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Farmworkers

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NEWS
March 8, 1996 | By Clea Benson, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Two years, nine months and eight days after mushroom pickers at Kaolin Mushroom Farms voted to form a union, the Kaolin Workers Union still exists only on paper, the subject of legal wrangling between the workers and the company. While the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board this week ordered Kaolin Mushroom Farms to rehire 10 workers who had been fired during a strike before the union vote, the company said yesterday it would appeal the decision. The company yesterday also filed a challenge to a PLRB decision to count the votes of the fired workers in the union election.
NEWS
September 2, 2011 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sister Dorothy O'Brien, 74, an organizer of farmworkers in the Philadelphia region in 1975 and 1976 and an admissions and dormitory counselor at Rosemont College from 1976 to 1978, died of heart failure Saturday, Aug. 27, at a relative's home in Horsham. A member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for 57 years, she was known during much of her career as Mother Mary Felice. Born in Philadelphia, she graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School in 1954 and entered the religious life.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Karen Detamore, 62, a Philadelphia lawyer who was executive director of the Friends of Farmworkers from 1989 to 2009, died Tuesday, May 1, at her home in West Philadelphia. She had suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis. Ms. Detamore managed the Pennsylvania-wide program, based in Philadelphia, that provides legal services to indigent migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Throughout her career, Ms. Detamore worked to represent the disadvantaged. Inspired by anti-Vietnam protests while at Bryn Mawr College, she lived out "a concern about the plight of abused and low-wage workers.
NEWS
March 3, 1986 | By Edward Power, Inquirer Staff Writer
Spanish-guitar chords filled the church, their resonance as brilliant as the cobalt-blue light filtering through windows above the altar. Below, in unison, the congregation joined in song, offering words of praise, words of thanksgiving. "We come with happiness, Lord. We come and sing with happiness. " On the altar stood the emblems of that happiness: five wooden baskets filled with tomatoes and cucumbers. And if those offerings seemed odd, or even overly modest, they were nonetheless rich fruits of victory to one man who stood before the Sacred Heart Church congregation at a Mass of thanksgiving in Camden yesterday.
NEWS
July 25, 1992 | By Cindy Anders, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Whenever Atanacio Lara laughs, he covers his mouth with his hand, embarrassed by the gaping hole in his front row of teeth. That's because when muggers attacked Lara earlier this month in Kennett Square, they stole more than the conventional watch and wallet. After punching the 56-year-old Mexican farmworker in the face, his assailants dragged him behind some bushes and yanked out his prized gold tooth, cutting his lip and leaving a gash in his gum. The mugging is part of a spate of attacks on Mexican farmworkers in the Kennett Square area of Chester County.
NEWS
May 18, 1994 | By Sergio R. Bustos, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In southern Chester County's Kennett Square, the self-proclaimed mushroom capital of the world, you won't see Mexican farmworkers carrying pickets outside Kaolin Mushroom Farms Inc., one of the largest mushroom companies in the nation. There's no protest anymore. No marches. No boycotts. No strikes. The Kaolin Workers Union exists only as a name on a stack of legal papers. Even Ventura Gutierrez is gone. He was the charismatic labor organizer from California who fired up farmworkers, leading them in demonstrations and bringing mushroom workers national attention last April during a dramatic 30- day strike.
NEWS
May 1, 1995 | By Edward A. Robinson, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The borough suspended a building code crackdown at a low-income apartment complex that houses Mexican farmworkers after a group of tenants filed a federal housing discrimination complaint. The unannounced inspections were made late at night last month at Scarlett Manor, a rundown 30-unit complex on the edge of town where Mexican mushroom pickers have lived for many years. Charles Wallner, the borough's building code inspector, conducted the inspections accompanied by a police officer and Emidio J. Falini, the manager of Scarlett Manor.
NEWS
March 2, 1995 | By Edward A. Robinson, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The Alliance for Better Housing has closed the deal on the empty duplex house slated for low-income housing for Mexican farmworkers, capping a heated controversy that has rocked the borough in recent weeks. "It's full speed ahead," said Howard Porter, the Alliance's director. After the Chester County Board of Commissioners approved funding for the project Tuesday morning, Porter gave a check for $80,000 to the duplex's owner. Grants totaling $83,000, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the county, and Kaolin Mushroom Farms, will be used to renovate the duplex.
NEWS
August 6, 1999 | By Michael Sandler, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Every month, Dagoberto Guzman pays his bills. Occasionally, with five growing children, the grocery list varies. This summer, the electricity bill has been a little higher. But for the most part, the amount of money he spends has not changed dramatically since his family moved from Mexico to join him in southern Chester County five years ago. Something is new in his budget, though. This year, Guzman stopped paying rent. When he plunks down one week's salary for the roof, that roof is his. "It is my dream to finish paying for this house," Guzman said in Spanish while standing in front of the sliding glass doors in his 10-by-16-foot, eat-in kitchen.
