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Santa Barbara Advocates Demand Fair Wages on Cesar Chavez Day

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Advocates in Santa Barbara County came together on Cesar Chavez Day to demand fair wages and better conditions for farmworkers. On this day honoring the influential labor leader, organizations such as CAUSE and the Farmworker Center unveiled a new study named ‘Harvesting Dignity’.

The report sheds light on the disparity between farmworker pay in Santa Barbara County and other industries, pointing out that the current wages fall short of providing a livable income. According to the findings, the average farmworker in the region earns just slightly above California’s minimum wage, standing at $17.42 per hour.

‘Harvesting Dignity’ highlights that industries like construction and truck driving, which share similar working conditions, offer significantly higher wages. Construction workers, on average, make around $25 per hour, while truck drivers earn close to $27 an hour.

During a press conference attended by around two dozen individuals, advocates held signs calling for fair compensation for farmworkers. Hazel Davalos, the co-executive director of CAUSE, emphasized the challenges faced by farmworkers in Santa Barbara County due to rising housing costs, health risks, and the physical demands of their work.

Despite reaching out to the California Rural Legal Assistance and the Farmworker Center for comments, no representatives were available at the time of publication. The push for fair wages and improved conditions for farmworkers in Santa Barbara County continues to be a focal point for these advocacy groups.

To access the complete ‘Harvesting Dignity’ report, interested individuals can refer to the organization’s websites for more details and insights.

Rachel Adams

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