A Search for Liability : FLCs in the Agriculture Sector
Penman-Lomeli, Victoria C.
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Wrongful employment practices persist in the agriculture sector, especially affecting the migrant worker. This paper serves to investigate how grievances of injustices are addressed. Two instances—the Delano Grapes Strike and Boycott and Sabas Arredondo vs. Delano Farms Company—of migrant field workers addressing employer grievances are described. Migrant field workers in the Delano Grape Strike and Boycott acted in a monopolistic fashion by restricting their labor and consumption of grapes. Nearly 50 years later, in the same city, migrant field workers addressed grievances through the legal system in Sabas Arredondo vs. Delano Farms Company. Before a labor law violation was determined, the court tried who is liable—the contractor or the farm. Farms use contractors to hire labor, which adds another possible employer and complicates addressing grievances through the legal system. The analytical section of this paper will, thus, serve to test whether intermediaries are used to facilitate seasonal variation or to escape liability. Using the case of Sabas Arredondo vs. Delano Farms Company, my paper will investigate whether the table grape market supports the decision to contract labor.