U.F.W. Convention in Downtown Fresno

August 22, 2008 7:34:42 PM PDT
United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez greeted delegates with a smile. But one of the main issues on the agenda at this year's convention is deadly serious.The U.F.W. is pushing for even more protection for farm workers after what it calls a black summer. The reason, the heat related deaths of a pregnant Merced teen and as many as five others.

Rodriguez said: "They have to have opportunity to express themselves. To ensure they are not going to be intimidated, or any reprisals taking against them if they say look, it's too hot for us right now. We need a break."

The union says it can better protect the rights of farm workers by pushing for a landmark state labor law that would make it easier for them to organize. Many delegates say it's long overdue.

Delegate Angelica Soto said: "The thing is usually when workers started to complain usually you get fired if you don't have a contract." The U.F.W. will also use the convention to get out the vote. Following in the footsteps of his father who stood with Cesar Chavez 40 years ago, Robert Kennedy Junior will speak Saturday to campaign for Barack Obama.

On Sunday, Senator Hillary Clinton, the democratic presidential candidate originally endorsed by the union, will try to energize the crowd. The union leadership says Clinton and Obama both support important immigration reform that would protect undocumented farm workers.

But not all delegates are totally sold on Obama. Delegate Jose Soliz said: "In my point of view, he has not been kind of not giving us a good answer versus Hillary she was straight this is what I want this is what I propose, not to you, but to our country."

Senator Clinton speaks at the Fresno Convention Center Exihibition Hall on Sunday at 2 pm. The public is welcome, but seating is limited.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments