Santa Maria farm pays $30,000 settlement to farmworkers

February 22, 2021


More than 200 Santa Maria farmworkers received settlement checks on Sunday after obtaining a $30,000 settlement from a farming company that allegedly retaliated against the workers for organizing in attempt to get better pay. [KCOY]

On May 4, 2020, Central Coast United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) filed an unfair labor practice charge with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) on behalf of workers at Rancho Laguna Farms in Santa Maria.

The complaint alleged Rancho Laguna Farms unlawfully fired workers after they temporarily stopped work in an attempt to increase their wages. The complaint also alleged Rancho Laguna Farms called law enforcement out to the field and threatened to call immigration officials in order to retaliate against the participants in the work stoppage.

Doing so interfered with the workers’ rights to come together to seek improved working conditions, the complaint stated. Workers’ rights to freedom of association, self-organization and designating representatives to negotiate the terms of their employment are protected under California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

Under the settlement agreement, Rancho Laguna Farms must compensate workers for any potential losses resulting from the alleged retaliation.

Likewise, the farming company agreed to provide its current employees with information about the settlement and about their rights under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. Additionally, Rancho Laguna Farms agreed to allow the ALRB to provide training to its supervisors on farmworkers’ rights under the act.

ALRB handed out checks to 212 farmworkers at the CAUSE office in Santa Maria on Sunday.

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When I came to the USA I had to prove that I did not have a criminal record. That when I arrived I had the means of providing for myself. I had a job, somewhere to live. I would not become a burden on the American people. Also I had to provide documents proving who I was, and that all the above mentioned was the truth.

If my math is correct then 212 workers got $141.50 each.

Could be a lot lower if attorneys fees have to come out out the settlement first.

Rancho Laguna has been playing the tried and true farmer’s game of firing workers who wish to organize because they know they can find other workers, usually undocumented, who will work for less.

But, of course, the immigrants always get blamed for seeking a better life.

No. Illegal immigrants always get blamed for trespassing into a foreign country.

America loves immigrants…legal, law abiding immigrants who acknowledged the sovereign right of any nation to regulate how many people should enter its borders, and live among it’s citizens, and willingly progressed through the steps required to become a resident or citizen by legal means.

Breaking the law, is never acceptable.

So, I take it your ancestors came over a long time ago? Like when the laws were loose to non-existent? You are sounding pretty clueless as to what that process entails these days.

Yup, half of my family came over on a boat (the Trace), in the 19th century, legally, went through Ellis Island. I have copies of the documents framed on my library wall.

Immigration laws have been around for a long time.

Get your facts straight.

by all means if the process to do something is cumbersome now just skip it and do whatever you want.

Sure, easy to say that. But, doubt you have considered walking in the shoes of a poor migrant who is simply looking for a better life.

Californians like you also condemned the Okies who came here during the Dust Bowl. The same circumstances applied.

They were lured in with the prospect of high wages and when they got to farms they were exploited by greedy farmers. Ag profit in this area has grown rapidly in the last several years on the backs of these migrants.

Unfortunately, politicians like Donald Trump and Andy Caldwell want to demonize immigrants who are the backbone of Cal agriculture.

And that is why we should bring back something like the bracero program, perhaps a modern version of it. Stop playing games about who is really working the farms and bringing “farm to table.”

There you go again. As always, willing to spread deceit, and misleading statements regarding legal immigration with illegal immigration by combining the two. Again, there’s a big difference. Legal good, and acceptable following the rule of law regarding coming to our nation. Illegal bad, and unacceptable, breaking the laws of this nation and being rewarded.

I agree with the settlement no problem at all. The root cause must be addressed. Illegal immigration is criminal, and must be treated as such, After all, aren’t we suppose to follow the law? Or is it selective in this case?

It is not always the emigrants that break the law: farming, construction conpanies,landscaping etc all use emigrants without papers and they know it.Emigrants are like us, americains, but not citizens yet.White men want to keep their privileges.I embrace anybody on earth that want to come to my coubtry.we had trump, rush lombaugh,timothy whatever( oklaoma city bomber), and worth, they were all americain citizen, but did not deserve it.time to accept no cultures and ideas.

What???? Really. What????