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June 20, 1986 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1986-06-20

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PERSPECTIVES

The Michigan Daily

Friday, June 20, 1986

Page 7

So rgr p s C- S4NOULD WELL, ILDON TT 0V, (So. 1W YOU
Sour grapes
Child labor is common in many
ByR erto farm areas; as much as 30 percent of
Javier Frisancho Northern California's garlic bar- CRINAL NE&LGENCE
' vesters are underage. Farm workers \N T~rE SHUT TLE)
In California, farm workers' rights outside California are worse off.
are again threatened. Substandard Statistics tell a tragic tale,especially EXPLOSIO?
living conditions, subminimum for the 8oo,000 underaged children
wages, and contaminated crops are who harvest crops across the nation
some of the many reasons that the with their families.
boycott of California grabes has been Farm workers' average life expec-
resumed by the UFW (United Farm tancy is 49 years compared to 73 years
Workers) union led by Cesar Chavez. for the average American. Migrant THEN ou HAVE TO ASK WRY IS TIM SURE YO0 SEE WHRE 'AT
The state farm labor act was the worker families average $2,475 in SUS1vISol2 DIDN'T KNOW, AN COULD LEAD
reason for dismantling the original, yearly income nationwide.Z
boycott (that lasted from 1966 to 1975 Farm work is the third most THN 415QS
until the act took effect), which in 1968 dangerous U.S. occupation (con- SUPE9\-
gained the support of Democratic sidering deaths and injuries). 4.4 per-
presidential candidates Hubert Hum- cent of the U.S. workforce is made up SUEsoON-%
phsey, Robert F. Kennedy and of farm workers; yet migrants ac-
Eugene McCarthy. count for 16 percent of job-related
When Republican Governor George deaths and 9 percent disabling in- a
Deukmejian took office in January juries on the job. 44.5 percent of farm
1983, the law protecting farm workers worker families report one or more
stopped working. Corporate growers disabled member compared to 10.6
gave Deukmejian $1 million for his percent of families in the nation. In-
1982 campaign. Crippling the law was fants born to migrant workers die in
a top priority. He named a former 25 percent greater numbers than the
conservative Republican legislator national rate. Malnutrition among
with an anti-labor record and no labor migrant children is to times higher
law experience to be chief prosecutor than theU.S. average. The following are exeps from
of the state agency that enforces the'ro ge to do so because by becoming L: I would do exactly what I did
law. On August 5, 1985, Juan Chabolla, an interview with Wayne County better known it made me more when I took over in Wayne County. I
Under Deukmejian, corporate 32 years old and the father of four Executive William Lucas, a leading politically potent and more able to get inherited a deficit four times, propor-
growers have controled the state kids, died after working in a field, Republican gubernatorial can- things done in Lansing. You ask a tionatey,thesizeof Blanchard's.Iset
agency which was created to protect near San Diego, sprayed only an hour didate. The interview was conduc- candidate who's unknown and he'll about doing all the tough things that
farm workers. The number of before with Monitor in violation of ted by Daily reporters Dov Cohen tell you, you get nothing done. So I needed to be done, making all the cuts
unresolved labor complaints has state law. No one sought medical help. and Philip I. Levy, needed to develop that kind of clout and consolidation which were needed.
more than doubled under his ad- Juan died in the field before the Daily: Why did you originaly join and I was able to do so. Thirdly I was
ministration while the number of grower drove his body in a van across the Democratic party? a new Republican, people wanted to D: What cuts in services would you
complaints filed by the state has been the Mexican border and left it in Lucas: I can tell you the date, it was know who this new fellow was. recommend to balance the budget?
cut by more than half. Tijuana. June 16, 1968, that I became a L: It doesn't necessarily mean a cut
if they'rejdissatsfied with ocal Four-year-old Felipe Franco was Democrat. I was invited to become D: Do you think race is or will be ain services, that's a possibility but
prosecutors, to go over the born with no arms or legs because of the undersheriff of Wayne County factor in the gubernatorialrace? when you have a budget of several
prosecutors' heads and appeal direc- pesticides his mother was exposed to and in Wayne County in order to be a but so is gender. There always will be areas n dollars, there arefalways
tly to the governor's people for relief. when she worked in the grapes near office holder you really have to be a people who cannot or will not vote for you also you can look t ver rf
Many charges against growers have Delano. And every year, thousands of Democrat. It ws not a big decision polwhcantrwilotvefrYuasdoomhg the governor of
been dismissed. He slashed by 27 per- farm workers who don't die right because until that time I really was a woman ore black ore Puerto Rican this state has not done. You lower
cent the budget for enforcing the law away from pesticides - or whose kids pretty much of an independant; I was or whatever have you. There are taxes. President Reagan has made
so febgrtriil epocte waren't born deformed - suffer not a Republican, I was not a always those individuals, people who the United States once again a com-
