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Up to 5,000 Wash. state apple workers march for better pay

by UFW Sunday, Aug. 05, 2001 at 9:59 AM

11 a.m. press avail., 1 p.m. rally Sunday Aug, 5 in Yakima Up to 5,000 Wash. state apple workers march for better pay, push UFW bills to legalize undocumented farm laborers

News from the Farm Worker Movement(www.ufw.org):

11 a.m. press avail., 1 p.m. rally Sunday Aug, 5 in Yakima

Up to 5,000 Wash. state apple workers

march for better pay, push UFW bills

to legalize undocumented farm laborers

As many as 5,000 Washington state apple workers will march Sunday

in Yakima promoting a "Fair Trade Apple" campaign to boost growers'

profits and workers' wages, and to support United Farm Workers-sponsored

legislation allowing undocumented field laborers and their families to

become legal residents. The march includes UFW President Arturo

Rodriguez and top labor leaders from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and

Washington state.

On Thursday, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Howard

Berman (D-Calif.) introduced UFW-backed bills in the Senate and House

that would let an estimated 500,000 U.S. farm workers and their

immediate family members legalize their immigration status. The measures

would also, for the first time, give farm workers the same rights under

federal law to organize and join a union that industrial workers won in

1935. And it would preserve the pay and legal protections afforded

imported foreign workers under the current federal H-2A visa program.

The union's Fair Trade Apple drive, launched on Thursday, aims for

a joint effort by growers and the UFW that uses consumer pressure on

retailers to pay growers more for their fruit. Supermarkets' profit on

apples are 33% above costs--one of the highest profit margins in the

stores. Paying fairer prices would help growers survive and improve pay

and benefits for apple workers.

Who: UFW President Arturo Rodriguez; top labor leaders from Canada,

Mexico and Brazil; state and federal elected officials and religious

leaders.

What: March and rally with 5,000 Washington state apple workers.

When: 10 a.m. Mass, 11 a.m. press availability; 11:30 a.m. march, 1 p.m.

rally.

Where: March begins with Mass and ends with rally at Miller Park, 3rd

St. & Ave. "E" in Yakima.

- end -

For more information on the Farm Worker Movement visit our web site at http://www.ufw.org and/or subscribe to the Farm Worker Movement list serve by sending an e-mail to UFW-subscribe@topica.com.

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