Perhaps it’s time we hear from some of the vineyard workers who harvested the bounty. That’s exactly what happened at a conference held in Santa Rosa last week by Sonoma County nonprofit Los Cien, according to the Press Democrat. More specifically, it focused on the women of the workforce. The conference — called “Behind the Lines Part IV: Experiences and Rights of Farmworker Women” — reportedly drew around 200 “fellow farmworkers, local government leaders and community members” to listen to a few brave campesinas willing to speak about the hardships they still face in the industry. From the PD story: “The speakers said they earn about $17 an hour during the winegrowing season, which lasts from late January through October, depending on weather. ‘We earn little and it forces us to have two or three jobs: washing dishes, going to clean offices at night and there is no time for the children. And we also must pay for the babysitter who can take care of them,’ said Maria, another farmworker. Maria was critical of the low wages in farmworking, which she said amounted to about $33,000 per year, but could be less if there’s bad weather — like heavy rains or excessive heat. ‘That’s why we ask for disaster pay during bad weather because it’s hard to live,’ she said.” A rep for another local nonprofit supporting farmworkers, La Familia Sana up in Cloverdale, added that “workers who have made themselves heard suffer the consequences of raising their voices, being pushed aside and considered problematic and untrustworthy.” (Source: Los Cien Sonoma County via Facebook & Press Democrat; paywall)
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