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Full text of "Migrant and seasonal farmworker powerlessness. Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, first and second sessions .."

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AUGUST 7, 1969 


Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 












AUGUST 7, 1969 


Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 

36-513 WASHINGTON : 1970 

RALPH YARBOROUGH, Texas, Chairman 


EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 




ALAN CRANSTON, California 

Robert O. Harris, Staff Director 

John S. Forsythe, General Counsel 

Rot H. Millenson, Minority Staff Director 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 

Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 
WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota, Chairman 
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 



BOREN Chertkov, Counsel 

A. Sidney Johnson, Professional Staff Member 

Eugene Mittelman, Minoritp Counsel 


Format of Hearings on Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker 


The Subcominittee on Migratory Labor conducted public hearings 
in Wasliington, D.C., during the 91st Congress on "Migrant and 
Seasonal Farmworker Powerlessness." These hearings are contained 
in the following parts : 

Subject matter Hearing dates 

Part 1: Who are the Migrants? June 9 and 10, 1969 

Part 2 : The Migrant Sub€Ulture July 28, 1!)69 

Part 3-A : Efforts to Organize July 15, 1969 

Part 3-B: Efforts to Organize July 16 and 17, 1969 

Part 4-A : Farmworker Legal Problems Aug. 7, l'J69 

Part 4-B : Farmworker Legal Problems Aug. 8, 1969 

Part 5 : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 21 and 22, 1969 

Part 6; Pesticides and the Farmworker Aug. 1, Sept. 29 and 30, 1969 

Part 7 : Manpower and Economic Problems Apr. 14 and 15, 1970 

Part 8: Who is Responsible? July 20, 21, and 24, 1970 

Additional hearings are tentatively scheduled by the subcommittee 
during the second session, 91st Congress. 


August 7, 1970 

Foster, T. Michael, assistant director, South Florida Migrant Legal ^*«» 

Services Program, Inc 1189 

Chase, Jonathan, professor of law, University of Colorado; and director, 

Colorado Rural Legal Services Program, Boulder, Colo 1349 


Bellow, Gary, University of Southern California Law Center, University 

Park, Los Angeles, Calif., prepared statement 1184 

Chase, Jonathan, professor of law. University of Colorado; and director, 

Colorado Rural Legal Services Program, Boulder, Colo 1349 

Prepared statement 1349 

Foster, T. Michael, assistant director, South Florida Migrant Legal 

Services Program, Inc 1189 



A. — A compendium of Florida statutes relating to seasonal and 

migratory farmworkers 1205 

B-1 . — Pesticides — Newspaper clippings 1211 

B-2.— Pesticides— Affidavits 1246 

C-1. — Housing — Newspaper clippings 1260 

C-l-a.— Housing— Affidavits 1270 

C-2. — Farms and migrant labor — Newspaper clippings 1276 

C-3. — Community attitudes — Newspaper clippings 1285 

C-4. — Nutrition — Newspaper clippings 1310 

C-5. — Health and education — Newspaper clippings 1326 

Articles, publications, etc.: 

"Education in Action Proposal" 1407 

"Seasons in the Sun," prepared by the staff of South Florida Migrant 

Legal Services Program, Inc 1416 

"The Migrant Farm Worker in Colorado — The Life and the Law," 

by Jonathon B. Chase 1371 

Communications to: 

Mondale, Hon. Walter F., a U.S. Senator from the State of Minne- 
sota, from T. Michael Foster, executive director, Florida Rural 

Legal Services, Inc., Ft. ^Mj^ers, Fla., with attachment 1340 

Segor, Joseph C, deputy director. South Florida Migrant Legal 
Services Program, IVIiami, Fla., from Gerald W. Frawley, executive 
director. Variety Children's Hospital, Miami, Fla., March 7, 1968, 

with accompanying report 1338 

Selected briefs: 

Gomez, Pete, et al. vs. Florida State Employment Service, et al 1340 

Salazar, Gregorio, and Lionel Sanchez, on behalf of themselves and 
all others similarly situated, plaintiffs, vs. Clifford Hardin, U.S. 

Secretary of Agriculture, defendant 1412 

Salazar, Margarito, and Gregorio Salazar, on behalf of themselves 
and all others similarly situated, plaintiffs, vs. Clifford Hardin, 
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, defendant 1410 





U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 
OF THE Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 

Washington, D.C. 

The subcommittee met at 9 :30 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 4232 
New Senate Office Building, Senator Walter F. Mondale (chairman 
of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present: Senator Mondale (presiding). 

Committee staff members present : Boren Chertkov, counsel to the 
subcommittee; Sidney Jolmson, professional staff member; and Eu- 
gene Mittelman, minority counsel. 

Senator Mondale. The subcommittee will come to order. 

This morning we beghi the sixth in a series of hearings on migrant 
and seasonal farmworker problems. The underlying theme of our 
hearings is powerlessness. 

In past hearings we have endeavored to obtain a broad introduc- 
tion to various problem areas by hearing farmworkers themselves tell 
of their own lives, their own problems. We have heard testimony from 
both community and union organizers on the obstacles to their self- 
help efforts to improve their own situation. We have explored what 
really happens to the men, women, and children that are confronted 
with the severe economic and social stress of migratory farmwork. 

We have also heard testimony on the border commuter labor prob- 
lem and the severe economic depression created by the surplus of 
desperately poor people forced to accept substandard living and work- 
ing conditions along our borders with Mexico. Last week the subcom- 
mittee turned its attention to a discussion of the effects of pesticides 
on farmworkers. 

This morning we begin hearings designed to examine the legal prob- 
lems and barriers faced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Attor- 
neys with an intimate knowledge of the practice of law in rural areas 
will be called on to discuss the legal problems farmworkers confront, 
and the legal services that are available to migrant and seasonal farm- 

The subcommittee's investigation will extend to legal problems that 
may be encountered in the coverage of farmworkers under social and 
worker benefit programs, in the administration of justice in rural 
areas, and in the exercise of civil rights. Also, specific legal problems 
such as enforcement of local, State, and Federal laws and codes, access 



to farm labor camps, allegations of peonage, use of pesticides, resi- 
dence requirements as barriers to voting and participation in the polit- 
ical process, and licensing and inspection programs will be explored. 

Additionally, possible roles of the attorney in helping to over- 
come migrant and seasonal farmworker powerlessness will be studied, 
with empliasis on the need, if any, for supportive assistance through 
legal service programs that aid the powerless in their relationships 
with various elements of the rural community. 

After the Senate recess scheduled for August, we intend to con- 
duct an extensive economic analysis of the entire migrant labor prob- 
lem, including an effort to explore the nature and scope of the rural 
employment and manpower problem, the reasons for the political 
impotence that too often prevails in farmworker communities, the 
limitations of current Government service programs and social and 
worker benefit programs, and finally, wliat is the future of migrant 
and seasonal farmworkers. 

Today we continue this series of hearings on powerlessness with a 
discussion of the legal problems of farmworkers by several expert 

Mr. Gary Bellow, attorney at law, associated with the Western 
Center on Law and Poverty of the University of Southern California 
Law Center, was unable to be here this morning because of illness, but 
he has submitted a prepared statement intended to provide an over- 
view of the types of legal problems faced by farmworkers, and I will 
submit it for the record at this time. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Bellow follows:) 

Prepared Statement of Gary Bellow, Unlversity of SotrxHERN C^vlifornia 
Law Center, University Park, Los Angeles, Calif. 

The Legal Problems of the Rural Poor 

A thoughtful examination of this nation's commitment to "law" necessarily 
produces ambiguous conclusions. As a nation, our history reveals a deep commit- 
ment to voluntary law observance, to the use of legislative and judicial process 
to resolve disputes and to the conduct of life in accordance with legal norms 
and rules. It also reveals, however, examples of widespread disobedience to 
legislative and judicial decisions, cynical non-enforcement or discriminatory en- 
forcement of protective legislation, and domination of the legal process by special 
interest groups. These breakdowns have occurred most when (1) the victims 
are without access to the legal or judicial process, (2) official action affecting 
them is not subject to public scrutiny and review, and (?,) there has been no 
clear delineation of public policy Avith respect to them. This is the plight of the 
migrant and seasonal farm worker. 


national POLICY 

The conditions under which crops are picked need no further delineation here. 
Reports to this subcommittee have amply documented the deprivations in health, 
housing, education, income which the farm laborer faces. Average days worked 
remain at less than 12.5 days per year and average income is still not above ,$1,000 
per year. Average education is still well below eight years, and, among adults, 
twenty-five years or older, below five years. Tliousands of children still work in 
the fields. Agriculture is still the third most dangerous occupation, behind mining 
and construction. Between 19.50-1900, over .S.OOO farm workers were poisoned by 
pesticides and farm chemicals. These statistics do not reveal the long-range 
trends. Concentration of control of agriculture in large mechanized farm units 
continues and work opportunities in agriculture continue to decrease. Mechaniza- 
tion continues at a pace which will eliminate even more jobs. Migration to the 
cities as an alternative further exacerbates the problems of urban slums. 


The absence of a clear national policy on job retraining, education, farm labor 
housing, and rural development is difficult to defend. There is virtually no effec- 
tive planning relating to control of population movement and the building of 
stable, viable communities in rural areas. C.f. Urban and Rural America: Poli- 
cies for Future Groicth, Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations 
(1968). Farm workers are still excluded from the National Labor Relations Act 
and minimally covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal 

The legal problems of the poor are, first and foremost, a function of these 
underlying deprivations. The problem is circular. Poverty generates legal prob- 
lems vphich, in turn, add to the levels of poverty. Moreover, effective use of our 
legal machinery depends on knowledge, Initiatives, and funds. Poverty deprives 
the farm worker of all of these and leaves him prey to the problems I will 

In addition, the absence of national concern and of legislative commitment 
serves to create a climate of indifference which adds to the problems of the 
rural poor. Solutions are deferred ; other interests are responded to. The migrant, 
because he must travel, will be gone with the season in any event. The farm 
laborer is invisible. 

This makes the rural poor particularly susceptible to the range of legal 
problems — fraud, evictions, garnishments, foreclosures — that affect all poor per- 
sons. It also makes them particularly susceptible to diflSculties that arise from 
oflBcial action and inaction that represents a special kind of lawlessness. It is this 
problem to which I wish to address this memorandum. 


In some states, some protective legislation has been passed. Coupled with the 
federal law that does exist there could be painted a reasonably tolerable picture 
of protection. The picture is, unfortunately, a mirage. Uniformly, legislation and 
existing judicial and administrative decisions are not enforced. In California, 
the following are just some examples : 

(1) Farm workers, throughout California, work in fields without toilet and 
handwashing facilities and are forced to defecate in the fields. It is against the 
law of the State of California to employ workers under conditions where there 
is no access to toilet facilities. 

(2) Workers labor in 100°-110° heat and drink water from rusty cans without 
cups, covers or filters. It is against the law of the State of California to fail to 
provide workers with "cool, clean drinking water" with individual cups for each 

(3) Women workers are forced to lift lugs of over fifty pounds. Women who 
complain are fired or not rehired the next day. It is against the law of the State 
of California to force women to lift more than twenty-five pounds. 

(4) Minimum wage for women in California was established by the Indus- 
trial Welfare Commission at $1.60 an hour. On the day the wage was to go into 
effect the growers filed a suit in the state court enjoining enforcement. The 
Attorney General's OflSce acceded to a three-month continuance of the hearing. 
The last minimum wage for women in California was greeted also with a lawsuit 
by the growers and an agreed continuance by the Attorney General's OflSce. That 
minimum wage (five years old) was never enforced since the lawsuit is still 
pending. There is no doubt the same result would have prevailed here were it 
not for a separate suit by California Rural Legal Assistance. 

(5) Countless workers are recruited every year and brought to the Delano 
area to work in struck fields without being informed that a strike is in process. 
It is against the law of the State of California to recruit workers without telling 
them there is a strike. This practice is now the subject of an injunction suit. 

(6) Farm workers are housed in labor camps which have broken windows, 
leaning roofs, open gas heaters, roaches and vermin. It is against the law of the 
State of California to house workers in dwellings that don't conform to the 
housing code. 

(7) Farm workers have been, and undoubtedly will be again, fired for com- 
plaining about conditions or for organizing unions. It is against the law of the 
State of California to fire on these bases. 

(8) Workers are continually exposed to chemical sprays without adequate 
protective clothing or warnings as to the nature and possible consequences of the 
spray. It is against the law of the State of California to spray crops without 
adequate precautions as to the content of the spray and for the safety of workers 
who may be affected. 


These violations have been documented by oflaeial studies, private studies, in- 
dividual complaints and a number of lawsuits. There are many, many more in- 
stances. In each instance, complaints to local law enforcement officials have 
been of no avail. No prosecutions result. Agencies assigned to enforce such laws 
are kept cynically understaffed or will inform you that it is not "politically 
feasible" to engage in strict e'nforcement. Where there is enforcement, it is in the 
form of requests for voluntary compliance. California Rural Legal Assistance 
has won a number of suits enforcing these rights, but, in terms of the prevalence 
of the practices, official enforcement is needed. Once in a while, there is enforce- 
ment Guimarra Vineyards, the major subject of the grape strike, was found 
guilty of approximately twenty violations of the child labor and sanitation laws. 
The corporations and individuals involved received a suspended sentence. 

This, of course, only describes conditions in California. The same is true 
throughout the South and Southw-est as well as along the migrant streams. 

Nor is the absence of law-enforcement limited to state institutions. Federal 
agencies exhibit a similar pattern. For example : 

(1) Thousands of "wet backs," illegal immigrants, cross the border each year 
to break strikes and compete with domestic workers. The Immigration Depart- 
ment apparently refuses to take steps necessary to prevent illegal liorder cross- 
ings, i.e. punch systems, etc., or to prosecute growers involved in the illegal 

(2) Every year thousands of workers are referred to work in fields where 
conditions are in violation of state law by the State employment service. This 
service is entirely financed by federal funds under the Wagner-Peiser Act. It is 
unlawful in California and elsewhere to refer workers to fields where illegal 
working conditions exist. 

(3) A check of the records of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore 
would reveal that a very small percentage of farm workers have social security 
payments deposited on their behalf. It is, of course, illegal for an employer to 
fail to deduct, or to deduct and not deposit social security benefits of employees. 

(4) In Florida, the Department of Labor still certifies foreign labor as tempo- 
rary workers on the grounds that no domestic workers are available. As in Cali- 
fornia, where the practice was finally stopped by lawsuits, there is no compliance 
with federal requirements that efforts to secure domestic workers by offering 
competitive wages and working conditions be made before certification is re- 

(5) In all migrant streams workers still die in automobile accidents which are 
the result of unlicensed drivers, overcrowded vehicles, defective brakes and other 
protective devices. It is still true that the picking season will begin and end with 
"blood on the harvest moon." It is a violation of the Federal Farm Labor Con- 
tractors Act to transport workers in overcrowded and defective vehicles. One 
need only walk along the edges of the fields where the cars are parked to observe 
non-enforcement of the federal statute. 

Unfortunately, these are only a few examples. Whether one turns to the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, the Department of the Interior's administration of the one- 
hundred sixty acre limitation, the Department of Labor, the Department of 
Justice, the same pattern emerges. Decisions by these agencies on matters affect- 
ing farm labor have remained virtually invisible. There is no public scrutiny, 
no systematic mechanism of review, no articulation of reasons or criteria. Re- 
sponsibility for policy is diffuse and no i)erson or department can be identified 
as clearly having the power of decision. Even the courts have developed rules 
around standing and private causes of action which insulate them from facing problems. The result is a susceptibility to .special interest group pressures 
and the replacement of a rule of law by ad hoc, reactive decision making — in 
short, lawlessness. It is difficult, indeed, to say to the farm laborer that laws 
ought to be obeyed when he observes .so many daily examples of its non-enforce- 
ment and its unavailability to protect him, 


It is equally difficult to defend the law when he also sees so many examples of 
discriminatory application. The power of the law is used far more often as a 
club than as a shield. The examples can be found in Civil Rights Commis-sion 
reports, Reports of Presidential Commissions on Law Enforcement, studies by 
public and private groups. The farm laborer, like others who are poor, are 
arrested more often, convicted more often, the subject of police misconduct more 
often than other groups. Again, examples are legion : 


(1) On the picket lines in Delano, California, and throughout Kern County 
members of the Sheriff's Department arrest, harass, and interfere with union 
members engaged in peaceful picketing. Even when some of the exaggerations 
are sorted out, it is clear that official police authority is used to support the 
growers. For example, union members following trucks to market are continually 
stopped for license checks to give the trucks time to get away. . ^^ ^ ^ . 

(2) In Texas Texas Rangers used brutal methods to intimidate, harass and 
prevent organization of Texas farm workers. Union workers were shot despite 
no resistance to their arrest by the Rangers. The information was turned over 
to the Justice Department. With the coming of the FBI some of the violence 
abated but no prosecutions were ever made. , u^f^^^r, ^ 

(3) On the hiehwavs of California, again and again, an accident between a 
farm worker andean Anglo is investigated by the patrolman by asking the Anglo 
alone what happened. It is impossible to provide data on the number of times 
Mexican farm workers are given traffic tickets without even being asked their 
version of the facts. , ^ v, i. j ^;„ 

\gain the'ie are onlv examples. Beyond this is the less overt but deeper dis- 
crimination of the subsidv system. Millions of dollars in the form of price sup- 
port'? loans, grants, are poured into rural areas to benefit growers who control 
thousands of acres of land. Indeed many of these are administered by local com- 
mittees who set priorities, i.e., farmers have administration committees on rural 
housing. Never is a farm laborer on one of committees. 

For the farm worker, who works only one-third of the year, there are welfare 
payments insufficient to even feed his family for which he is hounded, criticized, 
insulted. In addition, local public agencies adopt special policies to serve agricul- 
tural interests. In Madera, schools are closed or their openings delayed so that 
children can be released to pick the crop, thereby keeping wages down for adults. 
The Governor orders convicts into the fields to compete with domestic labor 
(this was enjoined by the AFL^CIO in California). The welfare departments 
.serve as recruitment agencies for the growers, forcing recipients to work in the 
field despite conditions, despite violations of the minimum wage law, and despite 
the prior experience of the recipient. Men from rural cities, if they are Mexicans, 
iire invariably required to work in the fields even if they have never previously 
done farm labor. It is difficult for him to see anything but the hand of discrimina- 
tion behind this system of priorities. 


Endemic to this lack of legal protection of the farm worker is his isolation from 
the legal process. He is without advocates to plead his case before legislative com- 
mittees or city councils. He is without legal assistance to utilize the benefits of 
what benefit programs do exist. It takes some degree of expertise to organize 
credit unions, or negotiate job training grants. He is without legal help to protect 
him from exploitation, fraud, or discrimination. He exists with the knowledge of 
his vulnerability and dependence, and that knowledge becomes the dominating 
factor of his existence, leaving him bitter, passive, apathetic. Except for some 
programs developed by the Office of Economic Opportunity, there are no lawyers 
to channel his grievance into the system. Assuming he can get some volunteer 
help, there is no money to pay the usual costs of litigation. Where legal aid pro- 
grams have been established they are often controlled by local Bar associations 
who prevent the program from vigorously asserting the rights of their client. One 
would have to be somewhat skeptical about the Florida Bar's sudden willingness 
to run a program for migrants in South Florida, if the Office of Economic Oppor- 
tunity would eliminate the South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, one 
of the few aggressive and independent programs serving the rural poor. ^Tiere 
the case is one which does involve a fee, lawyers might be found, but very often 
their notions of loyalty to the client do not follow the same pattern as when the 
farmer is represented. In one case I handled when I was in McFarland the at- 
torney representing the farm worker as payment for representation took a deed 
of trust on his house for approximately two thousand dollars. Despite the pay- 
ment of eighteen hundred dollars in a two-year period, the farm worker found 
that he still owed the lawyer an additional two thousand dollars in interest for 
which he was foreclosing on the deed of trust. 

Even where procedures are set up where no lawyer is allegedly needed, 
enormous abuse exists. Small claims courts become collection agencies designed 


as a way of providing bases for garnishments and attachments, if any property 
exists. Workman's compensation proceedings, where allegedly a lawyer is not 
Tieeded, result in settlements of incredibly low amounts on the basis of reports 
from doctors employed by the companies who do the most cursory examinations. 
One thirty-year-old client, whose back was so badly injured he would never work 
again, received a final settlement of nine hundred dollai's. 

A judicial system which is not accessible to those with grievances is powerless 
to prevent abuse or to carry out its major function — the orderly resolution of 
disputes and the non-violent modification of the law to the conditions faced by 
the people it serves. It is a complex set of phenomena — cultural, historic, politi- 
<;al — which has prevented the absence of law in the migrant and farm worker 
communities from resulting in more hostile and aggressive attempts to secure a 
response to grievance. 


This has been only a cursory overview designed to provide a framework for the 
problems rather than specifics. However, some Congressional action in these fields 
seems clearly demanded. 

( 1 ) Inclusion of farm workers under the National Labor Relations Act and the 
establishment of an appropriate federal enforcement machinery to protect organ- 
izing efforts. As in the early days of the Wagner Act an affirmative policy of 
assistance to unionization should be reflected in the legislation. 

(2) A federally guaranteed income base for all farm laborers (and other 
groups) whether provided through unemployment insurance, or welfare pay- 
ments. This would mean an elimination of the categorical divisions in the Social 
Security Act. a next logical step to Mr. Nixon's recent proposals on welfare. 

(3) Amendment of the Social Security Act to make eiligibility for benefits by 
farm workers administratively enforceable and to create an enforcement mecha- 
nism, capable of guaranteeing compliance. This might take the form of a special 
unit in the Social Security Administration to investigate and deal with such 

(4) Amendment of the Fair Labor Standards Act to raise the minimvim wage 
for farm laborers. Since minimum wage legislation can be detrimental to the low- 
income earner by speeding up the use of more skilled laborers or automated proc- 
esses to perform the function it might be advisable to a'Uow wage rates to be set 
by geographic area and crop above the established minimum so that the potential 
for higher wages can be realized without exacerbating a wage-food cost spiral. 
Many crops can be paying higher wages without loss of consumer demand. 

(5) Amendment of the Administrative Procedure Act to give standing to pri- 
vate persons to sue to enforce federal regulations. At the present time violations 
by federal agencies cannot be challenged even when there are lawyers available. 
No amendments or changes in the regulations of the agencies mentioned will 
make any difference without some method of enforcing compliance. The judicial 
system has always been the ombudsman for governmental agencies. It cannot 
serve as such if access to it is effectively barred. 

(G) Amendment to the Pure Food and Drug Act or other legislation which 
would prevent the transportation in interstate commerce of any food products har- 
vested, produced or picked in violation of state law regulating pesticides, sanita- 
tion, etc., or minimal health and safety standards established at the federal level. 

(7) Increased appropriations for the improvement of farm labor housing, 
health, child care, educational opportunity. 

(8) Increa.sed appropriations to the Office of Economic Opportunity to expand 
legal services in rural areas, to encourage law schools to introduce the legal i)rob- 
lems of the rural poor into their curriculum, and to train and recruit lawyers to 
serve as small claims court judges and justices of the peace where such positions 
are filled by civil service examination. 

(9) Amendment of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1980 et seq. to make it clear 
that non-enforcement of state or local law on the basis of race, religion or national 
ancestry will be subject to criminal and civil penalties. This was the intention of 
42 U.S.C. § 1986, but it has been enormously narrowed by subsequent judicial 

(10) Appropriations to the Department of Justice under their grant-in-aid 
program earmarked to improve jury selection, payment of witnesses, bail prac- 
tices, access to information, quality of appointed counsel in the administration 
of criminal justice in rural areas. 


Each of tbese can be discussed in more detail. They recognize, however, the 
interdependence of legal protection and the basic economic and political position 
of the farm worker. They might make some change in the persistent truth of 
Mr. Dooley's comment: 

"Don't I think a poor man has a cbanst in court? Iv coorse he has. He 
has the same chanst there that he has outside. He has a splendid poor man's 

It might even be truer to say that, at the present time, he has no "chausf at 

Senator Mondale. We are very pleased to have a distinguished 
group of witnesses here who from practical experience are able to 
contribute to our record. Our first witness this morning is :Mr. Michael 
Foster, assistant director of South Florida Migrant Legal Services 
Program, Inc. 

Mr. Foster, if you would come to the witness table, please. 

We are verv pleased to have you here this morning. We are most 
grateful, not only for this testimony, but for the help you have pro- 
vided to the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs 
when we went down to Florida earlier this year. Your service was 
most helpful and I think we heard testimony in Florida, and gained 
insights that have been exceedingly helpful in getting some momentum 
into the nutrition programs. 


Mr. Foster. Thank you. Senator. I appreciate that very much. I 
have submitted to the subcommittee some appendixes on the problems 
of farmworkers which I hope will be helpful. 

Senator INIondale. We will include those in the oJfScial record at the 
conclusion of your testimony. 

Mr. Foster. I do hope that people interested in the problems of 
farmworkers will look at them closely. 

Mr. Chairman, my name is T. Michael Foster, and I am the assist- 
ant director of South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc., 
an OEO-funded program serving migratory and seasonal farmwork- 
ers in a six-county area of south Florida. 

I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today to discuss 
the plight of America's migrants and to give my views on some of 
their legal problems. 

While I caimot speak as an authorit}^ on the problems of this Na- 
tion's seasonal and migratory farmworkers, I am familiar with the 
difficulties they face each day. and I know liow these prol^lems affect 
their lives. My experience as an attorney for the farmworkers of south 
Florida has given me a limited perspective of their problems, but per- 
haps I should be thankful that I do not know the full extent of the 
phj^sical and psychological damage their transient lives have caused 
them. Their work is a form of peonage only slightly more subtle than 
physical bondage. 

in terms of national priorities, agricultural workers appear to have 
been classified as a subspecies of the human race, a group whose needs 
have only recently reached sufficiently serious proportions to warrant 
interest from local, State, and Federal authorities. 



More tlian 169,000 seasonal farmworkers and their dependents 
either migrated into or resided in Florida at some point during the 
long 19G7-GS farming season. Only Texas and California saw greater 
numbers of workers and their dependents during that same period of 
time. Of that number, almost 100,000 either worked or lived in the 
six south Florida counties covered by our legal services program. We 
estimate on the basis of our experience in the program field offices 
that about half the farm laborers in Florida arc black people, and 
the other half fairly evenly divided between Mexican-Americans, 
Puerto Eicans, and other white persons. 

Florida was second only to California in the estimated man-months 
of migratory labor for 1968, but remained below the national average 
for 1968 in hourly wage rates, with only $1.30 an hour, compared to 
a national average of $1.43. Florida has a longer harvest season than 
most other States, with the peak months beginning in November and 
running through May. Almost every type of vegetable and citrus fruit 
is grown and harvested during our fall and winter seasons. 

Farming is big business by any standard in Florida, with the State's 
annual gross income for that industry for the year 1968, being $1,218 
billion. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
•of 25 States, including the Southeastern States, indicates the magni- 
tude of corporate agribusiness in Florida. 

Over one-fourth of the total corporate county units in the 25 States 
surveyed were located in Florida. This was the largest portion in the 
survey. One county unit indicates the combined separate oi:>erations 
of any farming corporation in that one county, so while there are 
fewer corporations than county units, there are more farms than 
county units, as where one corporation has several farms in the same 

The total land involved in the Department of Agriculture's survey 
amounted to approximately 13 million acres, and Florida ranked sec- 
ond only to Texas in its contribution to this total, with nearly 30 per- 
cent of the 13 million acres. Corporations account for 31 percent of 
the total land in farms and ranches in Florida. Sugarcane and citrus 
in Florida constitute 71 percent of the land in crops, and Florida leads 
the Nation in its acreage in sugarcane. Over $6.5 million a year in 
farm subsidies arc paid to Florida farmers receiving $5,000 or more 
in agricultural payments. 


The South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc., ven- 
tured into this agriculturally oriented economy in September of 1967, 
with a staff of attorneys ranging in size from a high of 19 to a low 
of eight. From the beginning of operations through June of this year, 
attorneys in our four field offices have handled a total of 4,252-— total 
participants, 7,351 — problems for agricultural workers and their de- 
pendents. OJ' that number, 3,595 have been resolved and 657 remain 
to be concluded. 


Our efforts have brought us before almost every level of State court, 
many administrative bodies, and Federal trial and appellate courts. 
In addition, we have pressed the interests of farmworkers before State 
and Federal legislative committees, sought revision of many laws that 
specifically exclude farmworkers, and assisted in the creation of new 
social institutions to permit farmworkers to help themselves. 

Lastly, a good part of our time has been spent in learning about the 
problems of seasonal and migratory farmworkers so that we can serve 
them better, and some of our reflections on the subject are included 
in a project publication entitled "Seasons in the Sun." 


There are three closely related categories into which the legal prob- 
lems of seasonal and migratory farm laborers most easily fall, and 
which a legal services program serving them must necessarily con- 
sider. First, would be those problems caused by either abuse of or 
discrimination against farmworkers by private individuals, law en- 
forcement agencies, or other govermnental bodies. These problems 
usually result from either community hostility toward farmworkers, 
overzealous law enforcement against farmworkers, or lack of enforce- 
ment of laws intended to benefit farm laborers. 

A second general category relates to inadequacies in laws intended 
to deal witli tlie problems of seasonal and migratory farmworkers, out- 
right exclusion of farmworkers from the benefits of some laws, or the 
lack of awareness on the part of most lawmakers of the unique situa- 
tion of farmworkers. 

The third major problem area in the migrant stream and in south 
Florida is the lack of social institutions within the migrant subculture 
to permit farm laborers to cope with their conditions by group action. 


With respect to the abuse and discrimination suffered by migratory 
farmworkers, it must be remembered that they are generally an un- 
welcome element in most of the communities in which they work. 
They are needed, and so tolerated, but only so long as they are a vital 
piece of machinery in the local economy. The basic community attitude 
toward the migrant is one of susj^icion, contempt, and hostility. 

The migrant is trundled back and forth across the country and to 
the fields in old trucks and buses with a minimum of consideration 
for his comfort and convenience. When he arrives at the fields at the 
begmning of the day, if the crops are still wet with dew, he must wait 
without pay, even though he is at the farmer's field and ready to 
work. If he cannot work that day, he will probably be returned to 
the camp empty handed, having lost a day's wages that his family 
vitally needed for survival. 

The workers are often enticed to jobs by promises of high pay and 
free quarters, only to find the pay far below their expectations, and 
that their living quarters and other expenses are deducted from their 
wages, leaving them almost nothing. If they try to leave the camp. 


they will be threatened with arrest if they still owe the camp manager 
or farmer money for food, lodging, or transportation. The effort to 
leave may even be met with physical intimidation or actual violence. 

Visitors who attempt to enter the camps to assist the workers are 
often refused access and threatened with arrest for their trouble. 

I have seen a white farmworker sentenced to 6 months' imprison- 
ment on a vagrancy charge because he was found in the part of a com- 
munity inhabited predominantly by Mexican-Americans. I have also 
witnessed the sentencing of farmworkers withheld on the basis of 
an extracted promise to leave the county in which the offense was 
committed and not return for 5 years. 

Attorneys with our program have challenged in court another 
flagrant form of banishment, where law enforcement officers in a small 
Florida town allegedly took into custody farmworkers who were 
found on the streets, left, them in jail overnight, and tlien drove them 
to tlie county line the next morning, with an admonition not to return. 

Florida has a statute requiring nonresidents to register their auto- 
mobiles in the State and obtain State driver's licenses if they work in 
the State, even though they are not and do not intend to become Florida 
residents. This law works quite a hardship on migrant farmworkers 
in Florida, and it has been reported to us by some of them that it is 
more zealously enforced in areas away from farming, with tlie none 
too subtle implication the worker had better stay where he belongs or 
face trouble with the law. 

Yet less stringently enforced are sanitary regulations requiring 
field privies and suitable housing for farmworkers. But they have 
grown accustomed to these conditions, and it is rare to find one willing 
to complain about code violations to health officials. The likely result 
of such boldness would be the speedy eviction of the troublemaker, or 
tlie ine\'itable threat of arrest. 

Another example of the way in which this attitude of hostility to- 
ward farm laliorers manifests itself is the very begrudging way in 
which supporting services for the migrant are accepted, unless some 
indirect benefit inures to the farmer. Examples of this, in addition to 
our own legal services program, include the Federal food programs, 
and to a lesser degree, the migrant health project. 

Several of the counties in Avhich ou.r lawyers work do not partici- 
pate in the Federal conunodity foods program. No Florida county 
yet has an operating food stamp program. In Collier County, Mdiich 
has an annual gross income from its farming industry of $40 million, 
the county officials rejected for over 2 years repeated urgings to par- 
ticipate in the commodity foods program, and only recently have 
authorized the food stamp program as long as the outreach efforts 
are conducted by the OEO-funded community action migrant pro- 
gram, and the program is tied to some sort of a rehabilitative project 
to make recipients self-sustaining. 

This will be small consolation to the farmworker who finds himself 
stranded in the county during a bad spell with no money for food 
stamps. But even this compromise jirogram took tremendous pres- 
sure on county officials to start, including field hearings in Collier 
County by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human 
Needs. Tlie traditional county attitude has been that the responsibility 
lies elsewhere, since migrant farmworkers are regarded as Federal 


The migrant health project funds reach only IT of the State's 67 
counties. This particular problem is both one of local hostility and 
a national unwillingness to deal with the full magnitude of health 
problems suffered by migrant and seasonal farmworkers. In reporting 
last year on the efforts to extend the grant to the migrant health pro- 
gram, the House of Representatives pointed out that medical and 
dental visits by migrants are about one-fifth and one-twenty-fifth the 
national per capita average, and that : 

The health needs of migrants far exceed those of the general population. 
Some migrant mothers fail to get needed prenatal care and have only a midwife 
in attendance at the time of their delivery in a migrant labor camp. Ear in- 
fections, impetigo, allergies, poisonings, dental defects, alcoholism, hernias, 
nutritional deficiencies and intestinal parasites are among the conditions fre- 
quently reported. Acute diarrheal disease continues to be an important cause 
of death among young infants. Deaths from tuberculosis and other infectious 
diseases among agricultural migrants are at double the national rate, and deaths 
due to influenza and pneumonia are 50 percent higher. (90th Congress, 2d 
Session. House Report No. 1536, p. 16. ) 

Yet, Wilson T. Sowder, the director of the Florida State Board of 
Health project said that last year the State had only $800,000 to ad- 
minister to the health needs of the approximately 100,000 migratory 
farmworkers and their dependents who labor in the State, or only $8 
per person. Newspaper articles annoimcing the stationing of a full 
time Public Health Service doctor in Immokalee, Fla., reported the 
local suspicion of such a "Federal" person and expressed the hope that 
the community attitude would not make his work unpleasant. 


The second category of legal problems for seasonal and migratory 
farm laborers relates to their almost uniform exclusion from various 
legislative and regulatory efforts protecting workers in other indus- 
tries, or their limited inclusion within those laws and regulations. In- 
cluded also within this classification is the failure of legislators to deal 
with the unique situation of the migrant in passing laws that do not 
adversely affect other segments of the population, but fall heavily 
upon him. This category is perhaps the most comprehensive, and re- 
sults in the greatest hardships for the migrant as he travels across the 


An example of a problem related to the necessity for frequent travel 
by the migrant can be found in the administration of welfare programs. 
Until the Supreme Court declared welfare residency requirements 
unconstitutional, Florida had one of the longest residency require- 
ments for welfare of any State in the Union, and it still ranks among 
the lowest States in the montlily payments to recipients. 

Every categorical assistance program administered by the State 
welfare department required 1 year's continuous residence for eligibil- 
ity, and several of the programs included an additional requirement 
of 5 out of the last 9 years, but permitted applicants to use time seg- 
ments of building blocks to meet this requirement. Unfortunately, the 
Supreme Court's decision has not been a panacea to the welfare prob- 
lems of farmworkers. 

36-513— 70— pt. 4A -2 


While durational requirements have been declared unconstitutional, 
residency in tlie State is still required by the Federal regulations re- 
cently proposed by Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare 
KobeVt II. Finch in the Federal Register. Under those regulations, 
being in the State for a temporary ])urpose precludes one from estab- 
lisliing eligibility for the categorical assistance programs. 

Witli regard to county welfare, the situation is certainly no better 
from the migratory farm laborer's viewpoint. Florida has no statewide 
general assistance program, but some counties do allot a small part 
of their budget to general assistance. In one of the two counties with 
which I am most familiar, a 1-year residence eligibility requirement 
is still imposed by the county welfare department. In the other, we 
have been informed that there is a 6-month residence requirement, 
and that the county commissioners must pass on all applications for 
county assistance. 

So the migrant farmworker can and often does find himself stranded 
in a county of the State where adverse weather or crop conditions 
leave him without work, and his temporary purpose leaves him in- 
eligible for State or county welfare, and tlie county's refusal to par- 
ticipate in Federal food programs leaves him and his family hungry. 

Some consideration must be given to the unique situation of the 
migrant, who travels across the country to be where the work is, and 
has little chance of establishing residence in the communities in which 
he works. If misfortune befalls him or his family, he is left to fend 
for himself. This is a national problem, and one which will require 
some action by Congress before it can be solved. 


Housing is a problem of the first magnitude for farmworkers. The 
need for more and better housing is nowliere greater than in the mi- 
grant stream. In Florida two agencies regulate farm labor housing, 
the Florida State Board of Health, through its sanitarians; and the 
Florida Hotel and Restaurant Commission. 

The board of health is responsible for farm labor camps housing 
15 or more persons and the hotel and restaurant commission theoret- 
ically covers accommodations for irAj. The agencies both have the 
power to bring effective sanctions to bear, but agency officials will 
readily acbnit that as presently staffed, and with the need for housing 
for workers so critical, they can do very little to prevent farmworkers 
from living in substandard and unsanitary conditions. 

As an example. Collier County Health Department figures for the 
1967-68 farm year showed 126 camj^s in the county, with 99 of them 
permitted. The total camp residents numbered 5,053 persons, while 
16,947 farm laborers and their dependents are listed as living in other 
housing. So only 22 percent of the farm labor force and their depend- 
ents lived in camps, and only some of those camps met State standards. 
This i:)icture has briglitened somewhat with more acti^^e enforcement 
this year and the prospect of a 15()-unit housing project funded by 
Farmers Home Administration to be built in the comity's farming 
center, Immokalee. 


Federal regulation of farm labor housing is through the Bureau of 
Employment Security of the U.S. Department of Labor, in coopera- 
tion Avi'th the State employment offices. Interstate clearance orders are 
issued to farmers who come to the State employment offices requesting 
assistance in obtaining workers. This method has not resulted in sub- 
stantial improvements in farm labor housing for a number of reasons. 

First, the interstate clearance order system is strictly voluntary, and 
the vast nwjority of farm recruiting is done through other channels. 

Second, enforcement provisions regarding migrant housing are vir- 
tually noiiexistent, since exclusion from the interstate clearance order 
system has no real economic eti'ect on most farmers. 

Third, the Bureau of Employment Security shifts the responsibility 
for mspecting camps to the State employment offices, with apparently 
little or no supervision to determine whether the labor camps actually 
comply. As long as the use of interstate clearance orders remains a 
\'oluntary system, free from meanmgful penalties, it will be ineffec- 

I would urge Congress to make the sj^stem mandatory, and require 
strict regiilation of every interstate effort to recruit farmworkers. We 
regulate the interstate transportation of many other types of cargo, 
and we should certainly control the abuses resulting from the unregu- 
lated interstate transportation of a cargo as precious as humanity. 

Such legislation would not only have the effect of improving farm 
labor housing on a nationwide scale, but could significantly reduce 
such abuses as the recruiting of children for the farm labor force, un- 
safe means of transporting farmworkers, and other exploitative and 
dangerous practices indulged in by some crew leaders and farmers. 

An additional need is for a much more aggressive effort on the part 
of the Federal housing agencies, particularly the Farmers Home 
Administration, to seek out the areas of the country most critically 
in need of improved farm labor housing so that this problem can be 
speedily met. 


The migratory and seasonal farmworker has never been effectively 
covered by the Social Security Act since his belated inclusion in that 
legislation in 1956. The officials responsible for enforcing tliis law in- 
dicate by their attitude the impossibility of their job. They will tell us 
that farmworkers don't want social security money witlilield from 
their pay, and crew leaders will tell us that their workers will quit if 
the money is withheld, and the workers themselves say it is withheld 
but not turned in (as they often find out years later when nothing 
can be done about it) . 

Countless farmworkers for whom we have sought social security 
benefits have not had sufficient money paid in, even though many of 
them have had it deducted from their wages in the past. This money 
is forever lost to them, because their earning years are over and they 
will never be able to pay in what is needed for eligibility. So they are 
deprived a second time of the money they worked so hard to earn. This 
is ironic when you consider they are the lowest paid segment of our 
work force and can least afford to have money slip away from them 
this way. 


The presumption that the crew leader is the employer absent written 
evidence to the contrary, and the $150 or 20-day exemption from social 
security coverage, have effectively denied tliousands of farmworkers 
the benefits offered by the act. Furthermore, the lack of educational 
efforts to acquaint migratory and seasonal farm laborers with the 
provisions of the Social Security Act has left most of them ignorant of 
the advantages of f^overage. 

Only by elimin;'ting altogether the $150 or 20-day exemptions and 
the presumption that the crew leader is the employer, can farm- 
workers ever be meaningfully included within the law. As an alterna- 
tive, one solution might be to make the responsibility for deducting 
social security fall upon only those crew leaders who have been issued 
a certificate of registration pursuant to the farm Labor Contractor 
Registration Act of 1964, and put the responsibility on the farmer in all 
other instances. 

Other possible alternatives would be to require the farmer to deduct 
and report social security withholdings from the pay of those workers 
who labor in his fields, or at the very least reversing the presumption 
to require the farmer to assume the position of employer absent written 
evidence to the contrary. 

Porlia]>s a legislative solution io the continuing problem of farm- 
workers ineligible for social security benefits because of the failure of 
their employers to withhold sufficient amounts from their pay, or be- 
cause of their own ignorance of the requirements of the law, would be 
an amendment permitting tliose persons to withdraw what has been 
paid into social security in their behalf in amounts equal to the pay- 
ments they would have received if they had qualified, and contingent 
upon their eligibility for benefits under the old-age, survivor, or dis- 
ability insurance provisions of the act. 


The minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act 
still single farmworkers out for unique and discriminatory treatment. 
Farmworkers are the lowest paid occupational group in the country, 
yet the minimum hourly wage for them is by law substantially lower 
than that of their fellow workers in other industries. This wage must 
be raised to a level comparable to that of the rest of the work force in 
the country. 

In addition, the 500 man-days per calendar quarter test should be 
lessened to draw more workers into the coverage of the act. Informa- 
tion already before this subcommittee reflects that a 100 man-day test 
would affect only 7 percent of our Nation's farms while extending 
minimum wage coverage to 60 percent of its farmworkers. 

The act should also be amended to include employees who are paid 
on a piece rate basis, commute daily from their permanent home to the 
farm where they work, and worked less than 13 weeks during the 
preceding calendar year. There is no justification for this exclusion. 
Part-time and local workers are an important part of Florida's farm 
labor force. Some may do farmwork for only one short season, and 
find other employment during other times of the year. To deny these 
persons the benefits of minimum wage coverage serves no purpose 


other than to save the farmers or crew leaders a few dollars that might 
properly be paid to people who do the same work as the migratory- 
farm laborer. 

Additional matters regarding the minimum wage that require legis- 
lative attention are the exclusion of farmworkers from overtime pay 
and the exclusion of persons under 16 years of age outside of school 
hours or unless engaged in an occupation deemed hazardous by the 
Secretary of Labor. Farming is unique in its susceptibility to the 
hazards of bad weather and its need for almost immediate mobiliza- 
tion of a work force when crops ripen, and the exemption of farm- 
workers from the maximum hours section of the Fair Labor Standards 
Act may also be partially explained by the general lack of sophisti- 
cated payroll procedures. 

But other industries face equally capricious hazards and still are 
able to pay their workers for overtime. For a farmer or crew leader 
who works the same group of employees regularly, bookkeeping would 
be no hardship. Perhaps here there is some justification for exclud- 
ing day-haul agricultural laborers because of the casual nature of their 
employment relationship, but they are the only class of workers who 
can justifiably be excluded. 

The exemption of persons under 16 years of age outside of school 
hours from the minimum wage law often encourages child labor rather 
than deterring farmworker families from putting their children to 
vv'ork in the fields. The children are a cheaper source of labor, and 
often as skilled as some of the older workers. If the deterrence of child 
labor is the purpose of this exclusion from the act, then I submit that 
more effective means can be found. Perhaps if life offered the children 
of farmworkers other options, they would not turn to work in the fields 
for their livelihood. 


The exemption of migratory and seasonal farmworkers from the 
benefits of the National Labor Relations Act is a cardinal example of 
discriminatory treatment. "WTiatever the justifications may have been 
in 1935 when Congress enacted the law, the outright exclusion of farm 
laborers should certainly not be perpetuated. 

There is a growing awareness among farm laborers of the need for 
collective bargaining to correct the abuses suffered in the migrant 
stream. The history of unions in other industries, and the history of 
agricultural unions in Hawaii and in areas outside the United States, 
has taught us that the improvement of the lot of workers need not 
necessarily result in prohibitive expenses to the employer. 

Agricultural workers must be given the same opportunities as 
workers in other areas of American enterprise. I believe that some of 
the problems of farmworkers that this subcommittee has addressed 
itself to in the past will be substantially eliminated by effective labor 
organization within the migrant stream, such as the regulation of 
wage payments, housing and field sanitation problems, social security 
compliance, and workmen's compensation coverage. 

I am aware that farmers expect labor organization among their 
workers to result in great harm. If there is a need to treat agribusiness 
uniquely, then I urge Congress to demonstrate the spirit of compro- 


mise it is capable of to deal equitably witli the problem. But the time 
is now to put farmworkers and their employers on the same footing, so 
that tliey can deal together as equals across the bargaining table."^ 

At the State level, some examples of the exclusion of farmworkers 
from legislation intended to protect persons in other industries are 
the workmen's compensation and unemployment compensation laws. 
In Florida, as in many other States, both laws exclude farmworkers. 


There is no current justification for excluding agricultural workers 
fi-oni workmen's compensation laws. Today farmwork is the Nation's 
third most hazardous industry in terms of fatalities, resulting m more 
deatlis than all but two industi'ies, mining and construction. 

