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Sign Petition: Take Action on the Anniversary of Maria Isabel's Heat Death

Business  (tags: business, corporate, dishonesty, ethics, corruption, money, politics, farming, society, Maria, Isabel, Vasquez, Jimenez, heat, wave, farm, workers, abuse, humans, freedoms, culture, rights, children, sadness, safety, death, crime )

- 3298 days ago -
We want to tell you a story. We wish we could say this story is fictional. It isn't. It's a story of agribusinesses greed and indifference. It's the story of a young girl whose life was lost before she even had a chance to start living it.

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Tom M (814)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:51 pm
Yesterday, we marked the one year anniversary of when 17-year old Maria Isabel collapsed of heat stroke. The anniversary of her death is tomorrow on on May 16.

Maria collapsed while working for Merced Farm Labor in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming outside of Stockton, CA. Maria worked for nine hours in temperatures that reached 101 degrees. There was no water nearby. There was no shade.

After about 2 hours of delays, Maria was finally taken to a clinic. Her temperature upon arrival was 108.4 degrees. Maria's heart stopped six times in the next two days before she passed away. Doctors said if emergency medical help had been summoned or she had been taken to the hospital sooner, she might have survived. (click to read Maria's story.)

Governor Schwarzenegger came to her funeral and said words that gave workers hope: "Maria’s death should have been prevented, and all Californians must do everything in their power to ensure no other worker suffers the same fate. We have put in place employer regulations to prevent heat illness, and I cannot say strongly enough that they must be followed...There is no excuse for failing to protect worker safety."

Unfortunately, these were words, like the words said in movies. The state has finally filed charges in Maria's case. This is good. However, violations occur every day and little is done. Complaints regarding lack of drinking water, shade and work breaks to make use of these simple but lifesaving measures are an everyday occurrence for farm workers (see worker stories). Last year five other farm workers died of heat-related causes after Maria's death.

It's why SB789, CA Employee Free Choice Act for Farm Workers (Steinberg) is so vital. This bill, will make it easier for farm workers to organize and help enforce the laws that California's government cannot enforce. SB789 passed the California state senate and will next be heard in the state assembly and then go to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Please take action today and tell them to pass SB789, a bill that will give farm workers the power to protect themselves.

Cher C (1429)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:59 pm

Thnx Tom!!!


Joycey B (750)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:03 pm
Signed. Thanks Tom.

Thank you for telling CA legislators and Gov. Schwarzenegger that enough is enough, farm workers need a tool where they can protect themselves.

Carolyn T (234)
Friday May 15, 2009, 6:30 pm
Noted and signed. Thank you, Tom, for bring this story and petition to our attention.

Cynthia Davis (340)
Friday May 15, 2009, 6:42 pm
already signed

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 7:07 pm
So senseless...and heart breaking..noted and signed..Thank you Tom

Pat B (356)
Friday May 15, 2009, 7:15 pm
How horrible for this young woman to die this way! Noted, signed, TY, Tom

Evelyn Z (300)
Friday May 15, 2009, 8:08 pm

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 8:40 pm

sue M (184)
Friday May 15, 2009, 10:32 pm
I get this one too, already signed.

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 11:02 pm
Noted and signed. Thank you Tom for sharing.

. (0)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 2:28 am
noted & signed.

mary f (202)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 5:37 am
noted and signed

Mandi T (376)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 11:42 am
Soooo heartbreaking. Signed Tox

Leigh B (211)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 2:11 pm
Noted and signed, such negligence and heartbreaking, thanks Tom

Gemma H (48)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 6:53 pm
Thanks Tom. Signed & noted. Heart-breaking for all involved.
I, personally, can relate to work heat distress and the consequences thereafter.

Winefred M (88)
Sunday May 17, 2009, 6:20 am
Already signed.

Teresa del Castillo (1519)
Sunday May 17, 2009, 3:35 pm
Thank you for telling CA legislators and Gov. Schwarzenegger that enough is enough, farm workers need a tool where they can protect themselves.

I am going to post this news in Mexico group, thanks Tom.

Monica B (157)
Sunday May 17, 2009, 4:24 pm
Sent it,thanks!

Bobby A (4)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 12:34 am
And we're a "civilized" nation? Thanks. Signed. May Maria never be forgotten.
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