Far wrkers lie rsf. vlent poisoning symptoms. 300,000 U.S. Democrat, I was just an individual look for any excuse they can, I've seen petitive nation, and in so doing
Farm o from the growers. For farm workers are poisoned each year like most people and voted for an in- that happen. I don't part my hair created nine anda half million jobs.
retalatieon September 20, 1983 according toone recentstudy. ' dividual and I'm still that way. right, or I don't wear my tie right,
grerp gunn edbr t, ,The firstgrap boycott workeddIty D: That leads to the next question, they won't vote for me but thank god
grower gunmen hired to coerce grape they're in the minority. D: How do you fell about sobriety
workers ata Fresno area dairy shot to forced growers to accept a law in why did you switch to the Republic Wayne County government for almost checkpots?
death 21-year-old farm worker Rene California protecting farm workers' party. Have they picked up the roleWne n g veben fo aot L: I consider it a waste of man-
Lopez after he voted in a state-held rights. The UFW signed contracts that the Democrat used to have? twenty years, and I've been a to g power and an ifrgement on
election. He had led a strike and with some growers. And life for some L: To the large (extent) they're the getter during that time even though p citizens' constitutional rights...I don't
pushed to have the election so workers farm workers improved. They won party of ideas, they're the party of in- cent of the popmulation.y thirty per- think it's proper and I think it's
could sit down and bargain with their fair pay, family medical plans, and centives and innovaion, they're the wasteful.
employer. Rene was the fourth UFW paid holidays. Their children went to party that says you should be able to
member murdered by growers in 10 school. They earned enough to live in succeed on your own...but asically to D: You opposed Gov. Blanchard's
years. decent homes instead of rancid cam- encourage everyone to reach for the tax increase to balance the budget D: What action would you take as
years iginal bctt ded ps.. The UFW's earliest contracts best and I changed parties because do you have a different opinion in governor to maintain the University
growers to hack a historic law in banned-poisons like DDT, DDE and the ideology and philosophy I was retrospect? as a quality institution and to meet its
California alowing farm workers to dieldrin - even before the U.S. following as County executive and for L: When he first suggested an in- financial needs.
organize. Now many farm workers Government acted. most of my life were described by crease in tax initially I was one many L: Universities are where the jobs
earn decent pay, have medical and But that progress ended after Democratic leadership as Republican who thought that if that was what he of tomorrow are going to come from and
pension plans and protection from George Deukmejian became gover- Principles and they were right. was suggesting it might not be that as governor I would make the univer-
dangerouspestindesr They earn nor with millions of dollars in cam- D: How do you respond to charges bad an idea, so initially I was not sities one of my top priorities. I would
ngh sothesidn' have to igrat e paign gifts from corporate growers. that youmisspentcampaign funds? against his tax increase. He appointed do for Michigan, and my university
anymore with their children; their He stopped enforcing the law. And L: Well I respond the same way that the McCarthy commission which system, especially research univer-
kids go to school and they can afford destroyed the hope thousands of farm I responded to the Secretary of State. recommended that he raise taxes 18 sities, what the state of Texas is in the
to live in decent homes instead of rot- workers held for a better life. Deuk- I responded to invitations and requests percent and cut spending 300 million process of doing. They place a very
ten camps. Buthoniy 20 percent of mejian also shattered farm workers' from community groups. Because I dollars. Instead he and the high priority on academics, they
California farm workers enjoy these hopes for real protection from poten- had turned Wayne County around and Democrats, who controlled the house recruit academics with the same seal
protections. For the rest, poverty and tially deadly pesticides. Boycott because I had done something many and the Senate at the time, rammed as they do football coaches...Instead
abuse are daily facts of life. California fresh grapes so that the people considered impossible to do, through a38 percent tax increase that of funding things across the board like
crops you eat can stop being tainted people were interested. They won- was expected to be permanent and this governor does I think we have set
Roberto Javier Frisancho is an with harmful chemicals apd so that dered "who in the world is this guy they only cut spending 200 million priorities...I would like to expand it
;ngftie -t frdshjnan and the farmworkers gain the right to fair and,how *as this doe" and they.Is,,dolars. ,(fpp4ing) po just. r iFhigan bt
President [Latins i, Support of and decent-wages i40 aa'i npr*Yeo vi' mine tytell them about it nnbes. , - or Mic tate enan w
limocracy. wdyof life' oneand secondly it was to my advan- D: Wh atwouddyouPo r ris .

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