Even in ai-eas of agriculture where mechanization has not yet begun, 
the increasing and poorly regulated use of pesticides has created 
hazards of a magnitude that only protective legislation, beginning 
with the inclusion of farmworkers within the workmen's compensa- 
tion laws, can prevent a large segment of our working po]:>ulation from 
assuming the miAvilling risk of serious injury or even death at their 
jobs with no protection for them or their families if they miss work 
as a result of their injuries, or if they die. 


The need for protective legislation regarding pesticides goes beyond 
the interests of agricultural workers. The uncontrolled use of danger- 
ous chemicals in agriculture has reached the point where all of us are 
endangered. Yet for the people who work in the fields it is much more 
than an academic controversy. Almost every farmworker I have 
spoken to on the subject has been sprayed or co^-ei-ed with chemicals 
while working in the fields. Some have become ill themselves. Others 
know about the inexplained convulsions resulting in death that fol- 
low exposure to the poisons used in farming. 

In Florida one of the most commonly used insecticides is parathion. 
Farmers prefer it to safer chemicals because it is cheap. Parathion 
has almost unlimited lethal potential, yet is by no means the most 
deadly chemical used. Consider the case of a young Immokalee farm- 
worker who died after eating a sandwich in the field without washing 
his hands. It was later established by the State board of health that 
ho had suffered parathion poisoning, even though the crop he was 
working in had not been spraved for 22 days. 

Or consider the little Florida town of Arcadia, which went through 
a night of near panic when sacks that had contained parathion Avere 
found floating in the Peace River, its source of drinking water. These 
are not isolated instances. I have heard health officials relate frighten- 
ing accounts of the misuse of pesticides. Newspaper reporters have 
told me that some of the information they discovered on the subject 
was so terrifying that their erl'tors would not print it. 

Unless something is done to control the use of dangerous chemicals 
in agriculture and elsewhere, a tragedy of sizable proportions will in- 
evitably result. I urge you to read the personal accounts of farm- 


workers and the newspaper articles contained in the appendixes on 
pesticides I have submitted with this statement. I think this is a matter 
of national concern and I hope the Congress will look into it soon so 
that something can be done to correct the situation. 

Attorneys with our program assisted in the drafting of proposed 
State legislation to control tlie misuse of pesticides in the fields, but 
our proposal failed to clear committee, and the only legislation regard- 
ing pesticides to be enacted into law in Florida this year relates to 
labeling and packaging, and appointments to the State pesticide tech- 
nical committee. It is a step in the right direction, but not far enough 
or fast enough, I am afraid, to prevent further tragedies in the fields 
and perhaps elsewhere. 


A need that is less dramatic but certainly important from the stand- 
point of the farmworker is for his inclusion in unemployment com- 
pensation laws. The rationale for his exclusion is the seasonal nature 
of farmwork, and the difficulty in administration of the program be- 
cause of poor recordkeeping by most farmers and crew leaders. How- 
ever, if the farmers want to keep their skilled work force, and avoid 
the inevitable attraction of other industries where workers are better 
cared for, then it is time for a recognition of the needs of agricultural 

This subcommittee has suggested the possibility of a 300 man-day 
exemption for legislation to permit farmworkers to receive unemploy- 
ment compensation. I hope the Congress will seriously consider that 
suggestion. It would have the effect of covering only a small percentage 
of the farms, but a substantial percentage of America's farm work 
force, and the stabilizing influence it would have upon the farmworker 
would prove to be a benefit not only to the worker and his family, but 
the farming community as well. 


The third major problem area for farmworkers I spoke of earlier is 
the lack of social institutions within the migrant subculture. The exist- 
ence of these institutions would cultivate change in the migrant stream 
by permitting farmworkers to better their conditions by group action. 

The attorneys with our legal services program have directed con- 
siderable effort toward assisting agricultural workers in creating or- 
ganizations for the betterment of their lives. We have worked witli 
nonprofit community improvement groups, day care centers, corpora- 
tions for the procurement of better housing through Federal loans, 
lighting districts in farmworker communities, volunteer fire depart- 
ments and rescue squads, corporations for profit organized by former 
migrants, and have sought SBA loans for the initiation of new busi- 
nesses by migrants. 

In one unique situation attorneys with our program even assisted 
in the negotiation of a labor contract in settlement of a case against a 
large farm in south Florida. Perhaps our most rewarding work has 
been helping these groups. Farmworkers are painfully aware of their 


lack of power and organization. And thoy have a hoaltliv skepticism 
toM-ai-d so-called organizers who come into their comnnmities unaware 
of the degree of hostility faced by farm laborers, and the difficulties to 
l)e encountered in working together for any purpose, because of their 
transient lives and the fear farmers have of labor unions. 

So the groups we have worked with were born of the migrants and 
nurtured by their needs. They represent the first realization of the 
latent power of many people speaking with one A'oice, and we think 
they are the key to meaningful change in the future. To date, our 
legal services program has served more than 20 (rroups, affecting cither 
directly or indirectly the lives of literally thousands of farmworkers 
and their dependents. 


In summary, I would like to emphasize the need for expanded 
leofal services to farmvrorkers and other segments of the rural poor. 
We cannot wait until they contril)ute to our urban problems before 
Tre begin to meet their needs. The migrant is a difficult person to 
provide legal services for because of his almost nomadic way of life. 

Often our efforts in his behalf are interrupted by the necessity for 
his following the migrant stream. The job is also complicated by 
the migrant's inability to leave the cam]xs and fields and come to us. 
"We must take our services to him. and the task is made more difficult 
by the many miles we have to travel to ser^e him. 

But before legal services to farmworkers can be considered a mean- 
ingful remedy to_ the myriad of problems facing them, agricultural 
laborers must be included within the full scheme of social legislation 
enjoyed by other segments of the Nation's work force. Only I)y ac- 
knowledging the right of the farmworker to equal access to the bene- 
fits enjoyed by other workers, and our own continuing need for their 
labors, will the seasonal and migratory farmworker enjoy the dignity 
and self-respect he deserA^es. 

"We canot dodge our reponsibility by relying upon the eventual 
mechanization of farming and the possible elimination of the migrant 
stream. Tlie needs of the farmwoiker are a present problem, and the 
time for their solution is now. Continued reluctance to meet these 
needs will only result in continued labor strife, continued economic 
bondage, and sustained poverty and despair for farmworkers and 
their families for years to come. 

Senator ]Mo>rDALE. Thank you very much, Mr. Foster. 

How many lawyers do you have in South Florida Migrant Legal 
Services ? 

Mr. Foster. At present we only have eight. 

Senator ]\Ioxdale. When you were fully funded, how many did 
you have? 

]Mr. Foster, Tlie most we have had was 19. 

Senator Moxdale. When you were fnlly funded and underway, 
how adequately were you able to serve the legal needs of the migrants 
in south Florida? 

Mr. Foster. Their needs are really so comprehensive that when you 
increase the staff every person works up to the maximum of his capac- 


ity. So really eight lawyers are working as hard as they can, and 19 
lawyers were working as hard as they could. It takes a great deal of 
manpower to solve their comprehensive problems. 

Senator Mondale. How much of the problem of migrant and sea- 
sonal farmworker powerlessness can be dealt with by OEO-funded 
legal service programs ? How important is this ? 

Mr. Foster. Frankly my opinion is that only a small portion of the 
elements that go in to make up the powerlessness can be dealt with by 
legal services programs funded by OEO. Many of the problems result 
from lack of inclusion within the legislation that everybody else bene- 
fits from. 

I think certainly they are far better off having our services than no 
services at all. 

Senator jMondale. If you were the Congress and you had your way, 
in what ways would you alter, enlarge, or change the OEO legal serv- 
ices program to better assist the migrants ? 

Mr. Foster. The first thing that should be done should be to expand 
them substantially. There are only a few programs in the country that 
deal with migrants. As I pointed out in my statement, it is very diffi- 
cult to stay in touch with a client all year round, because he leaves and 
goes up the stream. 

If we had a cooperative program in IMichigan, in New Jersey, and 
other parts of the country where they happen to go where we could 
familiarize them with the case very quickly and let them do what needs 
to be done there, we would be better off. 

Senator Moxdale. "When OEO-funded migrant service programs 
really start becoming efi'ective, and you start suing the right people, 
and speaking out on right causes, isn't there a danger that the powers 
that run the establishment will resent that kind of interference ? 

Mr. Foster. Very great danger, and I think our legal services pro- 
gram reflects the difficulties that you can get into when you do take an 
aggressive posture in behalf of the farmworker. 

Senator Mondale. I notice in your statement you didn't deal with 
political involvement. But it seems to me that all of the difficulties that 
you are talking about, such as the exemptions from laws, and the fail- 
ure to enforce the laws that do exist, stem basically from the political 
impotence of the farmworker. I can, of course, understand this nation- 
ally, because their numbers are so small. 

But in Collier County, for example, there are between 22,000 farm- 
workers and 26,000 others, as I recall. That is not a majority of farm- 
workers, but that is a pretty good start, and yet the chairman of the 
county board said migrants were "Federal people," and disclaimed any 
responsibility for migrants whatsoever. 

Mr. Foster. That is very true. 

Senator Mondale. How do you explain the apparent political im- 
potence of the migrants ? 

Mr. Foster. One problem for the migrant has always been establish- 
ing residency in Florida. To vote in Florida you have to be a resident 
of the State for 1 year and the coimty for 6 months, so that is a handi- 
cap. Most of them can't qualify. 

Senator Mondale. Plave any migrant service programs tried to deal 
with that problem ? 


Mr. Foster. We have to stay out of that area somewhat. We can't 
get involved in voter registration, because vre are precluded from doing 
that by OEO. 

Senator Moxdalk. Is that so ? 

Mr. Foster. Yes. 

Senator Moxdale. Migrant farmworkers who live in Collier County, 
for example, and then migrate north and back, have got to be residents 
somewhere; don't they? 

;Mr. Foster. They certainly do. 

Senator Moxdale. A good share of them are U.S. citizens? 

^Ir. Foster. Yes. 

Senator Moxdaijk. It is not unique for members of various pro- 
fessions to be absent a good deal of the time. Salesmen, Congress- 
men, many Federal officials. Cabinet officers, they all continue to vote 
in the States of their original residence. That is their intention. 

Tliis is ^■ory common and it is true in all States. ^"\liat is there that 
is unique about the migrant? He is working around the. country, but 
it is pretty clear that he came from someplace and that is his residence. 

^Vh\ can't he easily register and vote? 

Mr. Foster. I think there are several reasons. First, as you heard 
during the select committee hearings in Collier County, he is not 
well received even if he claims an area to be his home. The attitude 
of hostility is all pervading. I think if you take the example of a 
Senator or Congressman M'ho is away from the State of his residence, 
certainlv he is not going to have difficulty establishing residency in 
that State. 

Senator Mondaij:. Is there any evidence tliat migrants liave tried 
to establish residency? 

Mr. Foster. No. The problem with the migrant is that he has been 
in the, situation so long that he doesn't expect to get out of it and 
he is not enthused with efforts to get him out of it unless he can see 
some proof that they are going to work, but voter registration and 
efforts of that sort have been partially successful in some communi- 
ties where there are great numbers of them in winter, for instance in 

But even if they register, what power does that give them where 
the elections are at large? A person running for county commissioner 
must qualify in the district where he resides, in Immokalee for ex- 
ample, but all over the county, all of the citizens of the county vote 
for those offices. So he may not actually be elected, as for example in 
Immokalee, l^ut there may he sufficient votes in Naples to put him 
in office, even though he is not popular where he resides. 

I am using that as an example. 

Senator ^Ioxdai>e. But there are 22,000 f annAvorker votes, and there 
are 26,000 nonfarmworkers. That is pretty potent if they were vot- 
ing. It is my impression and we don't have any figures on voter 
partifipation, and I am shocked at how difficult it is to probe this 
area. There is very little interest and involvement by the migrant, 
maybe because he is just so dispirited and pessimistic that he thinks 
voting is futile. Maybe because of discrimination county officials won't 
let migrants register, even though he is a resident. Maybe it is a 
combination of factors. 


The result is that many of these problems could be at least par- 
tially alleviated with local govermnents receptive to welfare, hous- 
ing, sanitation, law enforcement, and food progTams. But there is 
no evidence, as far as I can see, of any thrust in that direction at all. 

Mr. Foster. I think that is true. There is no thrust ui that direc- 
tion. It is an interesting situation. My feeling is that the social struc- 
ture is almost feudal in nature. 

Just as an example, you have seen the attitude reflected by county 
commissioners that these people are Federal people, they are not our 
responsibility, yet Florida has a law on the books requiring a license 
at a cost of $1,500 to recruit farmworkers from a comity to go out 
of State, and a license has to be obtained in every comity m wliicli 
recruiting is done. 

So, on one hand, they claim no responsibility for these people and 
they say they are the Federal responsibility. On the other hand, if you 
attempt to recruit those workers away to go out of State, you are 
going to be in big trouble if you don't get the $1,500 license and, of 
course, the $1,500 is prohibitive. 

Senator ]Mondale. There have been some charges that some of the 
migrants are dealt with in such a way that their status closely approx- 
imates that of peonage. Would you comment on that ? 

Mr. Foster. I think that is very true. They are only one step above 
slaves. It is an economic bondage, but it is certainly as strong as 
chains in a sense. They live on probably the closest margin of any 
group of people in the country, which is really a hand-to-mouth 

The money they make goes toward bm'ing groceries and the absolute 
necessities they need at that particular time. They can't save money, 
for instance, to plan on leaving an area. They are stuck there as long 
as there is a crop to bring them an income and when they are finished 
with that crop, most of tlie country doesn't want them any longer and 
they prett}^ much have to leave. 

Once a person gets m the stream, it is very difficult to get out, 
and that is peonage by my definition at least. 

Senator Moistdale. I believe that in Florida there is an organization 
known as OMICA — Organized Migrants in Community Action — 
which is an effort by the migrants to establish a community organiza- 
tion of some kind. How successful has that been and what might flow 
from it if it were successful ? 

Mr. Foster. OMICA has been very successful. They have got now 
thousands of members in the organization and we have very high 
hopes. I think in the future we can see voter registration efforts, and 
many, many efforts to better the lives of farmworkers. 

I don't know how far it will go and how much help they will need 
from otlier sources, but we are verv optimistic and we think there is 
a need for many other similar organizations. 

Senator INIoxdale. Is there any evidence of an ongoing thrust that 
it is gaining momentum ? 

jMr. Foster. Yes, very definitely. Their momentum has gained in 
leaps and bounds and we hope it will continue. 

Senator ]\[oxdale. TTliat are their chief objectives? Wliat do they 
claim to be doins: ? 


Mr. Foster. That is hard to say. The spokesman for OMICA can 
tell you better, but there are so many problems faced by farmworkers, 
they can £ro in any direction. One of the main problems, of course, is 
incrcasino- their numbers right now so they really will have power. 

Senator Moxdalk. Is there any effort on the part of that organiza- 
tion to encourage miirrants to ^ret out of the stream ? 

Mr. Foster. Yes, there very definitely is. That is something that is 
hard to do right now. I think they see that if the}^ can hang on and 
continue their lives as migrants for a while and accomplish some of 
the things they want to accomplish, probably it will lead them out of 
the migrant stream to settling in an area and getting a decent full-time 
paying job. 

I think that is the basic goal of almost every migrant. They will 
talk about the life they live in the migrant stream and the deprivation 
they suffer, and really the heartbreak, and they want to get out of it. 
Many of them can't. They don't know how. 

I think if OjNIICA accomplishes nothing more, if it irets a good 
many of them out of the migrant stream, it will be a very successful 

Senator Moxdale. Plave they made any voter registration efforts? 

Mr. Foster. I am not aware whetlier they have or not. I think they 
intend to in the future. 

Senator Moxdale. Is there anj- evidence that the political structure 
at the local level responds to them at all? Do they recognize OMICA 
as lieing an important force? 

]Mr. Foster. Yes, at the local level many of the officials have been 
much more responsive because they are speaking with a little moi-e 
power behind them now. That is something. Occasionally you will find 
in some communities individuals who are in the local government who 
have been there for a number of years and who have known farm- 
worker families and, even though they can't break away from the sys- 
tem and treat them on an equal level, they do symi)athize with them 
somewhat, and these officials now have an excuse for doing things that 
maybe they would have liked to have done in the past but couldn't, 
because O^IICA speaks with a little more force than an individual 

So this course, we think, as I stated earlier, is the key to ending the 
powerlessness that the migrant suffers from. If they can get together 
and solve some of these problems on their own without tlie help that 
they have never been given, there is real hope in the future. 

Senator Moxdale. You talked about the pesticide problem and I 
think you said there were some materials in the documents you 
presented ? 

Mr. Foster. Yes, sir. 

Senator Moxdale. Have there been any efforts by the farmworkers 
to organize for the purpose of bargaining for improved wages and 
working conditions in Florida ? 

Mr. Foster. No major efforts. OMICA would like to get to this 
problem sometime. In one instance, it was a very unique situation, we 
were able to negotiate with a large south Florida farm in settling a 
lawsuit we had pending against them. This has taken place in several 
other isolated instances elsewhere in the country. 


This is about as far as we can go toward involving ourselves in this 
activity. The rest somebody else will have to do. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much, Mr. Foster, for prepar- 
ing an excellent statement. It will serve as an important contribution 
to our hearing record. 

We will include in the final record, at this point, the documents that 
you submitted in support of your prepared statement. 

(The documents referred to follow :) 


A Compendium of Florida and Fedebal, Statutes Relating to Seasonal and 
Migratory Farmworkers 

florida statutes 




Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Child Labor Law 1 F.S.450.011-450.071 

A. General exemption of farm work from the act F.S.450.011 

B. Specific exemption of farm work from the act: 

1. hoursof work forchildren regulated F.S.450.081(l)-<4) 

a. sections here do not apply to farm work. F. 5.450.081(4) 

2. employment and ags certificates required for F.S.450.111(l)-(4) 

employment of minors. 

a. employment certificates for minors 12 

through 16 employed after school F.S.450.111(2) 
hours — section requiring certificates 
does not apply to faim work. 

b. aga certificates for minors 16 through F.S. 450.111(3) 

18 — section requiring certificates 
does not apply to farm work. 

3. twelveyearold minimumageforany work F.S. 450.021 

a. does not apply to farm work F.S. 450. 021 

C. Farm work not excluded from the act: 

1. hazardous work for children- F.S.450.061 

2. minimum age for work during school hours, 16. F.S. 450.021 

3. employment certificates for minors 14 through F.S.450.111(1) 

16 working during school hours. 

Unemployment Compensation F.S.443.01-443.22 


A. Exemption of "Agricultural Labor" from the meaning F.S. 443. 01(g)(1) 

of "employment". 

B. Defining "Agricultural Labor" F.S.443.03(g)(l)(a-d) 

1. as labor including raising of crops and of animals F.S. 443. 03(g)(1)(a) 

and harvesting. 

2. as labor including operations and maintenance F.S.443.03(g)(b) 

of farms. 

3. as labor involving production of maple syrup F.S. 443. 03(g)(1)(c) 

and maple sugar and any other agricultural 
commodity as defined in the agricultural 
commodity act. 

4. as labor involving packaging incident to pres- F.S.443. 03(g)(1)(d) 

ervation or pre-market shipping. 

C. Exemption is from all benefits of the Act, since one F.S. 443. 05 

must have been previously employed to get the 

Workmen's Compensation Law _._ F.S. 440.01-440.57 

Exemption of "Agricultural Labor" from the meaning F.S.440.02(l)(c)(3) 
of "employment" 

B. "Agricultural Labor" defined as work at a farm F.S.440.02(l)(c)(3) 

C. Exemption is from all benefits of the Act, since one F.S. 440.09(1) 

must have been previously employed to get the 

Housing Authority Law A. Houses financed by loans for domestic farm laborers F.S. 421. 10(3) 

pursuant to § 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949 
are exempt from regulations under this law 

See footnote at end of table. 





Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Carrier of Migrant Farm Workers F.S.317.9931-317.9934 


A. Definition of "Migrant Farm Worker" as a person F.S. 317.9931 

employed in tfie "planting, cultivation, or harvest- 
ing of agricultural crops who are not indigenous to 
... the locale where so employed" and definition 
of "Carrier" as any one who transports or arranges 
transportation of migrant farm workers 

B. Extensive safety requirements e:iumerated F.S. 317. 9932 

C. Inspection required periodically by the carrier F.S. 317. 9933 

D. Not applicable to common carrier. F.S. 317. 9934 

State Board of Health Regulation _ F.S.381. 422-381. 482 

of Migrant Labor Camps 

A. Definition of "Migrant Labor Camp" as one or more F.S. 381. 422 

structures used to house 15 or more seasonal 
workers, irrespective of rent 

B. License for camp required 1. F.S. 381. 432 

C. Authority to issue regulations' F.S.381.472 

D. RiglU of board members and inspectors to enter and F.S. 381. 482 

inspect at reasonable times 



State Board of Health Regulation A. Rule making functions granted to board F.S.381.031(l)(g)(9) 

of Midwifery. 
State Welfare Laws F.S. 409.01-409.446 

A. Aid to the Disabled. F.S. 409.40 

B. Aid to Families With Dependent Children F.S. 409.18 

C. Aid to the Blind F.S. 409.17 

D. Old Age As3istance_-. .. F.S. 409.16 

E. Acceptance of public assistance payments creates a F.S. 409.305 

debt enforceable at the death of the recipient. 

F. Drugs made available to those on welfare. F.S. 409.44 

G. Medical assistance to the needy F.S. 409.45 

H. State Agency to administer food stamps F.S. 409.46 

I. County Aid for mother with dependent children and F.S. 414.01 

insufficient funds. 
1. conditions for receipt of this aid : 

a. child must live with mother. F.S. 414.03(1) 

b. mother must be sound morally, men- F.S. 414.03(2) 

tally, and physically to bring up the 

c. money must be necessary to save child F.S. 414.03(3) 

from neglect. 

J. State Board fills rule makmg functions F.S. 409.02(2) 

Usuary Statutes ---- F.S. 687.01-687.11 

A. Standard Usuary Statute:' 

1. any rate of interest greater than 10% per F.S. 687.02 & 687.03 
annum is illegal. 

B. Small loan companies' F.S. 516.01-516.30 

1. $600 loans and under, any rate of interest F.S. 516.14 

greater than 3% per month on first three 
hundred dollars, 2'",, per month on next 
three hundred dollars is illegal— no more 
than 10% per year after one year after 
expiration or the last installment. 

2. license required F.S. 516.05 

C. Discount consumer financing! F.S. 519.01-519.19 

1. $600 amounts and under— maximum charges F.S. 519.08 

set up. 

2. certificate required F.S. 519.07 

D. Retail installment sales' F.S.520.01-520.42 

1. Motor vehicles... F.S.520.01-520.13 

a. license required F.S. 520.03 

b. finance charge limitations F.S. 520. 08 

2. Retail sales: 

a. license required F.S.520.32 

b. charges on installment contracts F.S. 520.34 

c. charges on revolving accounts F.S.520.35 





Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute 


Recruiting Laborers' A. License, to recruit immigrants for labor out-of-state, F.S.205.331 

required for each county in which one recruits, price 

per county $1,500. 
Non-resident registration of car'. A. Required of non-residents who are gainfully employed F.S.320.37-38. 

in Florida. 
Ncn-resident licensed to drive '-. A. Required of non-residents who are gainfully employed F.S.322.04(3), (4), (5) 

in Florida. 
Hotel and Rastaurant Commis- A. License reqjired for those wio maintain public lodging F.S.509.241(l)(a) 
sion License. K and food service establishments. 

1. safety regulations..- F.S. 509.211 

2. sanitary regulations _ F.S. 509. 221 

Residency requirements of A. Aid to the Disabled F.S.409.40(3) 

welfare. B. Aid to the Blind F.S.409.I7(1) 

C. Aid to Families With Dependent Children _ F.S.4C9.18(a) 

D. Old Age Assistance.. F.S.409.16(2) 

E. County Aid to Poor Mothers: 

1. County & state residence required... F.S.414.03(4) 

Residency requirements of other A. Divorce— 5 months prior to filing F.S.61.021 

Statutes. B. Jury duty— 1 year... F.S.40.01(1) 

C. To vote— 1 year in state, 6 months in county.. F.S. 97. 041 

D. Candidate for office— must be a registered voter F.S.99.021(lXd) 

E. To adopt children— 1 year F.S.72.11 




Child Labor Laws A. 

Carriers ol Migrant Workers A:!. _ . A. 

State Board of Health License for A. 

Usury Statutes A. 

Recruiting Laborers A 

Non-resident car registration M 

Non-resident drivers license. A 

Hotel and Restaurant Commission A. 

License for certain Establish- B. 



Maximum Penalty $500 and/or 6 months— a misde- F.S. 450.141 

Maxi.Tijm Penalty $100 or ten days— a misdemeanor. F.S. 317.701 
Maximum Penalty $1,000 or 6 months— a misde- F.S. 381.411(1) 

Revocation of license for non-compliance with regula- F.S. 381.462 

Standard Usury Statute F.S. 687.01-687.11 

1. forfeiture of interest... F.S. 687.04 

2. double interest if it has been collected.. F.S. 687.04 

3. not applicable to bona fide transfer of negotia- F.S. 687.04 

b!e paper 
Small loan company statutes F.S. 516.01-516.30 

1. maximum penalty $500 or 6 months— a mis- F.S. 516.19 


2. revocation of license F.S. 516.07 

Discount Consumer Financing F.S. 519.01-519.19 

1. maximum penalty 6 months and/or $1,000 — F.S. 519.06 
a misdemeanor. 
Retail Installment Sales F.S. 520.01-520.42 

1. motor vehicles: 

a. maximum penalty $500.... F.S. 520.12(1) 

b. loss of interest F.S. 520.12(2) 

2. installment contracts: 

a. maximum penalty $500.. F.S. 520.39(1) 

b. buyer can get a refund of delinquency F.S. 520.39(2) 
charges for time price differential. 

. Maximum Penalty$3,000or6 months— a misdemeanor F.S. 205.65 

aximum Penalty, 3 months or $100 F.S. 320.57 

Maximum Penalty, 6 months or $500 F.S. 322.29 

Failure to Apply— a misdemeanor. F.S. 509.241(4) 

Operation in violaton of rules— suspension or re- F.S. 509. 261 
vocation of license for one year or maximum fine 
Violation of Rules— $10 to $50 or 10 days to 90 days— F.S.509.281 
a misdemeanor. 

See footnote at end of table. 



SUtute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Vagrancy A. Rogues, vagabonds, idle or dissolute persons, etc., are F.S.85S.02. 

deemed to be vagrant. 
^ B. Maximum Penalty $250 or 6 months— misdemeanor.. F.S.856.03. 

Drunkenness A. Anywhere, from voluntary use F.S.85S.01. 

8. Maximum Pe'ialty $25 or 3 moiths— a misdameanor.. F.S.856.01. 
Desertion, Withholding support A. Maximum Penalty $2,000 and/or two years— a felony,. F.S.856.04. 

of Family. 
Trespass after Warning A. Willful entrance in a "labor camp" F.S.821.01. 

B. Or staying i.i the vicinity of a "labor camp" and using F.S.821.01. 

profane or indecent language. 

C. Maximum Penalty $100or6 months— a misdemeanor.. F.S.821.01. 
Obtaining Lodging with Intent A. Maximum Penalty $100 or 3 months— a misdemeanor.. F.S.509.151. 

to Defraud. B. Absconding without paying, sneaking out the baggage F.S.509.161. 

Is prima facie evidence of fraudulent intent. 

Truancy A. Parent who can't get child to go to school, maximum F.S.232.19(6)(a) 

penalty $100 or 90 days— a misdemeanor 

B. Continued absence is prima facie evidence of truancy. . F.S.232,19(6)(a) 

C. A truant child is treated by the juvenile court as a F.S.232.19(6)(b) 

dependent, neglected, or delinquent child 


Correction of Illegal Sentence A. An illegal sentence may bechanged to a legal sentence F.S.775.14 

at any time during a hve year period after passing 
of the original illegal sentence 
1. this practice results in sentences which are il- 
legal but which are abiderl by because of the threat 
of change to a legal sentence, such as "stay out 
of county for five years" sentences 




National Labor Relations Act - - 29 U.S.C. 5 HM88. 

A. "Employee" does not Include any individual em- 29 U.S.C. 5 152(3). 
ployed as an "agricultural laborer." 
Fair Labor Standards Act 1 - 29 U.S.C. 5 201-219. 

A. Provisions of § 206 (minimum wage) and § 207 (maxi- 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(6). 

mum hours) do not apply to "any employee em- 
ployed in agriculture" by a farmer who did not use 
more than 500 man days in any calendar quarter or 
it the employee is employed as a "hand harvest 
labor" and paid piece rate and if piece rate is cus- 
tomary and if he commutes daily and is not em- 
ployed for more than 13 weeks during the proceed- 
ing calendar year. 

B. The provisions of § 207 do not apply to "any employee 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(12). 

employed in agriculture." 

C. Provisions of § 212 (child labor) do not apply to any 29 U.S.C. 213(c)(1). 

employee working "outside of school hours." 
1. except § 212 does apply to those minors under 29 U.S.C. § 213(c)(2). 
16 employed in "an occupation . . . par- 
ticularly hazardous for . . . children. . ." 
Social Security Act 42 U.S.C. 301-1394 

A. old Age and Disability Benefits do not apply to "serv- 42 U.S.C. 410(a)(1) 

ice performed by foreign agricultural workers" ad- 
mitted on a temporary basis or Mexican workers 
entered under 7 U.S.C. § 1461-§ 1468 (to assist 

B. Old Age and Disability Benefits do not apply to tenant 42 U.S.C 410(a)(16) 

farm workers 

C. Old Age and Disability Benefits do not apply to crew 42 U.S.C. 410(n) 

leaders unless a crew leader is designated as an 
employee of a farmer in a written instrument 
1. members of crew are deemed to be the em- 42 U.S.C. 410(n) 
ployees of crewleader 




STATUS— Continued 

Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Insurance Contributions Act AV''"Waies"'do"n8t "include caVh" for "remuneration" paid " 26 ulc. VSxSXB 

by an employer for agricultural labor unless the 
amount exceeds $150 yearly or unless the laborer 
has worked for 20 days for the employer in agri- 

1. rate of tax is determined by wages 26 U.S.C. § 3101(a/ 

2. "agricultural labor" means labor including 26 U.S.C. ^ 3121(g) 

raising of crops and of animals and harvest- 
ing, operation and maintenance of farms, 
labor involving maple syrup and maple 
sugar and any other agricultural commodity 
as defined in the agricultural commodity 
act, and packaging incident to preservation 
or pre-market shipping. 
B. Crewleaders not deemed employees unless it is 26 U.S.C. § 3121(o) 
designated in writing 

Unemployment Tax Act 26 U.S.C. §3301-3309 

A. "Employment" does not include an "agricultural 26 U.S.C. § 3306(c)(1) 
1. "agricultural labor" is defined as in the insur- 26 U.S.C. 3306(k)(l), 
ance contributions act, supra (2), (3), (4) 

Withholding Income Tax 26 U.S.C. § 3401-3404 

A. "Wages" do not include those paid for "agricultural 26 U.S.C. § 3401(aX2) 
labor" as defined in insurance contributions act, 


Farm Labor Contractor Registra- _ -- 7 U.S.C. §2041-2053 

tion Act.' 

A. Contractor is a recruiter or transporter of 10 or more 7 U.S.C. § 2042(b) 

migrant workers across the state line. 

B. Necessity of a certificate of registration 7 U.S.C. § 2043 

C. Investigation before issuance of certificate 7 U.S.C. § 2044(a) 

D. Suspension or Revocation for failure to follow rules 7 U.S.C. § 2044(b) 

and regulations or for not performing agreement. 

E. Contractor shall tell migrant laborers 7 U.S.C. § 2045(b) 

1. where they are going 

2. what crops they are picking 

3. about housing and transportation 

4. wage rates 

5. charges by the contractor -._ 


Specific inclusion of migrants within the statutes 

Low-rent Housing 42 U.S.C. § 1401-1436 

A. Federally-owned labor camps to be remodeled for use 42U.S.C. § 1412(f) 
as low-rent housing. 

Migrant Health Act A. Establishing family health service for domestic agri- 42 U.S.C.242h 

cultural migratory workers. 

OEO Assistance. A. Program to assist migrants in housing, sanitation, 42 U.S.C. 2851 

education, and day care of children. 

Education of Low Income Fami- 20 U.S.C. § 241a-241n 


A. Aid to State Program for migratory children 20 U.S.C. § 241c(l) 

B. Arrangements may be made with other public agencies 20 U.S.C. § 241c(2) 

or private non-profit organizations if the state is un- 
able or unwilling. 

Teacher Corps. 20 U.S.C. §1101-1112 

A. Teachers while teaching migrants are under control 20 U.S.C. § 1107a 
or supervision of tne local educational agency wni:h 
in this context means the local controlling agency 
whether public or private. 

36-513 — 70 — pt. 4A 3 


Inclusion within the bounds ot the statute because of the migrant's poverty status 

Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Vocational Rehabilitation Program 29 U.S.C. §31-42 

A. For handicapped only, supporting the State's program 29 U.S.C. § 31 
and money. 

Job Corps Program A. Vocational training and education _. . 42 U.S.C. 22713 

Food Stamp Act - 7 U.S.C. §2011-2025 

A. For low-income families 7 U.S.C § 2011 

B. States establish standards of "income determined to 7 U.S.C. § 2014 

be a substantially limitrng factor inthe attainment 

of nutritionally adequate diets". 

GEO Assistance. A. VISTA Volunteers and their assignemnt 42 U.S.C. j 2943 

Surplus Commodity Food Distri- 7 U.S.C. § 1431 

bution. A. Regulations by Secretary of Agriculture, administered 7 U.S.C. S 1431 

by the Federal Government for the State or a private 

agency "m the assistance of needy persons". 

Housing and Urban Development A. Self-Help Housing 42 U.S.C. 5 1490(c) 

Act of 1968. 
Social Security Act 42 U.S.C. §301-1394 

A. Grant to States for aid and services to needy families. . 42 U.S.C. § 601-609 

with children 
1. guidelines for state plans and approval of sec'y 42 U.S.C. s^ 602 

B. Grants to strtesfor inatemal and child welfare 42 U.S.C. 5 701-729 

1. guidelines tor state plans and approval of sec'y. 42 U.S.C. § 703 

C. Grants to states for aid to the blind... 42 U.S.C. § 1201-1206 

1. guidelines for stste plans and approval of sec'y. 42 U.S.C. §1202 

D. Grants to states for aid tc tie permanently and totally 42 U.S.C. § 1351-1355 

1. guidelines for stale plans and approval ot sec'y. 42 U.S.C, § 1352 

E. Grants to slates for aid to the aged, blind, or disabled .. 42 US C. § 1381-1385 

1. guidelines for state plans and approval of sec'y. 42 U.S.C. § 1382 

Specific inclusion of migrants within the statute 

Interstate Commerce Act 49 U.S.C. § 301 327. 

Part Two ' A. Commission to establish regulations for carriers of 49 U.S.C. § 304(3a). 

migrant workers 


Immigration and Nationality .--. 8 U.S.C. § 1101-1503 

Act' A. Documentary requirements 8 U.S.C. § 1181 

B. Quotas and requirements that there be no discrimina- 8 U.S.C. § 1152 


C. Entrance of foreign workers for temporary labor, when 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(H) 

there are "o unemployed citizens to do the work 

D. Attorney General, after consulting others, decides on 8 U.S.C. § 1184(c) 

the eiitrance ot foreign workers 

Mexican Agricultural Workers 7 U.S.C. §1461-1468 

Act A. Secret iry of Labor can recruit such laborers 7(U.S.C. §1461(1) 

B. The Secre ory must first certify that domestic workers 7iU.S.C. § 1453 

willing and able to work, ate not available to do the 

C. Expired 1964 

Employment Restriction of Aliens.. A. Employment Rastriction of Aliens is not so harsh when 7 U.S.C. § 435 

the employment involves agriculture work. 


Fair Labor Standards Act 29 U.S.C. §201-219 

A. Maximum penalty $10,000 for first offense; after one« 29 U.S.C. § 216(a) 
offence, maximum penalty $50,000 andor 6 months. 

Farm Labor Contractor Registra- 7 U.S.C.§2041 2053 

tion Act 

A. Maximum penalty $500... 7 U.S.C.§204a 

Education of Lov; Income Families 20 U.S.C.§241a-241f 

A. Withholding of funds for non-compliance with assur- 20 U.S.C.§241| 
ances in the application 

InterstateCommerce Act Part 49 U.S.C.§301-327 


A. Violation of regulation for carrying migrants, penalty 49 U.S.C.§322a 
$100-$500 for first offense; subsequent offenses 

'mmigration & Nationality Act 8 U.S.C.§1101-1503 

A. Penalty-deportation.. 8 U.S.C.§1227 



Florida Pesticide Act AyMaVimum pVn^ty'jSOO Vr'yo'dayi-a'misdemeanor";" F.S. 487.091(3)". " 

second offense, maximum penalty $1,000 or 60 days 
—a misdemeanor. 



Statute or its description Provisions and content of statute Citation 

Florida Pesticide Act ' .. F.S. 487.011-487.14. 

A Prohibitions on the sale of Pesticides F.S. 487.031 as amended 

by Ch. 69-19 House 
Bill #304, First Regular 
Session 1969. 

B. Registration of Pesticides F.S. 487.041. 

C. Pesticide technical committee.. F.S. 487.061 as amended 

by Ch. 69-93 House 
Bill #300, First Regular 
Session 1969. 

D. Stop sale "nd stop use orders by commissioner F.S. 487.101 as amended 

by Ch. 69-12 House 
Bill #299 Fisrt Regular 
Session 1969. 

' Denotes a statute cited later in the section on Crimes, Penalties, and Fines Affecting Migrants. 


Pesticides — Newspaper Clippings 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Nov. 29, 1967] 

Men Who Handle Pakathion Say It's Safe, Used Pkopeely 

(By Mary Farris) 

iMiiOKALEE — Parathion, a deadly insecticide, recently killed seven children 
in Arcadia, 34 people in Tijuana, Mexico, and 76 in Colombia, South America. 
How do people who work with the dread poi«on feel about it? 

Crop dusters here don't mind it at all — or at least, not much. Parathion is used 
extensively here, as iu all Florida agricultural areas, to control insects. 

Andy Moore, a duster pilot, stopped just long enough to reload fertilizer he was 
spreading Monday. He stood by his plane, the motor nearly drowning out his 
voice, and talked to this reporter. 

"It's fine," he said. "I've been putting it out for about 15 years, never had any 
trouble at all. Nothing wrong with it if it's handled right. 


"Anything can kill you." He motioned towards his plane. "If you walk into that 
propeller, it'll cut your head off.'" 

Asked what precautions had to be taken, he said, "Don't spill it. Use rub- 
ber gloves, an apron and a respirator. We get it in concentrated form and dilute 
it. I use the four pound to the gallon stuff — feel it's not as much hazard for my 
ground crew. Nobody I've had work for me ever had any trouble. I make them 
go by the rules." 

He said that he has a blood check every year, just to be on the safe side, but he 
has never had it show up in his blood stream. 

"It's a product the farmer can hardly do without. Sure, it's poison. When you 
got to kill insects, you got to have poison. Water won't do it," he said. 



"If we want to be like the people of India and starve our people rather than 
use poison, we can (luit using it. You can't iK)ssibly grow enough food in the 
United States to feed our own people without using pesticides. We have the tech- 
nical knowhow. It would be l>etter for one out of a million or two to get poisoned 
than to starve." 

He said the containers in which it comes must either be destroyed or sold to a 
reclaiming outfit which will use the containers for more pesticide. On no account 
must a container be used for anything else. 

•■Like handling strychnine, if you know what you're doing it's no problem at 
all. If you don't know what you're doing, you shouldn't be handling it. People 
driving down the highway are being killed everj' day because they didn't know 
what they were doing," Moore said. 

"It needs control, I'd go along with that. IMake it so strictly controlled a trained 
operator has to handle it." 


J.C. Sanders, a duster who has been using it since about 1950. says, "I don't 
care much for it. Makes me sick if I breathe it. If you take precautions it's alright. 
I wear rubber gloves up to my elbows and a respirator." 

Art and George Kazmierczak, two brothers who are dusters, said parathion is 
not used as much as it once was. "There are a lot of new things out now," Art 
said. "There's Malathion — you can spray it over parks or cattle. It's not as dan- 
gerous to handle. They keep developing new stuff. 

"The thing is, you have to read the instructions. Like those people who stored 
it next to flour and sugar in Tijuana. What's the matter with the idiots? Put it to- 
gether, what do you expect? It's like putting a gun to your head and iiulling the 

"And in Colombia, when some got spilled on a sharp turn in a truck. It 
shouldn't have been on the same truck with food stuff. That's just asking for it." 

"Lots of people you can draw them a picture and they just don't under- 
stand," his brother George put in. 

Wlien asked about reports that sometimes workers have been sprayed in the 
field, he .'^aid, "I haven't heard of any in this area." Pesticides are spread early 
in the morning and late in the evening for better effect, he said. During the mid- 
dle of the day they spread fertilizer "and you can eat that, and it won't hurt you." 


"These things have to be u.sed," George said. "I've seen worms so bad there 
there wouldn't be anything left to harvest if you didn't spray. But they .should 
leave it to the professionals." 

All dusters seemed to agree that in this area most of the parathion is spread 
at ground level by tractors pulling tanks, rather than by air. 

According to medical books, parathion can kill whether swallowed, inhaled, or 
just touched. Men have died from parathion spilled on their skin and not prompt- 
ly removed. 

Scienti.sts say 20 milligrams is a lethal dosage taken orally. That means that in 
one gallon of the eight pound to a gallon mixture there is enough poi.son to kill 
nearly 200,(XKj in-ople — more people than there are in Charlotte, Lee and Collier 
Counties put together. 

Once .spread, it soon dissipates and crops are considered safe for harvesting 
in two weeks. The health department makes constant chocks to be sure produce 
is safe. 

[From the Miami Tlerald, Dec. 1, 1967] 
U.S. Warned of Peril of Mass Poisonings 

Atlanta, Ga.— A U.S. pesticide expert says it is a miracle that mass poison- 
ing by an insecticide, similar to the poisoning of scores of persons in Colombia 
last week, has not occurred in this country. 

"It could hapi>en." says Dr. Samuel W. Simmons, chief of the U.S. Public 
Health Service's ix'sticides program at the Communicable Di.sease Center in 


At least 75 men, women, and children in Chiquinquira, Colombia died last 
weekend after eating broad poisoned with parathion, a deadly insecticide whose 
effects are similar to nerve gas. 

Another 86 Colombians are reported in critical condition despite antidotes 
rushed to Colombia from the U.S. 

More than 50 state and local health officials are meeting with Simmons in a 
conference on the investigation of chemical poisonings such as those in Colombia. 

Commenting on the possibility of similar deaths in the U.S., Simmons said 
there is little real regulation of the purchase or the transportation of pesticides. 

"Take the loading of pesticides aboard ship, for instance. Ships are supposed 
never to load food with pe.sticides or poison. But the list of poisons is not kept up 
to date. A pesticide not on the list simply isn't considered poison," he said. 

The deaths in Colombia, as well as poisonings in Mexico, Arcadia, Fla., and 
St. Louis, Mo., show the need for training state and local health officials in modern 
techniques of investigating chemical poisonings, Simmons said. 

More than 400 persons are now employed by the U.S. Public Health Service 
in the pesticides program based in Atlanta. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Dec. 7, 1967] 
Deadly Poison Ix Stolen Car 

The Lee and Collier County Sheriff's Departments are searching for a station 
wagon stolen last Sunday on the Corkscrew Grade v»-hich holds some 25 to 30 
gallons of deadly insecticide poison including parathion and malathion. The 
sprays, valued at $500, are in five-gallon cans. 

Irving McGill of Immokalee, owner of the tan, 1954 Ford, reported the theft 
Tuesday morning. He said he had parked the car about four miles within the Lee 
County line on his rounds of hauling the poisonous sprays to various fields. 

"The contents of these cans are dangerous," Investigator Rohert Daubenspeck 
warned. "Even the cans, when rinsed out, are deadly — and if used in close 
quarters with any food or produce can cause death to anyone consuming the 

The station wagon bears a 1967 license plate numbered 64^5451, Daubenspeck 
said. The car thief may or may not know what the cans contain, he said. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 10, 1967] 

Mom Buys Poison Too Deadly fob Wab 

(By Robert Bowden) 

Bradenton — "Pesticides are poisonous chemicals that are used to control bugs, 
weeds, plant diseases, mice and other pests." 

That's the definition the U.S. Department of Agriculture places on the 
hundreds of deadly poisons now being used in insect and plant welfare. But they 
kill not only pests. 

Parathion, one of the most potent of the organic phosphate pecticides, recently 
killed seven children in Arcadia, 76 people in Colombia, South America, and 34 
people in Tijuana, Mexico. 

In a survey released last week by the Department of Agriculture, there were 18 
parathion accidents reported between 1963 and 1967. Nine persons were killed. 
In all, the suvey reported 62 United States' accidents involving pesticides. 

Synethetic pesticides are, for the most part, post-1940 inventions. Many of them 
were developed to kill human enemies. Parathion, developed in 1949, was con- 
sidered "too dangerous" for use in war. 

Florida has no effective law controlling distribution of pesticides. The Agricul- 
ture survey shows they are very dangerous. Parathion accidents alone read 
like a five-handkerchief movie ; 

■'Florida, girl, 5. and boy. 2. Children were apparently playing with quart-size 
spray gun containing parathion, left by parents on top of cabinet. The boy died 
and the girl recovered after treatment. 


"Florida, boy 4. The boy and his two older brothers had been playing with 
empty 3(»-gallon drums near their home. The 4-year-old crawled into drum and 
others turned it upside down on him. The buy recovered after treatment with 
extremely large doses of atropine ( the common antidote) . 

"Florida, boy 3. Father had purchased insecticide powder for controlling 
cockroaches. He hand-sprinkled the insecticide on floor of home. The child ap- 
parently iiigested .<onie powder while eating a piece of chicken. The chicken is 
thought to liave been dropped on the floor prior to eating. The chlia Cdvd 
approxiiiKiteiy out hour alter ingestion. 

