A Harvest of Justice in San Quintin?
In the meeting held in Ensenada, the representative of the Ministry of the Interior, David Garay; the governor of Baja California, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid; and the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Rafael Avante, among other government representatives, participated.The spokesperson and leader of the San Quintin farm workers movement, Lucila Hernandez, told the Americas Program that the result of the negotations is so far “just an agreement, and we will wait to see if it is actually applied.”
“We’re watching closely to see what happens these next few days,” she said.
The peasant leader, who has worked in the fields in Baja California since she was 11 years old, indicated that the success of the agreement with growers depends on them “doing their part” to resolve the work stoppage that has been going on for the past two months.At the start of the strike on March 17, the day laborers of San Quentin demanded wages of 300 pesos per eight-hour day, but then lowered their demand to 200 pesos per day before the growers broke off the dialogue after offering only a 15 percent increase.
The Mexican federal government, represented at the Ensenada meeting by the Under-Secretary of Labor, Rafael Avante, promised the striking workers to help negotiate the pay hike the workers are demanding as minimum.
Government representatives have also promised to work for the release of 18 prisoners related to the movement, ensure affiliation of workers to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), and establish an independent union.The federal representatives also agreed to review requests for improvements in housing and basic services, such as health and safety in boarding houses or settlements of the laborers.
Police Attack on Workers’ Homes
Bertha Rodríguez Santos is a journalist, contributor the the Americas Program www.americas.org and member of FIOB.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
“The Movement that Stood Up to Agro-Industry”, Bertha Rodríguez Santos, May 8, 2015. http://www.americas.org/archives/15071