NEWS
July 18, 2005 | By Claudia Rodriguez-Zinn
August will mark the 40th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike, but the effort to ensure the rights of farmworkers is not over. The strike lasted five years, involved more than 5,000 farmworkers, and led to the first collective bargaining agreements for farmworkers in U.S. history. Unlike almost any other job in the United States, workers toiling the fields had no real rights prior to this momentous event. Laws that protected other workers did not apply to farmworkers. As a result, many farmworkers were subject to hazardous working conditions, harmful toxics, child labor and poverty wages.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2015
ABOUT a month ago, I watched the investigative reporter Edward R. Murrow's 1960 CBS documentary, "Harvest of Shame," which brought me to tears. Unprecedented in its day, the award-winning documentary aired on Thanksgiving and put up a mirror showing what poverty and the plight of farmworkers looked like, not in a third-world country, but right here at home. From the opening scene, I was riveted. It looked like an open lot for livestock and it was packed with African-American men and women looking for work.
NEWS
November 19, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
IT SEEMED simple enough. City Councilman Dennis O'Brien proposed a bill aimed at tackling the issue of notario fraud, or fraud committed by people who prey on immigrants by misrepresenting themselves as lawyers or by offering legal advice on immigration issues when they are not qualified to do so. Under O'Brien's bill, people and businesses seeking to perform immigration-assistance services, such as providing translation, would have to...
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Local people don't like the job and don't stay long. They find out farming is "hard work - hot, dusty, and buggy," said Tom Sheppard, co-owner of Sheppard Farms and Eastern Fresh Growers in Cedarville, Cumberland County. "They're gone in a day or two. " That's why thousands of farmers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and across the country depend on migrant laborers from Mexico and other countries, and why they're pressing for immigration reform to facilitate guest-worker visas.
NEWS
October 9, 2012 | By Ben Feller, Associated Press
KEENE, Calif. - President Obama on Monday designated the home of labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument, calling Chavez a hero who brought hope to millions of poor, disenfranchised farmworkers who otherwise might have remained "invisible" to much of the nation. "Today, we celebrate Cesar Chavez," Obama said at a ceremony at La Paz, the California farmhouse where Chavez lived and worked for more than two decades. "Our world is a better place because Cesar Chavez decided to change it. " Chavez, who died in 1993 at age 66, is buried on the site where the monument was dedicated.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2012 | Choose one .
The Humpty Dumpty Institute, a New York nonprofit that forges public-private partnerships to solve humanitarian problems through a variety of programs, has elected Cosmo DeNicola to its board. He is chief sales and marketing officer with Futura Mobility, Philadelphia. Toni Pergolin was named to the board of Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Mount Laurel. Pergolin is president and CEO of Bancroft. Steven R. Cohenwas confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate to serve on the State Board of Psychology.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Karen Detamore, 62, a Philadelphia lawyer who was executive director of the Friends of Farmworkers from 1989 to 2009, died Tuesday, May 1, at her home in West Philadelphia. She had suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis. Ms. Detamore managed the Pennsylvania-wide program, based in Philadelphia, that provides legal services to indigent migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Throughout her career, Ms. Detamore worked to represent the disadvantaged. Inspired by anti-Vietnam protests while at Bryn Mawr College, she lived out "a concern about the plight of abused and low-wage workers.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2012 | Joseph N. DiStefano
Pennsylvania employers brought in 3,418 mostly unskilled foreign workers under the federal government's H-2B visa program during fiscal year 2012 to fill jobs they said U.S. citizens in Pennsylvania did not want. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa, which operates a state-licensed gambling casino at Farmington, Fayette County, was certified by the U.S. Department of Labor to bring in 98 foreign maids and housekeepers, and 34 dishwashers, for the biggest H-2B workforce in the state.
NEWS
September 2, 2011 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sister Dorothy O'Brien, 74, an organizer of farmworkers in the Philadelphia region in 1975 and 1976 and an admissions and dormitory counselor at Rosemont College from 1976 to 1978, died of heart failure Saturday, Aug. 27, at a relative's home in Horsham. A member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for 57 years, she was known during much of her career as Mother Mary Felice. Born in Philadelphia, she graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School in 1954 and entered the religious life.
NEWS
July 29, 2011
Richard Chavez, 81, who helped brother Cesar Chavez build the United Farmworkers of America, died Wednesday at a Bakersfield, Calif., hospital of complications from surgery, union spokeswoman Maria Machuca said. Born on the family homestead near Yuma, Ariz., the two brothers left farm work in 1949, spending a year working together in lumber mills in Northern California, Machuca said. Eventually dedicating himself to union work, Mr. Chavez organized the farmworkers' boycotts of California table grapes and other products in New York and Detroit during the 1960s and '70s.
NEWS
August 1, 2010
Alvaro Huerta is a visiting scholar at UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center Forty years ago, workers in the United States won a great victory. On July 29, 1970, the United Farm Workers of America ended its successful grape boycott when the growers agreed to sign the first contract with the union. It seemed like an improbable outcome, as the battle pitted a mostly Mexican as well as Filipino immigrant workforce against powerful agricultural growers in California. Led by the late Cesar Chavez and tireless Dolores Huerta, the UFW was founded in the early 1960s in response to the inhumane working conditions for farmworkers in California and other states, such as Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Washington.
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