"Minnesota', entire city population, mixture of malathion, DDT and parathion. 
City was conducting a mosquito control program. The intended materials for 
control were malathion and DDT. However, a tive-gallon container of parathion 
had been mistakenly placed in the shipment and was not detected until completion 
of application. City ofliciais were promptly notifled of mistake at approximately 
9 :30 p.m. and, by 10 p.m., the residents were notitied of the situation and instructed 
to evacuate. Some of the resident.s received a direct application of the pesricide. 
A woman and child were treated for possible effects from the pesticide application. 
No ill effects noted. It has not been determined how the can of parathion was 
inadvertently placed with the malathion. The containers for both were identical 
except for jirinted materials on labels." 

In the survey, 65 per cent of the accident victims were under six years of age; per cent were between 7 and 17 and 24.4 per cent were 18 or over. 

Of the 62 accidents, parathion was involved in 32.2 per cent ; arsenic in 16.1 
per cent ; diazion (used for flying insect control) in 11.3. 

Pesticides account for 6 per cent of all the accdental ix)isoning of children. 
More children die from accidental poisoning than from rheumatic fever, polio, 
whooping cough diphtheria, strep throat and scarlet fever combined. 

While Parathion is the chief and most widely publicized killer among the 
pesticides, it is by no means the most dangerous. The Agricultural Extension 
Service at the University of Florida has rated the pesticides by the amount of 
lethal dose required to kill a rat. 

Parathion taken orally requires 13 milligrams per kilogram of body weight 
to kill a male. It takes 21 milligrams on the skin. Tepp, another organic phos- 
phate poison, requires only 1 milligram orally and 2 milligrams on the skin. 

Tepp is used in Manatee County and other Florida counties. No law prohibits 
its purchase by anyone, although no local dealer would sell it to a homeowner. 

Malathion is often spoken of in the same breath with parathion but the two 
are not really in the same league of deadly pesticides. While parathion requires 
13 milligrams, malathion requires 1,375 milligrams to kill. Malathion is con- 
sidered a relatively safe pesticide for insect control. 

Another group of synthetic pesticides are clas.sified as chlorinated hydrocar- 
bons. These include DDT, chlordane and lindane. It requires 113 milligrams of 
DDT to kill orally ; 335 milligrams of chlordane ; and 88 milligrams of lindane. 

Using the figures for parathion. Manatee County Agricultural Agent Ted 
Gallo calculated it would take .031-ounce to kill a 170-pound man. A scientist's 
death was recorded, however, with .004-ounce. 

Many of the pioisons are used in everyday products brought home from the 
neighborhood grocery store by mothers. The flea powder used on the family dog, 
may contain up to 50 per cent malathion. 

Hartz Cat Flea Powder contains rotenone, a pesticide with a lethal dose 
rate of 50 when taken orally. This makes rotenone only four times less powerful 
than parathion and much more deadly than malathion with a rate of 1,375. 

Lead arsenate, for which no oral lethal dose rate has been determined, is the 
chief ingredient in Gator Roach Hives, a commonly used roach tablet. Arsenic 
compounds are used in several other products. 

Dieldrin is another common household poi'^on with a lethal dose rate of 46. 
Dieldrin is an ingredient in Raid and Real Kill. Dichlorvos, better known as 
DDVP, is also used in Real Kill, and has a lethal dose rate of 80. 

DDT, the most common insecticide, is used in Real Kill, Shell No Pest 
Strip. Black Flag, and Raid. It has a lethal dose rate of 113. 

A dog's flea collar uses DDT as the only ingredient. 

A chemical more poisonous than malathion is common in moth killers and 
mildew control blocks. The blocks Jook like rock candy but have a lethal dose 
rate of 1.000. One solid block of paradichlorobenzene is advertised as a room 


Pyrethrins, a chemical insecticide with a lethal dose rate of 1,500, is used in 
Fly Tox, Hot Shot, Raid, Black Flag and Gulf Spray. 

"Silent Spbing " Bbought Fall of Pbotest 
By Robert Bo^Yden 

Bradenton. — "Silent Spring," a 19G2 novel by Rachel Carson, was the first 
loud trumpet sounded against the onrushing application of pesticides. 

Miss Carson's book attacked the use of pesticides and concluded that man was 
poisoning his environment, not only threatening the lives of wild animals but 
also all humanity. 

"Silent Spring" cited the various deaths caused by pesticides and strongly 
hinted the poisons might be responsible for an increase in cancer among humans. 
Her book has been viciously attacked by chemical companies. 

But the chemical companies failed to make an appreciable dent in public 
opinion, and Miss Carson's book brought about noticeable changes in federal 
handling of pesticides. 

The most obvious change has been in the area of pesticide testing. Before 
"Silent Spring," pesticides were poured onto the market and over the land with- 
out tests or precautions. 

Now it costs chemical companies from $l-million to $2 -million to test each new 
pesticide. It takes an average of six years to pass the tests and market the 
finished product. 

These costs indicate the size and power of the pesticide peddlers. Last year, 
American farmers spread $l-billiou worth of pesticides over their lands. 

lu Manatee County, the use of pesticides is widespread, according to Ted Gallo, 
agricultural agent. Gallo favors their use in fanning operations. 

"Without pesticides," he said, "you'd be a lot thinner than you are and a lot 
of us wouldn't be here at all." 

The above is a conimon argument among those favoring pesticide use. Aspirin, 
they say, kills more people each year than all pesticides combined. 

Gallo will defend parathion, one of the most deadly pesticides. "It's cheap, 
leaves little or no residual and is elfective," he concluded. 

Nearly all pesticide accidents, proponents argue, are caused by misuse. The 
benefits outweigh the few accidental deaths, proponents conclude. 

Opponents argue the benefits are temporary, an expediate route to mass 
disaster. Both sides have scientists to support their particular views. 

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida 
said, "According to the United Nations, the single most important thing coun- 
tries can do to increase food production is to expand their use of pesticides. 
Chemicals alone can mean the difference between starvation and survival for 

"Consumers benefit from the proper use of pesticides in two ways : They enjoy 
an abundant, wholesome food supply and at a reasonable cost. While most people 
in the world spend as much as 50 per cent of their take-home pay for food, we in 
the United States pay only about 18 per cent. 

"If the American farmer of today followed the pest control methods of 1940, 
it has been estimated that each person in the nation would pay $80 more per year 
for food. Yields of crops jump 20 to 30 per cent when pesticides are used. 

"Tliis vital support of our farm economy is important. Florida agri-business, 
for example, is the state's largest industry. Without pesticides, our agricultural 
complex would be crippled." 

Further support comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture : "The depart- 
ment strongly supports the use of biological, cultural, mechanical and ecological 
pest control methods or nonpersistent and low toxicity pesticide whenever such 
means will do the job effectively and safely." 

Opponents note the cautionary words in each statement of support and argue 
more protection is needed for the average homeowner and consumer. 

Perhaps the most exhaustive study of pesticides was made by the President's 
Science Advisory Committee, headed by Sen. Abraham Ribicoff. The hearings 
lasted two years. At the conclusion, the committee reported : "The development 
and use of chemical pesticides has produced immeasurable benefits for mankind 
in general and American society in particular. Continued and expanded pest con- 
trol will be necessary . . ." 


Ribicoff himself said, "The committee concluded that no significant human 
health hazard exists today when the great benefits of disease control and food 
production are weighted against known hazards." 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 15, 1967] 

Is There a Compromise in the Use of Pesticides? 

(By Robert Bowden) 

Br.adexton. — Pesticides have killed thousands of persons worldwide since their 
Introduction in the early 1940s. But agricultural interests argue pesticides are 
nec-essary to maintain low food costs and efiicient farm production. 

Is there a compromise route between jwisonlng innocent people and bountiful 
crops ? 

Rachel Car.'^on in her book "Silent Spring," thinks so. She thinks the com- 
prouiise should be the use of bio,logical controls instead of synthetic pesticides. 
Agricultural interests are unwilling to accept this compromise. 

There are now more than 00,000 registered pesticides in the United States. 
New pesticides pour onto the market at a rate of more than 600 a year. They 
are tei=ited by independent and governmental agencies before approval for use 
is given. 

But Miss Car.^on notes that the testing does not include possible interactions 
among new chemicals and those applied in the past. Sometimes these interactions 
increase the toxicity of the poisons 100 times, she notes in her book. 

Pesticides seem to be neces.sary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture rei>orts 
that 15 IKT cent of all pesticides are sold for home and garden Homeowners 
used more than 50-nnUion pounds of deadly poison last year to control every- 
thing form chinch bugs to crabgrass to cockroaches. 

^lost of the products were in aerosol cans. Ahout 80-million "bug bombs" 
were sold in lOfi.'j. The cans may contain poisons deadly to children and pets. 

The 800 different chemicals now used in the 00,000 pesticides have killed birds, 
fish, wildlife, and humans. But they are not always fatal. Those who support 
their continued u>se include Manatee County Agricultura,l Agent Ted Gallo. 

Gallo recalled his experience with deadly parathion, an insecticide recently 
cited a.s the killer of seven children in Arcadia. 

Gallo said about eight months ago, when he was agent in another Florida 
county, he and another worker were accidentally covered with parathion dust — 
a 5 per cent dilute mixture. 

He said he was standing behind a crop dusting plane when the pilot started 
the engine. The proi)eller whirled a cloud of white du.«;t onto Gallo and another 
man. After the plane took off, Gallo and the other man picked up a bag from 
whi<h a large quantity of the white i>owder had been spilled. 

The bag containwl parathion and apparently had been spilled accidentally 
while loading the plane. Grallo said he immediately went home, removed his 
clothes and showered three times. He suffered no ill effects. 

The .same cannot be said for three children in Hillsborough County in 1901. 
The three fabricated a swing from a discarded burlap bag. The bag had con- 
tained parathion. The three died. 

Garden shops in Manatee County have discontinued sale of parathion and 
won't it even on sjiecial order. But it is available, along with even more 
deadly chemicals, at farm shops. 

There is a light on the horizon concerning pesticide use. A survey of five major 
agricultural .stores in Manatee County revealed that not one of them will sell 
parathion to a homeowner. Only two stores will sell it at aLl. 

But, as has been stated before, there are many pesticides more deadly than 
the Avell-publicized parathion. Tepp, the most deadly pesticide now in wide- 
spread u.'^e, is used by several cabbage growers in Manatee County. 

Chlordane is the favorite of homeowners to control ants. 

Phosdrin, a i)oisou twice as deadly as parathion, is widely used in the county 
on all varieties of vegetable crops. 

From this survey, it would appear the stores selling pesticides have begun 
to police themselves. They have imposed sales restraints on themselves at the 
cost of sales to homeowners who might be accidentally poisoned by the stores' 
prod acts. 


[From the St. Petersburg Times. Dec. 17, 1967] 

Some I>-sects Immune to Pesticides — How About Your Child? 

(By Robert Bovvden) 

The federal government imposes some restraints against pesticides and the 
manufacturers of the poisons. Labels must state what ingredients are in the 
poison and include an antidote for the poison. " 

The products are tested by several governmental agencies before being mar- 
keted. Rules adopted in 1966 require manufacturers to display more prominently 
warning .statements. They also prohibit the use of unwarranted safety claims 
and require labels to carry the agriculture department registration number. 

The agriculture department likes to ixtint out that the accidental pesticide 
poisoning of children has decreased from 7.4 per cent in 1962 to 6.1 per cent in 

They don't point with pride to the fact that 70 species of insects in the United 
States have developed resistance to pesticides. In all, close to 150 insects are now 
resistant to pesticides. So, new and more powerful poisons must be marketed 
every year. 

The world population is booming and the food production is not keeping pace. 
Some scientists foresee eventual starvation for billions. Pesticide use, they argue, 
cannot possibly be discontinued with a pressing world famine approaching. 

The arguments are indeed strong ones. The federal state and local governments 
all have concluded pesticides must be retained. It's the control that is lacking, 
critics say. 

California has pioneered in this area. Its legislature has an injurious materials 
code, which includes parathion and 12 other chemicals. Before these chemicals 
can be used, a person must obtain a permit from the county agricultural agent. 

In 1961, the Florida State Board of Health asked for authority to set up such 
a licensing program in this state. To date, all the legislature has done is require 
licensing of pest control operations, such as exterminators. 

The legislation will probably come from the next session of the Florida 
Legi.slature. Rep. James Tillman of Sarasota has been researching the pesticide 
problem since the deaths of the seven Arcadia children. 

Tillman said his preliminary investigation shows the need for control of the 
sale and use of the more deadly pesticide.s. 

He is now gathering information on how the problem is handled in other 
states and has not yet reached any final conclusion on how the proposed legisla- 
tion will be worded. 

But his preliminary conclusion would require the purchaser of a deadly pesti- 
cide to register at the place of purchase. A registration number would be issued 
for the container involved, and the purchaser would then be responsible for the 
material's use and the disposal of the container. 

Tillman said container disposal seems to be a prominent factor in pesticide 
accidents. By making the purchaser responsible for safe disposal, many accidents 
might be prevented, he said. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture survey of 62 pesticide accidents shows 
that 11 per cent of the accidents occurred from improper disposal of empty 

The main cause of accidents, 33 per cent of them, was failure to read or follow 
label Instructions. Improper pesticide storage or security was responsible for 26 
per cent of the accidents. 

Pesticides placed in a different container caused 21 per cent of the accidents, 
and were the prime cause of accidents among children. Many accidents occurred 
when children drank the poisons from soft drink bottles. 

Failure to wear protective clothing or devices was blamed for 16 per cent 
of the accidents. Another 13 per cent was caused by pesticides being spilled on 
the clothing or bodies of handlers. 

Rain runoff from treated fields or storage areas caused 3 per cent of the 
accidents and drifting of spray material caused 2 per cent. Some of the above 
accidents involved more than one cause. 

The headlines continue to enumerate the dead and injured. Agricultural in- 
terests continue to insist the pesticides are necessary. But at this time it seems 
almost certain that the Florida Legislature will step into the pesticide picture 
during the next session. 


[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Dec. 14, 1967] 
Mosquito Fogging Kills Honeybees Apicultubist Says 

Honeybees are killed by mosquito fogging, the University of Florida's bee ex- 
perts have reix)rted after studies in Lee Ck)unty. 

Apiculturist Frank Robinson told of findings in Lee County, and gave rec- 
ommendations to the Lee County beekeepers and the mosquito control district in 
preventing bee kills. 

But the net result for the large-volume beekeepers has been knowing what 
is killing the bees, Fred Lesser, entomologist for the mosquito control district, 

"The 'little' bee keeper is all right," he said. "He can cover his hives. But the 
'big' beekeepers say they can't do it." Their hives are too extensive to move 
and too many to cover. Lesser said. 

"We call them and tell them we are going to fog. They smile and say thank 
you,'' he said. The beekeepers' decision is to sustain losses, he said. 

The research showed that bees can be killed by most mosquito fogs if in flight 
when caught in the fog. 

"It's not that the insecticides are so dangerous," said Robinson, "it's just that 
bees are so sensitive to them." 

The two methods for protection were movement of hives from residential areas, 
where fogging takes place, or to cover them on days when there is to be fog- 
ging. The hive would be covered in the early morning before bees become active, 
and opened right after fogging. 

Honey is a $5 million industry in the state, and bees are imperative for some 
$25 million in crops that require them to pollinate and fruit, the extension service 

The checks were carried out in Lee County last summer, in cooperation with 
the mosquito control district. Beekeepers long had been complaining that the 
fog was killing bees. 

Robinson cautioned that mosquito control units are not the only users of 
insecticide fogs and dusts. The dusts are more dangerous to bees because they 
drift further, Robinson said. Farmers use fogs and dusts in fields and groves. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Dec. 31, 1967] 
Immokalee Farm Workee Is Dead 

Naples. — Roosevelt McSwain, an Immokalee farm worker, was pronounced 
dead on arrival at Naples Hospital Saturday and Coroner George Atkinson said 
the man's death apparently was caused by undetermined natural causes. 

Atkinson said medical evidence discounted first reports the 20-year-old man 
might have died from poisonous agricultural spray residues on his hands. 

Atkinson said it was learned the cucumber field where McSwain worked had 
not been sprayed since Dec. 8, and that rains since then would have washed 
away all or most of any residues on the plants. 


.Ccntoins 8 \bs, Tec'inical Pcrfithion per gaHon 


Ptrolhioir (0,0-DlelHyl Q'-p-nUropIiGnyl thio* 

phosphate) i...o 79.5?4 

Xylene. «,.....•.«. 8.5?4 

INERT- IHGREQIEHTS «... ...,..>,..>..^ 12.0% | 

100.0% f 
Tr^lS pnOnUCT is sold cm THH CONDillOM THAT IT \V!IL BE USED 1 


"^ ANTIB9TES. "^ 5 

IF S-V/AVLOV/Wt , G'va c faHsjpojnFuI of salt In.o gT^s of mm va!er | 
cnJ repcci- uritil is clsor. Kcve victinv lid do^'O cad fce.sp quiet. Cs!i c / 
physlclcn iitiir.idiflicli'. { 

ip CM ^KIHs In ccsc ef s?.in ccrii^ct rs.r.oye coMamlnsled cIolHus end 
irnmcdicte!/ 'vizih tlln v^ith S53p end vatir» 

rort HYSS: • Flusli v/lth >v:t-:r ond get: wsdical cK-snUoi?. 

•WAr.XU-rG— Pol=;cno\7S 1? ^Y■.'2l!o^Tc^3, inhalocl or alisotbid •tT'tccsTi tho st:'.n. 1 

r..-y:ci).y absorbed thvou-U th& Eiiii. Co not sci in eyes, on sJsizt or oa cloto i'.i j. v 

IVear clian— iiatural nibljcr sieves, proteniTo clothin- ;inci sr;;lc3. V/car a \ 

cloan 3i-'Tk or resnirAtor of :>, tji e ii^r ;:cl by ths U. S. Pcp.irtiflTnt ol! A;ri- f 

cultura for F.-'.r.-.tUioa prot-jctioii. Co not breathe 6\isz or spray mist, Ijl ^ 

» cf skin, cniitact, v.-osh ;itin-i0dlat?ly vith scr.p and ^v.iter, Z\clp all vjir>:otictcd \ 

I rerscni; out of cviorating or vicinUy -..i'.cre there ni3y bs r.U'-nsej: or i;rlft. 5 

I Vr-icatccJ aicori slirjiild not b.2 rc-eutcrccl until tiriftinj j.i'jcctici'Ies and vcL'.ti'.a V 

\ tesicitics h.ive ci-sinatec:. I'o :ict coalair.Inat? feed and fu.-jilstufis. "W.iili jiar.cJj, ? 

srnr; and f.3ce thocouglily v.iva soap and v,-ater after "asinj and tefor.? catinr: '* 

Eud smckL-jj.- Vi'asli all ccntcrMiiatcd clotiiin;, iiiciucILnj glovcj, gojrle.", and ^ 

vasliable parts ol Jiir-sli or re.ipiry.tor, Uith soap and hot v.atcr boxoni ir>:;;3. si 

licijoatcu ir.hal.ition. cr s!:in cuncaci may, tvithout symrt'^^-s, proirrcJ5i."cIy iii» i 

tr-^ase f-uscciitibUity to I'sriiJiiCii, i* you sii^r^ct ciie^sirs ci;poi'Jre tia o % 

tJeclor. .5 

k^k;r OUi 'ye h^-zV^-n Or CdsLMiisui f 

ao rot tUoT/- ??Tathion ta <3rift to p.rc-ns Trhcre 1.^ B:!:;ht injare jior's C? 
animals or cont.-muiati foc-:^ feed, for;-.;-;, cr v.ater sourrcj. 
I'liis proi^i'xt i-; toxic to iiih and ^?^l{:Iu■e. ilcep out of laT<cJ, ponds., arid 
stream?. Do not a.oply to any ar^a net sjr.eciiiod on. tae Jabel, 
PHYSICJAVS KOIK: TTamlri.r -synipton; incluus TiToalciiJj;, hcn-lachc?. tight- 
ness in the ch.;it» l'Iuir:cZ virion, Dc;a-rc2c:ive p;n.-i/Oiac pupili. sntiTr.tion, 
s'.reatin?, navsc::, TCrnini.j-, f^ir-ri'ea and abdominal cr.^raps. Tuitmeat,: Civi> 
r.tropLnc, treXerably by iniocticn, grains I/lOO two or thrjc tJ.biCS at cuca :!nd 
parejiterrlly or cral!y c.ery jiour as rt;quired Tip to 30 t.i'blcts or iuit!l nv^Ui 
o'JIate. ?«'eyer give niorpluno. chest by tostural drair.a:;?. Artificial r^;- 
. piration and^cr o"y';ea aaaii'iistr.Uiori n^.r-y fce neceisary. Obcerva paiient ct'n- 
tinuo>:s!y 43 jiours. Kep'i.'.ted c\pc5'jro to choliii esterase inhioitors my, '.vitiiciit 5 
rvarnir?, cause proloi'^-i ruivj^utui'iity to very sniail <?o."es of any choliaei- 
ter?.53 inliibitor. A'ilo\7 no lurtaer exposure until time for cholinestfXMSo r?- 
Ecnnraticn Ivzs bseti aiio-.rcd :-s dctcrn-.insd "b'J blood t?3t, FOIC ABDITIOX.AL 
; TR^wx.MTiNT imov.MxrioS: Coatact U. S. Public i-.Ealti Service, Poisoa. 7^ 
1 Cciitrol Centc-r, Eavannah, Ca. I 

Label From Pesficids Confaining Paral'nion 


[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 3, 196S] 

Man Walks Through Parathion Spray to See If It's Deadly 

(By Mary Farris) 

MiAML — Scientific curiosity about the daugers of parathion, a deadly insecti- 
cide which lias killed several people in the last few mouths, I'ecently lead one 
man to walk through the drift of parathion spray while another man followed to 
see if the parathion induced illness. 

"We had lawn spraymen getting sick," said Dr. John Davies, director of the 
community studies on pesticides. "We wanted to find out more about it." 

Spraying with parathion has since bc»en outlawed inside the Miami city limits. 

John Welke, industrial hygienist with the same program, was the man being 
sprayed. He plays down his part in what wns surely one of the bravest experi- 
ments of ret-ent times. Inhalation of parathiun can kill you. 

"I exix)sed my.self to the drift from the spray," Welke said. "During the 
day I foUowi'd the lawn spray man around from job to job. But I knew there 
was no danger — I watched the sprayman make the mixture, to be sure it was 
the right strength, not above the proper level." 

Dr. Davies went with him as a scientific observer. If anything had gone wrong, 
Welke would have had prompt medical attention. 

At the end of the day, Welke was still healthy, but Dr. Davies warns against 
forming any wrong conclusions because of this. 

"This does not mean you can't get sick," Dr. Davies .said. "You can. At the 
same tinu\ we had lawn spraymen who were getting sick." 

He explained that some people are more su.sceptible than others, and that 
also the lawn spraymen were subject to con.stant exposure, day in and day out, 
so that in spite of protective covering the insecticide built up in their bodies. 

Dr. Davies, who came from Wales ten years ago. looks like the Hollywood 
version of a British school teacher. He peeks over his glasses, which are half 
way down his nose and always a little awry, and speaks with a British accent. 

He heads the Dade County branch of the pesticide study program, which is 
funded by the federal government. ISIany highly trained technical men and 
assistants are on his staif. The program is doing research on the acute and 
chronic affects of pesticides and is being carried on in 16 different states. 

Dr. Davies is also on the committee to make recommendations for propo.sed 
legislation to control the use of pesticides. "I think it is very difficult to give a 
blanket recommendation on desirable legislation," he said. 

"We need objectivity. Pesticides are necessary. This area was complete unin- 
habitable not so long ago. Malaria and yellow fever, dengiie fever, encephalitis — 
all of these are examples of di.seases spread by pests, in the past rendering certain 
areas of the world uninhabitable." 

He also said that with the population explosion, the world cannot afford to 
endanger the food supply and pesticides are necessary for that end. 

"My re.sponsibility is to investigate the health effects of pesticides on man," he 
stated. "We are trying to find out what is fact." He said the worst danger is for 
the wrong material to fall into the hands of untrained per.sons. 

One big problem is the introduction of parathion into urban areas, Dr. Davies 
said. "Most commonly the father brings it b.ack from the fields, or a peddler 
sells it. Then we have to chase him like chasing a typhoid carrier." 

Children are thus exposed to the powder, he said, often causing sickness and 
sometimes death. "Only last week, a family bought some second-hand furniture. 
Parathion was in the drawer, and a child became sick." 

There are several pesticides research programs being carried on in Florida. 
In addition to the community study program, there is a pesticides research 
laboratory on the south campus of the University of Miami in Perrine. It also 
is federally funded. 

The laboratory is making studies on the acute and chronic toxicity of pesticides 
to mammals. Special investigations are in progress with squirrel and rhesus 
monkeys. They are doing research on biological changes induced by pesticides. 

A study in pe.'Jticides in water supplies is l>eing carried on by the Geological 
Survey, with the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers, Central and 
Southern Florida Flood Control District, the National Park Service, the Fish 
and Game Commission and the Agricultural Research Service. 


"Within the nest few vears, a lot of information will be coming out of this 
program," said Aaron Higer of the Geological Survey team. "Getting the research 
program set up and collecting data takes time. Then we can see what s 
happening." , 

He said the researchers are trying to summarize the situation so that they 
can analyze, it three ur four times a year and see any changes. "So far, we have 
found just traces of pesticides in ground water," he said, indicating that at 
present it was not enough to be dangerous. .a 

"There are one or two small areas, such as Lake Apopka, where reports or 
tho Game and Fish Commifsion .show high values and possible fish kills. 

"We are hoping to institute a program of education for these people using 
this material," Higer said. -Maybe a permit will be necessary. We are not a legis^ 
lative body. All we can do is make suggestions." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 19, 1068] 
Little Boy's Death Blamed on Poison 

Poison, believed to l>e parathion, a deadly insecticide, caused the death Thurs- 
day of Jimmie Le.wis Johnson, 2, and serious illness of his cousin, Janett McCane, 
also 2. 

They were stricken shortly after 3 p.m. while playing with three other children 
in the back yard of Mrs. Fanny Strickland of 2131 Davis St., who takes care of 
the children while their mothers work. 

The boy was dead on arrival at Lee Memorial Hospital. The girl, however, 
responded well to a new drug given intravenously which is effective against para- 
thion poisoning when administered in time. She was reported in fair condition 

Dr. Thomas M. Wiley Jr., said both children were foaming at the mouth, a 
syuiptom of ijarathioa poi-soning, and the girl exhibited other symptoms of the 
p jison in her breathing, heart rate and physical reactions. 

Dr. Wiley ordered blood tests made and advised authorities to check the yard 
for parathion. Sheriff's investigator Tony DeLacey said no source of the poison 
was found there immediately but he and investigator Bill Jones were continuing 
their inquiry. 

Mrs. Strickland could not explain the poisoning but doubted it could have come 
from food. She said she had fed all five children the same meal at 11 :30 a.m. and 
the other three .'^howed no signs of illness when checked at the ho.spital. 

Mrs. Strickland first became aware of something wrong when Jimmie came 
into the house coughing and choking. Alarmed, she had her neighbor, Mrs. Al- 
berta Davis, drive her and Jimmie to the hospital. Upon her return home she 
found Janett ill and had Mrs. Davis take her and the girl to the ho.spital. 

Jimmie was the son of Mrs. Diane Walters. Janett is the daughter of Mr.s. 
Erthine McCane. Both live at 2275 Highland Ave. 

Parathion poisoning caused the death of .seven children of James Richard- 
son of Arcadia last October. He is to go on trial in Fort Myers May 27 on a 
charge of first degree murder. Authorities said there was no indication of foul 
play in the poisoning here and that it apparently was accidental. 

Parathion Poisons Little Boy, Three Others Treated 

MiAML — A 16-month old child died of parathion poisoning and three other 
children were treated after swallowing garden pesticides over the weekend, the 
conclusion of Dade County's observance of Poison Prevention Week. 

Dr. John Davies, of the community pesticide Project, said blood tests showed 
that Darren Lawton, who died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, had .swallowed 

He said it was assumed that Darren's sister, Brenda, 2, swallowed the same 
pe.sticide Friday and was discharged after treatment. A third Lawton child was 
examined but not admitted. 

Tracy Gibbs, and Jeff Barton, both 3, were treated and dismissed at Baptist 
Llospital, Dr. Davies reported. Both children had swallowed tick and flea in- 

The Lawton family had recently moved into a house adjacent to a nursery 
and the children apparently picked up the poison from a shed, Dr. Davies said- 


[From the Fort Meyers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 28, 1968] 
Poisoning Blamed in Deiath of Boys 

Organic phosphate poit^oning caused the death of Jimmie Lewis Johnson, 2, 
Thursday, an autopsy at Lee Memorial Hospital performed by Dr. Heinrich O. E. 
Sehmid revealed Friday. 

Tlie boy died and his cousin, Janett McCane, also 2, became seriously ill 
shortly after 3 p.m. The strielien children were playing with three otJier chil- 
dren in the back yard of Mrs. Fanny Strickland of 2131 Davis St., who takes 
care of the children while tlieir parents work. 

The < ondition of Janett McCane has improved and she was in satisfactory 
condition Friday. 

Dr. Sehmid, who performed the autopsy at 6 p.m. Thursday, said organic 
phosphate is a family of chemicals used in insecticides. He said the family in- 
cludes parathion, malathion and a number of other sub.stances. 

The .-pecific substixnce which killed the boy has not yet been identified. Dr. 
Sehmid said he was waiting for new equipment to arrive at the hospital next 
week before he attempted a definitive identification of the substance. 

Slieriff's Investigator Tony DeLacey said he is investigating two possible sources 
of the poison. 

Tlie first possibility is the children could have gotten into a can of roach spray 
or other insecticides in Mrs. Strickland's home, DeLacey said. 

The second possibility is the two children could have gotten the poison from 
the clothes of farm workers on the bus they ride to Mrs. Strickland's house. 

The parents of the children live at 2275 Highland Ave. Jimmie was the son 
of ]V[rs. Diane Walters and Janett is the daughter of Mrs. Erthine McCane. Each 
morning when the parents took the bus carrying farm laborers out into the 
countryside, the two children would ride with them as far as Mrs. Strickland's 

DeLacey pointed out Jimmie Johnson and Janett McCane were the only two 
of five children under Mrs. Strickland's care and they were the only two poisoned. 
However, seven or eight hours had passed between the bus ride and the illness 
of the children, DeLacey said. 

The sheriff's oflice will continue its investigation into the poisoning DeLacey 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 24, 1968] 
Organic Phosphate Poisons Pose Deadly Threat To Kids, Field Hands 

(By Mary Farris) 

The combination of organic phosphate poisons and children is deadly, according 
to doctors. 

This was dramatized last Thursday by the tragic death of Jimmie Lewis John- 
son, 2, of Fort Myers, by organic phospliate poisoning. ix)werful new poisons were developed in World War II, and are akin 
to the deadly nerve gases. They are used in agriculture to control insects and 
other pests. Parathion is the most common and best known of the organic 

"For all practical purposes," says Dr. Joseph Davis, Dade County medical 
examiner, "a small toddler who begins to cry, staggers, collapses and has seizures 
on the way to, or arrival at the hospital, should be considered to be a case of 
parathion poisoning, until proved otherwise." 

Dr. Davis made a study of 89 cases of organic phosphate poisoning during a 
two-year period in Dade County. Nearly half, 43 of the cases, were children. 

He discovered that the Negro child was found to be especially vulnerable, due to 
the large number of Negroes employed as field hands where the insecticides are 
used. Of the 43 cases studied, 40 involved Negro infants with an average age of two 
and a half years. Three boys were poisoned for every girl, a ratio which probably 
reflects the aggressiveness of the male. 

How do such deadly poisons get within reach of small children? At first this 
would .seem a hard question to answer, since most companies handling the organic 
phospliates refuse to .sell to anybody but the growers who they know will put it 
to agricultural 


In addition, all containers are clearly labeled that they are not for use 

around the home. 

But sometimes the field workers bring it home, unaware how deadly it is. 

"The applicators will steal the material," says John A. Mulrennan, director of 
the Bureau of Entomology with the Florida State Board of Health. "It is carried 
to their living quarters for roach control, and here is where the problem starts 
as far as deaths are concerned with small children." 

Often the thief will peddle the poison from door to door as roach or rat killer. 

"Jklost commonly the father brings it back from the fields, or a peddler sells it," 
says Dr. John Davies, director of the Miami branch of the federal project, 
Community Studies on Pesticides. 

"Then we have to trace him lite tracing a typhoid carrier. 

Dr. Davies added that a family had bought some second-hand furniture in a 
recent case. There was parathion powder in the drawer, and a child became sick. 

Another child ate a chicken leg that had fallen on a floor treated with 
parathion sold by a peddler. The child died. 

In Manatee County, a small girl took a bite out of an orange her father brought 
home from the grove where he worked. She took a few steps, went into con- 
vulsions and died. 

The unbelievable deadliness of organic phosphates makes even a small amount 
a fatal dosage. According to hospital emergency room cards, 20 milligrams of 
parathion is a lethal dosage. That means, that a pound of pure parathion, if 
divided into dosages, could kill 27,-500 people. 

Yet parathion is not the most deadly of organic phosphates. It is better known 
because it is more widely used, but five others have even lower lethal dosages. 

According to the Clinical Handbook on Economic Poisons, put out by the U.S. 
Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the most deadly of the organic 
phosphates is TEPP. Next come phorate, phosdrin, demeton, and di-syston, with 
guthiozi tying for sixth place with parathion. All are used in agriculture. 

The organic phosphates dissipate fairly rapidly, however, after days or weeks. 
The board of health has set safety standards so that crops may not be harvested 
until a safe period of time has elapsed. 

The organic phosphates, which dissipate, differ from the chlorinated hydro- 
carbons such as DDT, which never dissipate but accumulate in the life chain. 
While they are active, however, the organic phosphates are far more dangerous. 

They can kill by ingestion, inhalation or even touch. Workers have died from 
spilling it on their skin and not removing it promptly. 

"If you spill the organic phosphates on the skin, it of itself is not an irritant," 
says Dr. Davies. "You would not be aware of it until commencement of symp- 

Typical case progression would be headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions and 
frothing at the mouth. Quite often organic phosphate poisoning symptoms resem- 
ble epileptic fits. 

The fact that the poisons do not have to be swallowed or inhaled to be deadly 
is one of their frightening aspects. 

A strauge epidemic struck eight-year-old boys in Fresno, Calif., in the fall of 

It was only after several wrong diagnoses and tests that they were discovered 
to be ill with organic phosphate poisoning. This was unsuspected, primarily be- 
cause the boys had no known contact with the poisons. 

Much detective work and careful analysis of cases finally traced the blame to 
a shipment of blue jeans. The organic phosphate, phosdrin, had been transported 
in the same truck and the container had leaked. 

Even though the jeans had been stored in a warehouse eight months, and only 
slight brown stains around the seams could be detected, there was still enough 
poison in the jeans to make six small boys deathly ill just by wearing them. 

The amount of phosdrin involved was one and one-eighth gallon. According to 
the journal of the American Medical Association, this was enough poison to kill 
9,000 eight-year-old boys. 

In Tampa, a father brought home an empty burlap sack that had b'^eu con- 
taminated with parathion. He tied it to a tree for his children to swing on. 

The children were delighted. They laughed and sang and played. And then 
they died. 

Dr. Donald V. Eitzman and Dr. Sorrell L. Wolfson conducted a study of 30 
parathion deaths in children in Florida over a six year period. They state that 
often parathion was not even suspected at the time of death. 


The average age of the children was 2.9 years. Five were white, 25 were non- 
white. In 10 of tlie 30 deaths, the poison had been swallowed. The other 14 
had btt'n fatally poisoned by skin contact or inhalation. 

To prevent such tragedies, poisons recommended for agricultural use only 
shouhl never be used around the house or yard. Roach or rat poisons should 
never be bought from peddlers. Poisons should never be placed in other con- 

(From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 25, 196S] 

XucLE.\R Weapons — For $G9.G0, You Can Kill Nearly a Million People 

(By Mary Farris) 

Fantastically expensive nuclear weapons are supposed to be the most deadly 
devices ever invented by man — yet for $69.60, any farmer can purchase enough 
poison to kill nearly a million people. 

The organic phosphates, akin to the deadly nerve gases developed in World 
War II, are used in agriculture for pest control. They are acknowledged to be 
nce-ssary to protect and assure our food supply. Yet their misuse has killed many 

The stuff of real horror gripped the 6,000 people of Arcadia the night of 
Dec. 23, 1964. They awoke at 2 a.m. to hear loud speaker trucks rolling up and 
down tlie streets. 


"Do not drink the water," the speakers were saying. "Repeat, do not drink 
any water from city taps. Parathion bags have been found in the river. Do not 
drink any water until further notice." 

At that time Arcadia drew its water .supply from the Peace River. 

It is no wonder the people of Arcadia stared in the mirror and took their own 
pulse while waiting for the dawiL The spigots in their own were like 
the mouth.-< of angry rartlesnakes ready to drii) venom. 

The parathion had gotten into the river when a grove owner, .John Parker, told 
employee Jimmy Mariott to clean out an old shed and 240 pounds of 15 per cent 
parathion were thrown over the bardi of Peace River. 

This parathion, which according to the 19f>S-69 Kilgore catalog costs $1.45 for 
five pounds, a total of $69.60 for the 240 pounds, was enough to kill nearly a 
million ix'ople, since according to the i>oi.son card file in the Medical Center 
Hospital emergency room, 20 milligrams is a lethal dose. 


Probably all that saved the people of Arcadia from becoming a horror classic 
was that, by wildest luck, the parathion was dumped across the river from the 
city's intake iiipe. instead of on the same side. After a night of chills, Arcadia 
went back to a .system of old wells and never drew water from the river again. 

The conditiou which might have made a ghost town of Arcadia is not unique. 
The u.s«i of parathion and other deadly insecticides is widespread throughout 
Florida and the rest of the United States. According to the rejiort of Dr. John 
Davies of the community pesticide study, in Dade County alone there are 2S1.000 
IxMinds of parathion used in one year. Other orgaiuc phosphates are u.sed as well. 

The Manatee County reserv'Oir is surrounded by groves. In many places the 
groves actually slope down and border on the reservoir. According to a report 
made to the Florida Pollution Control Association, about 27,000 pounds of 
pt^sticides are used in these groves whicb drain into the reservoir every year. 


A testing program was set up and five stations collected water sample.^. The 
water samples were negative during dry weather. During wet weather .samples 
oontaine<l .sometimes as much as five parts per 1.000 of lindane and 64 parts per 
1.000 of chlorobenzilate, carried down in runoff from the groves. 

"llie water is tested regularly by the U.S. Geological Survey to be sure the 
amount of i)esticides in the water does not pass the allowable safe tolerance. 
However, the samples must be sent to Atlanta for analyses, so a time-lag is 


Differences in concentration occur, even in samples taken at the same time. 
"Do you know a chemist in a laboratory can't run tests on samples and get the 
same result twice?" asks Ralph Baker Jr., director of the Division of Waste 
Water with the State Board of Health. 

"The agricultural interests in the nation pollute more of the nation's waters 
than all of the sewage plants," Baker said. 

The thought of what a careless operator spraying the groves around the reser- 
voir could do to the water is horrifying. 


"There is aHways the poissibility of an accident happening," says Aaron Higer 
of the Geolotrical Survey. "We can't monitor it 24 hours a day." 

And the Manatee County reservoir is not alone. 

"There are some seven or eight principal surface sources of public water sui>- 
plies, the watershed of which have agricultural lands where pesticides may be 
used from time to time," states J. B. Miller, director of the Division of Water 
Supply with the State Board of Healtii. "With a more comprehensive survey, it is 
possible additional similar areas may be noted. 

"Where accidental pesticides spiUlage into water supply can occur, of course 
there is hazard to the water consumers involved. The degree of hazard would 
vary with many factors, including size of supply, and lack of treatment, or scope 
of water treatment where the facilities are provided, and tyije of pesticides 
material as to toxicity." 


Water supplies are condemned or quarantined only when the amount of pesti- 
cides contained go above a certain level. There are pesticides in minute quantities 
in most of the water in the state. 

"So far as we know," Miller added, "the physiological or toxilogicail relation- 
ships of minute traces of pesticides in drinking water to the consuming human 
has not been fully determined." 

Pesticides have been found, even in ground water, said Higer of the Geological 
Survey. "So far, just a trace," he says. "We're trying to summarize what there is 
at present, so that we can monitor the situation three or four times a year." 

The carelessness of some of the people who handle the poisons is almost beyond 
belief. "There are some things — like farmers throwing empty cans in the canal — 
that hapi)ens occasionally," Higer says. 


^lariott, the employee who threw the parathion into Peace River, said, "Mr. 
Parker told me to throw it in the river. I told him it might kill all the fish. Mr. 
Parker told me it wouldn't hurt them." 

Parker denied it, saying he told Mariott to dump the sacks into a gully or 
ravine, places where they could have done no harm to anyone." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 26, 1968] 

Danger of Poisons Lies With Handlers 

(By Mary Farris) 

How necessary are deadly insecticides? 

"As necessary as eating," says Jaclc Cornelius, grower in Florida City. "It 
would be an impossibility to feed the people in the T'nited States without it. 
Ninety per cent of the growers would quit farming the day a law was passed 
prohii)iting its u'-e." 

All too often, however, the men who handle the deadly insecticides in the fields 
are abysmally ignorant. They seldom know exactly how dangerous they are. 

Rill Johnson, state director of the Community Action Fund and holder of a 
degree in chemistry, sprayed by hand with a dust gun when he was a child for 
$1.2.5 a day. 

36-51.S— 70— pt. 4A 4 


"I was big time," Johnsou says. "I was iual<ing 25 cents a day more than the 
other guys." He woukl wet a handkerchief and tie it over his nose for protection. 

When he was 13 or 14, Johnsou remembers, he was promoted to driving a spray 
rig, and given another raise to Jj^l.oO a day. 

"Were you seared V" he was asked. 

"1 didn't know enough to be scared," Johnson said. ""We knew to try to Iceep it 
as far from us as we could, but we didn't know why. Then I got a degree in 
chemistry, and wow I What a shoclc when I found out." 

Jt»hiison said he worked in the fields every summer, all the way through high 
school and C(!llege. 

Lb "yd Thomas of I'unta Gorila is a member of the city minority housing group, 
and he studies city affairs and keeps up with events in the new.spapers. 

Yet Thomas used parathion in New York State for two years without ever 
knowing how deadly it is. "The company gave me precautions," he said. "We 
used c-itveralis, on our exi)Osed parts, rubber gloves, face masks and gog- 
gles. They made you use these things. 

'•But I didn't .-^ee why it should scare me. Until those kids got killed I didn't 
know it was as bad as it was. If I'd of known that, I'd of never sprayed it. But 
since I did, and I'm all right, if I had a job working with it now I'd work with it 
right on. 

"We had to change every day, take off coveralls before we'd go home. Since kids got killed I wouldn't work for a company that didn't take all those 

"But I'd just as .soon spray parathion as anything else. I don't believe parathion 
is as bad as it's put up to be. It migiit be. I don't think it's as bad as they say 
it is." 

But though Johnson and Thomas were ill-informed about the deadly insecti- 
cides, both would have been better able to learn about it than most of the spray- 
men, who are often illiterate. 

"Many of the spraymen can't read," said Dr. John Davies of the Community 
Studies on Pesticides. "The emphasis is placed on 'read the label,' whicii is fine, 
provided you can read." 

"Well educated?" asked J. Abney Cox, potato grower in Princeton. "No, they're 
not. Weil educated as far as the spray material is concerned, I haven't had any- 
body hurt — knock on wood. 

"Not that it isn't perfectly safe. The people who know how to use parathion 
are not afraid of it. The problem is. leaving it out where inexperienced iieople 
can get it. I keep it locked up." 

"I won't use it." .says Ralph Bond, flower grower on the Pine Island Road, 
when asked about parathion. "I use other things. I won't use it because nobody 
knows how to handle it. 

"Y'ou give them goggles, mask, gloves. I bet you nine times out of ten I walk 
.out in the field and the man hasn't even got a mask on his face. They say it's too 
hot. Just as soon as your back's turned, or you go to another part of the field 
. . ." He shook his head. "It's the labor we have to use." He tapped the pipes 
behind him. "You might as w-ell talk to that — " 

The stuff he does use, however, almost killed him. "I had cramps a few hours 
after breakfast. Went to the ho.spital. Had a built-up concentration of Dibrom 
and didn't even know it. Like to died." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 28, 1968] 

Spk.wmen W'arned In Use of Poison 

(By Mary Farris) 

"If you didn't use insecticides, there are times you might lose 50 per cent of 
your crop," lierman Walker, a grower at Perrine, declares. 

The organic phosphates are so deadly, however, that all manuals say operators 
should wear goggles, face masks and gloves, and cover all exposed parts with 
some protection. 

What kind of instruction is given the men handling organic phosphates? "The 
spraymen are furnished gloves and goggles, and educated by the supervisor on 
how to handle it," Walker said. 


"I am of the opinion that in all large agricultural pesticide control operations, 
that the applicators are well instructed in the safety and use of pesticides," said 
John A. Mulrennan, director of the Bureau of Entomology with the Florida State 
Board of Health. 

"That does not always mean that the person so instructed and so supervised 
will always carry out the instructions. 

Johnny Tucker, salesman with Miller Chemical and Fertilizer Corp. often is 
called upon to give instructions to the men who will have to work with it. 

'•They're usually itinerant, uneducated," he said. "'I tell them it's just exactly 
like playing with a rattlesnake. If you treat it right, it won't bother you. If you 
mistreat it, it'll kill you. They can understand a rattlesnake. That's the way I 
explain it to them. 


"An operator died, a year or so ago, the east side of Fort Myers. It was the 
operator's own fault. Some people like to show off, pretend like nothing bothers 
them. He spilled some on his T-shirt, and didn't wash it off. It killed him." 

Tucker, too, has been in the hospital with organic phosphate poisoning. "I was 
in there eight days. Come that close to dying. I can tell you, it's horrible. 

"I was in the held inspecting watermelons. I didn't know it, but the farmer 
had sprayed with parathion two days before. Ordinarily I wouldn't be doing that. 
I'm smarter than that, really. But I didn't linow. 

"When I got to the hospital I didn't know who I was. I drove from Fort Myers 
to Wauchula and don't even remember the trip." 


"You have to pick your spraymen," says Jack Cornelius, a grower in Florida 
City. "There are some who would make good spraymen for me who I could never 
use, because their bathing habits aren't right. They should wash their hands be- 
fore they eat or smoke, bathe daily. 

"You pick a man whose habits are clean. You don't try to change his habits. 
You can't follow him around." 

