Last week, more than a dozen farmworkers at the Crisalida Farm's strawberry fields in California were fired when they left the field to take refuge from the smoke and ash from a nearby wildfire.
Workers said on May 2 ashes were falling on them and they were having difficulty breathing from the smoke from a wildfire 11 miles to the north. They were warned by the foreman that if they left because of the conditions, they would no longer have a job. Fifteen workers decided to leave because of the deplorable conditions. When they returned to work the next day, they discovered they had been fired.
The workers were not part of a union, but reached out to the United Farm Workers (UFW) for help. UFW negotiated with the upper management of Crisalida Farms on behalf of the workers, citing the union rule "No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger." As a result of the negotiations, all 15 workers have been offered their positions back. So far only one worker has accepted the offer while the others have found work elsewhere.
Media Resources: Examiner 5/9/2013; ThinkProgress 5/9/2013; NBC Los Angeles 5/7/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .