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Friday Nice Time: Hugo Chavez Gets Fired Strawberry Pickers Their Jobs Back

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Bad news: Last week, when strawberry pickers near Oxnard, California, wanted toGTFO of the heavy smoke from a nearby wildfire, their employers were all "DIAF, dudes, like LITERALLY." But the workers decided they would rather not die for cheap strawberries, and so the agribidniss fired them for walking off the job. During a fire. Good news: even though the pickers were not members of the union, the United Farm Workers (You know, the group founded by Cesar or maybe Hugo Chavez) negotiated to get their jobs back. Yay union thugs!


The scuzzwad employer, Crisalida Farms, told the 15 workers they would have no job to go back to if they left the fields, even though pickers said that ashes were falling on them and that they were having difficulty breathing. The pickers left anyway, and when they returned the next morning were told that they had been fired, and should take their oxygen-dependent asses elsewhere.

The workers contacted the UFW, which reminded Crisalinda Farms that even in Kochmerica 2013 there are still some labor laws left, and that even though the fired pickers were not union members, the growers were in violation of a union rule that "No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger.”

Crisalinda Farms offered all of the fired pickers their jobs back, although only one accepted, the others having already moved on to other harvesting jobs in the meantime. (Yes, cue the Randroids explaining how the market really solved the problem.) We're still going to call this one a small win for labor, since maybe it means we're still a couple of steps above Bangladesh for now.

Also, speaking of semi-good news, hurrah for the woman who was found alive in the wreckage of that collapsed factory in Bangladesh yesterday. No doubt Libertarians will find a way to spin that as a reason that building codes and worker safety regulations aren't really necessary -- some people made it out alive, after all, and a thousand dead workers that you'll never meet is a fair exchange for Everyday Low Prices.

[NBC LA / ThinkProgress / Guardian]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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