What kind of a warning do they get? "If you told them it'll kill you, thej'' 
wouldn't believe you. About the only way to affect them is to tell them it would 
destroy their manhood." 


Cornelius has 2,000 acres, and he needs one spray machine for each 80 acres 
under cultivation. When the bugs are bad, the crops have to be sprayed every few 
days, sometimes two or three times a week. 

"I pay my spraymen $1.25 an hour," he said. "The legal minimum is $1.1.5 an 
hour. "But they get fringe benefits. When the season's over, I don't fire them. I 
find some other work for them to do." 

It turns out, however, that out of eight spraymen, only three enjoy the luxury 
of not being lired. 

"Three of my spraymen are here the year around," Cornelius said. "The other 
five are in Mississippi spraying in the summer." 

"Parathion is a good, safe material," said Harvey Hobbs, gladiolus grower on 
the Pine Island Road ; "Safe when used with caution." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 9, 1968] 

Time-Lapse Period Not Always Safe 

(By Mary Farrls) 

Organic phosphates, the deadly insecticides said to be necessary to agriculture, 
have tricky ways. They are not always predictable. They are deadly when fresh, 
but deteriorate rapidly and disappear altogether- — most of the time. 

Parathion has been blamed for a number of deaths in Florida within recent 

Parathion has made workers sick as long as a month after crops were sprayed. 
Sometimes strange chemical happenings occur for no predictable reason, and 
parathion turns into an even more deadly killer, paraoxon, which is 10 times more 
deadly than parathion. 


Accordiug to the "Commercial Vegetable Insect and Disease Control Guide." 
issued by the Florida Agriculture Extension Service, most crops are safe to 
harvest three to five days after spraying with parathion. A few crops requiring 
heavier doses take as long as 15 days. 

These guidelines are safe most of the time. Yet in California, which has prob- 
ably done more research and legislation on the deadly insecticides than any other 
state, there has been outbreaks of poisoning among workers after the* safety 
time period has elapsed. 

A study was marie by Dr. Thomas Milby, Fred Ottoboni and Dr. Howard 
Mitchell. The resulv^ were published in the .Journal of the American Medical 

In 11».">8, 11 workers were poisoned from contact with parathion residues. Six 
of the occurred within two days of i)esticide application, but the other five 
cases were from residues between eight and 33 days old. 

In 1!>.")!), more than 27.") cases of parathion residue iwisoning occurred among 
workers harvesting citrus crops in California. 

In l!Kv>. there was an epidemic of parathion residue poisoning among the peach 
harvesters of the San Joaquin Valley, in spite of the fact th::t all groves had fol- 
lowed rigid rules. No application exceeded the recommended dose, and a mini- 
mum of 14 days elapsed between the last .spraying and harvest. All growers are 
re(iuired to keep a schedule of i)esticide applications. 

The California Department of Public Health analyzed the records of ISG i>each 
workers, and divided them into three groups. 

The first group was of 94 orchard workers who became sick. 

The second group was GS workers who had not become sick. They had worked 
in the same orchai'd as the sick workers. Fv(mi though this group was not ill, 94 
percent were found to have absorbed a .significant amount of organic pho.sphate 
poisons. A characteristic of this type of i)oison is that it can be absorbed into 
the body with almost no ill effects until the final dose shoves the body over the 

The third group were of 4.") workers in other "safe" orchard.s. It was f nnd 3" 
l)erceiit of these had ab.sorbed significant amounts of organic phosphates. 

The orchards where the workers became sick had been si)rayed more fre- 
quently than the safe orchards, and less time elajised between the last .spraying 
and harvesting, but all were within the range considered safe. 

The foliage was analyzed and the ".'^afe'^n-chai-ds had a mean parathion con- 
tent of l.D parts per million. The dangerous orchards averaged 4.4 parts per 

What slowed the dissipation was never satisfactorily determined. "\'ariati(ms 
in weatlier have an effect. 

But there is another pos.sibility. Parathion has the insidious ability to turn into 
other tilings — one of which is oxygen analog, paraoxon. This was found, as well 
as S-iihenyl and S-ethyl. isomers of ifarathion. and another "slight compound" 
which was not identified, but was considered at least as deadly as paraoxion. 

'i'liough these were probably the most dramatic of the parathion residue poison- 
ings, there have been others. 

Workers have become sick from handling seeds that had been treated with in- 

In South Carolina, parathion was found in the soil nine months after treat- 
ment. In California, a pesticide used to kill "rough" fish ])ersiste(l all winter 
and was .still killing fish in the spring. 

In the State of Wa.shington, a little boy almost died from parathion that had 
been spilled on the driveway many months before, it had survived all winter, and 
contaminated the soil in the spring. The little boy had u.sed the soil to make mud 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 17, 1068] 

Researcher Has No Praise for Insecticides Now Used 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

In.secticides of the "hard" variety are costing the world valuable oxygen in 
addition to killing off wildlife. Dr. Maurice W. Provost told the Southwest 
Florida Conservation Thursday morning. 

Dr. I', director of the State Board of Health's entomological research 


laboratory at Vero Beach, said a new indictment of the insecticide classes in- 
cluding DDT is the "retardation of photosynthesis in phytoplankton." In every- 
day English, it keeps the grass from growing at sea. 

The growth process of the microscopic plants contributes an estimated 70 
per cent of the world's oxygen supply, Dr. Provost told more than two dozen 
gathered at the Lee County Mosquito Control District offices. Some scientists 
now believe that the oxygen supply is threatened with overuse due to the jet- 
age technology. 

"The oxygen content of the air w\is stabilized at 20 per cent more than 400 
million years ago. Everything has become rigidly adapted to 20 per cent oxygen," 
he said. The slightest reduction could set off unpredictable changes in the world's 
ecology, he said. 

DDT, the most widely known of the permanent insecticides, does not deteriorate 
in nature. Instead it tends to accumulate in certain areas due to the natural food 
chains and flow of nutrients. 


Dr. Provost was describing the effects in the greatest of nutrient traps, the 
estauriue waters of coastal regions. Estaurines are where the land and sea 
meet in marshes, bays, lagoons, river basins and swamps. 

There is an abundance of evidence that the productivity based on tides and 
fresh water flows comes overwhelmingly from the marsh areas below the high 
water mark, Dr. Provost said. The upper reaches of the tides provide shelter 
for the small sea life that grows larger, moves into the open bays and becomes 
the basis for fishing and seafood sports and industry. 

Protection of these areas is vital to man's existence in the future, he said. 

"People may think we are fighting for fish, birds, etc cetera. What we are 
really fighting for is man and in a few years this will be shown clearly," he 

The DDT taken into the estaurine waters from agricultural and lawn and 
garden insecticides gets into the food chain. Studies with results so new they 
are not formally published have shown hormone damage to birds which feed 
on seafood, including the bald eagle. One damage result is a thinner egg shell, 
resulting in crushed eggs in the nest and greatly reduced bird populations among 
some species. 

Birds of prey are threatened with extinction due to tbp cumulative effects 
of DDT, Dr. Provost said. 

"If it is doing this to birds, what is it doing to man?" he asked. Because the 
Insecticide accumulates as life consumes life in the ecological food chains even 
the smallest amounts will eventually show results. 

"Where we used to talk in terms of three pounds per acre now we talk of 
0.02 parts per trillion," Dr. Provost said. 


In discussion after the talk on salt marshes it was brought out that a bill 
banning DDT and similar insecticides is in a U.S. Senate committee. The bill, 
sponsored by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Minnesota, may be revived this summer, 
Dr. Provost said. 

Rep. Ted Randell, clearinghouse president, said at least two states had in- 
stituted bans. Dr. Provost added that Canada and some European nations had 
bans, and the World Health Organization of the United Nations was seeking a 
halt to DDT use in Africa. 

But the chemical is cheap, too, often cheaper than modern insecticides that 
break down after a short period of effectiveness and become harmless chemicals. 
The Lee County Mosquito Control District foggers use Malathion and similar 
organophosphates which are shortlived. 

Dr. Provost warned the gathering that the estuaries are too important to lose. 

"It is simple to conclude that the estuaries are Florida's most valuable asset," 
he said. The evidence already shows this and all investigations strengthen the 

Both the seafood industry and a major portion of the tourist industry depend 
on the estaurine production. 

Therefore the estuaries need protection from manmade disturbances and chem- 
ical protection from pollutants. Chemical and thermal pollution may eventually 
prove even more a disaster to natural waters than residential sewage„ Dr. 
Provost said. 


[From the Miami Herald, May 20, 1969] 

Senator Says DDT Perils Life — State Programs Weak, Panel Told 

(Miami Herald-St. Pete Times Wire) 

Washington. — No pollutant "is endangering the quality of life on earth more 
than DDT and other persistent i)esticides," yet government is reacting much too 
slowly "to the impending world pollution crisis," Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D., Wis.) 
said Monday. 

Florida, apparently, is reacting hardly at all. 

Nelson opened testimony before the Senate subcommittee on energy, natural 
resources and environment on the effects of pesticides on sport and commercial 
fishing. He said his staff has begun a national survey of state pesticide regula- 
tions and 36 states have replied. 

"The preliminary results," Nelson said, "indicate that most states have woe- 
fully inadequate pesticide monitoring programs and lack any significant informa- 
tion on pesticide use." 

A Nelson aide said that Robert M. Ingle, director of research for the Florida 
Board of Conservation, had replied to the senator's inquiry that "he just doesn't 
have any information and suggested we contact the State Department of Agri- 

"We have written thom, and the Department of Health," he said, "but we 
haven't heard anything from them." 

Ingle wrote that he had no information on the amount of pesticides used in 
Florida or on seizures of food products because of pesticide residues in them. 
He .said his department has no pesticide monitoring procedures. 

DDT is a persistent pesticide which does not break down quickly but remains 
"in toxic form in soil, water, air and living plants and animals for many years 
after it is applied," Nelson said. "It drifts with the air, flows with the river, falls 
with the rain." 

In use for only one generation. DDT has infiltrated the fatty tissue of most of 
the world's creatures, Nelson said. 

"California marine scientists collected several hundred samples of fish and 
.shellfish from the Pacific, in both salt water bays and the oi->en sea," Nelson said. 
"They reported 39G of the 400 samples analyzed contained measurable DDT 

Pesticide residues impair the ability of many creatures to reproduce and 
threaten them with extinction, he said. Little is known about the effect on 

The testimony of Nelson and other witnesses described conditions mostly in 
the Great Lakes and West Coast areas. No one mentioned any particular prob- 
lem in Florida. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the use of DDT 
is heaviest in a four-state .southeastern area that includes Florida. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 21, 1068] 

Deadly Poisons Necessary, Grower Says 

(By Mary Farris) 

"In.secticides are absolutely necessary," says J. Abney Cox, potato grower of 
Princeton, Fla. "You won't get a quality crop of a yield conducive to investment 
without them." 

He was talking about the organic pho.sphates, some of the most deadly poisons 
the world has ever known. Parathion is the best known of them. 

Yet it should be easy to use them safely— or as safely as possible. Rules on 
how to handle the deadly insecticides are to be had for the asking, from health 
and agricultural departments and from chemical companies themselves. In addi- 
tion, it is a legal requirement that directions are on thf^ label. 

But few people .stop to read the label. And even if you read all the rules, you 
might be more confu.sed than ever because not all the rules agree. And those that 
do agree are more honored in the breach than in the observance. 

For instance, take the matter of cholinesterase tests. A fall in the blood cholin- 
esterase level is a symptom of exposurfe to the organic phosphates. Workers can 
absorb small amounts of the poi.sons, yet not feel ill until they have absorbed 
enough to be pushed into the danger zone. 


Indication that the danger zone is near would be a low blood cholinesterase 

The Florida citrus spray and dust schedule put out by the Florida Citrus Com- 
mission recommends that spray crews receive cholinesterase tests before spraying 
begins and at ten days intervals. 

The safety manual put out by Shell Chemical Co. says that anyone working 
with the organic phosphates .should have regular checks of their cholinesterase 
levels. In addition, it recommends that workers carry atrophine tablets, the stand- 
ard treatment, as emergency first aid. 

In interviews with five growers, who were asked what measures were taken 
to protect their workers, not one mentioned cholinesterase tests or atrophine 
tablets. They did mention goggles, respirators, mask and protective clothing. 

This is not to hint that these growers were negligent. It is extremely doubtful 
that they ever read the booklets recommending these practices. 

One ot them, who seemed more safety conscious than most, Jack Cornelius of 
Florida City, said "If one of my spraymen begins to show symptoms, headache, 
nausea, many things you'd just tell another man to take it easy for a while, I send 
the sprayman to the doctor." 

In addition, the booklets often give conflicting advice, or advice it would take 
a chemical engineer to decipher. 

Interpretation 18, regulations for the enforcement of the federal insecticide, 
fungicide and rodenticide act, says to "keep all unprotected persons out of oper- 
ating areas or vicinity where there may be danger of drift. "Vacated areas should 
not be re-entered until drifting insecticide and volatile residues have dis- 
sipated * * "." 

But it does not say how you will know when the volatile residues have dis- 
sipated. In the case of the peach orchards, it was over a month, and they didn't 
know there were still volatile residues until the workers became sick. 

The Commercial Vegetable Insect and Disease Control Guide, put out by the 
Florida Agricultural Extension Service, gives three days as the minimum safe 
time to harvest after spraying with parathion. 

The Texas guide for controlling insect.*--, put out by the Texas Agricultural Ex- 
tension Service, gives seven days as the minimum safe time to harvest after spray- 
ing with parathion. 

The suggested guide for the use of in.secticides, put out by the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, states "After applying parathion to soil, keep all persons and ani- 
mals off treated area for 48 hours." 

But it doesn't really matter much what the books say, because few people ever 
read them. The growers make up their own rules, and they vary from grower to 
grower, and sometimes from day to day. 

Herman Walker, grower at Ferrine, said "I don't allow anybody in the fields 
for ground work inside of five days." When he was asked if sometimes he didn't 
have to spray every three days. Walker said "You only spray with parathion 
maybe twice a year." 

Cornelius said "I never have workers in there the same day it's sprayed, al- 
though I personally go in and examine the fields in an hour or more to observe 
if it's done its job. I don't stay, don't smoke, don't take a deep breath. 

"I don't send workers in until the next day." 

Cox, the potato grower, said "Parathion does its work within an hour. The 
workers can go in within two hours." 

[From the Palm Beach Post, May 22, 1968] 

Parathion Poisonings Prompt Investigation in Pahokee Area 

(By Iz Nachman, Glades Bureau Chief) 

Pahokee. — The cause of the sudden increase in the number of parathion 
poisonings in this area is being probed by Acting Police Chief Frank O'Connell 
and sheriff's deputies. 

Within the past month, J. C. Simonds, Jr., administrator of Everglades Memo- 
rial Hospital here, said, six have been treated at the hospital. 

To date, one death has been partially attributed to the organic phosphate. 
Willie M. Green, 66, of 183 Daniel Place, who became ill May 13, died the follow- 
ing day. 


At present, three patients are in the hospital, apparently suffering from the 
effects of the deadly poison, i^imouds said. 

Tom Hansom, 43, of 2.'>0 Brooker Place, and Emory Parks, 58, of Canal Point, 
were admitted Friday. 

A third victim, George Barr, 20, of 392 Rardin Ave., became ill in the city jail 
Sunday and was admitted for treatment. 

OConnell said Barr was arrested Saturday for assault and battery. At the 
time, he was suffering from an open cut on his hand. The following day Barr 
became ill and was hospitalized. 

Each of the men was employed in areas where the poison is used in powder 
form. Barr, according to O'Connell. was working for a crop dusting firm which 
said it was not using the poison. 

There was evidence, however, that the poison was in Barr's clothing. He was 
released from the hospital on Monday and then readmitted when his condition 

During the present harvesting season, there have been two other deaths, both 
infants, in the Pahokee-Belle Glade area. 

Nov. 2. IT-month-old Christopher E. Tull Jr., of 1G9 Adams Place, was pro- 
nounced dead at the hospital. 

The Belle Glade fatality occurred Nov. 27 when Harold Harrison, 2V^ years 
of age, of 508 SW 5th St., became ill. He too was pronounced dead at Glades 
General Hospital. 

Autopsies performed on both boys proved they died as the result of the para- 
thion poisoning. 

Area physicians, who have worked with the organic phosphate victims and are 
quick to diagnose its presence, have had good success in combating the poison, 
if the victim is hospitalized as quickly as possible. 

Victims of the poistm suffer stomach pains and begin vomiting. The eyeballs 
also shrink to piu-i^oint size, a physician stated. 

Intravenous injections of atropine are used to fight the poison jind small chil- 
dren are kept under constant surveillance by hospital attendants. 

There is a state statute against the indiscriminate use of parathion. According 
to statute number 482.191 sub-section one, violators of what is known as the 
structural pest control .statute may be fined .$300 or ordered to serve a 90-day 
jail sentence. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 22, 1968] 

Workers Are Lax In Using Deadly Spray Materials 

(By Mary Farris) 

"If you don't use insecticides, there are times you iniglit lose 50 per cent of 
your crop," says Herman Walker, grower in I'errine. Fla. He was talking about 
the organic phosphates, the best known being parathion. 

The organic phosphates kill by inhalation, ingestion, or just touch. Contact 
with it is not immediately painful, yet if you spill some on your skin, and don't 
wash it off immediately, you die. 

Yet the workers who handle it are often illiterate, and poorly informed as to 
how deadly it really i.s. Their carelessness, thereft)re, is understandable — but 

In California, a spray rig operator was found dead, still sitting in the tractor 
pulling the rig. The case is recorded in "Archives of Environmental Health." 

The worker had become sick and started to vomit from organic phosphate 
poisoning. He was unable to remove his respirator, had vomited into the respira- 
tor, and choked to death on his own vomit. 

The could have been easily avoided if the worker had either been more careful, 
or wa-hed his hands and di.scardtd his gloves. 

While mixing the insecticide, he had gotten his gloves wet with the mixture. 
It soaked through to the skin on his hands. Also he had rested his gloved hands 
on bis thigh, and the skin of his thigh had absorbed it. even through his trousers. 

But the unbelievable carelessness goes further than that. Workers say they are 
sprayed in the fields, but by ground spray rig operators, and by flying crop 


The workers are not really accusing anybody, however, because most of them 
don't really know how dangerous it is. 

"I've been in the fields, and they spray them while you're out there," said one 
young girl, waiting in the Fort Myers office of the Community Action Fund. 
"Sometimes you have to run from the spray." 

"I don't believe it can be so dangerous," said another young girl waiting in 
the same office. "I've been out there when they've sprayed, and I'm all right." 

Two white boys, in the town of Naples after working in the fields, thought 
nothing of the spray. They were more concerned about the cramped living con- 
ditions and poor pay. When asked about the spray, they v.ere surprised, and 

They shrugged, and said "We just get out of the way 'til it goes by." 

"Maybe it's not sprayed directly on the workers," said Ruben Mitchell, Fort 
Myers Community Action Fund director, "but the wind blov.'s it across two oi 
three acres." 

"We see a tractor going around with a spray rig," says Bill Johnson, Com- 
munity Action Fund state director, "and the \\and is blowing straight towards 
the workers." 

"The problem is, there is no state law regialating the insecticides," says Margin 
Davies, state field director for the XAACP, National Association for the Advance- 
ment of Colored People. "There are regulations on what you can spray on live- 
stock, but not on humans. So they spray them with parathion." 

At one time Johnson worked in the fields himself, all the way through high 
school and college, where an anonymous benefactor saw to his education. He 
knows all about field workers by first hand experience. 

"They get no education on what to do." Johnson said, "such as when they go 
home, take their clothes oft and wash their hands. There's no place to wash their 
hands at work unless there's water in the ditch. So they eat lunch without wash- 
ing their hands." 

On a tour of truck farms, this reporter saw some of the ditches where the 
workers might have washed their hands — but they had dead fish in them, killed 
by insecticides. 

At one time Johnson operated a spray rig himself. When asked how he felt 
about it, he replied "guilty. I feel real guilty. I would hate to get in on the 
workers because it stank. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how bad." 

The doctors confirm what the workers say. 

Dr. John Davies. director of the community studies on pesticides in the Miami 
office of the federally funded project, is a native of Wales. He came to this 
counti-y ten years ago. and still speaks with a British accent. 

When asked if workers are sprayed in the field. Dr. Dalies leans back and 
peers over the top of his spectacles. 

"We have seen it happen," he says, "but we have not ob.served sickness from 
it. I've gotten sprayed myself, and observed no ill affects." He explained that 
in such cases the concentration would not be sufficient to push the body over the 
border line. 

Would the picture change if a worker were accidentally sprayed several times 
close together? "This would depend upon the rating of the chemical and its 
concentration," Dr. Davies said cautiously. 

The name of another doctor was given, as having treated many cases. "This 
is the swamp doctor," was the way he answered the phone. "Doctors, niggers, 
hogs and gators." He sounded drunk. 

When told he was being interviewed, he said "I don't want my name men- 
tioned in any newspaper. I'm a loner. I don't want any publicity." He was 
assured his name would not be mentioned. 

He agreed that poisoning caused by long exposure at a low level was a definite 
possibility. "Might not even be particularly sick or noticeable." he said. "A 
little extra and it shoves you over. It's a theoretical possibility. It's never really 
a concern of anybody that's worked with the stuff like I have. Either you're 
poisoned, or you're not." 

When asked about ground spray rig operators, he groaned. "Aw, you ought to 
rest your eyes on some of them. Seventeen year old boys. Nice little fellows. Not 
even supposed to be on a piece of equipment in the first place. I've treated 1.000 
eases in the last 14 years. Most of them came from ground-operated equipment. 

"Then there's some of them been at it 25 years, never get poisoned. It's a safe 
poison if you handle it properly. 


"You're picking on parathion. There's a lot of poisons that's worse than that. 
It's not the strongest. TEPP is the worst. Phosdrin is worse. It makes a real 
good story to pick on parathion — and you can do it, and tell the truth, too." 

He was thanked for the interview. "You're more than welcome. Just don't 
print my name." He was assured his name would not be used. 

[From the Miami Herahl, May 23, mCS] 

Parathion Death Brings Tighter Restrictions Plea 
(By Dave Simms, Herald Staff Writer) 

Pahokee. — Acting Police Chief Frank O'Connell called "Wednesday for more 
stringent laws to regulate the use of parathion, a deadly iK)is(in, in crop dusting. 

Six Negroes suffering from parathion poisoning have been hospitalized here 
in the past month, Everglades Memorial Hospital Administrator J. C. Simonds Jr., 

One died last week and three others remain in the hospital, he said. Not all 
the cases have been linked to dusting and none have definitely been proven caused 
by dusting. 

O'Connell said he can't do much personally to limit the use of the poison In 
dusting compounds because fields where It apparently is used are outside Pa- 
hokee's boundaries. 

But he expressed concern for families living on the fringe of the city near 
farms where the poi.son might be used. He said the wind can easily carry para- 
thion. a fine powder, into migrant workers' homes. 

O' Connell believed most farmers in the area include about two per cent of 
parathion in their crop dusting mixtures. "I don't know if every farmer uses it," 
he said. 

State law bans any negligent Ui^e of the poison, but the acting chief said it 
would I'e hard to prove negligence in court. 

O'Connell also said that state health officials are in the midst of a probe into 
the poisoning cases. 

Last November, two young children in the Glades died of Parathion poisoning, 
one in Belle Glade and one in Pahokee. 

The latest victim, Willie Green, 66, of Port Mayaca, had two jugs of the poison 
in his home. 

One of those under ho.spital care, George Barr, 26, of 302 Rardin Ave., Pa- 
hokee. worked for a dusting firm. O'Connell, who declined to identify the firm, 
said its officials denied they used parathion in their mixtures. 

Barr was arrested in Pahokee last Saturday after allegedly being involved In a 
fighi and suffered a cut on a hand. Sunday he became ill in jail and was trans- 
ferred to the hospital. Parathion was found on his clothing and apparently had 
gotten into the wound. 

Another person in the hospital, Emory Parks, 58. of Canal Point, was working 
in a field next to one where parathion was being used and became sick. 

A third person, Tom Ransom, 83, of 2.30 Booker PI., Pahokee, also is in the 
hosi)ifal but O'Connell said he didn't know how he came in contact with the 
poison. Two others have been treated and released. 

rrconnell suggested farmers get together to develop safeguards against any 
spread of the powder when it's being used. 

He also said the migrant families themselves are somewhat at fault for using 
the poison to try to kill mo.squitos and snakes in their homes. He said the Negroes 
are told the poison works. 

"They don't realize how deadly the poison is," he said. 

He also cited a recent case where a in a pasture next to a parathion 
dusted field became seriously ill. 

The state's publicized parathion case was last October when seven chil- 
dren died of the poison in Arcadia in DeSoto county. 

The father, James Richardson, goes on trial in Fort Myers next Monday, 
charged with first degree murder in one of the deaths. 


[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News Press, May 23, 196S] 

Pesticides Necessary fob Food Production in U.S. 

(By Mary Farris) 

"If we want to be like the people of India and starve our people rather than poison, we can quit using it,"' says crop duster Andy Moore of Inimokalee. 
He talking ahout the organic phosphates, deadly insecticides used, in 

The poison is spread in two ways, by ground operated spray rigs and by crop 
dusters. Andy is one of the latter. 

•'You can't possible grow enough food in the United States to feed our own 
people without using pesticides," he continued. "We have the technical know- 
how. It would be better for one out of a million or two to get poisoned than to 

The crop duster pilots, u.sually just called "dusters," are far above the level 
of the ground spray rig operators in technical know-how. 

The ground rig operators are usually illiterate, unaware of just how deadly 
the material is, and often unable or unwilling to follow instructions. 

The pilots are intelligent, educated, qualified men who are used to self-disci- 
pline. They are well aware of the dangers and more likely to take proper 

Yet even the crop dusters are unable, or unwilling, to give themselves complete 

When Art Kaymlerezak, duster in Immokalee, was asked if parathion was 
accumulative in the body, he laughed. "It can't be," he said, "or I'd be dead." 

"I don't care much for it," said J. C. Sanders, duster with a rugged, weather- 
beaten face. "Makes me sick if I breathe it. If you take precauitons it's all 
right. I never been sick enough to go to the hospital." He looks like he wouldn't 
go to the hospital if he were dying. 

"The thing is, you have to read the instructions," Art said. "Like these people 
who stored it next to fiotir and sugar in Tijuana. What the hell's the matter 
with the idiots? Put it together, and what do they expect? It's Uke putting a 
gun to your head and pulling the trigger." 

But with or without instructions, the deadly insecticides spell deadly peril, 
as these cases from the archives of environmental health will prove. 

A duster pilot in California had to make a forced landing, and turned over. 
He was using TEPP in dust form. TEPP is the deadliest of the insecticides, 
ranking about 13 times deadlier than parathion. 

The dust covered the pilot when he got out of his craft. He walked 50 feet 
to a field worker and asked for a drink of water, then began to vomit. He became 
unconscious and died before the ambulance could arrive. 

The ambulance driver, the pathologist and the mortician all got organic phos- 
phate poisoning just from handling the body. 

Another duster pilot crashed, and some insecticide spilled on his face. He 
was washed promptly, however, and given atrophine tablets. He became sick, 
but recovered. 

A "swamper," who washed off duster airplanes, absorbed too much organic 
phosphate in the process, became unconscious and died. 

An IS-month-old girl became sick when she played with a towel that had 
wiped the boots of her father, a duster. 

Dr. Irma West, with the California Bureau of Occupational Health, says that 
the agricultural aircraft industry has a formidable record of occupational injury 
and disease. "Over half its disabling work injuries are due to pesticide poisoning." 
Dr. West says. 

The duster pilots are also accused of spraying the fields while the workers are 
in them. 

"Planes come over and spray the stuff fnd there's no question about it." says 
Bill Johnson, state director of Community Action Fund. "The man flying is only 
doing what he's told. They tell him to .spray a certain section and he does it." 

"I've seen them in the fields, weeding or tying up vines." says Marvin Davies, 
state field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored 
People, "and spray planes would fly over. They'd get under trucks, boxes, any- 
thing they could find. Then as soon as the planes are over, they go right back 
out and get to working." 


•Some of my staff members have actually seen airplanes spraying insecticide 
while the farm workers were still in the very same fields they were spraying," 
said Margaret Taylor, former Community Action Fund director. 

The doctor, who did not want to be identified, disagreed. "Airplane duster 
pilots are suppo.sed ro spread it." he said. "That's a lie. A duster pilot handles 
his poison well and he keeps it off the people. I've treated 10()0 cases in the last 
14 years, and four of them from pilots — and they were pilots themselves. Four 
in 14 years — that's not many." 

Jack Cornelius, grower from Florida City, also expressed doubts. "Workers 
sprayed? It's possible. But I've never had it happen in our fields. The only way 
it could hapjien would be by plane. 

"And the reason it doesn't happen is, you a man flag.ging the field. The 
man on the ground flags the field in 25 foot swaths. The first re(iuirement is to 
see nobody is in the field or downwind of the field. 

"I've fertilized by planes many times with the crew in the field. You tell them, 
maybe they get out, maybe they don't." 

When asked if he had ever heard the charges that workers were sprayed in 
the fields, he said no, he hadn't. 

The dusters themselves would seem to be the best authority. I asked a .group, 
that had previously not been interviewed. For obvious reasons, their names will 
not be given. 

Are workers ever .sprayed in the field? In>'.tead of an outburst of righteous 
indigiiation, there was a long, painful .'-ilence. The question was repeated. 

"If the workers don't know enough to get out of the fields, what do they 
expect?" one pilot blurted. lie got up and left. 

"Lots of these people, you can draw them a picture and they just don't under- 
stand. Sheer stupidity," said another. 

"I h-iven't heard of any being sprayed, in this area," said another. 

"You spray pesticides real early and late." said another. "During the day it's 
fertilizer. And you can eat that, and it won't hurt you." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) Xews-Press, May 2G, 1068] 

Many Pesticide Deaths Go Unkeported in State 

(By Mary Farris) 

"The in.secticides are neces.sary," says Dr. John Davies, director of the com- 
munity studies on p''-«^icides in Miami. "This area was completely uninhabitable 
not so long ago. Malaria, and yellow fever, dengue fever, enciphelitis. All of these 
are examples of diseases spread by pests, in the past rendering certain areas of 
the world uninhabitable. It is also necessary to protect the food supply, espe- 
cially with the population explosion." 

Yet the deadly insecticides exact a terrible toll. When a.sked how many 
insecticide deaths went undetected, Dr. Davies said "I would hate to hazard 
a guess." He explained that it depends upon the facilities for medical investi- 
gation. "In Dade County we certainly have a very conscientious medical 

John Welke, industrial hygienLst with the study, was more emphatic. "We 
have here in Dade County the most alert medical examiner, and a project in 
operation. Yet I'm sure we don't hear of half that occur. Through the rest of the 
state — " he shrugged, "Under reporting occurs. No question about this." 


In an eight year period, from 1956 to 1964, SO pesticide deaths were reported 
in Dade County. 

Dr. Jo.seph H. Davis, Dade Count.v medical examiner, agrees that not all 
in.secticide or pesticide deaths are caught. "I do not have an.v idea how many 
such deaths go undetected. '">ne of the prnblems is thr lack of a suffi'^ient number 
of cases to familiarize physicians," he said 

"Another problem is that many poisonings can yield symptoms similar to those 
which might be produced by a number of different natural diseases. For example, 
we have seen parathion poisoning ma.squerade as a stroke, hyper-tension, pneu- 
monia, head injury, etc. 


"That this situation does occur, is shown by one previous series of accidental 
deaths from parathion poisoning where 50 per cent of the cases were undiag- 
nosed or unsuspected until the dead had been processed by our laboratory and 
investigative staff." 


Dr. T. E. Collins with the Florida State Board of He.ilth believes that the 
greater number of mortalities from pesticides reported in Dade, Broward, and 
Palm Beach Counties is due to the vigilance of Dr. Davies and Dr. Davis. 

"The mortality rate for these three counties for the period 19.51I-67 is 2.03 per 
100,000. Were that rate applied to the remainder of the state, where no inten- 
sive search for cases has been made, an additional 60 accidental parathion 
deaths would have been recorded," Dr. Collins said. 

"It is not good enough to say a few deaths must be expected with the use 
of parathion," he concludes. 

'•The common practice of embalming before autopsy malies it impossible to 
carry out certain tests," said Dr. Irma West of the California Bureau of 
Occupational Health. 


Dr. West said that out of a series of eight parathion deaths, six were initially 
unsu.spected "and would have been missed had not a special investigation and 
laboratory tests been carried out." 

"It is my experience that many i)ersons who take responsibility for application 
of pesticides do not have the knowledge, training, or equipment to carry out their 
tasks with a reasonable margin of safety. 

"The time has come to state that the medical profession has been placed in a 
difficult position. It is entirely unrealistic to expect every physician in general 
practice to keep up with what is known and unknown. 

"There are probably more unsound diagnoses and more mis.sed diagnoses in 
chemical poisoning than in most other areas of medicine." 


Those who work with the laborers agree with the doctors that many insecticide 
or pesticide deaths never come to liglit. 

"I've had one or two members of my church die in strange, rather mysterious 
circumstances while they were working on a farm," says Rev. Isadore Edwards, 
Fort Myers president of the NAACP. "I buried one last year. He went to work in 
the fields and they found him down in the rows, dead. 

"I would estimate that less than 10 per cent of the insecticide deaths are 

"As long as I can remember, I've seen people hit witli it," said Bill Johnson, 
state director of the Community Action Fund. "Tlie reaction is vei-y much like an 
epileptic seizure. Farm workers kept it very quiet, and naturally the growers did. 
Nobody wanted to be a trouble maker." 


The solution would seem to be easy — control of sales and education of the 
users. Yet the only legislation in effect in Florida concerns the correct labeling, 
something which some people never stop to read. 

In 1961 the State Board of Health tried to get legislation passed to regulate 
the sale of parathion and the other deadly pesticides. The board of health wanted 
to issue permits. 

Jack Dreessen of Washington, D.C., spokesman for the chemical industry, 
urged a public education program instead, saying the industry would pay $7,500 
of the costs. 

Again in 1963 the State Board of Health tried to get legislation passed to con- 
trol the use of highly toxic pesticides in residential areas, and the commercial 
users in residential areas. 


"The Legislature failed to pass either bill," said John A. Mulrennan, director of 
the Bureau of Entomology with the State Board of Health. "The manufacturers of 
pesticides and the commercial pest control operators were opposed to the legis- 


Miilrennan said that the health board did make rules for the use of highly 
toxic pesticides. "The District Court of Appeal ruled that we had no authority 
to promulgate such rules since the Legislature had not given us such power," 
Mulremian added. 

"Farming is a big business controlled by big people," Ruben Mitchell, Com- 
munity Action Fund director in Fort Myers, .said. "Farm workers are about the 
most insignificant pt'ople in the community. They'll never cause the boat to rock." 


"The sacred cows of Florida are still the farmers," says Marvin Davies, state 
director of the NAACP. "And there is nothing which the Legislature can get done 
to bring them in line with civilization." 

The growers disagree. "Ninety per cent of the growers would quit farming the 
day the law was passed prohibiting its use," states Jack Cornelius, of Florida 

"I don't feel permits to buy is the answer," Cornelius went on. "You need con- 
trols on who sells it. If you could only buy it at a chemical wholesale house, or 
farm supply store, with nothing to keep them from selling it except their knowl- 
edge of the material, that would be fine." 


Would he bo against licenses for spraymen? "Not particularly," he answered. 
"I think it would just be another government bureaucracy that would accomplish 
nothing, but I wouldn't fight it in any way. I think they would just come out and 
inspect him once, and give him a license, and that would be it." 

"It would hv ridiculous to have such a law," maintains Johnny Tucker, chemi- 
cal s;ilesman. lie agreed that ignorance and carelessness were the biggest dan- 
gers. And how do you remedy that? 

He gave a short, grim laugh. "The parathion will do it," he said. 

[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 4, 196S] 

Pesticides Hurting Florida 

(By Dick Pothier, Herald Science Writer) 

This year Ploridians will pour about 25,000 tons of deadly pesticide over their 
state. And there are growing indications that the environment and tlie people 
that live there are beginning to show the strain. 

That's 50 million pounds of poison — enough to kill every man, woman and 
child on earth. 

Such massive doses of pesticide and insecticide have been used here for so long 
that scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about what it all means to 
life in Florida — plant, animal and human. 

As a result, Florida has quickly become the nation's top research center on 
the eft''cts of ihese poisons on man, animals, and the environment. 

Only a few of the early results are in. But they're enough to make scientists 
uncomfort^ible : 

In some areas of the state (including parts of Dade and Broward Counties) 
the public water supply contains more DDT than a federal study committee rec- 
ommends for the safety of aiiuatic life. The water apparently repre.seuts no dan- 
ger to human beings, however. 

Most Floridians (and most residents of the rest of the country, for that mat- 
ter i have enough pesticidf^ absorbed and stored in nonsensitive body tissues to 
kill them if the poison were to reach the brain at once. 

For iionbiological reasons, Dade County Negroes have nearly twice as much 
DDT residue in their blood, on the average, as whites from the same area. 

I'be continuing use of thousnnds of tons of pesticides has harmed or killed un- 
counted masses of fish and marine life. 

'J'lie p'-rmcation of Flo:i(la's environment by pesticide has spurred research 
into possible liarniful ph.vsiciil or mental efl"( cts on man liimself. Some research- 
ers believe excessive of pesticides in the home — a long-recogni:<e(l yirohlem 
in Florida — may cause a variety of diseases, including cancer. 


The studies going on now in Florida are pioneering in both intensity and sub- 
iect. Virtually every living thing from tiny water animals to man himself is being 
examined minutely for any trace of harmful effects from the quantities of 
pesticides applied all over Florida. 

Nearly everyone involved in the work stresses that the results are still prelim- 
inary. But the results, so far, are also disturbing. 

Pesticides, particularly the highly toxic DDT-type poisons, have become thor- 
oughly distributed into Florida's air, water, animals and human beings and are 
being concentrated in the animal "food chain." 

Much like radioactive fallout, pesticide residues are circulating throughout 
the total environment and are even falling with the rain. 

So far, there's no solid evidence that the levels found in the general population 
are doing any harm. 

Nearly everyone in the civilized world absorbs and holds a "background 
level" of pesticide residue. 

The levels found in the blood of Floridians seem to be about the same as in 
the rest of America. But the blood of Dade County's Negroes contains an average 
of nearly twice as much DDT-type residue as whites. 

Dr. John Davies, on loan to the Dade County Health Department's Commu- 
nity Pesticide Study Project from the University of Miami's School of Medicine 
has been measuring the concentrations in general-population groups of Dade 

In all cases, the pesticide concentrations are almost indescribably small- — far 
below anything like the toxicity level. Blood levels are measured in "parts per 
billion," an almost-infinitesimal amount. 

The median level for white adults in Dade County is eight parts per billion 
parts of biood. The medium level for Dade Negroes is 14 parts per billion. 

"I believe it's a socio-economic matter," Dr. Davies said. On the average, he 
said, Negroes tend to spray more insecticides in their homes because their homes, 
again on the average, may simply need more pesticide to keep the insect level 

"Everyone seems to think that food is the primary cause for these levels," 
Dr. Davies said. "But I think things like dust and other forms of contact are 
equally important." 

His tindings, based upon blood tests of 219 persons, show that the differential 
holds true for children, too. White children from one to seven recorded a 
median of seven parts per billion ; Negro children in the same age group meas- 
ured 14 parts per billion. 

The blood-level example illustrates some of the problems pesticide researchers 
face — first of all, the extremely low levels themselves. 

When scientists talk about levels in humans, animals or even drinking water, 
they don't talk about actual amounts. The measurements are in parts per mil- 
lion, billion and even — in the case of water — parts per trillion. 

These several-parts-per-billion measurements in humans are background levels 
that build up in the body from a variety of sources — food, air, drinking water, 
dust, and daily exposure to minute amounts of pesticide. 

The U.S. Public Health Service's Perrine laboratory is looking into possible 
dangers to health from general-population levels found in this area. So far, 
there are "no obvious clinical or medical effects," the researcher in charge of the 
project said. 

The PHS scientist. Dr. Cipriano Cueto, said he believes most people have 
enough pesticide stored in non-sensitive body tissues to kill them if the poison 
somehow reached the brain at once. But the body doesn't work that way, he 

Like many other toxic chemicals, pesticides in the body are distributed in 
non-critical areas like fatty tissue. Convulsions and death probably follow if the 
poison reached the brain at once, he said. 

Dr. Cueto's primary research is on the possible long-term effects of these 
level.s. "No one is sure of these possibilities — and there's very little available 
in the medical literature," he said. 

"There are, however, indications from some studies that even these levels 
may affect the cardiovascular system, the learning process, or create certain 
mental problems — there's no doubt about this. 

"For instance, there is practically nothing known on the mental health aspects 
of pesticide problems. I think all of these deserve careful study and that's what 
we're trying to do." 


Another researcher in the federally supported study, Dr. William B. Deich- 
maun of the I'M medical schonl's pliannacol(i.s:y department, told The Herald he 
believes "there may well be a relationship" between high pesticide levels and such 
diseases as cainvr and cirrhosis. 

Using data drauni from a serie.«! of autopsies. Dr. Deichniann found that the 
levels of DDT-type pe.sticides were generally higher in victims of these;= 

"Thi^"^ increased retention of pesticides in certain doesn't mean that 
the pe.-ticides caused the disase or that the disease caused the increastnl pesti- 
cide retention. That's the $04 question — whether there's a relationship between 
the two." 

"We found that, for the most part, the tissues containing high pesticide 
levels came from individuals who had used i>esiticides very freely in their homes. 
The opiwsite was true for those who had u.sed pesticide sparingly or not at all," 
he said. 

The concentrations of DDT-type pesticides found in the fatty tis.snes "of non- 
occupationally exposed individuals who died from cirrhosis, carcinoma and hy- 
pertension were approximately two to three times higher than concentrations 
found in the tissue.s of those who died accidental deaths," Dr. Deichmann 

"This concerns me very much. We have found that the household use of pes- 
ticides — or more properly, the household misuse — is much more important than 
has ever been realized. 

"The ]>esticide intake fnnn food and water seems rather unifonn around the 
country, but this isn't true when it comes to home use. I'm not against pesticides 
and I iLse them myself, but they must be used safely and logically." 

Another major area of concern in Florida now is pesticide distribution in 
water — both natural and drinking water. 

There's no evidence whatsoever that the levels in public water supplies create 
any i)r(iblem in terms of himian consumption. But the levels of DDT-family pesti- 
ci(les fi-e<ni<^iitly exceed the government-recommended maximums for the safety 
of ninrine life. 

The Miami-based water rei^ources division of the U.S. CJeological Survey has 
been sampling natural waters around Florida for nearly a year. 

And it has found "undesirable" quantities of pesticide in several water sup- 
plier- — among others, the Plantaticm Road canal that supplies drinking water 
to Fort Lauderdale. 

Dr. Milton C. Kolipinski, an aquatic biologist with the geological survey unit, 
set up the monitoring system to concentrate on chlorinated hydrocarbons, one of 
the two Tiiajor pesticide "fnmilies" used extensively in Florida. 

Chlorinated hydrocarbons, including .such products as DDT and Dieldrin, de- 
compose very slowly — in soil, DDT loses its strength at only five per cent a 
yea r. 

The other major pesticide group is the organo-phosphates — Parathion, Mala- 
thion. and similar products. They're equally deadly, but in a natural environ- 
ment they ai)pnrently degrade more rapidly and don't build up long-term residues 
like the DDT products. 

Of 21 sanii)ling stations around the .'^tate, the highest level of DDT and its 
toxic byproducts, DDD and DDE. was found in the Ai)oi)ka-P.eauclair Canal 
n"ar Lake Apopka in Orlando's citrus area. Dr.'s team found about 
00 i)arts per trillion of these products. 

The lake "has a sad history of mas.sive fii'h kills," Dr. Kolipinski said. 

The .second-highest level in the .survey was in Broward's Plantation Road 
canal — about 00 parts per trillion. "The occurrence of pe'^ticides in this canal is 
undesirable because the canal is adjacent to South Dixie Wells Field, which 
supplies water to Fort Lauderdale." the monitoring team said in a rejiort. 

Florida's natural-water levels seem to be somewhat higher than pesticide levels 
found in other parts of the nation. But no Florida samples exceeded the federally 
recommendefl maximmn for human consumption. 

Many, including some Public Health Service drinking-water tests in Miann, 
exceeded the maximum for waters containing marine life, however. This level 
is lower bocnuse some forms of aquatic life have higher sensitivity to pesticide 
than man'.i. 

Researchers at the T'M's Institute of Marine Science are working under a grant 
from the Federal Water Pollution Control A(lniini---tration to find out, if po.ssible, 
how much damage has been done to marine life by pesticide pollution. 


"We're interested in the long-term effects of what we call sub-lethal doses," 
said Dr. Charles E. Lane, in charge of the project. "We've found changes in blood 
chemistry, certain enzymes, changes in activity patterns and rhythms, and cer- 
tain other functions." 

But, Dr. Lane said, it's still too early to tell what the long-term effects might 

Dr. Kolipinski and Aaron L. Higer, another Geological Survey researcher, have 
extendetl their study to Florida's entire "ecosystem," in an Everglades environ- 

The Everglades study included research on biological magnification — a natural 
process that concentrates pesticides when larger organisms eat smaller ones 
and thus ab.^orb more pesticide than their "share." 

"We talk about the hydrogen bomb and fallout," Higer said. "But the fallout 
from pesticides has probably contaminated the entire world." 

A National Science Foundation research project in the Antarctic has confirmed 
the "fallout" theory. Scientists found DDT in seals, fish and penguins — in areas 
where the pesticide has never been used. 

Scientists aren't sure how it got there. Some believe the DDT was distributed 
there through atmospheric distribution, others that marine animals in the food 
chain spread the poison slowly through the world's oceans. 

Florida has restricted the use of DDT for agriculture or mosquito spraying. 
But it's still used in homes and gardens. 

In general, Florida's concentrations of such pesticides in both animals and the 
soil-water complex don't seem excessively higher than the levels in other parts of 
the nation. 

But scientists still aren't sure what even moderate levels may be doing to the 
environment — including man. Florida seems destined to remain the nation's top 
pesticide research center, if only because Floridians use so much pesticide. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Oct. 25, 1968] 
Insecticide Sprayed ox Citrus 

Tallahassee. — A powerful in.secticide, hazardous to fish and small animal 
life if it gets on ponds and drinking spots, is being sprayed on citrus crops in an 
area north of Apopka, the Department of Agriculture said Thursday. 

