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Farm workers and their allies began a 200-mile march Tuesday that will last nearly two weeks and is aimed at convincing Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) to sign legislation that would improve working conditions and pay for thousands of California workers. The march began in Madera, Calif., today and will end up in Sacramento. The legislation, if passed, would:
-Guarantee the right for farm workers to be paid overtime after eight hours a day and 40 hours a week -- like other workers
-Make it easier for farm workers to join unions
-Ensure bathroom breaks and water for field workers
-Strengthen heat regulations that are not currently being enforced, leading to a number of deaths due to heat-related illness
Similar legislation was vetoed by Brown earlier in the year, but proponents plan to reintroduce legislation soon. In vetoing the legislation, Brown said that he wasn't yet convinced of the need for passing the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act. United Farm Workers responded strongly to that rationale:
In Governor Brown's veto of the "Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act," he says he is "not yet convinced." For farm workers, "not yet" means farm workers don't get water and shade. "Not yet" means farm workers continue to die of heat illness. "Not yet" means farm workers do not have basic justice implemented by the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. “Not yet” means hundreds of farm workers who last year voted for union representation have waited more than a year for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to take the simple act of certifying the elections.