Apr 052012

To the Editor:
In Laura Dodson’s March 22 article about farmworkers having a fast for fair prices . . . I understand that all wages were minimum wages, is that correct?  They want an “extra penny per bushel.” What would those amounts be?  How many bushels can a worker pick in an eight-hour day — if he works very slowly or if he works very quickly?
In order to write an effective article, it would be wise to use accurate facts in the presentation; e.g., wages per hour (or per bushel, etc.), followed by how much production can be achieved in an eight-hour day for what a day’s wages (before taxes) would be. What worker conditions are lacking? What would the cost to the farmer be if he were to correct whatever conditions are lacking?
I have seen plenty of photos of starving people in African countries with emaciated bodies; in the photos of the farmworkers accompanying the Dodson article (p.6), the people all seemed well fed, great haircuts.
Make it equal time for the employer in this article. What does the landowner tell you about what he gets for his crops, what his overhead expenses are? Tell the workers the employer’s story. At least it would seem another comparable article about this, from the employer’s standpoint – that would be justice!
Marlene Mandeville

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