The insecticide, being sprayed by airplanes, is being used to destroy the sugar 
cane root stock borer weevil, recently found in an isolated 3,000 acre area. 

Bob Meeker, information officer for the department's Division of Plant Indus- 
try in Gainesville, said that the insecticide is called granular heptachlor. 

"While the material is being applied at the manufacturer's recommended rate, 
which may be hazardous to fish and small animal life if allowed to get into fish 
ponds and animal drinking spots, every effort is made to notify home owners in 
advance as to when the aircraft will be overhead so they may cover bird baths, 
drinking troughs or small fish ponds," Meeker said. 

"Aircraft will not spray over lakes, pastures or heavily populated areas," 
Meeker added. 

He denied reports that the division had tried to hide the sipraying activities. 

"We weren't trying to hide it at all. We're making every effort to take every 
precaution possible." Meeker said. 

Meeker said that the weevil, in larva form, does considerable damage to roots 
of citrus trees. 

"This is a very destructive pest we're up against. It will cause a decline in 
the tree. If allowed to spread throughout Florida, we'd be in all kinds of trouble," 
Meeker said. 

[From the Miami Herald, Dec. 17. 1968] 
State Refuses Tougher Pesticide Law 

Tallahassee. — The House Agriculture Committee decided Monday it couldn't 
tightly regulate the handful of farmers who use pesticides that can kill people. 

Members did agree some strong regulation was needed for hunters, picknickers 
and others who trespass on farm property. 
36-513—70 — pt. 4A 5 


No votes were taken, but Rep. Ted Alvarez of Jacksonville, eo-owner of a 
dairy, made it plain what would hapi^en to bills suggesting stringent regulation 
of deadly i)estioides. 

Noting that a number of such bills probably will be introduced '"because of all 
the newspaiKM- publicity," Alvarez suggested : 

"They can introduce all they want to, but we'll just run 'em right through . , . 
As soon as they tind out all of these things are going into the wastebasket, they'll 
do sonic thinking before they introduce them." 

Dade Hep. Robert Hector, who owns a farm supply store dealing with pesti- 
cides, agreed that more restrictive legislation would be bad. 

'•The industry is paying a heavy load now," he maintained. "We want to lie 
careful about how we load down the industry." 

Alvarez apjx'ared worried about two bills in particular. One, pushed by the 
Health Deiwirtment, would require the licensing of pesticide dealers and permits 
for its iise. 

Tlie second would give the Public Service Conunission regulatory i>owers over 
the in-state .shipment of pesticides — some of which can kill by simple contact. 

Committee members indicated they would favor a "middle of the road bill" 
drafted with the help of the Agriculture Department. 

"The main thing is the bill is going to be educational," explained Hector. 

Control of tresspassers wouldn't be nearly as hard as control of pesticides, 
committee members agreed. 

Committee Chairman Howell Lanca.ster appointed a subcommittee to draft the 
legislation and told them to get right to work. 

"The cattlemen's association is very intere.sted in this," he noted. 

Alvarez again took the lead, .saying earlier work by an interim committee 
indicated the bill should make it trespas.sing to enter any proi^erty which is 

Some people in Duval County, he noted, seem to think wild game on private 
farms belongs to the public and they have a right to hunt anywhere. 

The Duval legislator aLso suggested that committee members "start lobbying 
for the veterinarian school" which he said had been downgraded in priority by 
higher education planners. 

Lancaster stiid this would be a good idea and, in addition, suggested "We 
should be looking at the reorganization committee to be sure agriculture was 
kept as a separate committee." 

Rep. Clifford A. McXulty of Melbourne reported that one reorganization 
exi>ert had noted that Agricultux-e Department duties were "more in line with 
consumer protection and perhaps might be placed under a commerce department," 

Other committee members smiled and chuckled at the naivete of such a 

The discussion quickly turned to helping farmers, not con.sumers, with their 

[From the Miami Herald, Jan. 22. 1009] 
Lawmakers Scoff at Pesticide Dangers 


(By Bill Mansfield, Capital Bureau Chief) 

Tallahassee. — "I don't know that anybody's been killed by touching them 
(pesticides)," Rep. Wayne Mixon of Marianna told the House Agriculture Com- 
mittee this week. 

Rep. John Jordan of West Palm Beach, agreed "I haven't heard much about 
why we need to control pesticides," he declared. 

Mixon implied the control bill before the committee was the result of emotion- 
alism st€>mming from a single case "in Arcadia where some children got it stuffed 
down them by a deranged person who would have used a knife probably if it hadn't 
been for this parathion." 

Figures supplied by the State Board of Health Tuesday tell a slightly different 
story. They show : 

At least 16 accidental deaths and nine suicides from pesticides last year, 
with reports still incomplete. 

Accidental death brought to 17 persons by pesticides in 1967 — ^plus 12 suicides 
and six murders (the ones Mixon spoke of) In 1967. 


Pesticides requiring a trip to the hospital for 697 persons in 1964 alone. 

Never less than seven deaths and 428 poisonings attributed to pesticides in any 
one year since 1963. 

And health officials admit their records don't reflect all the poisonings. 

Agriculture Committee members generally expressed more interest in prevent- 
ing government regulation than preventing death, however. 

"Since many children are killed each year by drinking gas or kerosene from 
Coke battles, shouldn't we regulate them, too?" asked Rep. Clifford McNulty. 

"Water kills a lot of people, too, if it's deep enough," shot back Dr. Richard 
Hodes, a representative from Tampa who was explaining the bill drafted by an 
interim committee. 

"Some things you can't control . . . but we can do something about controlling 

Rep. Earl Dixon saw some logic to regulating the sale of the highly toxic 
pesticides, but wondered "why regulate the users?" 

"Because we still have to be concerned about how and why it's applied," 
Hodes replied. 

There are people, too, who can't read the labels warning of the danger from 
some of the more lethal poisons — including those which kill by contact with the 
skin alone. 

The Board of Health also has some figures on that. 

In 1967, poison control centers throughout the state treated 437 patients 
for pesticide poisoning. 

Of that number 322 were below age 10. Most were very young — ^292 were 
four years old or less. 

The main worry of the committee members seemed to be possible inconvenience 
to farmers or to the industry itself. 

The Hodes bill would have charged $100 for a license to sell highly toxic 

This worried Rep. Robert Hector of Dade County. "We're putting on an indn.s- 
try the onus of regulating its own industry," he couiplaiTied. 

Chairman Howell Lancaster of Trenton didn't like the provision which would 
allow the commissioner of agriculture to deny use permits. 

"One reason I don't want to give it (the regulation ) to him (the commissioner) 
is because he has the right to deny permits," he said bluntly. 

Dr. Hodes maintained that the very fact a permit had to be obtained would 
lead many people to use less dangerous pest killer.s. "The little old lady who 
wants to get the fleas oft" her cat isn't going to get a permit," he reasoned. 

Rep. Ted Alverez of Jacksonville, who at an earlier meeting had suggested 
tossing most pesticide bills into the wastebasket, conceded this week some regu- 
lation was needed. 

"We have to get at the problem by denying just everybody the right to go in 
and purchase it," he said. 

Hector offered a shorter, les.s-detailed bill as a substitute for the Interim Com- 
mittee version. 

His bill, sent to a subcommittee for more study would appropriate .$85,000, 
and eliminate the $100 fee for dealers. 

It was. Hector said, drafted by the fertilizer and pesticide technical com- 
mittee of the Department of Agriculture. 

That committee includes the heads of the agriculture experiment stations, and 
the Agriculture Extension Service. It also includes representatives of the Florida 
Agriculture Research Institute, a pesticide trade organization ; The Florida 
Citrus Mutual and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable As.>-ociation. 

Hodes' bill would have given the agriculture commissioner the right to draft 
emergency regulations which would later have to be ratifled by the technical 

Hector said his sub.stitute would require the committee's approval before any 
technical rules could be enforced. 

This, apparently, is to prevent the commissioner from acting too hastily. 

Hodes indicated this shouldn't be much of a problem. Noting that Conner 
apparently already has the power to rack down on misuse of pesticides, he 
added : 

"They want an appropriation so they can do the job, so obviously they aren't 
doing it." 


[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 9, 1969] 
Pbotection From Poisonous Pesticides 

Hills for stricter regulation of the purchase and use of dangerous pesticides 
in this state are being siwnsored in both branches of the Legislature for action 
at. the coming session. But reaction from the industry, from farming interests 
and from many legislators themselves indicate they will face a rocky road. 

At a recent hearing of the House Agriculture Committee on a bill authored 
by Kei)resentative Richard S. Ilodes of Tampa, a physician well acciuaiiited 
with the dangers, members pooh-i)oohed the need for any legislation, llcprc- 
sentiitive Wayne Mixon of Marianna ascribed the move for stronger controls 
to emotionalism arising from the case in Arcadia "where some children got it 
.'ituffetl down them by a deranged person who would have used a knife, probably 
if it hadn't been for this parathion." Representative Clifford McNulty remarked 
that '"since many children are Idlled each year by drinking gasoline or kerosene 
from Coke bottles, shouldn't we regulate them too':'" Representative John Jordan 
of We.< Palm Beach said, '"I haven't heard much about why we need to control 

But the stark figures of the State Board of Health assuredly show such a need. 
In 1!)G7. poison control centers in Florida treated 437 patients for pesticide 
poisoning. In that year there were 17 persons killed accidentally by pesticides — 
plus 12 who committed suicide with them and the seven Arcadia children who 
were murdered by parathion. In 1968, with reports still incomplete, there were 
at least 16 accidental deaths and nine suicides from pesticides. 

The bills proiwsed in the House and Senate would require manufacturers 
and dealers in certain highly toxic pesticides to obtain licenses from the state 
agriculture commissioner, i-equire purchasers to obtain permits from the com- 
missioner, and provide for loss of license for dealers selling these pesticides 
to persons who do not have i)ermits. They would make it unlawful to use 
such pesticides or to dispose of the containers in any manner except as instructed 
on the label or the purchase permit. Further they would provide that improper 
use of such pesticides resulting in injury or death would be prima facie evidence 
of gross negligence. 

Farm operators and representatives of the fertilizer and pesticide industry 
are resisting these proposals on the ground that they would prove burdensome. 
No doubt they would, but some burden is amply justifiable for the sake of safe- 
guarding farm workers, household gardeners and the general public, including 
little children, from the dangers that some of the highly poisonous pesticides 
definitely ix)se. 

[From the Palm Beach Post, Mar. 27, 1069] 

Glades Parathion Leakage Causes Near Major Tragedy ; 100 Treiated 

(By Iz Nachman, Glades Bureau Chief) 

Belle Glade. — A major tragedy was barely averted here early Wednesday 
when a 5u-gallon driun of liquid parathion sprang a leak and the packinghouse 
area on XW 12th Street was evacuated by city police, early Wednesday. 

Approximately 100 workers in the area, including five city policemen, were 
taken to Glades (xeneral Hospital for emergency treatment, according to Chief 
Charles D. Goodlet, or were treated at a local physician's oflBce. 

The deadly insecticide was located leaking from a container in the McCur- 
dy-Mitchell Supply Co., 900 NW 12th Street, manufacturers and distributors of 
chemicals used by sugar cane and vegetable growers. 

Sgt. Clyde Lamb, Patrolmen Danny Stanley, Richard Christian, Wayne 
McSwain and Detective Horace Mann, who were investigating the "peculiar 
odor" that was being whipped along by a we«t wind, were relieved of their duties 
early, after being treated at the hospital. 

Lamb and Stanley said they first thought a gas leak had occurred in the area 
and Vernon Dexter, manager of the Glades Gas Co., was summoned. 

After checking the area, plus the cooling systems of the packinghouses nearby, 
Dexter co\dd find no gas leaks and McSwain finally located the liquid parathion 
dripping mider the front of the chemical company warehouse. 

Several workers at the Sam Senter packinghouse, 925 NW 12th Street, were 
the first to report the "sweet smell" but did not pay any attention to it, accord- 


iug to Johu Cochran, platform foreman, until their eyes began to smart and their 
exposed flesh began to tingle. 

At 11 :08 p.m. a nightwatchman in the area, Walter West, complained of feel- 
ing ill and police were summoned. 

Beginning at midnight, there was a steady stream of packinghouse workers to 
the emergency room at the hospital. 

Ben Clarke, administrator, said the physician on duty and the emergency room 
nurse and assistants were kept busy administering to the workers who were 
believed to have come in contact with the lethal vapor, until 5 :10 a.m. 

Goodlett said he feared the entire area would have to be evacuated, as the 
wind was blowing fumes more than a half-mile from the area of the leak. 

In order to prevent any serious illness, the Senter facility, the Six L's Packing- 
house, 390 NW 12th St.,' the Wilkinsin-Cooper Produce, Inc., 701 N^V 12th St., 
and the Kermit Chapman Sons, Inc., 1008 NW Railroad Ave., were evacuated. 

Police attempted to contact and warn everyone who had been in the area to 
report to a physician for examination. 

The physician who handled most of the examinations reported using a quantity 
of atropine injections as an antidote for the poison. 

Requesting that his name not be used, the physician said : 

"I would like to see chemical of this potency removed from within the city 

"If there had been a fire or explosion, we would have had a real catastrophe 
here today." 

As it was, the physician reported some of the victims, who complained of a 
"thickness of the tongue," irritated eyes and burning skin sensation did not 
api>ear to have been ill enough to warrant hospitalization. 

Goodlett said he discussed the near tragedy with City Manager William H. 
Mallery. It is possible the city commission will be requested to take action to 
eliminate a repeat of the incident. 

The liquid parathion, which is used to manufacture the sprays and dusts used 
in the produce business, is considered one of the deadliest of poisons, the medical 
authority reported. 

There was no danger of the produce being i)acked and shipped from the area 
being contaminated, ofiieials said. 

The area under the warehouse was washed down and after the large concen- 
tration of the liquid was dissipated, a quantity of fresh dirt was used to cover 
the area, Goodlett said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 28, 1969] 

Deadly Parathion Spills Over Trail 

(News-Press Bureau) 

Naples. — Collier Coimty deputies and the Florida Highway Patrol guarded 
two spots on the Tamiami Trail Thursday where a deadly agricultural poison, 
parathion, had spilled from an unknown truck. 

Health Department Sanitarian Bennie Jones said he was making a search for 
a supply of caustic soda, a chemical used to neutralize the organic phosphate 
which is sprayed ordinarily from airplanes over farm crop fields. 

The material spilled along the Trail near the Coral Sands Motel east of Naples 
and near the intersection of the Trail with S. R. 92 at Royal Palm Hammock is 
1^2 per cent parathion in sulfur, Jones said. 

He warned it is poisonous to human beings and can be absorbed through the 

Soon after the spillage was reported around 3 p.m. Thursday, the health de- 
partment ordered loads of dirt spread over the powdered chemical to prevent its 
flowing through the yards of nearby residents, motels and businesses, Jones said. 

The sanitarian said flushing the poison aw^ay with water was rejected because 
drainage ditches would carry the chemical into the same potentially hazardous 

Jones said the Dade County Pest Control Ofl5ce recommended using caustic 
soda to neutralize the parathion. but "our efforts the first couple of hours at 
least did not turn up any supply of the soda." 

He said drugstores, farm supply houses, seed and chemical plants and others 
are being asked to send the caustic soda if it is available. 



Pesticides — Affidavits 


We. the uiidersiiined petitioners, do hereby state that phines do spray the 
nearby tields almost daily for four to six weeks each year while the corn is 
growing, with the following harmful effects : 

1. Children, when they walk to school, come in direct cont-iict with the spray 
whii-h still hangs in the air at that time of the morning. 

2. No warning is given, and often spray enters the homes falling on food as 
well as iJets and children. 

3. Clothes on the line are affected by the spray and can absorb enough to 
irritate when worn. 

4. Sinus conditions :ind allergies are severely aggravated by the spray, 

5. Tlie planes are not always careful of wind conditions, thus causing more 
severe damage. 

Wherefore, we. the undersigned, ask that : 

Legislation be enacted to provide for the adequate prottn-tion of the health, 
safety, and welfare of the inhabitants of the area; this includes: 

( a ) Warning in advance of the time and dates of spraying ; 

(h) Only spray not harmful to people or animals be used in the proximity 
of houses and especially schools ; 

(rO That .spraying never be done on windy days. 

{(}) That we. the petitioners are all permanent residents of Palm Beach 
County, Florida. 

From : 

Hate : December S. 10()7. 

Time : December 7, VMM at 3 :30 P.M. 

Place : The Fort Myers' ofHce. 

Subject : Parathion spraying out of the Immokalee Airport. 

is a 39-year-old Porto Rican man. He is the father of tive 

children . Florida. 

Attitude : feels that he has a very good job with 

would not like to jeopardize his position. But is very concerned with the dangers 
of poisons having lost a child through an accidental poisoning. 

Interview: stated that he has been employed by 

for the last three months. at the direction picked up 40 

fifty-pound pai)er sacks of parathion at the . These sacks amounted to a 

tor.-il weight of 2.000 lbs. were ordered by the and were ordenMl for 

took these sacks from to the shed at the Airport where 

they were stored until the next morning. On the next morning fully half of 

them were used by ■ — - in the period of two hours from 7:00 A.:\I. until 1> :00 

A.M. to spray orange groves for the . The next morning the whole 

thing was repeated and the 2.000 lbs. were used up. The material was loaded on 
to the planes in a dry condition it is not mixed before spraying l)ut sprayed 
on dry and this is the reason for spraying it on from 7 :00 A.M. until !) :00 A.M. 
because the ground hoi)efully is still damp and will catch the material and prevent 
it from blowing away and in this way you are able to put it on in heavier solution. 

Note: It is very likely that this common habit of si>raying in this manner would 
catch workers in the fields since they are out from well before 9:00 A.M. 

The Material : I'arathion in its pre-mixed stage looks like a yellow flonrv 
.substance. It comes in double layered paper bags. 

flies a one-engiTie plane with numerals on it. This very 

much fits the description of the plane that sprayed the . 

Other materials. said that the material u.sed by 

is calcium nitrate. showed me three different receipts from the 

Uiese receipts were for calcium nitrate One receipt was for SO- 

100 pound bags of calcium nitrate at the price of .$4.00. stated that calcium 

nitrate is sprayed from the plane in its unmix(>d form, in this form it is a milky 
colored pebbly substance stated that when he it if he is pretty sweaty 


at the time and it gets on liis clothes it has the effect of Clorax in that it bleaches 

out the colors. has not come across the use of malathion by , 

and the above related use of parathion on t\Y0 days was the only time he 

has experienced the use of parathion by during his three months with 

Precautions : Contrary to the article in the Fort Myers News-Press relating the 

extent of protection that these pilots demand for their employees, relates 

that provided no clothing for him ; does not even supply gloves for 

his employees. The material, parathion, is loaded onto the planes by and 

a fellow employee of . They simply split open the bags of parathion 

at one end lift it and dump it into the tank on the plane, there is no liquid in this 

tank, it is a dry tank. Dust often blows from the parathion. only complaint 

so far from these two days use of parathion was that it makes his eyes burn, so 
that he must rinse them with cold water. He has noticed no change in his eye- 
sight as of now. only advice to them was to wash their clothes when they 

returned home on these days. 

Wages : both received their normal wage of $1.2o per hour while 

working with these dangerous chemicals. 


It is very interesting to note the lack of precautions for the employees using 
these chemicals, I think continued lack of supervision such as is present can only 
lead to tragedy. The chemical calicum nitrate described by — — — sounds very 
much like the chemical that was sprayed on the plane also fits the descrip- 
tion of the plane which sprayed the . 

We intend to pursue our contact with fellow employes. 

My name is — . I am a mother of five children and reside at the 

Farm Gamp, . I have lived in Florida since 1954. 

in October of 1967, I, together with ( last name unknown ) , 

(last name unknown), was woi'kiug in the field of in Palm Beach 

County, Florida, in or near . We were planting the last seedling next to 

the canal (ditch) while full grown bearing tx'ees were being sprayed by a man 

on a tractor by holding a spray in his hand and spraying it over the trees 

as the tractor went from row to row. A strong wind was blowing at the time and 
in passing where I was working, the spray material flew into my face before I 
could turn my head away from it. I felt a burning in my right eye. One of my 
colleagues said "'I don't understand why the.v are spraying now and it is so 

There was no opportunity for me to wash my face at the area where I was 
working, but when I came home from work, I told my husband what had hap- 
pened and he did not want me to go back to work as my right eye was burning me 
but I did go back. 

The following morning when I woke up, the vision of my right eye was 

blurred and I could not go to my regular doctor. Dr. — , Delray Beach, 

Florida, as he does not open his office on Wednesday. The next morning (Thurs- 
day), 1 went to see him (my doctor). He examined my eyes and he asked me 
what field (farm) I was working on, and I told him I was working in the 
orange groves. He asked me what kind of spray they used there and I told 
him 1 did not know and he said I got spray poison in my eye. 

The doctor checked my left eye and said it was not affected. He said "You're 
lucky it missed one eye." 

I went back to work after seeing the doctor at 1 :0O p.m. and I gave a note 

from the doctor to Foreman of the who cannot read and 

his , read it to him, and he remarked that the doctor is crazy, 

he does not know what he is talking about. He said "We don't use any poison 
spray around here." and then he told me the kind of spray being used, the name 
of which begins with "E". 

I went back to see every week since the incident, and 3 weeks 

ago my vision in the right eye got worse and I can barely see light now. 
recommended that I see another doctor and sent me to Dr. 


of Delray Beach, who said he would talk to ■ after he examined me. I 

saw once and have continued to see . 

I have worked for for two days since the injury to my eye and I have 

tried to work at other places, but my sight does not permit me to do so. 

On , 1967, I had just returned from the doctor's office when I went to 

collect my mail at Road, when 0:ist name unknown) asked me 

if I was working. I told her no. and she asked why I was not working. I told 
her I can't see and she asked, "Is your eye still bothering you"/" and I said yes, 

I can't see and she said told me that he will pay your doctor 

bill, but you are not going to get paid." 

I said, "I know it" and walked on without saying anything else. 

On Friday after the incident. asked me for my Social Security numher 

but for two weeks (approximately) before that, I had worked for him and he 
never asked for it. 

I have read this statement of 3 pages, and have received a copy of it; I recog- 
nize it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This 
statement was also read to me. 

My name is . I am 40 years old. and a mother of two cliildren. 

My Social Security Number is . 

In .January of 1967, I was working at farms, in — tomato planta- 
tion. wee<ling and they started spraying a liquid insecticide with tractor type 
machine. The tractor was driven by a Puerto Rican whose name I do not know. 

I, among others, was not told that spraying would be done — they just started 
doing it. It was a windy day and the spray caught all of us. It hapi>ened early 
in the morning and I was unable to get any water to wash off the parts of my 
body which were touched by the spray material. I worked throughout the 
day and then went home late evening when I began to feel irritation. 

About a week later, I noticed my skin became dry and cracked and I went 

to Hospital , where I was examined and treated by Dr. 

and was hospitalized for four weeks. When I was being discharged, I was given 
medicine to tiike at home. 

After leaving the hospital, I went back to work but not at the .^ame place 
because I was afraid of the spray. 

The hospital bill was charged, to my husband and it has not yet been paid. 
Copy of bill herewith attached. 

I have read this one page statement and have received a copy of it ; I 
recognize it to be a true accurate to it. This statement was also read to ? ? 
recognize it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This 
statement was also read to me. 

My name is , Negro male, age 49. I live at , Delray Beach, 

Florida. My Social Security No. is — . 

Approximately 3 or 4 years ago, I was working at Farms on 

Farm. I was employed as a sprayer at this particular time. I was riding a sprayer 
that was being pulled by a tractor. I was not wearing a mask and I inhaled some 
of the mixture containing Parathion and other chemicals of which I do not 
know the name. 

I became very ill and started vomiting. I left the farm and came to Dr. 

and was treated and given a prescription to be filled. I did not go to the 

hospital ; however, I vomited quite frequently afterward. 

The man I worked for paid my doctor's bill. 

I have read this one page statement which I have given free and voluntarily 
with no promise of compen.sation or otherwise, and recognize it to be a true and 
accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. I have received a copy of it. 

My name is . I am 31 years of age, married and have two children. 

I reside at . , Florida. My Social Security numl)er is . 

In November of 196r(. I was employed by Inc.. as a plane loader 

for planes that do crop dusting. I was mixing a liquid spray material containing 
Sytox and in the process of mixing it. some spilled on my feet. I was wearing 
white canvas shoes. I felt no discomfort then, but about 7:00 p.m. of the same 

day at home. I began feeling weak and started to vomit. My wife, called 

my employer , and told him that I was sick. He replied "I'll l)e there." 

He came as promised and told me that he would pay the doctor bill if it was a 
case of poisoning from the stuff I had handled at his place. 

Mr. took me, accompanied by my wife, to Beach, where I was 

examined and treated and sent home. Two days later, I went back to the doctor 
who had treated me at the hospital, a I believe, as he had instructed me 


and he re-examined me and gave some medicine and told me to return a couple 
uf days later. I did so and lie told me then that I could return to work but not 
to handle the same chemicals for some time. 

I did as I was told and worked there for another year and then I left this 

firm and found other suitable employment at and I have had no trouble 

since that time. My medical care bill was paid by and I was paid my 

salary while I was sick. 

I have read the foregoing two page statement of mine which I have given 
voluntarily and of my own free will and it is true. 


My name is . I am 24 years of age, married and the father of six 

children. My Social Security number . 

On December — , 1967 I was working at driving a tractor with a spray 

rig attached to it for spraying squash. 

During the operation, one of the nozzles became blocked and I climbed down 
from the tractor to clear it. While doing this, the cut-cff switch was broken and 
the li(iuid spilled near my face before I could move away, I breathed in some 
of the fine particles. 

About five minutes later I began to feel sick, started to vomit and this lasted 
for about one hour. 

I reported this matter to my boss he said "you are lying, I cannot 

believe that you inhaled any of the poison". 

I did not go to a doctor, my wife gave me some home remedy and this helped 
a lot. 

I remained in bed from the Saturday until Tuesday of the next w^eek. I did not 
go back there to woi'k, I got another job elsewhere. 

The mixture for spraying as far as I can remember containe<l Parathion, 
Sulphur, SM 3 Research and something else. 

Even though I was given the job of Sprayer at the Farm I was not given any 
protective clothing — such as gloves, masks, etc. by the manager. 

I have read the foregoing two page statement of mine which I have given 
voluntarily and of my own free will and it is true. 

My name is . 31 years of age. 

I work in my parent's grocery and restaurant business at in the heart 

of the agricultural area. 

Spraying of cornfields by aircraft is done in this neighborhood from time to 
time without any notice being given to my parents or other residents here. 

Food in the restaurant, clothes in the home, children playing in the yards — 
all are exposed to contamination. 

There have been cases where sinus conditions have l)een known to be ag- 
gravated due to this spraying. 

At this time of the season, spraying is done almost daily. 

I have read the foregoing statement and find it to be true and accurate. I have 
been given a copy of this, my statement. 


My name I am a twenty-nine year old Mexican-American. I am 

married and the father of five children. My Social Security number 1 reside 

in Immokalee., Florida. My mailing address is Post Office Box . 

In the fall of 1957 while I was working for a farmer in Immokalee, I 

was sprayed with parathion. 

I was operating a tractor that was used to spray parathion. I was mixing a 
batch of parathion in the tank on the back of the tractor, when a hose burst 
and sprayed parathion all over my face. Some of it got into my mouth and I 
swallowed some. 

Three days later I was very sick with stomach cramps and I was sick to my 

stomach. I went to Doctor and he treated me three or four times during 

the next two months. I missed two months from work. 

Doctor told me it was parathion poisoning. gave me no money 

at all for time missed or for doctor expenses. 

Even today I get sick with headaches and stomach aches from this. Right now, 
and for the last year, the right side of my face has been paralyzed. 

When I was sprayed, I was not wearing any kind of protective garments, the 
farmer did not give me any. Most farmers still don't give out protective garments 
to those who are going to use the parathion. 


I was using powdert'd parathion which looks lilve flour, it was a creamy color. 
I mixed it with water from a ditch so as to make a liquid that was used to 

Parathion also comes already mixed and also in chunks. 

Parathion is u.sed on nearly all tyi^es of ground crops, tomatoes, cukes, melons, 
etc. It is very good for killing worms. 

I have had this statement of three pages read to me, and I have received a 
copy of it, I recognize it to be a true statement of the facts. 


My name is my Social Security number is . I am 18 years 

old. I am married now and my married name is , my husband's name is 

. I have been married . I live at Fort Myers, Florida. 

Last March (1967) I went to work with my mother and father and brother 
at farm in Collier County. Tlie one next to . We worked on 

the day in question for 

On this day a plane flew over the fields we were working in and .sprayed 

us with some chemical made of little pellets that were white. The plane must 
have seen us l)ecause it was flying at a height lower than the trees and we could 
see the pilot who was a white man. 

I was dressed so as to be well covered, I had two shirts that covered me down 
to my hands so that the pellets didn't get on to my skin. !My mom and brother 
were dressed the same, but my father only had on a thin white .shirt which 
was sticking because he was very wet with sweat, and therefore this stuff, 
chemicals, stuck to the shirt and mixed with the sweat to become a gummy sub- 
stance on his back. 

The plane si)rayed us with stuff in the field from about one o'clock to about 
4 :30 P.M. when it quit for the day. 

Most of the people complained of a headache that day from the fumes from 
the stuff that was sprayed, we all had bad headaches that night. I was dizzy. 

I wanted to quit but I was afraid to because they get mad if you quit and 
it would be hard to get another job picking if they .spread it around tliat you 
were a bad worker. 

When we got home that night my father's back was all broken out and the 
next day it was covered with bleeding sores and was peeling. He lost several 
days work from this and his back is still covered with bleeding sores today. 

The clothes I had on that day fell apart when they were washed. I don't think 
it was from being old, but from the chemicals that got on them that day. The 
same thing happened to my parents and brother's clothes. 

I was wearing gloves that day so that my hands did not become irritated, 
but the gloves were ruined they became sticky and fell apart. 

There were no toilet facilities at the — camp, and no one asked me for 

my Social Security number. 

I have read this statement of four pages, and received a copy of it. and I 
recognize it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. 


My name is • • . I am a 21-year-old Indian man. I reside at , 

Fort Myers, Florida, with my ]iarents. 

In March, 19G7, I was working with — crew picking tomatoes at the — • 

farm in Collier County near the . 

On the day in question I was working in the fields with my parents and my 

We had worked all morning picking tomatoes. At about mid-morning I noticed 
an airi)lane .spraying the crops in another part of the field. I did not notice at 
that time whether there were peojtle in the part of the field being sprayed. Just 
before the lunch break the plane flew over the part of the field where we were 
and where most of the people were. As the plane began to spray my father told 
us to duck down and cover our faces so we would not get sprayed in the face. 
Some of the people ran to the buses and got in them or under them to keep from 
getting .sprayed. The plane was flying at about tree-top level, enough to 
the ground that you could .see the pilot. The ])lane continucnl to spray the area 
where all the people were for at least fifteen minutes the first time and then 
came back later that afternoon and sprayed the fields where the in'ople were 
two more times. 


The stuff that was being sprayed on us was white colored, and was in the 
form of tiny little pellets or beads. They would stick to your skin and dissolve 
as you sweated. I had two shirts on so my skin was not burned by the stuff but 
my father only had a thin shirt on and his skin itched and burned from the stuff. 

My father's back began to develop red lumps all over it on the way home to 
Fort Myers that niglit, and later that night his back began to bleed. Jly father 
missed about six days of work because his back burned and pained him so much. 
Even now the sores on his back will open up and bleed and cause him to miss 
work. The re-t of my family was better dres.sed, with several layers of clothes 
on, so they did not get burned either, but we all had headaches that niglit and 
a lot of the other people on the bus complained of headaches too. 

My sister had a black blouse on that day, and wlien we got back from 

the fields that night the back of the blouse was bleached out gray from the stuff 
tliat was sprayed on us. 

I have read the above statement, consisting of three pages, and it is true and 
correct to the best of my knowledge. I have received a copy of this statement. 


My name is my Social Security number is I am an Indian 

woman of 46 years. I am the mother of six cluldren. ^ly husband . I live 

at Fort Myers, Florida. 

This past March (1!)67) I went to farms by Collier County with 

my liusband , and my son and daughter to pick tomatoes 

with crew. 

On the day we're talking about it was very hot and my husband was only 
wearing a light thin shirt. While tlie rest of us had on two shirts at least one of 
which was long sleeved. 

After we had been worliing a while my husband became soaked with perspira- 
tion and his shirt was dripping wet. 

About this time a plane flew over us at about tree level height and 

sprayed us with a pel)ble like substance, the stuff was wliite colored and in tiny 
pieces. It soon mixed with tJie sweat on my husband's back and got like a pasty 
flour like stuff. His back soon became itchy. 

This chemical didn't get on me because I was better covered, I was wearing a 
long sleeve shirt (two shirts) and a big brimmed hat, that covered my face. My 
children were also dressed like this so the stuff" didn't get on them. 

We complained but no one did anything and continued to fly over us spraying 
us for the whole afternoon. We quit early about 4 :30 P.M. 

When we got home my husband's back was very sore, and I washed it with 
warm water, and alcohol. The next day it was broken out like a bad burn with 
bleeding sores, and the skin was peeling. We could not afford a doctor so I treated 
it with Mexana powder. 

I wish I had run to hide under the truck when the plane sprayed, some few 
people did. I wish my hu.sband had. 

My hands and face were irritated from the chemical that night, and itched 
me very much, but my hands are used to this stuff and they did not break out, 
neither did my husband's since they were very used to chemicals from picking, 
also they are very calloused. 

A lot of people had very bad headaches that day, as I did. 

My husband's back is still .scarred from this injury, and he still has sores that 
bleed sometime, this has caused him to miss time from work and made him sick. 

There were no toilet facilities at the farm and no one, either the farmer 

or , took my Social Security number. 

I have had this statement of four pages read to me and received a copy of it 
I recognize to be a true and accurate statement of the facts, and swear to it. 


My name is I am an Indian man of 47 years. I am the father 

of six children. I reside at — Fort Myers, Florida. I have lived in Fort 

Myers for one year. 

Last March (1967) I was working picking tomatoes, with 's crew at 

■ • farm in Collier County next to the Collier County . At this time 

I was residing at apartment , and working with crew. 

On the day in question I and my wife and my two oldest children 

were all working at farm. We had worked all morning picking tomatoe- 


and were about to break for luuch when a plane flew over the fields. The plane 
started spraying the fields while workers were still picking in the fields. The 
stuff he was spraying fell on me. I was very hot at the time and was soaking 
with sweat, so that tiie chemicals stuck to me. It looked like little white i)ebbles 
sort of like tiny beans. It started to itch later on. 

It was also all over my wife 1 told her not to scratch liereself though 

it itched an awful lot. 

The plane continued to spray with us in the field all afternoon. It flew at a 
height somewhat lower than tree level, and I'm sure the pilot could see us in 
the field since, we could see him clearly. 

At lunch time the lady (Puerto Rican) who runs the lunch wagon for the 

faiTu, saw the plane spray us, and commented on what a dumb thing it 

was to do. 

My wife was better covered tiian I was, she was wearing a big sombrero that 
day and she didn't get as much of the chemicals on her body as I did. 

AVe knocked off early that day (4:H0 P.M.) because of the terrible heat, and 
went home. We worked, seven hours that day, plus 3i/4 hours in the l)us, for 
seven dollars paid us. 

When I got home my back was really bothering me, I was very swollen and 
red, jny wife washed off my back v^dth water and then alcohol. It still bothered 
me enough to keep me up that night. My face also broke out that night. 

The next morning my back was full of open sores, and my skin started to peel 
off like I had been burned. I couldn't afford to miss time from work or to go 
to a doctor so I treated myself. 

The local sui>er market owner, at saw my back and recommended I 

put Mexana medicated powder on it, which I did, this soothed it somewhat, but 
the sores and irritation are still present on my back today nine months later. 
Sometimes when I sweat a lot and my shirt irritates my l»ack, these sores will 
open up and bleed, even today. 

I don't know for sure what it was that was sprayed on me last March, but 
a lot of people that day said that it would burn you if it got on you and it sure 
did that to me. Some people picking that day said it was some kind of insecticide. 
A lot of people had very bad headaches that day, and one colored lady fainted 
in the field and was sick. 

I eventually lost over a week's work from this injury, and still I am forced 
to stay home sometimes when my back starts to Ideed. 

I was much less covered than my wife or children that day, they had doul)le 
shirts on, buttoned to the hands, while I had only a thin white shirt on. This 
shirt rotte<l right through on the back from the mixture of sweat and chemicals on 
my back. All the clothes tliat my family had on that day fell apart, when they were 

washed. My daughter had on a black that day and when we got 

home it was bleached a cream color on the back. 

I complained to the Logger, a light complected negro man, about being 

sprayed but he said there was nothing he could do about it. 

The i)lane was color, with some numbers, I don't remember any name 

on it. One engine was all it had. It was flown by a white man, I couldn't recog- 
nize him. Nobody told us anytliing about him coming or to get out of the field 
or anything. 

There are no toilets in the field out there and you have to go in the ditches 
of the field if nature calls. 

No one took or asked for my Social Security number that day at has 

never asked me for my Social Security number. Nor has he taken any wages to 
go towards my social security or that of my family. My social Security number 
is . 

I have read this statement of six pages, and received a copy of it, I recognize 
it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This statement 
was also read to me. 


My name is , I am a 37 year old man of Mexican-American 

ancestry. I live in Immokalee, Florida ; my mailing address is , Immokalee. 

I have workfNl on farms in the area of Immokalee since 1951, driving tractors 
for the farmers. I have u.sed Parathion to spray the fields the entire time I 
have done this kind of work. 

Normally the tractor will pull a big spraying rig behind it that holds about 
noo gallons of water mixed with Parathion. The rig sprays the Parathion over 
five row.9 at a time. The liquid is milky white. 


I have sprayed the fields of lots of farmers while the workers are still in the 
fields. Normally I wear a respirator over my face to keep from breathing the 
spray, but I wear normal work clothes. 

Some farmers will not spray the fields with Parathion while workers are out 
in them, but most of the farmers do. The pickers just have to move out of the 
way while the tractor does the spraying and then go back into the rows and 
work on the plants while they still wet with the spray. I have seen Parathion 
dusted from airplanes without being mixed with water, but I do not recall 
ever seeing any w^orkers in the fields when an airplane was dusting the plants. 
Normally the planes work at night or in the morning so the dust will stick 
to the dew on the plants. 

Often when Parathion is sprayed from the tractor the wind will blow the 
spray back on me, and I have seen the spray blow on the workers in the fields, too. 

I know the stuff I use when I am spraying is Parathion because I empty the 
bags containing Parathion into the water tank on the spray. The bags are 
labelled "Parathion." I normally wear a respirator and gloves when I do this,, 
and I wash my arms and face .several times a day when I am working with 

I have never gotten sick from working around the Parathion, but 1 know 
plenty of people in Immokalee who have, but I don't know many of them by 

The farmers buy their Parathion at the on Highway in 

Immokalee. The bags the Parathion comes in are white with black writing on 

When we are done with the bags the Parathion comes in we normally just 
burn the bags right there in the fields. 

I .spray most with Parathion after it has rained a lot because the rain washe.s 
the crops clean and the bugs will eat the crops. 

I have sprayed fields with Parathion and seen the field workers come right 
along behind me and pick the crop off the plant. I have seen this happen with 
cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and other plants. 

Parathion is still used all the time on the farms around Immokalee. I (luit 
spraying about two years ago ; now I am a field walker, but I see the Parathion 
used all the time. 

I have had this statement consisting of two pages read to me and it is true 
and correct to the best of my knowledge. I have received a copy of it. 

My name is ■ . I am a Negro woman, married, and the mother of 

twelve children. I am 47 years old. 

I have lived in Florida since 1959 and have worked in the fields regularly since 
that time. I work mainly in Lee and Collier Counties and most of my work is in 
the tomato, cumcumber, and gladiola fields. 

I have worke<l in fields while they have been sprayed as long as I can remember. 
I recall many times when I have been working in the fields when they were being 
sprayed by tractors. 

I have worked in tomato fields when the tractors have been spraying the plants. 
Normally the tractors spray about eight rows at a time. We workers would come 
in right behind the tractors and prune the tomato plants while they were still 
wet from the spray. The stuff the tractors spray on the plants is a milky-white 

Most of the spraying I have seen has been in the gladiola fields. Generally when 
I am out working in the gladiola fields there is a tractor working somewhere in 
the fields spraying the plants. With the gladiolas the tractors spray about eight 
rows at a time. The tractors will start at one end of a field we are working and 
.slowly work their way through the field spraying the plants until they get to 
where we are. We move out of the way while they spray the gladiolas and 
then we go back to work, working on the plants that have just been sprayed. 

Often when the wind is blowing the spray from the tractors will blow right 
over on us just like rain. I have had the spray blow over on to me just like rain 
a number of times. 

About two or three years ago a neighbor of mine, I cannot remember his name, 
brought home some powdered stuff from a farm where he had been working on 
pom-pom flowers. He was using the stuff on some plants in his yard. At that time 
the bugs were eating up the greens that I was growing in my yard. I told my 
neighbor this and he gave me some of the powdered stuff and told me to throw 
it on the ground around my plants and it would stop the bugs from eating the 
greens. The powdered stuff smelled just like the stuff they use in the fields to 
spray the plants. About two or three weeks later I and my family ate the greens 


but none of us got sick. As I rt'call the itowderod stuff also lookod just like the 
stufif the tractors use when they dust tlie ghidiola bulbs. The powdered stuff is 

Xot long ago, some time after the seven children died from Parathion poison- 
ing in Arcadia, Florida, I happened to tell the man I ride to Avork with, that 
I had never seen any parathion. He told me that I had. that the stuff they spray 
the flowers with is I'arathion. 1 told him about the tiuu' I used the {)owdt'red 
stuff on my greens, and that the stuff looked and smelled just like the stuff tliat 
is sprayed on the fields. He told me that the stuff was iM)isou and that it was 
a good thing that I had not eaten the greens right after dusting them or it might 
have killed me. 

Some time shortly after the children died from Parathion poisoning in Arcadia 

I hapi>ened to be working on the Company's gladiola farm in East 

Xai)les. Florida. I was planting bulbs at that time. A tractor would come along 
behind us workers and dust each spot where we had planted a bulb with the same 
gray powder that I had seen and smelhKl before. On that same day 1 saw an 
empty bag at the end of a row. I picked iip the bag and saw the word "Parathion" 
printed on it. 1 think the label said either 2(K/r or ~>0''/'c I'arntliion or some per- 
centage of Parathion. The bag was laying at the end of a row that had been dusted 
with the powder. The bag was dry and new looking like it had btxen there just a 
short time. I have seen the same green and white liags on the tractors before, 
but that was the first time I knew it was I'arathion. 

I tiever really paid much attention to the spraying and the dusting. Nobody 
ever told me that some of the .stuff they were using was poison. Nobody ever even 
told me to get out of the way of the spray or the dust, or not to work with the 

plants when they are wet from the stuff. My oldest daughter, , who now is 

visiting in Alabama, would always have trouble with her hands itching and 
swelling up when she worked with plants that were wet from the spraying. 

I have had the above statement coiL-^isting of 3 pages read to me and it is true 
and correct to the best of my knowledge. I have received a copy of this sitatement. 

Sworn to and December, lf>67. 

Notary public. State of Florida at Large. My Commission expires Nov. 5, 1971. 
Bonded through Fred W. Die.stelhorst. 


My name is . I am a 2S-year-old Negro woman. I have lived in 

the of Fort Myers for six years. I have five children and I am the sole 

support of them. 

During the first couple of weeks I was working at — thinning tomatoes. 

I was taken there by Mr. who drives bus number I got on his 

bus around 5 :30 a.m. and returned home about 6 p.m. For the day's work I 
received eight dollars and some other ladies were on the bus with me. 

While working in the field at I noticed a tractor coming. It was in 

the afternoon I had already eaten lunch. It was going down the rows 
of tomatoes, spraying on both sides as it went. I stood on the side of the field 
to let the machine go by, but some of the .spray still landed on me. I started work- 
ing again without bothering to wash the spray off. 

There are no wash basins in the field and some portable outhouses. They don't 
Lave doors and they are dirty, therefore, the i)eople don't them much. 

The next week I noticed that some lumps had broken out on my arms and 
face. This was caused I think, by the spray used in the field. I believe this be- 
cause the only time I break out in bumps is when I come into contact with this 
.spray. This has happened to me quite a few times. Whenever the field I am 
working in is sprayed, I break out in bumps. I usually put green alcohol on bumps to stop the itching and with its use the bumps go away in about 
two weeks. 

I have been working for ■ — ■ for about six weeks and he gives me eight 

dollars every day that I work for him. I have never given him my Social Security 

number and he has never asked for it. My number for Social Security is . 

Usually we are gone from home for twelve hour.s. From 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. 


I have read the above statement consisting of two pages and it is true and 
correct to the best of my knowledge. I have received a copy of this statement. 

Sworn to and December, 1967. 

My commission expires 

Statement taken by 

My name is . I am 31 years of age. I am the mother of 7 children. 

I am now residing at , Belle Glade, Florida. I have been living at this same 

place for one year and three months. 

Last year, 1967, in February, I was working for Farm, and I was cutting 

leaf .stuff. Most of it is called parsley. :\Iy face and hands and legs got real bad, 

also my eyes so I went to see the doctor. (Dr. and in Belle Glade). 

Both doctors told me that it was the spray that was causing my arms, legs and 
hands and my eyes to get red and itchy. They also told me not to go back to 
the field or I would get worse. Since February, I have not worked for anyone else 

until January 1968. On the first day of January 1968, I went to work for , 

a crew leader, but, the owner of the farm where I was working I do not know. 
AVhile I was working for 1 again got sick. My hands and skin are all break- 
ing and the tips of my fingers are real bad and purple looking inside the skin, 
also my legs is itching real bad. I have not been to a doctor yet be<'ause 1 don't 

have any money and told me before I went to work with him that if I took 

sick that it was nothing he could do about it, it was up to me if I went to work 
with him and got sick. I would have to pay my owm doctor bill. The field that we 
went to work in had been sprayed the day before and while we were working, 
another field that was close to where we were was, was been sprayed. All the 
leaves looked white with spray also another woman who was working in the same 

field got sick with the spray and quit working. The woman's name is she 

is also from Belle Glade. 

