skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tornadoes kill 5 and injure dozens in Iowa; coalition presses lawmakers to put climate bond on CA November ballot; More residential care coming for children with acute mental health needs; and ND again ranks high for workplace danger.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Court Slashes Fine for WA Farm Where Worker Died

play audio
Play

Wednesday, June 20, 2018   

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Farm-labor advocacy groups are furious after a District Court judge in Bellingham slashed the fine to $36,500 on Tuesday for a blueberry farm accused of unsafe working conditions, after a worker there collapsed and died last August.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries previously found Sarbanand Farms not liable for the death of Honesto Silva Ibarra, a 28-year-old father of two, but it found the company failed to offer enough rest and dinner breaks.

Rosalinda Guillen, executive director of the nonprofit Community2Community Development, said the farm had people working 12- to 14-hour days, despite thick smoke from a nearby wildfire. She charged that managers ignored Ibarra's request for medical help until it was too late.

"He did have diabetes, but his death was caused by overwork, by not enough food, but also extreme dehydration and overwork outside in the fields, during a time when that smoke was covering all of Whatcom County," said Guillen.

The state originally considered a fine of $145,000, but settled on $73,000. Then the district court cut it in half. However, state law allows the district court to charge an assessment, which could bring the final number up to almost $75,000. The company did not accept responsibility for Ibarra's death and argued the fine should be lowered because managers kept good records and cooperated with investigators.

Ibarra was hired in Mexico to come to Washington on an H2A visa held by the company, not the worker. Guillen said that means workers can't flee to another job if working conditions are unsafe.

"For us it's immoral, the fact that the life of a farm worker has been negotiated down to $35,000. And the reason they bring in these H2-A workers is because they are exploitable," she said. "It's like slavery. It's like the value of a worker is actually being calculated. It's disgusting."

She said she's convinced that farm work should be done by union workers with proper breaks, salaries and benefits, and said her group will continue to protest working conditions on farms in Whatcom County.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
A partir de 2023, uno de cada cinco adultos inmigrantes legalmente presentes dice que no tiene seguro, en comparación con menos de uno de cada diez adultos ciudadanos naturalizados y nacidos en los EE. UU., según KFF. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

La administración Biden finalizó una norma que ampliará la cobertura de atención médica a los beneficiarios de la Acción…


Health and Wellness

play sound

The Biden administration has finalized a rule that will expand health care coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, who will …

Environment

play sound

Alliance Medical Center in Healdsburg just switched on new solar panels and battery backup as part of a plan to make the clinic more resilient to powe…


Some 170 community groups and nonprofits rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday in favor of a proposed bond measure to fund a variety of climate-related projects. (Community Water Center)

Environment

play sound

A huge coalition of 170 groups rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to put a climate bond measure on California's November ballot…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Colorado lawmakers are investing more than $15 million to ensure children experiencing complex behavioral challenges, including trauma, major …

The meal pictured above was served at a recent Minneapolis event designed to call more attention to climate change and its effect on food production. (Photo courtesy of Jayme Halbritter)

Environment

play sound

By Cinnamon Janzer for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public N…

Social Issues

play sound

North Dakota has not managed to substantially reverse its rate of workplace fatalities. An annual report puts the state in the top five in the …

Environment

play sound

North Carolina's 220,000 acres of salt marshes face multiple threats to their major roles in climate protection and ecosystem health, from rising …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021