A Day Picking Strawberries


Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra picking strawberries. Photo: Al Seib

That clamshell of filled with sweet, ripe strawberries you just picked up at your local supermarket? That was picked by hand by migrant Mexican fieldworkers, who spent the daylight hours hunched over the strawberry fields in California.

It's hard work, but how hard exactly? Is it something that Americans can do? Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra found out by working a day in the strawberry fields: Link - Thanks Tiffany!


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http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/24/colbert.house.immigration/index.html

The United Farm Workers challenged American's to work and only about 7 people took them up on the offer.

While I'm sure many of the farm workers are undocumented, there's just as many of them that are here legallly and doing the work that American's don't want to do. The US brought in farmworkers starting in WWII, it's not their fault they've been needed every since.
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My dad worked his way through college and graduate school doing migrant picking in the summer, even after I was born. He had to hitchhike to get to where the peas and beans and cabbages were ripe for picking, since he didn't learn to drive until I was a year or two old.
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Yeah Jelchs, Americans choose not to because they aren't willing to do it for the three bucks and hour that the farmers are paying the illegal migrant workers. The farmers are all for immigrant labor because its all under the table: no taxes, no workers compensation insurance or unemployment insurance, no OSHA, none of that. If the farmers had to follow the rules like most employers did, meaning at least the required minimum wage, proper working conditions and all, you would have plenty of American citizens who would do this work.
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Growing up in Washington state, it was how I made money every summer. Not much of a job market for kids, so there were few choices for the under 12 year olds. There were no everbearing strawberries, so we picked through June. It's not hard work but the hours are long and the pay then was 5 cents a box or 60 cents a flat.
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