My name is . I am a Spanish speaking American from , 

Texas. 1 am 18 years of age. My father's name is who is about 54 

years of age. There are six (6) in our family (Brothers and Sisters). My mother's 

name is ■. About last May of 1967, on last season, I was working in 

a corn field. We went to work one day, and I got sick, so I stayed home and went 

to Dr. in Belle Glade and he gave me a .shot, which I don't know what 

kind it was. The next day, I went to work again in the same field of corn, where 
my job was cutting or pulling corn. About noon that day, I began to feel sick 

again, also, another man that was also working there got sick. His name is 

-, so we came home together. I remember that they had to take him to the 

doctor right after he got home. I, myself, stayed at home an hour after we 
came from the field, and then my brother and sister, whose names are as fol- 
lows : ., and my sister's name is . 

They took me to the hospital in Pahokee, Fla., Hospital, where I was 

kept for three days. After I got out of the ho.spital, I went to work the next day. 

At the time I was poisoned, I was working for . 

Signed — . 

I have read this statement, and have received a copy of it. I recognize it to be 
a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it as the statement read 
to me. 


My name is . I am a 57-year old Negro woman. My Social Security 

number is I reside at Route , Box , Fort Myers, Florida. I 

have lived in Fort Myers, Florida since 1937. 

I have worked off and on around this area, in the fields for the last four years. 
About two years ago I started to break out in a rash around my hands, arms and 
neck. These areas would swell up, the skin would get dry and itchy, and start to 
crack and bleed. I only got this way after I have worked on the fields where 
there was spraying. The spray that bothers me is a milky white colored liquid. 
It has been said by my co-workers that it is parathion. It smells funny. 

It is usually sprayed from the back of a tractor, several rows at a time. I have 

also been sprayed by an airplane at toward the beach. There were workers 

in the field while the plane sprayed. The stuff got on me this time, and I broke 
out like usual. This was around February, 1967. All this time Dr. treated 


me for the bumps and rasli that develoi)ed after I was sprayed. I have a i)resc'rip- 
tion for a salve that he gave me, the date on it is February 25, 1907. Prescription 

The plane sprayed a milky white stuff. 

As I remember the plane that sprayed me at was a plane. It 

flew at about tree top level, and I'm sure the pilot could see us out in the fields. 

I wasn't sprayed again until about the second week in November. 

At this time I was sprayed by a tractor. It sprayed me with the same milky 
white stuff. This was at a farm between Puuta Gorda and Fort Myers in Char- 
lotte County. I don't know the name of this farm but it is right close to 

by a sign that says . I was picking squash this time. 

I tried to get out of the way of the spray from the tractor but it hit me any 
way. It hit me all over my face, neck and arms. I had on a long sleeve blouse 
but it hit me so hard that it soaked through the blouse. 

I broke out all over my hands, arms and my neck. 

I went to Dr. , Avenue in Fort Myers this time, because Dr. 

is sick now. I have a prescription from Pharmacy (the other prescription 

is from there too) for some pills that prescribed. This prescription is 

dated 11/21/67. Prescription number . 

Dr. told me I can't work in the fields any more because this spray is 

so bad for me. 

Dr. said he had several cases of this caused by spraying. 

I went to the owner of the squash farm and told him I couldn't work in the 
fields any more and showed the scars and marks from the spray, and he said 
there wasn't anything he could do for me. I had the same experience with the 
man out earlier this year. 

was with me when I was sprayed out at Punta Gorda. She once had 

a rash from this spray but got over it, and hasn't been sprayed since. is my 

next door neighbor. 

WTien I Avas sprayed by the plane out at Farm in February the son of 

a friend of mine, I forget her last name but she lives on Street in Fort 

Myers, got a bad rash from the spray. I think he was treated by Dr. in 

Fort Myers. 

I haven't been back in the fields for over a month now and I'm still not over 
the infection and I guess I won't ever work in the fields again. 

I was paid a $1.25 per hour at the squash farm and $1.25 per hour at 


Nobody ever warned us at these farms of the danger from this spray and no 
one ever said get out of the fields while we spray, they just sprayed and expected 
you to keep working. 

they took your Social Security number but not at the squash farm. 

The farmer paid us out at not the crewleader. 

At the squash farm the crew leader, , paid us. 

I have had this statement of three pages read to me, I have also received a 
copy of it, I recognize it to be a true and accui-ate statement of the facts. 

County of T^ee: 

Sworn to and of December, 1967. 

My commission expires . 


I, , age 22, was working at — farms in Deerfield when in late 

N(jvember a tractor was spraying. There were other people in the field and they 
never told us to leave. The tractor which was spraying passed about a foot from 
me. Others ran, but there was a ditch and I could not get out of the way. 

I was covered with spray. The same day, about an hour later, I was never told 
to wash or anything. My legs and chest and arms got running sores which stayed 
for about 2 weeks. I never told anyone but washed with alcohol. I still itch and 
have minor sores caused bv the spray. 

s/ . 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 26th day of December, 1967. 

s/ , 

Notary Pvhlic. 



I , was working in leaf vegetables and was injured by a spray 

rig with and was working blocking leaf vegetables by hand and received 

injury to my face and neck which caused me to lose my whole season wages. And 
I had to ask for compensation which I did not receive until I obtained a lawyer. 
I inhaled tJie spray that they sprayed the plants with and which was a lot of 
expense in which I lost my whole season work to pay expense for doctor bills. 

This spray was some kind of posion for the to kill insect and was 

sprayed on me and caused me to become irritated on my hand and face and neck 
and was sprayed on me while I was working in the field where they were doing 
the spraying. 

I was not farced or promised anything. I gave this statement voluntarily. 

s/ : 

Witness to this statement : s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 6th day of December. 1967. 


Notary public. 

I , am a resident , am a mother of 4 kids. I have lived in 

Belle Glade, Florida for 17 years. Last year in November as I was working on 

farm putting up celery plants I was carried to the field by at first 

I started to burning on hand and face, my eyes just burn a little bit. I was sent 

to the doctor about 2 or 3 days later. I went to doctor . He treated me for 

3 visit. I was laid off from work for about a week. Doctor told me that 

he have had 3 or 4 cases of this nature. I did not receive any money for the time 
I was laidoff. They were taking social security out on me. I have been working 
for for about 5 years or so. 

I have read this statement of one page and received a copy of it. I recognize 
it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This state- 
ment was also read to me. 

s/ — . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 14th day of December 1967. 

s/ . 


My name is . I am an British West Indian of 30 years. I am the 

father of 2 children. I reside at ■ — Belle Glade, Florida. I have lived in Belle 

Glade for 6 years. Last Oct. (1967) I was working on farms working on 

a tractor when I started to oi>en a bag of insecticide while fixing the trac which 
held the insecticide not realizing that the insecticide was on the tractor. I got 
a lot of it on me and inhaled a lot of it then my stomach was very upset. One of 

the workers carried me to the doctor — office. My social security number is 

■ — . There are a lot of guys that have gotten sick from this insecticide on this 

job. I don't know their names. 

I have read this statement of one page, and received a copy of it. I recognize 
it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This state- 
ment was also read to me. 

s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of December, 1967. 


My name is . I am an American Negro name of 37 years. I 

reside at , Belle Glade, Florida. I have lived in Belle Glade for 10 years. 

Last March of 1964 I was working on farms. I was mixing the insecticide 

when the drum roll in the canal. Then I tried to get it out. I got in the canal 
and or I fell in. The water was bubblin and some of it got in my mouth then I 
began to get dizzie and could barely walk then one of workers carried me to 

the doctor. His name is . He carried me to doctor . I stayed sick 

for about a week and a half. I did not get any comi)ensation for it. My social 
security number is . 

I have read this statement of one page and received a copy of it, I recognize 
it to be a true and accurate statement of facts and swear to it. This statement 
was also read to me. 

s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of December, 1967. 
36-513 — 70 — pt. 4A 6 



My name is and I am 44 yoars of aire and my family consists 

of 8 children and me and my wife, who is also 44 years of a.ire. 1 am now residing 

as — — . Belle Glade at the time of my injnry I was residing at where 

I was renting from who lives at in Belle Glade. Their telephone 

No. is in Belle (ilade. I don't remember the exact date or day of my 

injury but this happened in last season in May of 1967. I went to work with 

who is a Spanish speaking contractor. His phone No. is , his address 

I don't recall at this time. We was cutting corn for , where was 

a foreman for such place or farm. We went to work that day we and my wife 

and daughted and son who's name is . The corn field where we was cutting 

corn had been sprayed the day before but we did not know that till afterwards 
about noon I began to feel dizzy and sick. When I started feeling sick I also 
started vomiting very badly. T did not ask any one to take me home 
I though it would soon pass over and I could tinish my days work. But instead 
of getting better I got sicker so I went to my truck and just say there till 
the day was over in the same day in the same field about 3 others also got 
sick and were also taken to a doctor. I don't know who their doctors were. After 

that day was over about 6 or 6 :30 I was taken to Doctor at the Hospital 

of Belle (Jlade where I was kept 2 days and a half after I was released from 
the hospital I still felt sick and it was not till after a month that I was able 
to work ajid the doctor told me not to go back to the corn or I would get sick 
again and the next time if smelled the same spray it would l)e worse. All this 

time that I was sick the company did not pay me for time lost nor did 

try to at least get money for me. The only thing that was paid f(»r me was the 

doctor bill. who was our contractor did not deduct social security from 

us or anybody that was working with him at this time. He never even asked 
me so if I had gotten really hurt where I couldn't work any more. If I kept 
working for such a place and needed social securit.v benefits I would not have 
any. So I have been working where they do deduct it from me. I am now work- 
ing for in the packing house packing carrots and my .social security 

number is . 

1 liave read this statement of two pages and received a copy of it. I recog- 
nize it to be a true and accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This 
statement was also read to me. 

Signature : s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of Dec. 1907. 

s/ . 

Witness to this statement : Notary Public. 

s/ . 


My name is . I am a 16 year old Negro girl. I live at 

Harlem Lake. I attend Dunbar Senior High School and I am in the 11th grade. 

Sometime in the end of October I went to work in the fields on the weekend. 
I usually go on the weekends for a little extra money. While in the fields I 
usually earn about $S a day. At this particular time I was picking tomatoes, 
thinning tomatoes and .setting plants. I leave the corner of Fountain St. and 

Anderson Ave. around 6 a.m. with . His bus is and has the 

painted on it. He has never written down my social security number or asked 

me for it. is my social security number. We usually return from the field 

about 5 :00 or 5 :30. The toilets in the field are little tin houses with rags for 
doors. They are dirty and unsanitary. 

I have been .sprayed on .several occasions while working in the tomatoes. A 

tractor sprays sometimes twice a day. tells us to move to the side but 

the spray always blows over on us the wind is blowing. . 

my sister, has been with me and been sprayed also. She gets bumps on her face 
but I don't know the cause. 

I have read the above statement consisting of one page and it is true and cor- 
rect to the best of my knowledge. I have received a copy of this statement. 

s/ . 

s/ ■ , 




My name is , age 25. I live at , Belle Glade. I vi'as working 

for when I was exposed to the spray they were using to spray the plants. 

My hands broke out very bad. And I went to Dr. . He told me the spray 

caused them to be that way. AVhen I told Mr. the foreman about it, he 

told me to stop working out there and I did. My hands stayed sore for 5 weeks 
during the time I could not work. Before leaving the farm I went into the shed 
and got some of the parathian and took it home with me some one told 
me it was good to kill roaches. What I didn't know is that it could kill me and 
my children also. It was in the shed in a bag the door was not locked, so a few 
of us went in. I put some of it behind the bed and my dog went under the bed 
and got some of it and it killed him the next day. A friend of mine had some and 
her little girl got hold of it and almost died. Then I knew what the parathian 
could really do to you, so I stopped putting it in my house. I think all of this 
could be stopped if the farmers would be a little careful about leaving their 
sheds unlocked. 

I have written this statement and I recognize it to be a true and accurate 
statement of the facts and swear to it. 

s/ . 

Sworn and .subscribed before me this 12th day of January, 1968. 


Notary Public. 


I , about 9 years ago was working for Farms packing 

celery at this time. I had been working for about 3 weeks at this place when 
I got sick. The spray that they put out on the celery made my hands blister very 
bad. It got to where my hands were completely raw and when I saw that my 

hands were getting worst I went to see Dr. . After he checked me on my 

hands he told me that it was the spray that was in the celery. It was to strong 
for me and told me not to go back to work in the celery or I would get sick again. 
And every since that time I have not worked in the field for no one else to this 
day. During the time that I was sick that I could not use my hands it made 

things a little hard for me and my husband , age 58 years old. This present 

time my husband is also working for . Since then I myself and my husband 

have been living in Okeechobee center since 1943. We have no children of our 
own. Every since that time that my hands were hurt with the spray I have been 
doing odd jobs. Now I am keeping children for people who are working. I have 
read this statement of one page and received a copy of it. I recognize it to l)e 
a true accurate statement of the facts and swear to it. This statement was also 
read to me. 

s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th day of December 1967. 


Notary Public. 


My name is . I am the wife of . I am 25 years of age and 

I have 3 children. The children stay in New York. I have lived here since 1963 

in , Camp, Pahokee, Florida. My address now is . About 9 months 

ago I got some parathian poison from one of the trucks that drives who 

lives in this camp also. And the reason I got it was because the house that I am 
living in is infested with roaches and rats and we also found a snake one time 
so I brought this poison to use in my house. I used it in the house the day we was 
leaving to go up stream for the season. When we came back I cleaned the house 
and scrubbed the floors. It was October 23, 1967 when we came back. About 

November 2, 1967, my sister came to visit me. Her name is . And her 

children , one year and 5 months old, ■ about 3 years old. the 

little baby was playing on the floor and the linoleum got toren close to the door 

and the baby must have reached under it and got his hand in it. Any 

way he started vomiting and gaging so we rushed him to the hospital. But when 
we got there they took him to the emergency room and about 15 or 20 minutes 
later the doctor came back and said the baby was dead. After examining the 

baby, Dr. in Everglades Memorial Hospital said that the baby had been 

poisoned and that he was dead. The baby was buried November 6, 1967, at Port 

Mazaka Cemetery. The man I got the poison from is named and works 

for Farms. 


I have read this statement and know it to be a true and acrurate statement 
of the facts and swear to it. 

s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed l)efore me this 27 day of December, 1967. 

s/ . 


I, , was working for Farms picking tomatoes in late 

November when I was hit by the si>ray. 

I was working in tlie field wlien the spray tractor came. There was no warn- 
ing. I could not get out of tlie way although I tried, btH*ause tliere was a ditch in 
the way. 

I had itching and open and running sfores on my back, legs and neck. Three 
weeks later it still itches. I never went to a doctor. 

s/ . 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 26th day of December, 1967. 


Notary Public. 

I , age 41, from Puerto Rico, staying at Camp was working 

at Farm off Military Trail thinning i>eppers when a spray tractor came 

by. I was not told to get out of the way. However, I ran to tlie side. The wind 
was blowing hard and the spray hit me. 

I started itching that day. I started using alcohol. The spray hit me in late 
X(>vemi)er. 1 had running, open sores on my leg, my eye started running and was 
closed up in the morning. 

I went to the drug store and got morine for my eye and can see but light hurts. 

I went twice to the doctor 3 days after being sprayed and again on Friday. 
The doctor was a negro man at the Delray Medical Center. He gave me a shot 
and told me to use Epsom Salts and hot water. I still have a bad sore on my 
leg and cannot see well out of my left eye. 

s/ . 

Back in 1956 I was driving spray trucks for when the bag broke. I have 

been ha\'ing trouble every since. 

s/ . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of December, 1967. 


Notary Public. 

Housing — Newspaper Clippings 

[From the Miami Herald, Oct. 9, 1968] 

Coi.iJER Supports Labor Camp Reins — 70 Meet State's Regulations 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — State efforts for tighter control of Collier County's 135 labor 
camps and their thousands of inhabitants were backed Tuesday by the County 

A. W. Morris Jr., director of the Division of Sanitation of the State Board of 
Health, apix>ared before the board to seek its views. Appearing with him were 
Dr. Charles Bradley, County Health Department head and Bob Wheeler, director 
of environmental health. 

"Where will the migrant workers go if we shut the camps down?" asked Chair- 
man Les Whitaker. "And the South Florida Migrant Legal Services will be on our 
backs if we don't .shut them down." 

Wheeler said that of 135 camps he has already surveyed 42 and feels that the 
result will be that 70 will get permits to open and that 35 more will be capable 
of being brought up to state standards. 

"Our timetable will depend on the severity of the violations," Wheeler said. 

"We have every confidence," Whitaker .said, "that the Health Department 
will be able to bring about a correction of violations without hardships on the 
farmers, but we are asking them to obey the laws." 


Commissioners agreed the problems is a severe one and that already farmers 
are suffering from a labor shortage, partly due to a lack of housing. 

Wheeler noted that some farmers and camp owners are upgrading their pro- 
perties by use of trailers, or trailer-type housing that will be put on permanent 
foundations. Quadruplex housing of concrete block, he said, is already proving 

Carl Clemmer, building inspector, pointed out that "only one farmer in 50 ever 
applies for a permit," and many won't even seek the zoning which would allow 
them legally to have camps. 

The county for many years has fought a continuing battle to regulate labor 
camps and remove those not meeting state laws. The problem has been, as Clemmer 
said and Wheeler has pointed out in the past, the camp owners who open up 
without attention to county rules. These may get through of a season with- 
out being caught in the county's more than a million acres of land. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 22, 1968] 
Housing fopw Farm Laborers Approved At Pompano Beach 

Washington.— A loan and grant totaling $2,175,000 for the Pompano Beach, 
Fla. Housing Authority has been approved by the Farmers Home Administration. 

Sen.s. Spessard L. Holland and George A. Smathers of Florida announced the 
$1,250,000 loan and the $925,000 grant for construction of a hou.sing center for 
domestic farm laborers. 

The center will consist of 100 buildings providing 400 units for families, a 
garage, a medical clinic, sewer and water systems and paved streets. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 27, 1968] 
Migrants Face Shift to Slums 

Orlando. — A sociologist predicted Tuesday that most of the nation's 3 million 
migrant farm workers will be condemned to the "shameful corners of the urban 
ghettos" within the next 10 years. 

Dr. Sam Schulman, University of Florida sociology professor, declared that 
mechanization of crop planting and harvesting already is squeezing migrants out 
of rural areas. 

And in the cities, he told 200 persons attending the three-day eastern states 
migrants health conference, they will be "living out their lives as dregs." 

No more than 10 percent will be retained to operate machines, he said, and 
the rest will be unwanted in the depopulating little villages and towns. The 
workers even now are only welcomed during picking seasons, he said. 

"The only places which may not wish to, but can and must, make room for 
future incursions of the squeezed out segments of rural life are the cities — in 
particular, the slums," he said. 

Schulman said farm journals show that "agribusinessmen" have developed a 
tomato harvester which picks SO per cent of California's crop, a pickle picker 
which reduces labor needs by 90 i>er cent ; and a snap bean harvester that cuts 
cost 75 per cent. 

He noted predictions that mechanization will remove the jobs of 12,000 orange 
pickers in Florida, and that eventually most of the nation's crops will be as 
machine oriented as wheat production is today. 

Schulman said a partial answer is great amounts of new effort and money to 
avert further deprivation of migrant workers. He said the war on poverty is "the 
most understaffed, underfinanced and underequipped war our country has ever 

However, he said, hoi>e is bleak for additional aid for reeducation and i-^loca- 
tion of migrants. They are at least "minimally, gainfully employed," he stated, 
and many slum dwellers are even worse off. 


[From the Miami Herald, Mar. 20, 1969] 
Lahok Camp Injunction Slit Filed 

East Naples. — Tlit' CoUior County Commission lias filed an injunctitm suit 
ui^ainst a farm firm that has failed to get a itermit for a new r)4-uiiit mijirant 
labor camp despite several warnings from the County Health and I'.uilding 

The i)etition for an injunction against continued unlicensed use was filed 
Wediiesday against Six-L I'acking Co. before Circuit Judge Harold S. S^mith. 

County Attorney Jim Adams asks for a temporary injunction until a hearing 
and then a permanent injunction against operation of the camp without a license. 

The camp came to the County Commission attention March 11 when Dr. 
Charles Bradley, Health Department head, pointed out the violations of permits 
laws for both the health and Imilding der-artnients. The law riMiuires ai)proval 
by the health group of sanitary facilities before a building permit can l)e issued. 

Lou Lipman, one of the six family members of the camp ownership, and of the 
300-acre tomato farm around it, said any permit rule violation was not intentional 
"but just got ahead of mt> — I had people begging me for a place to sleep out of the 

The camp is located 13 miles southeast of tlu- county seat. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, June 25, 1969] 
County Should Push Sanitary Requirements, Board is Told 

Naples. — Insistence on adequate Siinitary requirements in labor camps and 
other areas. Dr. Charles Bradley, Collier County Health Department director 
told the planning board Tuesday, is essential "for the community to protect itself." 

liradley, and Environmental Health Officer Bob Wheeler, discussed health 
needs in relation to planning and zoning. 

The board is interviewing department heads for planning needs. 

"We need expansion of our clinic in Immokalee," Dr. Bradley told the board. 
"We need expanded medical services both in Immakalee and in Everglades where 
no resident doctor is available. And much of our migrant housing is still pi'etty 
liad. Tlie only cure for some of it is a great big yellow bulldozer. 

"I may be pretty pessimistic about efforts to bring to and keep this type of 
housing to the minimum standards of the state sanitary rode. 

"And it seems the federal government is not going to help with money so pri- 
vate industry is going to have to build good housing so the border line places 
will go out because there will be no demand for them." 

Board member David Jones, who said he is a "retired farmer," asked liradley, 
"Is putting 200 people out in the woods someplace for six months a real .sanitary 
I)roblem, or is it a humanitarian problem for those 200 people? The migrant wel- 
fare is no more our problem than that of New York or California. He is a nomad 
type. You can't tie him to one i)lace," Jones said. 

"I think the community has to protect itself," Dr. Bradley replied. He said that 
he referred to camps "where outhouse facilities allowed children who go to schools 
to transmit di.sease organisms to others." 

Carl Clemmer, building and zoning official, I'eported that the county "has a 
minimum housing code about ready to delivei*. Once adopted we can make 
an ai>plication to HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development for 
help with a rather elaborate development that can rent for as low as $23 a 

Dr. Bradley added that other con.siderations .should be kept in mind. "W^e can 
trace more and more ills to the way people live; living too close, creating a 
growth in the incidence of di.sease," he said. 

Dr. Bradley told the board his departmc^nt is starting its own environmental 
health committee, which is now focusing on the need for increased medical 

The committee, he .said, is made up mostly "of consumers of medical services, 
ones who are knowledgeable about their own areas." 

He repeated the two spots of greatest need are Everglades where no doctor is 
in residence and in Immokalee. 


Bradley and "\Mieeler also pointed out the great amount of Collier County Gulf 
Coast Waters classified as No. 2 waters — waters where shellfish grow in 

All such waters from Wiggins Pass south to Marco Island, they reported, are 
now closed because of pollution levels. The area of Chokeloskee Bay affected by 
the Barron River at Everglades also is closed. 

The health officers said that, with the growth of several types of sewage dis- 
posal facilities, an increasing problem would be posed by the need for disposal 
of solids from such plants and di.sposal of other solid wastes. 

"You," Bradley told the board, "will probably have to get involved in finding 
sites for solid wastes disposal." 

[From the Miami Herald, June 4, 1969] 

127 Labor Camp Sites — Good to DiLAPinATED 

(By Tom Morgan) 

EAST NAPLES — With 127 labor camps and 600 residences housing migrant 
labor in conditions from good to dilapidated, Collier County needs more health 
staff to meet its growing migrant labor problems according to a report submitted 
Tuesday to the County Commission. 

"The trend is toward individual ownership and some positive degree of im- 
provement in conditions is noted," wrote Edward L. King, migrant project 

Helping the improvement, King said, is the competition for better type labor, 
investigations by various agencies, the migrant housing ownership trend, the 
"genuine interest of the County Commission in solving housing shortages, enforce- 
ment of requirements for inside water, bathrooms, and kitchens," and the self- 
help housing project. 

fjn the debit side the report attacked inability to prevent occupancy of illegal 
camps, agricultural acreage increases which increases housing need, and the 
county's inability to qualify for Farm Home Administration housing loans. 

The report covered inspection of 127 camps, 94 of them in Immokalee, the 
center of the 34-300-aere farm empire, and found over 80 percent had public 
water, but sewage disposal is mainly by septic tank with less than 10 percent 
connected to treatment plants. 

"Garbage and refuse disposal service is available in Immokalee to 80 percent 
of the migrants," the report said. Most of them do not use it. Farm locations 
usually have open pits." 

The report said most camps have refrigeration available l)ut food handling 
varies from good to poor depending on families. Central camp messes are satis- 
factory, but recreation facilities aren't general. Camp maintenance and clean- 
liness varied directly with inspection frequency. 

In the fields conditions are not as good, with no field wells and few water 
coolers, which are poor because of ice contamination and common cup useage. 
There are no hand-washing facilities and few field privates so most field sanita- 
tion is below standards. 

While the health work is now being carried on by a staff of nine, the report 
concludes a full-time professional health educator and legislative assistance are 
needed, as are two more sanitarians and another clerk, if monthly inspection of 
camps is to be done. 

The report includes a summary from Don Lander, county agricultural agent, 
which says Collier's farm acreage rose from l.o,000 to 3.5,000 acres between 1960 
and 1966 and may reach 70,000 acres by 1975. Lander said the increa.'^te would 
require more migrant workers because farm crops don't lend themselves to 
mechanical harvesting. 

[From the Miami Herald, July 8, 1969] 

Collier Promised Grant for Housing — 150 Units Involved in Talks 

(By Tom Morgan) 

Immokalee. — Federal backing for 150 low income housing units here, the first 
of a hoped-for 600 such units, has been promised to the Collier County Housing 


Authority as the result of a trip to Washington, D.C., by Fred Edenfield, CCHA 
secretary, and Don Lander, Collier County agricultural extension agent, last 

Lander said on Monday that details of the proposals will be worked out here 
July IT at a meeting of officials of the Farmers Homo Administration of the 
Department of Agriculture with local housing authority members. The meeting 
will determine what reports and factual information will be required to make 
possible the housing. 

It had been hoped to obtain federal grants to provide all 600 units at a cost 
of $7 million, but the Washington talks, including two conferences with Rep. 
Paul Rogers, revealed that this would be impossible. Lander said. He reported 
there is only $1.7 million in federal funds now available for housing grants for 
the entire United States. 

"Worthwhile housing is badly needed in Immokalee, it was decided," Lander 
reported, "so it was agreed to start with 150 housing units. The meeting was very 

Lander reported that while the outright grant was not possible, it appeared 
probably that a combination grant and loan could be worked out with the loan 
to be repaid from rentals. The original 150 units could later be added to. 

"They want to .see us get a good start and it looks like we're going to get it," 
Lander concluded. "The grant will be a limited amount because there just isn't 
much money available but the loan was approved in principle." 

The projected 600 units would be the largest public housing project south of 
Fort Myers. Even the preliminary 159 units would be more than any other Collier 
County low income rental project. 

The project, on a site still to be determined, would be in house form and not 
in apartment blocks, with one to four bedroom groups. There could be four one- 
bedroom units in a or two two-bedroom ones and up to the four-bedroom 
tyi)e which would occupy one house. 

Immokalee is the center of the Collier County truck farm industry which works 
about 35.000 acres in a variety of crops from watermelons through pepi)ers and 
tomatoes and uses up to 10,000 workers, many of them migrants. There are 100 
labor camps in the county, but labor housing is always in short supply. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 7, 1969] 

Camp Ci-eantjp Moves; Food Plan Opposed — Commissioners Criticize 

United States 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — Collier County is moving to clean nj) its 130 migrant labor 
camps, but the County Commission opposed a state oi>erated food program and 
feels tlie federal government isn't helping in housing and other migrant health 
aid efforts. 

The word on labor camp plans came from Bob Wheeler, county environmental 
health director, who said the annual camp survey is being completed and will 
show some surjirising results. 

He explained that an "exposure index" is being worked out by multiplying 
individual camp jtopulation by the number of violations in each camp. A camp 
with 10 residents and 12 violations would have an index of 120. 

Violations can run from .scr(M>ns missing in windows to improper sewer facili- 
ties or insufficient floor area and window size. 

"The index will determine the priority of inspection, which camps will need 
insi>ection first." Wheeler explained, "such as any camp with an index over 1,000 
of which we have 10 camps, plus eight or more with over a 500 index. 

"In 100 cami)s out of the 130 there were 749 violations, an average of 7.49 
violations each of all the rules and regulations," Wheeler said. 

"We have 34 camps altogether with eight or more violations so we would 
say that one third have serious si)ecific violations of the sanitary code. Twenty 
camps have immediate inspections required and that will be our first job. We 
are going into i>ernuts on these camps and see that they get a permit or get a 


Wheeler said he could not identify the camps yet since he was spea!<ing from 
a rough summary of the report which will not be complete for 10 days "and 
all I have is the first figures, not names." 

Dr. Charles Bradley, county health, director, protested that the federal govern- 
ment "isn't going to "help much" in the field of migrant health. It has supplied 
a public he.iltJi physician who worics one and a lialf days weekly in the Inimolialee 
but this is temporary and no permanent doctor is in sight for the $20,000 annual 
salary provided by the U.S. government through the intervention of Rep. Pan 

"That $20,000 a year isn't going to make much difference," the doctor said. "Anj 
doctor can go into emergency room service and make $25,000 a year." 

The doctor admitted there had been unidentified opposition to adding a doctoi 
in the Immokalee area but Commission Chairman Les Whitaker said "thai 
won't make any difference," and Ewell F. Moore, Immokalee commissioner, added 
"not as far as I am concerned." Immokalee has one civilian doctor now. 

The problem of obtaining a sanitarian to help enforce rules is serious. Dr. 
Bradley said, and it is doubtful the county can bypass state merit system rules 
requiring a college degree for the job. He said a degTee isn't essential. "I've 
known a lot of people with college degrees who didn't know much ; we're missing 
a lot of good people because of a lousy regulation." 

The doctor said the county is up against a brick wall in efforts to get federal 
housing aid because the rules are inflexible. 

"We don't have minimum housing standards that have been in effect for six 
months so we're blocked right there on federal housing," the doctor said. "They 
would take another session of the Legislature and then six months to a year more 
to implement them so we might as well forget it." 

Commissioners unanimously agreed they oppose the proposal of Sen. I^^ee Weis- 
senl)orn that every county be required to use either the federal surplus food or 
food stamp program. Whitaker explained "We'd lose local control to a state wel- 
fare system." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 7, 1969] 

Regulations Blamed for Housing Trouble 

(By Fred Winter) 

Naples. — Dr. Charles Bradley, Collier County health department director, told 
the County CommLssion Tuesday that federal government requirements make "it 
almost impossible" to overcome housing deficiences criticized by a Senate investi- 
gating committee in Immokalee. 

Dr. Bradley listed as problems : 

— Regulations requiring a college degree for any sanitarian employed by the 
Health Department. 

— Opposition to having a full time physician to live in Immokalee and serve 
the health clinic there. 

— Federal requirements that the county must have a minimum housing code 
meeting government minimum standards in effect for six months before federal 
agencies will even consider giving aid to a housing program. 

Some of these requirements are generated at the state level, some at the federal 
level and some are personal opinions, the director paid. 

Dr. Bradley said he is puzzled as to how the county can go about providing the 
housing the senators, headed by George McGovern, thought most imiwrtant to 
raise tlie living conditions of migrants. 

CAMPS surveyed 

Bob WTieeler, county environmental health director, reported to the commis- 
sion that his department has completed a survey of more than 100 migrant (agri- 
cultural ) housing camps in the area. 

The survey shows an average of 7.9 violations of Health Department standards 
per camp, Wheeler said. Some camps had as many as 20 violations, he said. 

Seven of the camps, he said, had only two minor violations each. 

Wheeler told commissioners he has developed an "exposure index" to point 
toward camps where corrective measures are most urgently needed. 

At least 20 camps, he said, need major and minor corrective measures. 


But, WTieeler agreed with Dr. Bradley, state regulations make it nearly im- 
possible to employ badly needed sanitarians to disc-over violations and enforce 
compliance with sanitary standards. 

Application of the results of the survey, Wheeler said, will make it possible for 
the department to approve camps meeting the standards, to get others up to 
standard and to give the dei)artment the material it needs to take legal action 
agaiu'^t tliii-c that do not comply. 


Commissioners took no action on a suggestion from Commis.sioner Cliff Wenzcl 
to seek legislation permitting the county to crack down on land sellers who do ni>t 
keep verbal promises to acreage buyers. 

Wenzel asked for legislation to halt promises that purchased land would have 
access by roads unless the access was actually there. 

He also wanted the law to cover private construction and maintenance of roads 
in subdivisions. 

Other commissioners felt such practices come within the scope of the Florida 
Land Sales Board. 

Wenzel said it .-should not be necessary for buyers to hire a lawyer to get the 
sellers to live up to their promises. 

County Attorney James Adams said such cases, not within the plat law and 
f>ther current structures, must go to the courts if the buyers have a grievance 
that they cannot resolve with the sellers. 


In Other business the commission : 

• Learned the Marco River Bridge to the Isles of Capri is 36 i>ercent comi)lete 
with ."2 percent of the allotted time used. "It is still hoped the bridge will be com- 
pleted this year." Harmon Turner, county engineer, told the board. 

• Found the Water Management Board may have $ir>0,000 available from 
federal funds for pollution studies of the new Collier-Dade jetjiort. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 1. 1969] 
Bii.i, Would Let ^Iigraxts Choose Camp Visitors 

Taij.ahassee. — Migrant workers — not the farm owner — would be able to 
decide who could visit in the work camps under a bill approved Wednesday by 
the Senate law and order subconunittee. 

The measure was approved 4-1 after the sponsor. Sen. Lee Weissenhorn, D- 
Mlami, told the groiij) that present trespass laws allow farm owners to keep 
out lawyers and newsmen who try to talk to the migrants in the labor camps. 

The "only humaTie and dec'ent thing to do" is to treat the migrants the same 
as other )»ersons who rent, he .said. 

Sen. Elmer Friday. D-Fort Myers, voted against the proposal. He said it allowed 
the farmers to "keep con artists and .shakedown artists from these people who 
are the most susceptible." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 28. 1969] 
LAwxfAKER Advocating Minimum Housing Code 

Tallahassee. — A legislator who was appalled by living conditions he saw 
during a miTrant labor camp tour says he is researching a state-wide minimum 
housing code liill. 

Rep. Lee Wei^.senborn, D-Miami, said he is .'■•eeking a housing code "with some 
teeth in it. that's not just applicable to state construction." 

Weis.senborn said he is working with the State Board of Health in looking into 
the possibility. However, he added that he doesn't feel chances of passage of such 
legislation, if introduced, are good. 

TTie Dade County legislator, who was chairman of an interim legi.slative com- 
mittee that looked into problems of migrant workers, said conditions he saw at 
Inmiokalee were a factor in his propo.sed legislation. 


Weissenborn said he went with members of a U.S. Senate Committee into 
migrant living quarters and "there were no toilets, no running water ; there 
were kerosene lamps unguarded." 

In an interview, Weissenborn said that he feels the Florida Legislature should 
address itself more directly to the problems of feeding the state's needy and 
supplying them with housing. 

•'Everybody's in here with this crime legislation. I'm just as concerned with 
crime a.^ anybody, but I think the Legislature is not addressing itself to the 
real prolilems in this country," Weissenborn said, the key to the migrant workers 
problem is not to build them temporary homes or take stop-gap measures, but "to 
get them out of the migrant stream." 

Weissenliorn already has introduced legislation which would require that every 
county put into effect either a commodity surplus food distribution program or 
a food stamp program to feed the needy. 

The bill also appropriates $2 million and directs the State Welfare Department 
to administer the program in every county," Weissenborn said. 

Such legislation, he said, is aimed at not only benefiting migrants, but all 
needy persons. 

Another Weissenborn bill calls for establishment of a Division of Migrant 
Labor, to be under supervision of the lieutenant governor. 

"We'd like to formalize some coordination of all the myriad activities in the 
migrant field," Weissenborn said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 7, 1969] 
Three Infants Die As Fike Razes Hut 

Miami. — Three infants were burned to death Thursday when a cooking fire 
destroyed a tiny wooden home where six young children were in the care of a 
seventh just 10 years old, according to a Dade County Fire Department official. 

The dead youngsters ranged in age from nine months to about 18 months. 

Capt. Joe Atwell of the county fire department said the four older children 
were preparing to cook food about 9 a.m. on a kerosene stove in the 15 by 20 foot 
frame building. 

The building was part of the facilities for migrant workers at the "Mexico 
City Labor Camp" in the Redlands agricultural area south of Miami. 

The dead children were identified by Atwell as Milton Bell, Jr., 1 ; Yvonne 
Lewis, nine months ; and Bill Washington. 1. 

Mrs. Caroline Lewis, mother of the dead girl, collapsed after being brought 
to the ashes of the hut. The Rev. Stafford Sweeney, regional director of the 
Community Action Migrant Program, said his workers found Mrs. Lewis. 

"We discovered her unconscious in an alley between two cabins," Father 
Sweeney said "We took her to James Archer Smith Hospital in Homestead." 

Father Sweeney's group, a branch of the War on Poverty, took in the families 
of the other victims to provide what help was needed. 

Arson investigators from the sheriff's office roped off the area around the 
charred spot where the house had stood. Only ashes were left. 

More than a hundred workers came in from the fields to crowd in the dusty 
road and between the other house.s — all painted the same drab red — to stand 
against the ropes and watch silently. 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 1, 1969] 

Attempts to Improve Property Frustrated, Dunbar Owners Say 

(By Steve Ruediger) 

(This article focnses on some of the wealthy or prominent Caucasian owners 
of housing in which the very poor in Lee County live. An article tomorrow will 
examine the situation of some of the Negro owners. ) 

Fort ^Iyers. — There are many types of owners of property in the poor sections 
of the Dunbar Area of Fort Myers. There are Caucasian owners, Negro owners, 
wealthy owners and poor owners. They have two things in common — the con- 
dition of their property was sharply criticized by the Senate Select Committee 
on Nutrition and Human Needs, and they all say they would like to be able 
to improve their property. 


The main complaint of the property owners is that they cannot get help to 
up.srade their property. 

Rep. Ted Randell, who has sold most of the property he owned, complained 
that the federal government had not seemed interested in helping people with 
a profit motive upgrade their property. He said it was almost as if they con- 
sidered it a sin to want to mako a profit 

Kandell said lie was one of a group of people who purchased a fairly large 
amount of Dunbar property about eight years ago. The property was "at least 
borderline substandard," Randell said. 

They purchased the proix^-ty because they had "elaborate plans" to construct 
a housing development and help raise the standard of living in the neighborhood, 
Randell said. 

They went to insurance companies and the federal goverinnent, Randell .<aid, 
to seek loans so they could construct a low rent development. The insurance 
companies said no and we got bound up in red tape and had to give up" when 
th<\v werit to the federal government, according to Randell. 

They had lost money on the property, Randell said, but were not pleased "at 
the condition of the proix^rty and were bitter that the insurance companies and 
the federal goverinnent would not pix>vide loans." 

The same complaint is heard from present owners of Dunbar property. They 
say they cannot get loans with a low interest rate to improve their property. 

For example, the owner of Bookiu-s' Alley said he has liad plans prepared for 
a modern development tJiere for some time, but is stopi>ed by the eight percent 
interest rate for a loan. 

Bookers' Alley received the strongest criticism of any place visited by Sen. 
George McGovern. He called it an indescribalde develoiiinent of 24 shacks." 

Rookers' Alley is owned, as are a numl)er of other Dunbar proi)erties, by a 
member of one of the oldest families in Lee County. It is inherited property, as 
are a number of other parcels of Dunbar property. 

Gilmer Heitman said. I don't w^ant Bookers' Alley and I don't know what to 
do with it." 

He said he charges either .$11 or .$12. HO a week for each of his units. Heitman 
pointed out that he did not collect that much. His records show that he is cur- 
rently owed .$581. .")0 in back rent, by current tenants. 

Heitman aLso said he has to pay for the water, for tra.«h collecting, sales taxes, 
utility tuxes, and all maintenance. 

Heitman said he has two maintenance men upgrading the property and repair- 
ing thing.s like broken windows. They also are adding inside walls to all the old 

Heitman's records show that one woman owes .$243 in back rent. Asked about 
this, he said her hu.sband and father had died so he was letting her rent payments 

Heitman pointed out that a number of the people who rent from him sublet 
the houses by renting out each room. 

The whole area around Bookers' Alley is cleaned once a year, according to 

It could not easily be determined whether he was making money or losing 
money on Bookers' Alley, ac-cording to Heitman. because he did not divide ex- 
penditures up between his properties. For example, he said he bought window 
glass by the case and did not divide up the cost by how many panes were used 
at Booker's Alley and how many were used at his other properties. 

He said federal government policies were one of the things stopping him from 
building the buildings. He said federal fi.'scal policy resulted in an eight percent rate which made it very costly to build, and the construction of numerous 
rent supplement housing projects in Fort Myers presented comiM^ition in attract- 
ing tenants that a private individual could not beat. 

[From the Miami Herald. Aug. 25, 1068] 
License Issxied for Labor Camp — Housing for 200 Migrants 

East Naples. — The first labor camp permit for the 1068-69 season has been 
is.sued to Farms in North Naples it was announced Saturday by the Collier 
County Health Department. 

The camp is a new one off the Tamiaml trail just south of the Lee County line. 
It will provide housing for 200 migrant farm worker.s. 


"This camp has just been completed and has all the required sewerage and 
health facilities including water supply," said Bob Wheeler, county environmental 
health director. 

The county licenses all labor camps annually beginning July 1 each year. All 
camps are subject to frequent Health Department inspection and must meet 
rules established by the State Board of Health. 

The estimates are that up to 14,000 migrant farm workers pour into Collier 
County every winter to plant, tend and harvest the $40-million truck fai*m crops 
of tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, cucumbers and mixed vegetables. 

Labor camps to the workers stretch irregularly north and west from 
Naples to Immokalee. which is the capital of the Collier farming empire. Most 
of the camps are in the Oil Well Grade area north of Golden Gate Estates 

Wheeler said the issuance of the license to Basso should help refute rumors 
that the county would not allow labor camps this year. The source of the rumors 
or the reason behind them is unknown. 

The county health official anticipated that other camps will be licensed as 
they apply and meet county and state requirements. 

The county will also continue its crackdown on unlicen-sed or unhealthy camp 
areas, including those of operators who sneak old trailers, buses or tents into 
secluded woody areas in an effort to evade control. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 16, 1969] 
RoTARiANs Told of Model City for Farm Labor 

A model city for farm workers located near Fort Myers will be a "turn key" 
project worth about $5 million when the Housing Authority of Fort Myers gets 
it, Robert E. Bates told the Fort Myers Rotary Club Tuesday. 

Bates, director of the housing authority, said the program is progressing under 
President Xixon after a temporary nationwide freeze on most poverty programs. 
The freeze is common in changes of administration, he told the Rotarians. 

The first construction will be of 350 housing units, ranging up to six bedroom in 
size, plus 120 units for the elderly, he said. 

"Some of these farm workers have pretty big families," he said of the number 
of bedrooms planned. 

The housing authority will have nothing to do with commercial businesses, 
factories and other plans for development of the project expected to reach $15 
million in value, he said. 

But if the first housing group is successful the program will be expanded to 
the originally planned 850 migrant housing units plus the 120 elderly resident 
units, he said. 

The project was started by the Community Action Fund in Coral Gables, which 
involved several senators, the Department of Housing and Urban Development 
and the Department of Labor, among others, as it progressed, Bates said. 


The project needed a town in an agricultural area with a housing authority, a 
workable program (for federal fund eligibility) and a vocational school. 

"The fact that Fort Myers qualified in every respect pushed us into it," said 
Bates. "We didn't originate it." 

Since the word to proceed came from Washington March 11 the authority has 
been seeking recommendations from developers on sites. The "turn key" concept 
is for the develoi>er to submit site recommendation, then after approval submit 
plans. After agreement, the developer builds. When all is constructed the au- 
thority "buys" the completed job as one product. 

Bates said the facility will be financed with bonds repaid by rents plus 
subsidies, just as present housing for the poor operates. Tennants pay 20 per cent 
of their gross income until the gross income passes the maximum level permitted 
for occupancy. 

New houses around Southward Village and being built throughout Dunbar 
Heights areas include "graduates" of Southward Village, Bates said. Each year 
seven to 15 families "graduate" from the 200 units. 

In reply to a question from Ron Gleason he said the sterotyped view of the 
poor as housewrecking never-do-wells just doesn't bear out in real life. 



"TNlieii we built Southward Village people said. "Just wait six months and then 
see what it looks like.' We are starting our seventh year." City officials take 
pride in showing visitors the proje<-t, he said. 

There are some who abuse any privilege, he said. "Every once in a while I 
find four or live tenants I'd like to shoot," he said with a sigh. 

Bates said that in 30 years of housing work, here and in Atlanta, he hadn't 
seen the poor grow stagnant in public housing, remaining at the same wonomic 
level just because it was an acceptable standard. 

The farm community, in total asi>ect, will include small manufacturing plants 
to take up the slack in the farm season and to provide direction for the young 
people. This is why a vocational school is desired near the center, said liates. 

Farming is becoming more and more mechanized, he said. Therefore the young 
adults netHl vocational training so they will have abilities other than stoop labor. 

The authority now operates 200 units in Southward Village with a 08-unit 
addition planned. There are 450 applicants now. Another development of 100 
units will start April 28. Presently 101 units are in use by elderly residents in 
Bon Aire Towers adjacent to the Fort Myers Country Club golf course. Another 
tower, almost identical, is planned on Edwards Drive. There are more than 290 
applicants for housing for elderly couples and single persons, said Bates. 


Housing — Affidavits 
TO: . 

FROM: . 

DATE: January 1969. 

Interviewed : Room N, In presence of her Mother. 

Re: Confirmation of FM. 

1. is a 25-year-old Negro woman. 

2. Miss was recruited for through the >State lumployment Service 

of Mississippi. 

