consumers.

Thank you.

Commissioner MALE. Are there any questions or comments ?

Commissioner BARKER. With respect to what Dan said about the criminal record aspects of your law, I believe it should be clarified. Would you do that, Mr. Daly, relative to fingerprinting leaders, etc.!

Mr. Daly. I said we do require the fingerprinting of all farm labor contractors. I also mentioned that if the farm labor contractor has a criminal record that we deprive him of a certificate of registration. I hope it was not so construed that if a man was just arrested for a minor offense and he had become rehabilitated to the extent that he was no longer considered in the eyes of this official or others to be a threat and detriment to the workers, to the employer, or the community, we would not think of depriving him of a cer

tificate. But if he had a long record, and he was persistently committing various and serious crimes, we certainly would take a look at this record very carefully and take appropriate action on it.

President CATHERWOOD. Does the Department of Employment in California participate with the Federal Bureau of Employment Security in connection with a crew leader registration ? And if so, I would be interested to know just what you do in this connection? In New York, while there is a nominal relationship there, we do very little with enforcement of Federal crew leader registration.

Mr. Roth. First let me say that in California there is the California Department of Employment which does tie in with the employment security agencies of the U.S. Department of Labor. Separate from the Department of Employment is the Department of Industrial Relations, of which Mr. Webb is the director. With respect to the National Crew Registration Act, all registration and reporting is handled by the labor law enforcement division. We of the Department of Employment have no responsibility except to serve as liaison for the Employment Security Agency. I might say, too, that in California, there are not many crews registered. I think last year the number did not exceed three or four dozen.

President CATHERWOOD. Is that because there are not many interstate crews in California, or because the Federal Department just has not got them registered?

Mr. ROTH. No. It is simply because the crews are not there that move interstate.

Chairman BRADSHAW. I believe you talked, Dan, about social security. My understanding is that these migrants do come under social security. In fact, I was in Florida when they were being recruited. They had it explained to them and then they were signed up for social securit .

Mr. Daly. The provision, I believe, Mr. Bradshaw, was that the earnings had to equal $150 or more. It was for that reason that the responsibility was placed on the contractor because the crews moved with him. Unless the grower assumed, in writing, the obligation to cover the migrant workers with social security, the obligation was upon the farm labor contractor. I think that was the reason. He would have more chance of paying $150 to the workers than maybe the grower for whom they worked only a week or two.

Commissioner MALE. I think this is very important. It should be clarified that agricultural workers in America are eligible to come under full social security protection. The big problem has been recordkeeping, reporting, and the contributions. Here, the ball passes between the farmer or grower and the crew leader and his

256-592 007-12

« AnteriorContinuar »