3. Given bus ticket to and $3.00. 

4. Arrived December — , 1968. 

5. On Satuurday, December — , 1968 just after midnight Miss was at 

a cabin at the camp where several men were playing cards. She left this cabin 

and went to her cabin with . They were at their cabin for 15-20 minutes 

wh<'n they lit the stove, moments later they noticed the flame start to grow and 

spread around the stove, and then around the room. Miss ran to the door 

but could not get out. The stove then blew Tip knocking Miss down. Miss 

n^ceived serious burns to nearly 100 i>er cent of her body. Mr. was 

also .seriously injured and is now at Hospital. 

On De<:-ember — , 1968 the gas had been turned off in this cabin in order to 

repair the refrigerator, and shortly before the fire Mr. went outside to 

turn the gas on. 


My name is . I am a Negro, I am a United States citizen, I was 

born in , Mississippi. I was born 1950. I reside at Immokalee, 


I was residing in , Mississippi in March 1967 when I heard a radio ad- 
vertisement, asking i)eople who wanted farm work in Florida to contact the 

Mississippi Employment Service, in . My aunt, , and I went 

to the Mississippi Employment Service and applied for the jobs. I was 16 years 
old so they told my aunt she would be responsible for me. We were questioned 

and told we would be working for a Mr. and Company. We received 

bus tickets for , Florida on a bus. The man from the employment 

service put us on the bus. The ticket cost $31.00 and change. It was already 

paid for. We were met at the bus stop in by a white man named 

who runs the bar on the grounds at "Camp ". He took us in his car to 

"Camp ". At the camp we met , the camp manager. He told 

us that we could pay for our bus ticket out of our wages, or get us a man to 
pay for it. We were given a room to live in by ourselves. It was a tin house, about 
12 feet by 12 feet, with two windows, bunk beds, a table, and a wall heater. We 
had to wash in a large washroom for the women. 


We were both put to work at the Company packing house (close to 

Route north of ). We were paid by the hour, two to four hours a 

flay. We punched a time card. We only worked there one week. Then we worked 
in the field.s picking tomatoes. We received $10.00 per day for a full day from 8 :00 
A.M. to 4 :30 P.M. with a 30 minute lunch. The pay rate was by the hour $1.25 per 

We each had a blue button with a number on it. My number was . At the 

end of each day we were given a ticket with numbers on it, they punched a hole 
in the ticket where the number representing the number of hours you worked 
was. Then you took the ticket to the office at the camp and they marked down the 
number of hours you worked that day next to your number on a sheet of paper. 
You didn't get any money then, unless you asked for an advance, which they 
treated as a loan, if you borrowed $3.00 you had to pay back $5.00, they would 
say you borrowed $5.00. Pay day was Saturday and you got your pay for the 
week minus any advances, $15.00 for food if you ate at the mess hall, and $6.00 
or $15.00 for rent. If you didn't eat at the mess hall you had to buy your food at 
the camp store. You could do this if you were living with a man in a married 
house, which came with a stove and refrigerator. The price of food at the camp 
store was higher, they also sold second hand clothes at the store for very high 
prices. When you got paid they took out for Social Security. They took out for 
Social Security from me but I left my card in Mississippi and they didn't have my 

I continued to work in the fields picking or planting, or laying sticks accord- 
ing to what season of the year it was until December 1968 when I started 
working in the mess hall kitchen. Where I was paid $71.00 per week. I worked 
from 3 :00 A.M. 'till 9 :00 A.M. and 12-noon 'till 9 :00 P.M. seven days per week. 

I worked at this job until Sunday, January — , 1969 when I left the camp at 
night with two other girls. 

We got a ride to Immokalee with a man and his wife, I don't know their 
names, they live on the camp and own a ear. 

We wanted to leave Camp because there is so much beating going on 

there now. Since Mr. died last summer and Mr. became camp man- 
ager the guards are terrible, they and Mr. beat and abuse people 


About five weeks ago there was a fire at the camp which destroyed a cabin, 

that and were living in. They were both burned and are still in the 

Hospital. The rumor at the camp was that , , , and • , 

four guards at the camp (guards are also called camp boys and they seldom, if 
ever, work in the fields) had rigged the fire by leaving the gas on in the cabin so 
that when , came in and struck a match he set the place on fire. 

Last Saturday night (January — , 1969) a man who just came in from Missis- 
sippi on the bus on Wednesday, January — or Thursday, January — was beaten 
by Mr. and . 

Then they threw him off the camp without any transportation. He was beaten 

because a woman who operates as a pro.stitute on the camp told Mr. that 

the man had hit her. Mr. got hold of the man and sprayed some chemical 

in his face which made the man helpless then Mr. and beat and 

kicked him. 

About three weeks ago beat a 16-year-old girl he was living with so 

badly that and had to carry her to the Hospital. was 

arre.sted and spent two days in jail. Apparently the charges were dropped, 

got him out. The girl was given a bus ticket and sent back to , Mississippi. 

The guards and Mr. all carry pistols and Mr. once fired his over 

a man's head, and another time at the feet of a 12-year-old boy who works at the 

A man named (about 25 years old) took sick about four months ago. 

He was a drinker. He was in bed two weeks before took him to the 

Hospital on a Sunday night. On Monday we heard he was dead. All the time he 
was sick no one cared for him and he never saw a doctor. 

Five or six weeks ago on a Saturday at the tomato field near we kept 

telling the crew boss that the man was sick but he didn't pay no atten- 
tion, at 4 :00 P.M. , a camp boy took him to the camp and put him to bed. 

He stayed in bed a week, and then he was taken to the hospital. He died in the 

Sometimes when people are sick they are taken to Dr. , M.D. of , 

Florida. When I had a miscarriage in March of 1967 I was taken to Dr. . 

He sent a bill to the camp for his services, and the camp charged me double. 


There are children (under IC years of age) on the camp of school age who 
do not attend school. 

Last Wednesday, January — , 1969 at about 5 :00 A.M. a gray G.M.A.C. bus with 

Mississippi license plates arrived with a load of about 40 people from 

Mississippi. About half these people were children under the age of IG. These 

children now reside at "Camp " and do farm work. The driver of the bus 

was paid !?15.00 per head for the people he brought by (a white man) an 

employee of Company. The people in turn are docked $25.00 from their 

pay for the transportation to the camp. All recruits are Negroes. This bus has 
often made trips like this usually at the same time and bring children. 

One child, a 14-year-old girl named (last name unknown) was suffering 

from some sort of trouble with her tubes, she was taken to Dr. at his 

office on U.S. — in . 

Narcotics are regularly sold at the camp by a man from Fort Myers, Florida, 
with the knowledge of those in direct control of "Camp ". 

I have suffered injury at this camp working in the fields and losing my baby, 
being kept from leaving the camp, being stolen from, not being paid the minimum 
wage and being forced to stay on the camp. I am afraid of being forced to go 
back to the camp. 

I have read this statement of five pages and received a copy of it, I recognize 
it to be a triie and accurate statementof the facts, and swear to it. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this — day of , 1969. 

Notary Public. 

My commission expires . 

State of Florida 
County of Lcc, ss :) 

Before me. the undersigned authority, authorized to administer oaths and 

take acknowledgments personally appeared , who after first being duly 

sworn, and says : 

My name is . I currently reside at Street, Immokalee, 

Florida. Until October — , 1968 I lived in , Georgia and from approxi- 
mately October 1968 until January, 1969 I resided at a labor camp run 

by the , in , Florida. I am currently employed as a farm laborer in 

the Immokalee, Florida area. 

Prior to coming to I was employed as a short order cook in , 

Georgia. I have an 11th Grade education. I am married and my husband re- 
mained in , Georgia. His name is . We have two children, 

2 years old and nine months old. 

In October of 1968 I went to the state employment office in , Georgia 

in order to find better employment. I met at this office. She had previ- 

ou.sly worked for the , and lived at Camp . She told me about the 

jobs and conditions at Camp . She also told me that they needed i>eople 

at Camp and I welcomed the opportunity for work for I was out of a 

job at the time. Miss also stated that she had lived and worked at Camp 

for four yeans. 

On October — , 1968 I was given a bus ticket which was intended for an- 
other person. ThiS ticket was for a bus from , Georgia to , 

Florida. It was given to me through the state employment office by Mr. . 

I was told that I would make $1.4.5 an hour for field work and $1.65 an hour in 
the packing house. I was not told that I would have to pay back the cost of the 

I arrived at , Florida on October — , 1968. Mr. picked me up at 

the bus station and took me to the camp. Upon arrival I was given a $10.00 blue 
ticket which could be used for food, linen and other necessities. I received one 
of these tickets upon arrival and a $5.00 ticket subsequently. 

We were not absolutely required to buy groceries on the camp but we could 
not liring liquor on the camp. 

From October — , 1968 until late in November 1968 I was only paid net wages 
of $5..50. I went to tiie camp authorities to ask why I had been paid so little and 
they merely responded they had paid three doctor bills for me and that I was 
not due any money at this time. To the best of my knowledge I did not have three 
doctor bills while I was at Camp although I was taken to see Dr. 


on one occasion for gall bladder trouble. During my stay at Camp I had 

many problems with Mr. . 

The first of these problems began the day after my arrival on October — , 
1068. I was involved in an altercation with him in my cabin. During the course 
of this altercation he picked my up and threw me on the bed. I hit the wall in 
tlie process. He also slapped me down. He accused me of talking about him 
behind his back. On the next day, October — , 1968 harassed me con- 
tinually. He was worried that someone else would "go" with me and that he would 

not be able to. In late November I decided that I should leave Camp 

because I was not being paid and because of my troubles with — , I went 

to Mr. , and asked him if I could leave. He said that I could not go be- 
cause I owed .$28.00 to the company. A friend of mine, Mr. , went to 

and tried to talk him into letting me leave. — told that if he paid 

the $28.00 she could go. paid the $28.00 and gave him per- 
mission to leave. 

Before I left said he w^ould kill me if I tried to leave. This was before 

the $28.00 was paid. He threatened to throw me in the canal near Camp . 

He took me to this canal and picked me up over his head, but he did not throw 
me in the canal. I attempted to leave the next day. Before I was able to leave 

confronted me with a pistol and a knife and threatened to kill me again. 

He cut off my clothes and left me. left and brought back who 

asked me, "Wliy are you leavingV" then cussed me out. I told them that 

they would have to kill me to stop me from leaving. 

I went to Miami with . I had been in Miami only a few days when I 

got a telephone call tvom Camp — ■ from an unknown person. This person 

said that Miss was sick and in the hospital. I went back to the camp on 

the of December. When I arrived from Miami at the camp I was beaten up 

by three girls whom I did not know. I went to — to complain but he 

did not do anything about it. 

I went to — , Georgia for Christmas and came back on Saturday, Jan- 
uary — , 1069. On this date which was a Saturday I personally saw spray 

an old man with an aerosol can full of some unknown .'substance. During the 
same evening I was sprayed with that substance when I refused to dance with 

. The substance burned my eyes and made me sneeze. I thought I was 

going to go blind. 

There are also other incidents of other persons being beaten by either , 

or the "camp boys". Just before Christmas a husband and wife from the State of 

Mississippi wished to leave the camp. They had hired — to take them off 

the camp. When they were ready to leave ■ — pulled the man out of the car 

and hit him one time. They did not leave in the face of this intimidation. They 

escai^ed from the camp the next night. The name of the man's wife was 

and I think the man's name was . They both worked at the packing house. 

On January — . 1969 and a man named beat up another gentleman 

because they accused him of hitting a girl. On January — , 1969 a girl was beaten 
up by ■ and he was arrested as a result of this beating. 

During my stay at Camp it was my opinion that my mail was being 

opened and read. My mother had sent me some pictures of my sisters. I received 
the lett^^r but not the pictures. The letter indicated in its body that there were 

some pictures in the envelope as well as a letter'. Later was showing the 

pictures of my sisters around the camp. He would not tell me how he acquired 
these pictures. The envelopes which I received in this instance was open when 
the mail was given to me. The way in which the mail was handled is as follows : 
There was a mail box by the side of the road and one person would pick up the 

mail from the box and put it on the bar at the camp. usually picked up the 

mail. You would pick up your mail at the bar from . I also think that 

someone took some mail designated for me that was forwarded from my home 
in •, Georgia which was .some mail from the • Penitentiary. 

On January — , 1969 a bus with 42 people arrived from the State of Mississippi. 
I did not see the bus. Around half of these persons were under 16 years of age 
and were not accompanied by adults. The man who brought the children to the 
camp was paid $15.00 for each person he brought by a man named — . 

Persons also used to come from Fort Myers and sell narcotics at the camp. 
I did not know the names of these persons. They carried on their activities with 
the full consent of those who operated the eamp. 
.36-.513— 70— pt. 4A 7 



County of Lee, ss : 

Before me, the undersigned authority, authorized to administer oaths and take 

acknowledgments personally appeared — , who after tirst being duly sworn, 

dei)oses and says : 

My name is , I reside at , Immokalee. Florida. Up until 

December — , 196S I lived in , Mississippi and from December — , 1908 until 

January — , 1969 I lived at Camp , Company, , Florida. I am 

cuiTently engaged in farm work in the Immukalee area. 

I am a widow my husband, , died February — , 19(52. I have one child 

. wha is in Mi.ssis>ipi)i with her grandmother. I have a ninth grade educa- 
tion and have done farm work all of my life. 

I went to the state employment office in , Mississippi and spoke to Mr. 

regarding tinding emi)loyment at Camp in , Florida. I first 

learned about Camp through friends who were employed there. On 

December — , 190S I left on a bus for employment at Camp . 

I was told by Mr. that when I arrived at Camp — — — . I would be given 

$50.00 to .$00.00 per week. I was not told that I would have to pay for my bus 

ticket Also with me leaving were the following : , , and a 

man named . We had papers when we left but these were taken from us 

when we arrived at Camp . We traveled on a ■ — - bus. 

When we arrived at , Florida we were picked up at the bus station by a 

Mr. . We were immediately taken to Camp and upon arrival we 

were given a blue ticket worth $10.00 with which we could purchase linens and 
other supplies from the company store. My sister and I were assigned to a small 
cabin with a stove, refrigerator and one bed. There was running water but no 
indoor toilet facilities. We did not go to work on December — but on December — 
we were picked up by buses and taken to the fields. In the fields I was shown how- 
to pick tomatoes. 

At the end of each day I signed a yellow card with my number — which I 
assume was to indicate that I had worked that day. During the time I stayed 

at Camp I was forced to wear a blue button which said on the face of 

it Company and my number was also scratched on the back of this button. 

Because of the stories of many beatings and the many confrontations I had seen 

at the camp between and the " " and the persons who resided in 

the camp I became frightened and left on January — , 1969. I told my sister to 
stay at the camp and I would try to comeback and help her to leave. I went to 
Immokalee, Florida. 

During the entire time that I stayed at Camp I was not paid. I was 

told tliat I had established too many credits with the camp and that I did not 
work enough to pay off these credits. I was charged $6.00 per week for housing. 

I was charged with the payment of the bus ticket for . And I also bought 

supplies at the company store wliicii were also charged to my salary. Finally 
I had a doctor bill for $24.00 which arose out of an incident in which I cut 

my foot. A man named , took me to the doctor in , Florida. The 

doctor's name was Dr. . 

Also during njy time at the camp I saw beatings taking place and I also saw 
persons .sprayed with some chemical substance which burned their eyes. All 

of the persons at the camp were very frightened of and the " " 

especially one by the name of . 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this day of , 1909. 

Notary Public. 

My commission expires 

County of Lee, ss: 

Before me, the undersigned authority, authorized to administer oaths and 

take acknowledgments personally appeared , who after first being duly 

sworn, deposes and says : 

My name is . I re.side Street, Immokalee, Florida, I have lived 

in Immokalee for two weeks. I lived iti , Mississippi until December — , 

196.S. I was formerly employed at a field-hand by the Company, 



I am married but presently I am separated from my husband. His name is 
and he is residing presently in Mississippi. We have no 


In December of 1968 I called the State Employment Service in , 

Mississippi and spoke to Mr. . Tvpo friends of mine were employed by 

the Company and were living in "Camp " near , Florida. 

I wished to join them as soon as possible. Mr. indicated that he could 

arrange for me to travel to , Florida and work at Camp . The first 

meeting with Mr. took place on December — , 1968. There were four 

persons who wLshed to go to Florida in my group. In addition to myself there 

was , , . Mr. inquired as to how soon we could be 

ready to leave and we said that we could leave the next day. We left 

Mississippi on a bus on — ■ December — , 1968 at . Prior to 

leaving we were told that we would make from $50.00 to $60.00 per week at 

Camp . The employment office gave us the ticket for the bus trip and $3.00 

for spending money. We were never told that we would have to pay this money 

back. We arrived in , Florida on December — , 1968 at approximately 

. Company sent to pick u;s up at the Bus Station. 

Upon arriving at Camp we were issued a blue ticket which was worth 

$10.00 and could be used at the store. This ticket could pay for food, linen.s, etc. 
It was our understanding that any credits which we assumed by use of 
this ticket would be taken from our pay. We had no choice whether or not 
to buy the ticket. 

We were assigned to a small cabin which would be our home at Camp . 

I lived in one of these cabins with . The room was approximately 10 

feet by 12 feet with one bed. There was a refrigerator and a stove. There were 
no indoor toilet facilities but the cabin did have running water. 

We did not work in the fields on December — , 1968, but on December — , 1968 
we were taken to the field by bus owned by the camp. We later found out that 
after these buses left that persons employed by the camp would go house to 
house to make sure that no one stayed home and everyone went to work on 
that particular day. When we arrived at the field on December — we were 
taught how to pick tomatoes. We were never told how much we were suppose 
to make. We provided our own lunch in the fields. At the end of the day you 
were given a yellow ticket on which you wrote your number on the back in 
order to insure that the company knew you worked a full day. 

Also during my entire stay at Camp I was required to wear a blue 

button which had on the face of Company and my assigned number. 

My assigned number was . 

The camp employed four persons who were utilized to keep order and to insure 
that no one left the camp without permission. These persons w^ere and 

They were supervised by Mr. . During the entire time I was at the 

camp I saw persons attempt to leave and were beaten in the process and I also 
heard of stories of persons who were beaten who attempted to leave the camp 
while still owing money to the company. Also the four persons mentioned above 
kept strict order and maintained this order by the use of weapons and fists. 
Many of the beatings which I saw and heard of were unfair. I left the camp on 
January — , 1969. The reason I left this evening was that there were two beat- 
ings at the camp. One of these beatings occurred in a building designated as 

. There was a young man from Mississippi who had allegedly struck a 

girl at the camp. beat him after a white man knocked him down 

and kicked him. 

When I attempted to leave made some attempt to stop me by holding 

my bag which I was carrying. He told me that if I leave the police would pick 
me up because I still owed money to the company. In the face of these threats 

I got into the car and left the camp. While we were leaving tried to 

damage the car in any way possible. 

During my entire stay at Camp I was paid a total of $10.17. During 

the rest of the time the .^lip I was given indicated that I still owed money to 
the company. We were paid in the following manner : . 

A white man called would pick up our checks and they would be cashed 

before we saw these checks. We were paid off on at the office at Camp 

. We received an envelope with a cheek stub and cash if any was due and 

owing to us. We never received our actual check. 


carried a gun almost every day. He used this to intimidate persons into 

doing what he ordered. 

On January — , 1969 a bus arrived from the State of Mississippi. This 

bus had Mississippi license plates. There were 42 persons on the bus and they 

were from , Mississippi. Approximately half of the persons on the bus 

were children under the age of 10 years and unaccompanied by any adults. The 

driver of the bus was paid $15.00 per i>erson by a man known as . One 

of the children who arrivetl that day was named . She was assigned to 

live with . UiX)n arrival she was very sick with infected female organs 

and was taken to a Dr. whose office is in , Florida. 

Whenever anyone was ever sick or injured at the camp they were taken to 
"Dr. office and the cost of such visits were charged against our pay. 

Frequently persons from Fort Myers, Florida, whose names I do not know, 
would come to the camp and sell narcotics. They were admitted to the camp 
with tlie permission of those who were in charge. They frequently would stay 
.at the camp for more than one day. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this — day of , 1969. 

Notary Public. 
My commission expires . 

We were paid by cash not by check. We were given an envelope on every 
Saturday which contained a check stub and cash. We were never allowed to see 
our actual checks. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this — day of , 1969 

My commission expires . 

Notary Public. 


Faeiis and Migrant Labor — Newspaper Clippings 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press (undated)] 

Dade Legislator Preparing Bills To Aid Migrant Labor 

Tallahassee. — Legislation to regulate migrant crew chiefs for the first time 
and provide more food and benefits to the seasonal farm workers is being pro- 
posed by a Dade County lawmaker. 

"I think the state should show a little more compassion for the wretches on 
the bottom, the ones caught in the cycle," said Sen. Lee Weissenborn, chairman 
of the interim legislative Committee on Migrant Affairs. 

He said he feels the state should commit some casli to easing the plight of the 
migrants, although he said he doe.'^n't know how much it would take. 

"Somebody is.talking about spending $2.8 million down here for Interama," the 
Miami Democrat said. "But it seems to me we could si>end substantially less and 
feed some of these i)eople." 

He haM filed a bill requiring crew chiefs or farm labor contractors to get a 
certificate from the state before they recniit migrants. The Industrial Commis- 
sion would be able to establish criteria for certification according to the proposal. 

"I'articularly in light of the fact that Florida is the third largest employer of 
migrant farm laborers, there ought to be responsibility somewhere in state gov- 
ernment to say who can be crew chiefs so we can weed out the bad eggs and 
try to give people some protection," Weis.senborn said. 

Anbody — "Even an ex-con" — can set himself up as a crew chief now without 
any controls l)y the state, he said. 

"Nine-tenths of the migrants work through these crew chiefs and some of these 
guys are really ha 1," the .senator said. 

"From evid€^nce that's come to my attention, it's obvious that a large per- 
centage of these crew chiefs who go out and recruit migrants have very little 
interest in the welfare of the people working under them." 

He said that, as a direct result of the recent hearings in Immokalee and Fort 
Myers fif a select U.S. Senate Committee he will also file a bill to require coun- 
ties to participate in either the commodity food distribution program or the food 
stamp program. 


"Frankly, I'd like to see the financing of tlie food stamp program done through 
the state level," he said. 

Weissenborn said other bills he will file will extend workmen's compensation 
benefits to migrants, set up day care centers for the children of migrant laborers, 
require that migrant camps be inspected by state health olficials and apply a 
minimum housing code to migrants' homes. 

"I just think we need to clean up our own house and maybe be a model state 
in this area," he said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Jan. 23, 1968] 

Expanding Sugar Industry Has Trouble Getting Labor 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

Clewiston. — From 2,000 feet up the haze of smoke from sugar cane fields 
seems endless. Around Lake Okeechobee, from Moore Haven to Clewiston to South 
Bay to Canal Point, the fields stretch. 

From 198,000 acres of rich muck-loam, the sugar industry is producing 650,000 
tons of raw sugar this year. In seven years this industry has grown from an annual 
production of only 160,000 tons. 

This booming industry was shown to newsmen Monday by the Florida Sugar 
Cane LeagTie Inc. The league president, Hariy T. Vaughn, told reporters the 
league merely wanted to display the $110 million industry. But Fred Sikes, vice 
president of Vaughn's U.S. Sugar Corp., may have given part of the reason for the 
press tour in discussing the labor problem. 

aerial mill view 

The all-day look at the industry included an aerial view of all nine member 
mills and a bus tour through the table-flat, black muckland. During the bus trip, 
Sikes said "domestic labor" won't take on the task of hacking and stacking the 
untold thousands of tons of cane. That falls to the '•offshore" labor. 

A problem here is that the administration in Washsington decides how many 
"offshore" laborers it will let in. 

The "offshore" men, generally Jamaicans, are earning an average of $1.78 an 
hour, he said. They constitute the bulk of the labor force, or between 8,000 and 
9,000 among 13,000 sugar employes, said Sikes. 

The "domestic" labor considers the job beneath them, he said. The rest of 
the sugar industry manpower is domestic, and between 60 and 65 per cent of 
the mill forces are year round. The mills must be completely broken down, 
cleaned and repaired and reassembled between seasonal runs, he said. 


The 35 to 40 percent working seasonally could be used in the fields, but they 
won't take field work, Sikes said. There is cultivating work to be done. But the 
seasonal workei's generally are from upstate and the southeastern states and 
have other interests, he said. 

Cane is seasonal because it wants to grow in the wet summers, said George 
H. Wedgeworth, president of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida 
after John B. Boy, executive vice president of United States Sugar, gave a 
brief rundown on the growing and harvest. 

When the cane is growing in warm weather it won't stop to ripen and produce 
the sugar needed, Wedgeworth said. Boy said that the immature cane or part of a 
stalk held solids adverse to sugar extraction from ripe cane. 

William J. ]Miller, general manager of the Sugar Cane Growers Co-op mill, the 
Glades Sugar House, said the mills had to keep going. They produce their own 
power. The loving care used in cleaning and reassembly is to pi-event a breakdown 
during the season when the mills roll 24 hours a day. 


"We can afford a short stop of about; two hours," Miller said. But if the liquids 
are allowed to harden and set the mill is in a mess as far as restart is concerned, 
he said. 


Miller and other cooperative oflBcers conducted a detailed tour of the sugar 
house, the place where the sugar and molasses are separated from the dirt, grit 
and fiber. The crushed fiber, called bagasse in the industry, ordinarily is used to 
power the mill. 

But sometimes it is used for other chemicals. At Glades the Quaker Oats Co., 
has an adjacent mill where furfural, a chemical with uses including plastics, is 
extracted. The mill uses the Quaker waste product, but has to add fuel to keep 
up power. 

The bagasse might make a fine mulch in some regions, Miller said, but is of no 
use in the muck-loam of the Everglades. 


Only two of the mills have refineries, and a third is only a refinery. The Glades 
County Sugar Growers Cooperative Association Inc., and the Florida Sugar 
Corp. make refined as well as raw sugar. The Everglades Sugar Refinery Inc., 
refines raw sugar. Florida's own brands include "Evercane"' and "Sunsweet." 

Other raw sugar is shipped to refineries chaser to the market areas. The reason 
is one of handling: as raw sugar it can be handled in bulk, like grain. As refined 
sugar it must be handled in the more expensive methods of processed food. 

Raw sugar is shipped by truck, rail and barge to refineries at Savannah, Ga., 
New Orleans and St. Louis. 

At the sugar the newsmen were introduced to sugar bulk style, seeing 
a 52.000-ton pile worth between $8 and $9 million. 

Others took part in the lengthy but informative program, many making their 
talks while the chartered Traihvays l)us rolled, with Al Harris of Fort Myers 
behind the wheel. They included J. Xc'ison Fairbanks, general manager of the 
cane growers league; Riley S. Miles, executive director of the Water Users 
Association of Florida Inc. and George II. Salley. president of the Glades County 
Sugar Growers Cooperative and an attorney instrumental in the forming of the 

Other mills visited included Okeelanta, Talisman Cooperative, Atlantic Sugar 
Association, Osceola Co., and Bryant Sugar House of the United States Sugar 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Jan. 24, 1968] 
Kirk Studies Farm Imports and Labor 

Naples. — Gov. Claude R. Kirk will seek some answers in Washington Thursday 
to the problems posed for Southwest Florida farmers by importation of foreign 
crops and the programs of the Office of Economic Opportunity among migrants, 
a Kirk aide said Tuesday. 

The aide, .Jim Bax, .said Kirk heard reports of the "deleterious effects" on the 
farmers of two problems in a meeting at Palm Beach Saturday. Bax said 
he will come to Florida Thursday and Friday to gather more informa- 
tion for the governor. 

Bax said Kirk- has asked Robert Roesch, his staff member in charge of federal 
programs, to prepare a report for the National Governors' Conference on the 
problems of foreign imports and proble-ms of migrants, and that Kirk also has 
asked OEO Director R. Sargent Shriver to come to Tallahassee to discuss the 
migrant programs. 

The farmers. Bax said, want import restrictions set on foreign vegetables which 
are produced in areas where labor is cheaper. 

Lander recalled that Collier County farmers had discussed the import situa- 
tion with Congressman Paul G. Rogers here several weeks ago. He said, "The 
governor just wanted to be brought up to date on the situation before going to 
Washington this week." 

Kirk and state legl.slative leaders and Cabinet members will confer with the 
Florida delegation in Washington Thursday. 

Lander said Kirk told the group "he would bring out the situation to the 
congres.sional delegation in Washington." 

The situation. Lander ci»ntinued. is that imports of watermelon have cut into 
local market outlets here for several years. 

"Last spring." he said, "40 percent of our market for tomatoes was taken 
away by imports. 


"And peppers and cucumbers are being planted, especially in Mexico, in in- 
creasing amounts." 

All four of the crops Lander mentioned account for large shares of the nearly 
$30 million harvest from this county, one of the three most productive 
agricultural areas in the state. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 20, 19681 
Vegetable Fakms Increase Output 

Agriculture is a big industry in Hendry County. Vegetables are the principal 
crop, and records of Ray Burgess, county agent, show an increase of plantings 
as follows : 

Tomatoes 1,200 acres, watermelon 700 acres, peppers 120 acres, cucumbers 
200 acres, potatoes 1,200 acres, cantaloui^es 100 acres and miscellaneous vege- 
tables between 300 and 400 acres. 

Its cattle industry ranks second in livestock numbers statemde and it is the 
last frontier cattle area in Florida, just beginning to realize the great potential 
in beef cattle production. This year's increase in livestock in the area was 10 

The Big Cypress Indian Reservation which is located in the southeastern 
section of Hendry County and is comprised of 42,698 acres has become interested 
in the producing of cattle, and 5-5 of the Indian families living there now own 
3,600 head of cattle grazing on 6,292 acres of improved pasture. There is also 
available for expansion of their program approximately 11,500 acres of fed- 
eral land and 2,500 acres of state land suitable for cattle raising within the 

The stumping industry showed an income of $75,000 and the pulpwood pro- 
ducers an income of $50,000. 


Citrus products have been a part of the economy here for more than 60 years 
with groves centered in the Fort Denaud area of the Caloosahatchee Valley. How- 
ever, in the last six years renewed interest in citrus production has taken place 
and this year citrus production shows an approximate income of $600,000 pro- 
duced by 375,000 boxes of fruit from some 20,000 acres— an increase of approxi- 
mately 1,000 acres this year. 

There are two dairies located in the area which show a very stable operation. 

Sugar cane plantings either grown or headquartered in the county show 
plantings of 17,000 acres. Queen bees, the production of honey and the shipment 
of bees for the polination of crops is also big business here. Four groups of bee- 
keepers are engaged in the industry, shipping honey, honey products and pack- 
age bees. Bees are shipi>ed all over the world. This operation .showed an increase 
of 5 per cent over last year, with 1,500 barrels of honey shipped out of the area. 

According to the records of the county agent, between 5,000 and 6,000 migrant 
workers are employed here in agriculture and 4,300 full farm workers. 

In the citrus industry, growers operating from 1 to 100 acres show 25 growers, 
100 to 500 acres 7 growers, 501 to 1,000 acres 17 growers, over 1,000 6 growers. 

Vegetable farmers show 20 farmers farming from 1 to 100 acres, 105 farmers 
farming from 100 to 500 acres, 4 farmers farming from 501 to 1,000 acres and 
3 farmers farming over 1,000 acres. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 20, 1968] 
Farm Income Is High in County 

Agricultural products produced in Lee County provide an annual income of 
more than $25 million and generate more than $75 million in agri-business activ- 
ity, according to Coiinty Agricultural Agent Robert G. Curtis. 

This area has about 160 cattle herds totaling an estimated 20,000 head of beef 
cattle, and four dairy herds with aboiit 1,000 milk cows. 

About 3,000 acres of land is devoted to growing citrus with several thousand 
acres earmarked or planted in new citrus which will expand the local industry 
within a few years. In addition to citrus, tropical fruits such as mangos, avocados, 
lychees, guavas and papayas add a considerable sum to the agricultural 
income here. 



The production of vegetable tniok crops is anotlier important phase of Lee 
County's ajrricultiiral picture with about 7,000 acres planted in watermelons, 
squash, tomatoes, potatoes, i>epi>ers, cucumbers and sweet corn. Favorable year 
around warm temperatures allow area farmers to put winter vegetable crops on 
the market earlier than any other area in the T'nited States. 

The flower industry is the large.'^t agricultural industry in Lee County. With 
more than 4,000 acres of gladioli planted and marketed here, Lee County has be- 
come known as the "Gladiolus Capital of the World." 

In addition to the glads, chrysanthemum growing is a tliriving business. Pot 
mums and cut specimens are shipped nationwide and more than 60 acres of 
chrysanthemum cuttings are marketed worldwide. More than 200 million cuttings 
each year are sold. 


Not to be bypassed in Lee County's agricultural activities is the rather large 
and important ornamental nursery business. A number of wholesale and retail 
nurseries are located in the local area. 

Another phase of agriculture currently having an important rebirth of activity 
is the forestry industry. The excellent stand of virgin timl)er that once covered 
much of South Florida has been almost completely cut away. Until recent years 
little was done to replace it. 

Through the establishment of fire control practices by the Florida Forest 
Service as well as cultural practices recommended and encouraged by them, 
plus the activities of the U.S. Depai'tment of Agriculture Forest Service, many 
acres of timber have been replanted. 

Forest products harvested here include pulp wood, saw timber, poles, fence 
posts, stump wood and lighter wood. Even at this early stage forest products 
represent more than $100,000 a year return to land owners and farmers. 


Area farmers, ranchers and landowners receive technical assistance on con- 
servation projects from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation 
Service. The assistance is made through locally organized Soil and Water 
Conservation Districts. 

The Lee Soil and Water Conservation District was formed in 1947. A primary 
function of the district has been to educate the landowners in the wise use of 
natural resources. SCS employes Jim Spieth, conservationist, and .Tohn Clemons, 
technician, have the responsibility of instituting the practices endorsed by a five- 
man committee elected by farmers and ranchers. 

During the past year technical services were provided to 320 landowners. 
Conservation plans were completed for 21 farms. Major conservation problems 
receiving attention by the district included proper land use, water control, 
maintenance of water quality, pasture development and management, soil de- 
pletion, and vp^ildlife management on private lands. 


Another federal department which has aided in making local agriculture as 
important as it is to the area's economy through the use of price support pro- 
grams is the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. 

The local office is managed by .Tudson Francis under the direction of a five- 
memljer farmer-elected county coinmittee. Members of the committee are Nat 
Hunter, chairman. Charles Flint, vice chairman, and Darwin White, member. 
Alternate meml)ers are Al Chri.stensen and Frank Nodine. The committee is 
re.sponsil)le for the local administration of such federal programs as the Agri- 
cultural Conservation Program, acreage allotments and marketing quotas, diver- 
sion programs and payments. 

The major program activity here is the ACP through which farmers, ranchers, 
grove owners and tree farmers apply for cost share assistance to carr.y on needed 
soil, water, and wildlife conservation work. 

Last year, under an emergency drought program instituted by the committee 
to provide new wells or water lioles for ranchers, 114 wells and water holes were 
dug. The rancher paid 20 per cent of the cost and the program paid the remaining 
80 per cent which amounted to $30,520. 



During the year, another $44,106 was paid to farmers and ranchers for 
conservation practices such as establishing permanent vegetative cover on 709 
acres ; crop pasture rotation programs establislied on 470 acres, trees planted on 
83 acres, 3,680 acres of established vegetative cover were improved, 849 acres 
were chopi>ed and disced to control competitive shrubs, four wells were dug, two 
ponds dug and 2,112 acres were improved to enhance natural beauty. 

Lee County, like many other areas, has been affected by the increase in the 
number of pleasure horses. There are several riding stables, one thoroughbred 
racing farm, and many people who have purchased small parcels outside the city 
limits where they can pasture one or two horses. 

There are an estimated 700 head of privately owned pleasure and show 
horses and more than 1,000 head total in the county. The sale of horses, feed, 
veterinarian fees, trailers and other equipment generates an estimated $350,000 
annual business. 

Commercial egg production locally amounts to about 925,000 dozen annually 
wit<h an estimated market value of $323,750. Add to this the sale of culls, manure 
and other by-products, and the annual total created is more than $250,000. 

The poultry industry, as with the cattle, agriculture industries, cattle, citrus, 
flowers, vegetables, forestry, and horses, creates a great amount of business 
in its use of labor, feeds and supplies, and generates more business than the 
on-the-farm value would indicate. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Oct. 11, 1968] 

Gladiolus Bulb Digger Made By Owner of Machine Shop 

(By Phil Keyes) 

A. B. Blackwell, owner of Southern Machine & Steel Co. at 2510 Edison Ave., 
aims to please. So last spring when John O. Zipperer of Zipperer Farms asked 
Blackwell to build a machine to dig gladiolus bulbs, Blackwell complied. 

Blackwell's bulb digger was the first ever built and Zipperer was so pleased 
he called in his friends to see it work. One of the friends is a grower in Oceanside, 
Calif., and after watching the digger work in a muddy field for 15 minutes, he 
ordered two. 

"Last spring Mr. Zipperer called me over to his packing house to repair a 
shaker screen on a bulb sorter which wasn't much of a job," Blackwell said. "I 
asked him if this is all he needed and he told me to build a bulb digger." 

The fact that bulb digging always had been done by hand because no one 
had invented a suitable machine didn't bother Blackwell. 

"I knew it would work," he said Thursday. "The idea is to speed up the digging 
of bulbs and not miss any of them in the rows." 

As Blackwell talked about the bulb digger, several of his employees were 
razzing him to show the blueprint. When questioned about the blueprint for the 
machine, Blackwell said, "I could just visualize it as I went along with the 

Walter Preston of the Manatee Fruit Oo. in Palmetto was the first to see the 
machine in operation at Zipperer's farm. Then Edwin Frazee, a glad grower in 
Oceanside, Calif., heard about the digger and was interested. 


Blackwell said Frazee was having labor problems getting his bulbs dug so 
he flew to Fort Myers to take a look at the machine. 

"He arrived here on a rainy day and suggested we wait until the next when 
the field was dry to demonstrate the digger. I suggested we give the machine a 
try in the muddy field. He watched for about 15 minutes then wrote a check 
for a deposit on two diggers," Blackwell said. 

Thursday afternoon Blackwell and his men were at the freight depot bolting 
the machines on a fla tear for shipment to California. 

Blackwell built the machines in about eight weeks. He started with two regu- 
lar Ford tractors which he took apart and rearranged on the digging and 
collecting devices he built in the Edison Avenue shop. Each costs about $23,000'. 



"My bis proldem hore is st'ttin;; t'xperienced men to work for me in the sliop," 
Blackwell said. "It's iimisiial that I have a macliiiie here that puts men out of 
work and I can't get help to build them. I've had a help wanted ad in the paper 
for three months now." 

Blackwell came to Fort Myers from Clewiston in 19.j8 and opened his machine 
shop. He started with three employees, now has nine and wants more. 

In the shop. Blackwell has started work on another machine which will do 
the complete jrlad bulb i)lantinjr job — plowing the furrow, fertilizing, planting 
each bulb three inches apart and covering them with soil. 

"Mr. Zipperer decided I could build a planter if I could build a bulb digger 
so here it is," he said. "Four guys will sit up here on the thing and place the 
bulbs on a conveyor belt. Another guy drives the tractor across the tield and 
it plants two rows at a time." 

Manatee Fruit Co. has an order in for the next digging machine and orders 
for two more for California growers are expected to arrive any day. Manatee 
Fruit was so impressed with the digger, it placed an order for a mobile bulb 
prcessing plant that can be used in the flower fields, Blackwell said. It is almost 
complete and is parked outside the shop. 

The processor will work 20 people at one time. Bulbs will be placed on a shaker 
screen to knock dirt off before the bulbs fall onto a conveyor belt. Ten 
people will be stationed on either side of the conveyor and as bulbs go by they 
will be picked up, cleaned of trash and dropped into a hopper. The hopi)er will 
count each bulb, then drop them onto another conveyor belt which will move 
them to boxes for packing. 

Blackwell said he could see no reason for going to all the troul)le of getting 
a patent on the several one-of-a-kind machines. 

"If someone else wants to build one they will whether I have a patent or not," 
he said. "Like everything else, if they want to go out into a field and see one 
work and then build one they are welcome to try." 

[From the Miami Herald, Dec. 18, 196S] 

Cold Hits Migrants 

( By Tom Morgan ) 

East Naples. — A half million dollai-s or more in crop losses in Collier County 
from Monday's freeze were still below what had been feared might come with 
Tuesday morning low temperatures. The loss can still mean a cold Christmas for 
several thousand migrant worker.s whose jobs will be cut l)y the crop damage. 

The Monday cold dropped to 2S degrees in many county areas but the Tuesday 
mark in most places were not below, 34 degrees, uncomfortable but not dangerous 
to crops. 

"The ground winds didn't change" said Don Lander, county agricultural exten- 
sion agent, but Phil Thoma.s, station WXOG's weather forecaster, said that upper 
level winds comihg in from the Atlantic warmed things up there and saved us. 

"The temperaiture fell to 34 at midnight and held there. Then it began to rise 
in the farm areas .so there was very little added damage." 

Lander said that the older i)epi)er plantings at Immokalee had been hit pretty 
hard, e.specially about the tops of the bushes, l>ut weren't willed out. Young pep- 
pers came through in better shape. 

The major county crop of .staked tomatoes were "over-all good" but damage to 
squash and cucumbers was heavy. 

Lander said that first day estimates of loss must now be at least doubled for 
a lost of $500,000-plus, countywide — about one percent of the overall county 
harvest prospect for the year. 

The county agent .said the most serious danger is the loss of pre-Christmas 
work for migrants who flock to Collier County by the thousands every year. 

"This will hurt some of them I'm sure," Lander said. He added some work 
would still be available on tomatoes and peppers. 

Migrant income derives from planting and harvesting of crops and any inter- 
ruption of the routine can problems since the migrants work by the day 
and are paid the same way. A day or .several days off means no pay. 


[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 23, 1969]' 
MiGBANT Aid Bill Defeated 

Tallahassee. — Miami Sen. Lee Weissenborn lambasted tlie Senate Agri- 
culture Committee Tuesday for being "more concerned with cows and acres than 
it is with people." 

The committee's decision to kill Weissonborn's bill designed to protect migrant 
and other farm workers brought on the wrath of the Miami democrat. 

"It met the fate of all bills designed to help the people in their needs — it 
was referred to Agriculture," Weissenborn said of his proposal. 

"There's just not a great deal of compassion for the people at the bottom of the 
heap," he said, referring to his fellow legislators, "and I think it's a damned 

Weissenborn also criticized Senate President John Mathews for referring the 
bill to the Agriculture committee. 

"In the first place, it shouldn't have been sent to Agriculture," he contended. 
"This committee is more concerned with cows and acres than it is with people." 

He said the committee didn't even tell him its objections to the proposal and 
that Sen. Chesterr W. Stolzenburg (R., Fort Lauderdale) was the only com- 
mittee member that supported the bill. 

The proposal would have required euijiloyers of 10 or more migrant or non- 
migrant farm workers or food processors to register with the Farm Labor De- 
partment of the Industrial Commis.sion. The registration would include wages 
paid, housing and working conditions and other employment facts. 

The bill also required licensing by the Farm Labor Department of farm labor 
contractors, who supply the workers to farmers. The contractors would be re- 
quired to furnish information about the job before the actual work begins. 

In addition, both the workers and suppliers would have to have liability insur- 
ance in the event of injury or death to the workers. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 16, 1969] 
Migrant Laborers May Get Break on State Licenses 

Tallahassee. — Migrant laborers could escape buying Florida auto tags 
or driving licenses under bills approved Tuesday by the Florida Senate. 

The bills were approved 35-1 and 36-1 with the lone dissenter, Sen. Charles 
Weber, R-Fort Lauderdale, calling them ridiculous. 

Sen. Welborn Daniel, D-Clermont, who ushered "my wetback bills" through 
the Senate, said many Mexican laborers come into Florida and are pounced 
on by law enforcement officers and forced to pay fines and towing costs. 

Weber .said he voted against the bills because they would permit migrant 
laborers' cars and buses to travel Florida highways without vehicle in.spection. 

The bills now go to the House. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 30, 1969] 
Farm Notes — Watermelons Leading 

Vegetables : Most commodities continue available with harvest confined to the 
Everglades mucklands northward with only limited harvest at Fort Myers- 
Immokalee and Pompano. Watermelons led in carlot shipments with Irish Pota- 
toes second. Sweet corn was in full volume as were tomatoes and cucumbers. 
Most other crops are in seasonal decline. Shower activity hampered harvest in 
some areas. 

Snap beans : Harvest for processing continues at Bradenton, in the Everglades 
and in North Florida. Yields are fair to excellent. 

Celery : Quality fair in Everglades. Supplies decreasing. 

Sweet corn: Everglades reached peak mid-month. Quality continues good. 

Cucumbers: Fort Myer.s-Immokalee harvest <'(rmplere. 

Peppers: Fort Myers-Immokalee harvest complete, quality and size variable. 

Potatoes : Everglades and Samsula "whites" only available. 

Radishes : Everglades supplies declining, harvest about complete. 

Tomatoes : Fort Myers-Immokalee harvest complete. 


[From the Miami Herald, July 31, 1968] 

$57.5 Million in Crops Seen — Flowers, Vegetables, Lead Way 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — The agricultural harvest in Southwest Florida's two main farm 
counties of Collier and Lee will total $57.5 million this year, an all-time high, 
according to the two counties' agricultural extension agents. 

In Collier, Don Lander fixed the county vegetable harvest at $40 million from 
28,100 acres while in Lee, agent Robert F. Curtis estimated $11.6 million in 
flower crops and $5.9 million in vegetables. 

Collier County had the larger return and the greater area with 28,100 acres 
but Lee had the greatest per-acre return with 125 acres of pompom chrysanthe- 
mums bringing $3.4 million. 

Lee also had 3,000 acres of gladiolas, which brought $8.2 million and 11,600 
acres of vegetables worth $5.9 million. 

"Our $40-million return was the best ever," Landers said. "Even though the 
fall deal was real bad and below average. 

"The late winter and spring return was real high although not up to expecta- 
tions by four or five million dollars. We had no freeze-outs and returns were 
exceptionally good." 

Collier's vegetable production is still centered on Immokalee, but farms there 
spread half-way to Naples or more. 

Landers said expansion of farming is going on at Naples with A. Duda and 
Sons, "probably the biggest farmer in the United States," continuing to show 
interest in the area. 

Duda has about 2,000 acres now and is putting in a packing house on lands 
southeast of Naples. 

Nationally, Duda is interested in cattle, sugarcane and vegetables and in 
Collier he is raising tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, watermelons and cucumbers, 

County wide in Collier there were 8,000 acres of ground tomatoes and 3,200 acres 
of stake tomatoes. 

Other crop acreages were: peppers 4,400, cucumbers 4,000, potatoes 1,200, 
squash 1,000, corn 600 and mixed vegetables 500 acres. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 23, 1969] 
Nixon Deprived Workers of Farm Jobs, Panel Told 

Washington. — ^The Nixon Administration deprived local farm w^orkers of jobs 
by letting Florida citrus growers import 2,000 foreign laborers, a Senate subcom- 
mittee was told Thursday. 

Stanley Ruttenberg, an assistant labor secretary during the Johnson Adminis- 
tration, said the importation of foreigners was unnecessary. 

The Florida labor market was adequate to harvest even the current bumper 
citrus crop, Ruttenberg said. 

He said the Nixon Administration's action last week broke a two-year ban 
against such braceros. Those in Florida are from the British AYest Indies. 

Ruttenberg told the Senate subcommittee on migratory labor that he favored 
outright abolishment of the system by which Mexican nationals get immigration 
visas and use them to commute daily to farm work in the United States. 

Subcommittee chairman Walter F. Mondale (D., Minn.) said he felt from his 
personal ob.servation of migrants cro.ssing into Texas at 4 a.m. daily that the sys- 
tem should be ended for the migrants' own i)rotection. 

The are treated badly by immigration officials, he said, and are provided no 
protection either by the Mexican or the U.S. governments as were persons brought 
in under the bracero program. 

Ruttenl)erg estimated 100,000 Mexican nationals cross the border to work but 
live in Mexico. 

The Labor Department found, he said, that seasonal farm workers in the border 
areas of Texas earn 30 percent less than do their counterparts elsewhere in 
Texas. He said the Texas border town unemployment rate is double that for other 
parts of the state. 


Ruttenberg said all Immigrants should be treated the same and should be re- 
quired either by an act of Congress or administrative action to live in the United 
States. A two-year grace period should be given present holders of "green card 
immigration visas," he said. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 1, 1969] 
Three Migrant, Hungry Aid Bells Move in Senate 

Tallahassee. — Sen. Lee Weissenborn has won three preliminary victories 
in a fight for legislation to aid migrant laborers and the hungry poor. 

Senate subcommittees Wednesday approved Weissenbom's bills to create a 
state division of migrant labor and to put a compulsory food program for the 
needy in every Florida county. A third bill approved voids laws that allow the 
owner of a labor camp to prohibit certain persons from visiting migrant workers. 

"I'm very pleased that we made headway before three different subcommittees 
on the legislative program I'm still introducing to generally solve some of the 
human needs of this state and particularly to solve some of the needs of the 
migrant workers," Weissenborn said. 

The "war on hunger" measure requires local officials to choose one of two fed- 
erally funded food programs, to be operated by the state at a cost next year of 
$2 million. 

Weissenborn said 17 of the state's 67 counties have refused or neglected to 
launch food programs and 67,000 people eligible for free food there can't get it. 

"If you don't feed them, there's no point in educating them, housing them or 
making them healthy," the Miami Democrat told the Senate Health and Welfare 
Committee. The bill won unanimous approval but still faces a rough road to 

The second measure would put Lt. Gov. Ray Osborne in charge of a special 
division to handle migrant problems. 

Weissenborn, who headed an interim committee on seasonal labor, said Florida 
is the nation's third largest employer of migrants and "I am aghast at all the 
disoriented activity in this area." 

Several state agencies now handle certain aspects of the migrant lal>or prob- 
lems and Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Louis de la Parte of Tampa 
agreed there is a need to "pinpoint responsibility." The bill faces action by two 
more committees. 

Weissenborn said the purpose of his food bill "is to get the people at the 
bottom fed." The problem of hunger in Florida was spotlighted last month when 
a U.S. Senate "hunger" committee headed by Sen. George McGovern (D., S.D.) 
discovered poor conditions among migrants in Immokalee in Collier County, 
which has no free food program. 

"But Collier County feels these people are not really residents," Sen. Dave 
Lane (R., Fort Lauderdale), protested when the bill came up. "They are the 
only indigents in the country." 

Weissenbom's proposal allowing migrant workers to have visitors against the 
wishes of the owner of their camp was approved by the Senate law and order 

"It gives the renter the right to have somebody come on their land even if the 
owner objects to it." Weissenborn said. "The need for this bill comes from the 
effort of lawyers and newsmen to talk with these workers and they are kept off 
by the owners." 


Community Attitudes — Newspaper Clippings 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 23, 1969] 

Import of Labor For Florida Hit 

Washington.— The Nixon administration deprived local farm workers of jobs 
l)y letting Florida citrus growers import 2,000 foreign laborers, a Senate sub- 
committee was told Thursday. 

Stanley Ruttenberg, an assistant labor secretary during the Johnson adminis- 
tration, said the importation of foreigners was unnecessary. 


The Florida labor market was adequate to harvest even the current bumper 
citrus crop, Ruttenherg said. 

He said the Nixon administration's action last week broke a two-year ban 
against such lalK)rers. Those in Florida are from the British West Indies. 

Ruttenberj; told the Senate subcoumiittee on migratory labor that he favored 
outright abolishment of the system by which Mexican nationals get immigration 
visas and use them to commute daily to farm work in the United States. 

Subc-ommittee chairman Walter F. Mondale, D-Minn., said lie felt from his 
personal oliservation of migrants crossing into Texas at 4 a.m. daily that the 
system should be ended for the magrant.s' own protection. 

They are treated badly by immigration officials, he said, and are provided no 
protec^tion either by tJie Mexican or the U.S. governments as were persons brought 
in under the bracero program. 

Ruttenherg estimated 100,000 Mexican nationals cross the border to work but 
live in Mexico. 

Ruttenherg said all immigrants should be treated the same and .should be 
required, either by act of Congress or administrative action, to live in the United 
States. A two-year grace period should l)e given present holders of "green card" 
immigration visas, he said. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 5, 1969] 

Collier Near-Riot Broken Up 

(By Tom Morgan) 

Immokalee.^ — A near-riot, precipitated when Collier County sheriff's deputies 
made three vice charge arrests late Saturday, was broken up here Sunday morn- 
ing after 44 deputies, Naples city police and Florida Highway Patrolmen moved 
into a Negro area. 

Officers and residents said this unincorporated center of the county farm indus- 
try was quiet Sunday with the only aftermath of the disturbance a shortage of 
farm labor when labor liuses moved out to the farms about dawn. 

Sheriff E. A. Doug Hendry brought out liC) deputies, l.^i Naples policemen and 
three highway patrolmen to break up groups loitering about the streets. There 
were IS arrests but only one reported injury, a man who .shot him.self in the 
hand in a scuffle with deputies. 

Sheriff Hendry said the trouble began just after 11 p.m. Saturday when Dep- 
uty Gerald Pickles and two undercover officers attempted to arrest two Negro 
women for prostitution charges in Crawford's quarters. 

"The officers had observed the operation for two hours," the sheriff said. "The 
undercover men went with Delores Williams, 20 and Evette Smith. 21, and iTuiid 
them $8 in marked money. The women were taking off their clothes when the 
undercover workers told them they wouldn't get out of Immokalee alive, and 
called for a man named Herbert or Red. 

"The officers ran out tlie door and Herbert Christopher shot at them two or 
three times. Lt. Joe Hunter and Deputy Pickles returned and arrested the women 
on pro.stitution charges and Christopher for attempted murder." 

Sheriff Hendry said that Christopher pulled a .22 pistol from his pocket and in 
a scuffle with the deputies .shot himself in the hand. He was taken to Naples Com- 
munity Ho.^pital, treated, and put in the county jail in East Naples. 

The' .sheriff .said a crowd gathered around the Imniokah'e branch courthouse 
and that John and Clinton Christopher, brothers of the arrested man, and Clar- 
ence I>ang came into the jail using foul and abu.sive language. They were arrested 
but John Christopher ran and was caught nearby. 

More trouble came at 11 :.'>;") p.m. when Lynn Collins reported shots had been 
fired at his station wagon, hitting the tailgate twice and bursting a tire. 

[From the Fort Myer (Fla.) News-Press, May 5, 19G9] 
IxofOKALEE Vice Raid Spurs Riot 

TNfMOKALF.E. — What started out as a routine vice squad oi)eration here Satur- 
day night ended in a small riot which was finally subdued after about four hour.s, 
Sheriff Doug Hendry said Sunday. 

The operation got out of hand temporarily, Hendry said, when two women 


stripping off their clotlies for purposes of prostitution witli undercover officers 
became alarmed and yelled for the man whose room they were using in Craw- 
ford's Quarters. 

The man, Herbert (Big Red) Christopher, pursed the two oflScers who ran out 
of the room. He began shooting with a 22-caliber revolver, Hendry said, and other 
otlicers staked out to make arrests on the prostitution charges moved in on the 

Crowding Christopher, and the two women — Delores Williams, 20, and Evette 
Smith, 21, back into the room, the officers attempted to make the arrests when 
Christopher broke loose and again began firing. 

'big red' shoots self 

In the scuffle, Hendry said, Christopher shot himself through the hand. 

Sheriff's Lt. Joe Hunter and Deputy Gerald Pickles charged the three and 
started toward the county jail, when a crowd gathered. 

A brother and another relative of Christopher's and a man named Clarence 
Lang were arrested at the jail for using foul and abusive language which they 
shouted at the officers. 

Shortly after the first arrests reports began coming to the Sheriff's office of 
bottle-throwing and shooting at cars, and of some vandalism. 

From the time Lt. Hunter and the two undercover agents made their first 
contact with Delores Williams and Evette Smith (about 9 p.m) until 1:30 a.m. 
Sunday, more than a dozen "incidents" were reported. 

At 11 :20, Lynn Collins said several shots were fired at his station wagon as 
he drove south on First Street. Two bullets struck the tail gate of the car ; a 
third burst a tire. 

At 12 :53 Billy Hetlrin said "Negroes threw about 20 bottles at my car and were 
shouting at me." 


Dan Cartwright, and Earl Bone also reported bottles thrown at their cars as 
they drove through the area. Cartwright said one shot was fired at him, too. 

Cpl. Don McCarty of the Sheriff's office said the front plate glass window was 
broken out of the Crawford's Dry Goods Store and kerosene was poured through- 
out the building. Drink boxes at another store were overturned. 

As the reports came in, help from the Florida Highway Patrol, the Naples 
Police Department and deputies from locations over the county gathered in 
the troubled area and assisted in cooling things down. 

At final count early Sunday, Christopher, treated at Naples for his bullet 
wound, was in county jail charged with attempted murder. The two women were 
in county jail charged with prostitution. And 12 others were in jail either here 
or in county jail at East Naples on charges ranging for being drunk through 
failure to obey a police officer, disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon, 
reckless display of a firearm, and public profanity. 

Sheriff Hendry said the whole incident "just seemed to blow up." after the 
two women hollered at the deputies and Christopher ran in and began firing 
that 22." 

The "hollering", apparently began when the women recognized the two under- 
cover agents who had kept the Crawford's Quarters room under scrutiny for 
about two hours before making their move. They said, Hendry reported, they 
saw several men go into and leave the room during the two-hour period, and 
then went in also and paid Delores Williams and Evette Smith $8 in marked 

After accepting the money, the agents said, the women recognized them as 
officers, and told them "you will not get out of here alive." They then hollered 
for Big Red (Christopher) . 

"Then things just blew up," the sheriff said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 18, 1969]- 

Migrants Ask fob Better Treatment From Agencies 

Lakeland. — ^Farm laborers told the Governor's Commission on Migrant Affairs 
Thursday of an urgent need for 'netter control of Social Security deductions from 
migrant paychecks and for social service agencies operated for the convenience 
of the poor — not agency employes. 


INIrs. Boston Wells said she and her husband worked as migrant laborers for 
nioro than 20 yours before he died in IDOS. 

After his death she said she went to the Social Security oflBce to apply for a 
survivor's benefit and was told that too few deductions had been made from 
his checks to qualify her for a benefit. 

Dr. James Griffith, a member of the commission, told Mrs. Wells that her 
illustrated the need for stricter control of paycheck deductions. 

"We've run into cases where the per.s*on who deducts tlie money pockets it 
instead of sending it on to Washington,'" Griffith said. 

Mrs. Beriiice Manning, who came to Florida from Geoi'gia last year, said she 
was shunted from office to office when she tried to get welfare assistance for 
her.self and her eight children. 

"I was getting $154 a month welfare in Georgia and they told me I'd .still get 
that check after I moved to Florida,'' she said. 

"Wiien I got down here they cut off my check and said they couldn't pay me 
anything since I moved out of the state." 

She was unable to get welfare as.sistance in Florida since she had not lived in 
the state for a full year, she explained. 

"I went to the Aubumdale welfare people and they said they couldn't help 
me. The Auburndale people sent me to Lakeland for help but all they did was 
tell me to try Bartow. I couldn't get help anywhere." 

The Rev. Paul Wilson, staff worker with tlie Polk County Christian Migrant 
Ministry, told the commission that present social services for migrants were 
inadequate and seemed to operate for the benefit of their employees. 

"We approached the Polk County commissioners to see if we could get more 
food distribution centers established in the county," he said. "They turned us 
down saying that next thing the migrants would want would be for the commis- 
sioners to cook their food for them." 

"Next we tried to get the Lakeland food distribution center to change its hours. 
It's open from S a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The migrants are working 
during those hours and often don't have any way to get to the center. The 
distribution center turned us down too. and said they .saw no reason to change 
their hours for the migrants' convenience." 

Wilson criticized the commission for failing to include migrants among its 
number but Cliairman Fred Sykes replied that the commission was established 
by the governor and could not appoint members at will. 

The commission did move to recommend to the governor that its membership 
be limited to 35 and that the commission have the right to suggest i^ersons for 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 18, 1969] 
Kirk Group Gives Migrants "Solutions" 

Lakeland. — The businesslike, manicured meeting of the Governor's Commis- 
sion on Migratory Affairs had a visitation from the fields Thursday. 

A handful of black farm laborers came to the offices of Florida Citrus Mutual 
here to put their case before the 32 men Gov. Claude Kirk has charged with 
solving migrant pro*l)lems in Florida. 

Paul Wilson for the Polk Christian ^Migrant Ministry introduced the workers 
and drew from them their proldems. They included poor housing, official-agency 
indifference to them, low wages, and a lack of welfare facilities for them when 
they get in trouble. 

^Irs. Bcrniecc Manning said she was trying to feed and clothe eight children 
and herself with no help from welfare. She said her husband had left her. 

The solution f>ffered by the president of Florida Citrus Mutual, Tom Brown, 
was that her hus])and shouldn't have left her. 

"These people have I'esponsibilities .iust like we do," he said. 

Brown ch.-iracterized the migrant ministry more than once as " people 
interested in other people's affairs" and led the opposition to expanding the 
size of the conmiission too much or broadening its representation. 

Wilson, of the migrant ministry, suggested that the conunission encourage 
tighter control of Social Security payments, encourage establishment of mobile 
health and welfare units to go iiitu c;uii])s and fields, and encourage the state 
to ])ut up matching funds for the \v<'lfare programs now at work in the migrant 


Tlie chairman of the commission, Fred Siloes (a vice president of the U.S. 
Sugar Corporation) agreed tliat mobile migrant facilities might be a real benefit 
to woi'kers who are too ignorant to even know what services are available to 

One member told the visitors : "It is easy to find problems, what we need are 
some solutions." 

Wilson suggested that the commission had "a serious lack of any representa- 
tion from migrant or field labor ... or church and welfare groups working 
with these people." He asked the members to go into the fields for their meet- 
ings, also, to give laborers a chance to be heard. 

''It strikes me our commission is a little bit weighted on the business side — 
which is proper — and it strikes me a member from organized labor might give 
the committee more weight," a member said. 

The committee chairman suggested that migrants who were being cheated out 
of their Social Security money by crew leaders should "go down to the post office 
and get one of those post cards to mail to Baltimore" for an accounting of their 
Social Security account. 

"These people don't even know about the post card, much less about where to 
send it," Wilson told him. 

Subcommittee chairmen were called upon for reports by the chairman. They 
reported that they had either been unable to get a quorum for a meeting, or 
had held quickie conversations with each other before the general meeting 

Most progress was reported by the education committee which put a letter in 
the mail early this week asking different migrant support agencies to tell them 
what they were doing. 

Dr. William Clarke of the State Board of Health gave a brief report on the 
number of people who had passed through the state's clinics. 

Finally, Wilson said, the South Florida Migrant Legal Services should be 
changed to the Florida Migrant Legal Services and its responsibilities and area 
of interest should be expanded. 

The commission voted to on to the governor its suggestion that the 32 
member board be expanded to 35 and urged certain appointments to the board 
that would be, as one member put it "compatible with us here." 

The migrants filed out of the meeting silently. 

[From the IMlanii Herald, Apr. 16, 19G9] 

Send Surplus to Miami, Commissioner Suggests 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — A discussion Tuesday of a food stamp program for Collier 
County brought a suggestion from County Commissioner Jack Kurke that surplus 
farm crops here be taken to Miami's Liberty City to feed poor people there. 

Collier got unfavorable national publicity several weeks ago when a Senate 
investigating committee headed by Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota 
claimed to find "widespread hunger and malnutrition" among migrant workers, 
some of whom said they, couldn't get but a few days' work weekly. 

"I've been working in the packing house myself we're so short of help," Com- 
missioner Ewell F. Moore said. "I'm sorry that Yei'o Beach sent a load of 
over to Immokalee. They found there was no place to give them, there were no 

"We don't have to ask for food," added Vice Chairman A. C. Hancock. "They 
poke it down our mouths." 

Moore said that migrants "took one look at the gift fish and found they weren't 
dressed and ready for the pan so they didn't take them." 

Kurke .said the vegetables "now rotting in the fields for lack of help to pick 
them should be taken to Liberty City where they need food, or to the Indians of 
South Dakota." 

Sen McGovern admitted at Immokalee that the Rosebud Sioux were in need 
in his state. South Dakota welfare groups, seeking donations in a mail cam- 
paign that has reached into Collier, have said the Sioux there have a $600 
annual average income. McGovern said migrants here have a $1,239 annual 
average income. 

"I was in Immokalee on Friday and Saturday." Kurke said. "They are des- 
perate for help in the packing houses and there were plenty of people awake at 
36-513— 70— pt. 4A S 


2 a.m. But they were in the bar.s and not working. They should have been sleeping 
so they could go to work in the morning." 

In the di.scu.ssion of the federal aid food stamp program, the board said that 
the stamps are not possible because neither state nor federal funds are available 
to supiM^)rt them. 

"I'd rather have the 'green stamps' myself." Kurke said, "but it's a long term 
project because you have to teach tlie kids how to the foods. The i)arents 
don't know how to use them as they didn't know how to use the fish. They like 
fish but they don't know how to clean them." 

"Where we control the aid," Moore added, "is the only kind of program I'm 
willing to go along with in this county." 

Mrs. Hazel Griffin, county welfare director, said on the last welfare check the 
county issued "they took the groceries and sold them to buy wine — so we (luit 
giving tliem." 

Mr.s. Griffin said not more than three food orders had been given by the county 
in recent weeks. 

In another asi)ect of the migrant problem. Dr. Charles Bradley, head of the 
county health department, .^^aid that a U.S. I'ublic Health Service doctor is 
starting work this week on a two-day-week basis in Immokalee. He said that 
nothing more iias been heard of a .$2(),()()0 migrant health service grant suppo.sed 
to be available for hiring a full-time resident physician in Immokalee. 

"We have had nothing in writing about the grant offered to us," Dr. Bradley 
said. "I'd like somebody to put his John Hancock on something about this migrant 
health project." 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 15, 1969] 
State Attoeney Files an Appeal ox "Probation" Murder Term 

Naples. — A farm labor contractor sentenced to spend two months of each year 
in jail for the next 20 years in the killing of his common-law wife soon may find 
himself either a full-time prLsoner or free on parole, an assistant state attorney 
said Monday. 

J. Blan Taylor said the state had appealed the unusual sentence imposed on 
Warden Williams in February by Circuit Court Judge Harold Smith. 

Williams pleaded nolo contendere to a reduced charge of first-degree man- 
slaughter in the 1967 shooting of Josephine Crawford at her home near Naples. 

He had been indicted by a Collier County grand jury for first-degree murder. 
The nolo contendere plea meant that he neither admitted nor denied his guilt. 

"There was no actual pro.secution of Williams," said Taylor. 

"He was indicted by a Grand Jury and when he api)eared for arraignment with 
his attorney Jerome Pratt, he pleaded nolo contendere (no argument) to the 
manslaughter charge, waived .sworn testimony and re.sted his case on the basis of 
pre.><entence investigation. 

"1 thought the sentence should be appealed and did so on March 11 within the 
30-day appeal time." 

Smith found Williams guilty on the basis of evidence unearthed by a pretrial 
investigation and' sentences him to spend two months each year in the Collier 
County Jail. He also fined Williams $3,000. 

The .state appealed the .sentence "because we think it is an illegal .sentence," 
Taylor said. The appeal will be heard in the 2nd District Court of Appeals in 

"in a, it places him on probation, levies a fine, and incarcerates him 
for a period of time. We're saying you can't do all three. You have to either put 
him in jail or on probation," Taylor said. 

When he passed .'sentence. Judge Smith .said Williams was too valuable to too 
many i>eople as a lal»or supplier, and rea.^oned that sending Williams to jail dur- 
ing the non-harvest months of May and June would best serve the interests of 
the state. 

If the original sentence is overthrown, then Williams must be remanded to 
jail and be resentenced. Tlie maximum sentence that couid be imposed is 20 years 
in prison. 

Williams' attorney — State Rep. Jerome Pratt — suggested such a .sentence on 
grounds that the 33-year-old Williams is "an employer of people," and that if he 
were jailed hundreds of farm workers would be out of jobs. 

Williams oi>erates a fai'm labor service, contracting with vegetable farmers to 
bring workers to their fields during the harvest sea.son. Police officials have said 
they are convinced Williams is honest and will not leave town. 


"I'm an honest man, and I work hard. A lot of workers and a lot of farmers 
depend on me," said Williams, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death 
of Josephine Crawford in 1967. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 28, 1969] 
PooB Not Awabe of Pbogeams To Help Needy, sStudent Says 

While the middle class taxpayer is arguing about the programs provided for 
the poor, the poor are largely unaware the programs exist, a graduate student 
of Florida State University has told the News-Pres«. 

Gerald Troy spent seven months in the Fort Myers area from summer to 
December of 1968 in an intensive study of "A Comparative Analysis of the Knowl- 
edge and Use of the Available Agency Services by Middle Class, Settled Poor 
and Migrant Worker Families." 

His conclusion : "The difference between the knowledge of programs between 
the migrant worker and the middle class is fantastic. New methods of trying to 
inform the people of the services must be used." 

Troy compiled the in-depth study for his mister's thesis, attaining his master's 
degree in social welfare last Friday. His study is filed with the Lee County Com- 
mission, and the Department of Social Welfare of Florida State University. 

Those workers classified as "settled poor" do know a bit more about public serv- 
ices than the migratory workers, but the difference is not significant when com- 
pared with the middle class residents, Troy said. For his study he only used 
services available to all three groups, sio si)ecial programs limited to the poor 
were not analyzed. 

The middle class residents polled knew of every single program, to a man, 
except for the home extension service and the vocational rehabilitation service. 
Only 70 percent knew of the vocational rehabilitation offerings and only half 
knew of the availability of home economics aid through the extension service. 

But as low as 15 percent of the migrants even knew of the existence of many 
of the programs. 

The public health .service is the most widely known and used of all services. 

"I believe this is due to their aggressive case findings," said Troy. Oddly, far 
more migrants, who include numbers of Catholics, knew of the St. Vincent de 
Paul Society than knew of the Catholic Social Services. 

The study included the number of children per family among those polled and 
the education levels. 

Middle class residents polled had an average of 3.2 children per family with 
only three families having five children and none more. Education level was 12 
years and up. 

Both the migrant and settled poor had families of 10 children or more. There 
were families included in the study representing each level of children from none 
to 10 and above per family. 

The migrant and settled poor interviewed included education levels up to but 
not beyond 11 years. Some had none. 

"They have the same problems," Troy said of the migrant and settled poor . 

Troy has been working with farm workers and Indians for more than five 
years, an interest which has led him to his degree. He will return to his native 
Boston for the next stint in social work. He said he hoped to apply some of the 
things learned here in Florida. 

Troy is a troubadour of note, earning money in Florida as a folk singer. His 
talent was popular with the migrants and members of the poor communities while 
he was here working and studying. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 18, 1969] 

The Senators Left But the Problems of the Poor Stayed 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

Things are changing in the land of the poor but a visit from a delegation 
of U.S. senators last week had little immediate effect. 

Mrs. Mary Green, one of the people interviewed by the Select Senate Com- 
mittee on Nutrition and Human Needs, doesn't keep as many children as she 
did. The State Welfare Department enforced a county ordinance requiring more 


facilities for day care operation tliau the aging woman could provide at 2042 
Carver St. 

Roosevelt Murphy still isn't sure he's ever going to get caught up on his back 
rent. lie said he pays $5 extra a week, but doesn't seem to be able to reduce the 
$71. ."O back rent due liy a nickel. 

The busine.s.s at the Lee County "Welfare Department has been "as usual," with 
no great increase or of people wanting commodity foods. Robert H. 
Craft, highly critic ized before and by the committee for alleged maladministra- 
tion of his office, .said Monday that "things are just as they always were." 

These are changes taking place, one of them involving the commodity program 
Craft administers. 

A dozen aides in home economies are busy teaching housewives in poor areas 
how to better use commodity foods and other low cost staple foods in preparing 
balanced, nutritious meals. 

Those who receive commodities plus others who don't are included in the 

The aides were being trained before the senators arrived. The aides come from 
the "target areas." They were trained by the University of Florida Extension 
Service under a federal grant program. Their work doesn't have a thing to do 
with the Senate committee visit. 

In fact, the Senate Committee did not call one .single witness from the De- 
partment of Agriculture or Extension Service during the hearings last Tuesday. 

"This is an expanded part of the work we always have been doing," said Mrs. 
Dorothy Classon, extension home economist in Lee County. "We are just doing 
it through a different means." 

Mrs. Ethyl Hougabook, one of the dozen aides, said they were taught how to 
help the r>eople in the work, as well as how to more effectively use the welfare- 
distributed and other foods. The recipients of commodities now are 
teaching the aides a few things, she said. 

"They .show us. too. We are finding that many know how to use the foods, but 
that they get tired of the same food all the time," she said. 

Tlie philosophy of the program is to make the food more effective and prevenc 
waste, but at the same time preserve the dignity of the recipient. The aides were 
trained to determine needs as the housewives see them, then meet thOi^e 

The aides got $1.70 per hour when working, with hours varying depending upon 
the area worked. Top work week is about 20 hours. 

The senators, headed by Sen. George McGovern, D.-S.D., toured some slum and 
poor housing areas in the eastern edge of Fort Myers during the morning last 
Tuesday. Most of interviewed were away, presumably working, Monday 

But Mrs. Green was home with three children. That's the limit without a 
licensed center "and a fence around the yard," she said. She was charging $1 
a day per child, she told the senators Tuesday, when the network television 
cameras were grinding. 

"Wednesday a man came here and said I couldn't keep no children. He said he 
was state welfare or something like that. 

"You see. I ain't on no welfare," .she said. She gets $70.70 per month Social 
Security. "What I get for the children sort of helped me out. And keeping their 
children do help those who want to wftrk." 

Mrs. Green said .she would be 75 her next birthday. 

Mrs. Clander Mae Smith didn't think too much of the senators they 
cornered here in the tiny kitchen at the High Street home. 

"I got in the kitchen and I couldn't get out. It was senator this and senator 
that. I was stuck," she said. She is getting help from the Division of Vocational 
Rehabilitation here in obtaining supportive hosiery for her legs and from the 
Florida Council for the Blind to ojttain eyegla.sses. 

Meanwhile, she is sul)sisting on .$44 per month Social Security and paying $39 
per month rent. She commodity foods, has used them for three years, and 
comi)l.iins only that there isn't enough to last a month. 

She said Craft turned her down the first time she asked for food hut a Com- 
munity Action Fund aide helped her. Her husband died prior to that. She had 
to turn Ijack two welfare checks bec-ause they were in his name (to the state, not 
to Craft's office) and did not get reimbur.sed for them, or for her part of them. 

"Didn't nobody give me nothing," she said with tears in her eyes, recalling 
the days. "I told Crab I was hungry, and he said I didn't need it. I asks him, 
how he know whether I need it or not'/" 


She doesn't dislike Craft, however. "He is all right, but he has his way. How 
he act depends on how he feels. Why I call him Crab, is because he act so 

The senators didn't see much of the area of Negro poor, and saw none of the 
areas of white poor. The white poor have the same problems as the Negro poor, 
said Francine Jackson, now a resident of Sabal Palms Apartments and president 
of the "Lee County Welfare Rights Organization." 

She was one of those who testified that Craft's office is rude and insulting to 
recipients and applicants, an allegation Craft denied. She still maintains that 
Craft isn't nice. 

"I have seen white women go in there and come out crying," she said. "It 
doesn't matter whether you are white, black, red, blue or lavender." 

There are many, many poor the senators and television cameras didn't see. 
They walked right ]>ast Elnora Hunter, widowed in 1967, who has lived in the 
same house since 1936. Her landlord just raised the rent to $11 a week, from $10. 

[From the Miami Herald, Feb. 21, 1969] 
Why Blame Collieb fob Migrant's Plight? 

Naples. — "Refunding blues" are credited as the inspiration for the attack on 
■Collier County for hunger and malnutrition among migrant workers. 

The label has a triple application. The South Florida migrant legal service 
which has harassed the county since it was set up, is facing a fund cutoff. 

Its parent, the Office of Economic Opportunity, just squeezed past the Nixon 
administration offer to abolish it this week. 

Lastly the Senate investigating committee due here March 10 has a $100,000 
appropriation cut restored after the newspai>er publicity. 

Last year the county commission turned down a federal food aid program 
which had admittedly been worked up overnight by a commodity official who 
disavowed using a previously discredited survey by the migrant legal seisJee 
but warned of pressure from that group if the county didn't go along. 

The deciding factor for the commission was that it then had 100 applicants for 
welfare but couldn't get even five men of the unemployed to take county jobs. 
As much to the point was the explanation in so many words that once a man 
got on the welfare list he could stay forever because the federal officials and 
the federal courts would have final authority on qualifications. 

The saddest part of the recent publicity for Immokalee was not only that it 
was branded for camps that exist in Naples areas as well but it was also given 
one-sided treatment with no effort to contact the county's welfare health or other 
officials or the very active Immokalee Migrant Committee. 

Nobody in either Naples or Immokalee will deny that there are sad conditions 
among migrant workers but county leaders found it curious that the Senate 
headed for sunny Florida to start its investigation instead of chilly South 

More curious too is why pick Collier County when Dade's Homestead area has 
as bad conditions and more migrants? 

If the federal government would act to halt the migrant stream so the migrants 
could settle down and upgrade themselves instead of spending half their income 
in traveling costs then the migrant problem would be quickly solved — in Michi- 
gan, Ohio, and other way states as well as in Florida. 

Curiously, one result of the furor about the migrants has brought a strong but 
silent Immokalee move for incorporation, and even more curiously, the ones hop- 
ing to slip it through are said to be the same ones who fought a few weeks ago to 
secede and join Hendry County ! 

South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc., 

Fort Myers, Fla., January 17, 1969. 
E. A. Hendry, 

Sheriff, Collier County, Fla., 
East Naples, Fla. 

Dear Sheriff Hendry : This is in reference to the enclosed newspaper clip- 
ping from the January 16th issue of the Fort Myers News-Press, regarding your 
continuing efforts to stop the use of children under 16 years old as farm laborers. 


The South Florida Migrant Lejral Services Program, Inc., shares yoiir concern 
about this problem and commends you for the efforts you have undertaken to 
bring this practice to an end in Collier County. 

However, we note that only the parents of the children in question were 
prosecuted for this offense. As you are aware, farm workers do not earn a 
substanial income, and the temptation (or ignorance) which results in their 
puttting their underage children to work in the fields may be prompted more by 
their marginal income than their greed. 

ChaptiT -l.")0, Florida Statutes, particularly Section 4r)0.141 permits the prose- 
cution of the employers of minors as well as those who permit them to be 
emi>loyed : 

'•Whoever violates any provisions of this law, or employs or permits or suffers 
any minor to be employed or to work in violation of this law, or obstructs persons 
authorized under this law in tlie inspection of places of employment, and who- 
ever, having under his control any minor, permits him to be employed or to 
work in violation of this law, shall for such offense be guilty of a misdemeanor, 
and upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not exceeding five hundred dollars 
or imprisonment in the county jail with or without hard labor not exceeding 
six mouths or by both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. 
Each day during which any violation of this law continues -shall constitute a 
separate and distinct offense, and the employment of any minor in violation 
of the law shall, with resi^ct to each minor so employed, constitute a separate 
and distinct offense." 

Consecpiently, I would like to urge you to undertaken the prosecution of the 
crewleaders who indulge in this practice as well, and those farmers who know- 
ingly permit the employment of minors on their farms. Certainly such action 
would liave a vast affect in stopping this unlawful practice, and would also be 
more equitable when one considers the marginal income (and thus greater 
temptation) of the parents of these children. 

(Ince again, I wish you every success in your efforts to bring this practice to 
a halt. 


T. Michael Foster, 

Assistant Director. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Jan. 16, 1969] 
Underage Kids Found on Trucks Going to Farms 

Immokalee — A surprise road block check of labor trucks and busses here at 
5 a.m. Tuesday turned up 19 under age children working as farm hands, 
Sheriff Doug Hendry reported "Wednesday. 

Lt. Joe Hunter of the Sheriff's oflSce said he. the Florida Industrial commission 
and tlie Collier School Board have been working "for some time to stop the use 
of children under 16 as farm hands." 

Parents of the 13 through 15-year old boys and girls were fined .$.10 or 30 days 
Wednesday in the criminal court of Judge Chris Sapp. All paid their fines and 
were relea.sed, Lt. Hunter said. 

The children were all required to report to schools here, where it was discovered 
that nearly half had never even been registered in compliance with Florida 
compulsory attendance laws. 

The sheriff's office said the road blocks, with the Florida Highway Patrol 
assisting, will be held periodically to insure children under 16 are in school and 
not illegally at work. 

[From the Miami Herald. Nov. 22, 1968] 
Somebody Up There in Washington Doesn't Like Us 

Naples. — More than one Collier County oflScial is beginning to get the feeling 
"somebody up there doesn't like us." And uji there is up in Washington. 

And several, respectfully pleading for anonymity, say their federal taxes are 
being used to work them over, and to work over other South Florida residents. 

Maybe their case isn't conclusive in court but this is the way they see it. 


Some years ago an $800,000 federal grant went to something called the South 
Florida Migrant Legal Service, formed by the federally sponsored Economic 
(Opportunity Legal Services Program Inc. in Miami. 

Troubles began appearing that had an apparent common connection. 

Some young ladies from the North had already appeared to aid the "down- 
trodden migrant workers" at Immokalee and had to be forcibly restrained from 
living in areas where white outsiders weren't welcomed. These girls went home 
to tell northern papers of Immokalee's evil, unpaved, streets, and starving 

Citizens protested this was all lies but got no satisfaction despite the evidence 
they showed. 

Yuong men came, also seeking to help the migrant workers, and some of their 
help appeared to include rent strike proposals, incitement to riot and other 
activities. They were defended by the SFMLS and at least one stayed on the 
federal payroll while serving a term in the county jail. 

A mysterious investigation by "the citizens' board of inquiry into hunger and 
malnutrition in the United States" made an unannounced and undocumented 
two-day survey of all of 1.2 million aci-e Collier County, an area twice the size 
of Rhode Lsland. 

Although the survey's results were never seen by anyone else, they wei*e re- 
leased to a Tampa newspaper with pictures, all purix>rting to prove once more 
that Immokalee was a hellhole for migrants where the average child had worms 
because he had no shoes and insufficient food because "grocers jump prices when 
the welfare checks are issued." 

The storm that broke out over these disclosures and their falsity reached all 
the way to Washington, and the claims were promptly retracted and denied by 
those who put them out, although they refused to discuss them with Immoakalee 

A Herald check showed there were only two doctors in the area and neither 
was interviewed. The clinic whose services was reportedly denied to workers was 
found to have been established just for them and still carrying out its job. 

Justifiably bitter grocers, whose ads show prices below those of neighboring 
towns, pointed out supposed over-charges would have been physically impossilvle 
to make overnight on the thousands of items in their stocks. They demanded a 
state investigation. 

Rep. Paul Rogers came down from Washington and Gov. Claude Kirk came 
from Tallahassee. They could find no sign of the supposed evils. 

Two months after the chai-ges a South Florida Migrant Legal Services 
leader finally appeared and said the original items were all a mistake — "bad 
publicity — I got misquoted and others did too — the emphasis in some instances 
was wrong." 

He had nothing to say about federally released pictures purporting to show 
malnutrition but was later traced to the cflhildren concerned and found to be 
normal baby fat. 

Finally the reason for the charges appeared. 

Nineteen other Florida counties were cited as homes of hungar and malnutri- 
tion by the "citizens board of inquiry," but Collier which was the first and star 
case, before claims here backfired, was omitted. 

The Florida report went into a national one showing "10 million Americans are 
going hungry," and perhaps it was as factual as the original Collier County 
report. In any case it was attacked by Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman as 
"biased— a travesty on objective reporting." Other authorities in the food field 
supported his claims. 

The next federal aim was on Collier courts. An as.sault and battery case from 
the Immokalee Peace Justice Court went several times to the Miami Federal Dis- 
trict Court and Collier County lost because the defendant was not told of his 
right to counsel, although Judge O. AV. Hancock insi-sted he had not only twice 
given the caution in English and in Spanish but had also called in an interpreter 
to repeat it. 

Last summer the State Welfare Department came with plans for Collier to 
accept some "free federal food" which county commissioners questioned as cost- 
ing them $3 for every $1 given away because they would have to build a ware- 
house and a refrigerated storage space and provide many administrative 
personnel yet still be under tight federal control. 

"We would be in Miami court every week," said Commissioner A. C. Hancock. 

The State warned the SFMLS would "exert pressure" and it did the next week 
but the commission held to its views, that welfare cases able to work should do 


so and that it couldn't find sovon willing workers ont of 100 able bodied food 

Now a new federally inspired and financed group is trying an end-around play 
to force tlie Department of Agriculture to make Collier and many other Florida 
counties accept the free food. 

Is there any wonder they get the feeling at the courthouse that somebody is 
working against them? 

[From the Miami Herald, Nov. 13, 1968] 

Negroes Promised Action by Collier — Drainage Problems Raised 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — Negro citizens' efforts to have impassable Immokalee streets 
rebuilt brought County Commission assurances of action here Tuesday and a 
charge by an Immokalee School Board member that the streets "art* ignored 
except the day before the primary and the day before they come up on the agenda 
m the County Commission." 

The question of street rebuilding and drainage was raised by Albert Lee, repre- 
senting the new 60-member "Community Civic Workers of Immokalee Inc," who 
led a three-man delegation to about the situation. 

"We have very poor drainage and the streets are about impas.^able," Lee said. 
"We'd like a promise from the commission." 

Ewell F. Moore, Immokalee commissioner, said the planned exten.sion of four- 
laning there would take care of drainage problems and it's our full intention to 
take care of them," and only street footage surveys and cost estimates are needed 
on .street rebuilding. 

"During the primary we noted every street was staked out but we don't know 
why," Lee .said, and ^loore explained that was part of the cost survey. 

Moore said he was committed to rebuilding the street by the present jail to 
Pinf-<* "and then to bring it aroimd by your center and back to the highway." 
He and Lee disagreed about which streets had come first in the growth of rne 
unincorporated farming center. 

"That street by tlie jail wasn't a .street until the other day," Lee objected, but 
Moore replied "it's been there ever since Immokalee has been there." 

Engineer Harmon Turner siiggested strt^t work could be done under the 
"Naples Park Plan" where adjoining property owners each pay a third of the 
cost and the county pays the rest. 

Lee said there had been promises of money to be spent before "but until this 
morning there hadn't even been a grader .seen on the street and there are holes 
in it you can't pass." Again Moore disagreed and said work had been done but 
was .slowed by loss of one grader operator. 

"There have been no graders on the south side for over some time," interjected 
Mrs. Joy Carter, Immokalee School Board member, from the audience. "It's 
practically impassable." 

"Tlie South Side has Iteen completely ignored except the day before a primary 
and the day before it comes up on the agenda in the County Commission." 

"I'm not blaming anyone but it is deiilorable," agreed Commissioner Bill Sentell 
of Naples. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Sept. 20, 196S] 

Vista Worker Describes Problems at Harlem Heights 

(By Clare Taylor) 

"Wlien you are black in Fort Myers, you are not permitted to have .self-confi- 
dence. You are living in a police state. This must be overcome. No assumptions 
should be made because a man is black. He should be considered as a human- 

That was said by Fred Bennett, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) 
speaking before a meager audience of college students and faculty members 
at Edison Junior College Thursday morning. 


Bennett and his wife Dinah have been working in Harlem Heights for the 
past ten mouths. Many improvements in the community have been started under 
their guidance and with the help of residents there. 

The lecture, open to the public, was presented as the first in the 1968-69 Fine 
Arts series presented by the college. 

Bennett appealed to those students present to consider VISTA as a means of 
becoming involved in work where one can see first-hand human suffering and 
the effects of violence. "There is a tremendous amount of immediate gratification" 
in helping these i^eople, he said. 

"Although America is dedicated to effectively educating everybody, we are 
not doing this," Bennett said. "A large segment of our population needs a great 
deal of assistance to gain an education." 

Bennett described Harlem Heights as a small community that varies in size sea- 
sonally with an approximate population of 300 when the fields are being planted 
and harvested and something over 100 during the summer months when the fields 
are not under cultivation. This population, he said, is about one-half Negro and 
one-half Puerto Rican with a few Mexican and a few Cuban families. 


"All are under-educated. Adults usually have had an education up to the 
third or fourth grade," he said. 

"Children of school age often drop out by the tenth grade. They are embar- 
rassed to stay in school with culturally-advantaged children who have inherited 
correct grammatical patterns. They have real dialect problems. Many have home 
and personal responsibilities. They feel a job is more necessary than staying 
in school. 

"Each of you students can become involved through a cross-cultural relation- 
ship with these people," Bennett said. 

The Heights exchange program, was set up anticipating strong personal rela- 
tionships with high school and junior college students assigned on a one-to-one 
baisis to children at the Heights Elementary School. The students are encouraged 
to involve the children in a diversity of learning and playing activities. 


Bennett said the program allows much freedom. The student may develop his 
own ideas for working together. "You can teach things as simple as baking 
cookies which these people rarely, if ever, get to do. You can visit in each other's 
homes, take field ti'ips, go to the movies, whatever you wish," he said. 

"Through the program, it is hoped to develop incentive in these young people 
to want what the white middle class child has. We want to give them a chance to 
be able to assume w^hat life will be like. We want them to be able to have 

The tutorial program set up by the Bennetts will begin next week. Volunteers 
who wish to participate are asked to call Bennett at WE 6-0477, listing their free 

The Heights W^ee Care Center, Bennett said, provides care and instruction for 
four and five year old children. "Eventually we expect to have some 45 children. 
These children have either been uncared for in the past or cared for by older 
brothers or sisters who are kept out of school for this purpose" he said, "or, 
they have been piled together in one home with one older person taking care of 
them while their parents are in the field." 


The center provides a hot breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack for the 
youngsters who otherwise would have sketchy meals at best. The staff of four, 
he said, is made up of women who are sacrificing better jobs to become involved 
in this community work. They have been through a training period and now are 
working eight to ten hours a day for wages that are minimal. The weekly payroll 
is $130 a week with a running deficit. 

Presently 14 children are enrolled with a $1 a day charge. "This is no money- 
making project," Bennett said. "New ways are needed to support the center. One 
step in this direction will be the use of commodity foods." 

The center board of directors and interested churches are now organizing a 
fund-raising drive. 


The Hoijrhts Improvement Association was organized he said to eventually 
sponsor low income cooperative housing. A street-lighting district is a project of 
the association also. 

"Some houses rented to residents of this community," he said, "have no hot 
water, one water tap, three electric lights, water unfit to drink and outdoor 

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett plan to begin a seminar titled "Social Dynamics in 
America" for college students and faculty members. The first of these meetings 
will be held at 7 :30 p.m. Tuesday in their home on the A & W Bulb Road. 

"Fort Myers is a very fine community," the Bennetts said. "There are a large 
number of i)eople genuinely interested in the problems here." 

[From the Miami Herald, Sept. 9, 196S] 
State Program Shows Migrants 'Good Life' 

Tallahassee. — More than $S million is being .spent in Florida in i)rogriims to 
provide education, health service and even a model village for migrant laborers. 

Jr,nios Bax, director of Gov. Claude Kirk's Division of Economic Opportunity, 
said the programs are being carried out in most .sections of the state under the 
sponsor.ship of federal, state and local agencies, private and church groups. 

Seasonal farm laborers "have been unable to secure for themselves and their 
families the decent living .standards, ade(iuate educational opportunities and 
other social benefits which permanent residents of the community take for 
granted." he said. 

He said the governor "has expressed great interest" in a pilot project to Iniild 
a model migrant village on I.jG acres of land in Fort Myers. 

The village is plannetl to contain more than 1.000 homes for migrants and will 
include a shopping center and a transportation center with radio equipped buses 
and jiossibly some light industries. 

"This entir(> complex, unique in concept, will be a combination of federal, pri- 
vate and local government efforts," he .said. 

He .'iaid tb.e State Department of Education is coordinating a $2.1 million 
federal program to help migrant children in 21 Florida countries. 

The program provides vocational training, portable classrooms, individualized 
instruction, kindergartens, additional reading materials and food and health 
.services for the youngsters. 

Bax said the State Department of Education spent $1.3 million of state funds 
in the last three years to subsidize migrant families while adults took 12-week 
basic education courses. The program oi)erates in 13 counties. 

The South Florida migrant legal service, provides research and legal services 
for migrants in Broward, Collier, Dade, Palm Beach and Hendry Counti<'s, the 
Kirk aide s.iid. The U.S. Office of Economic Oi>portunity has been asked to siiend 
more than .'>K07,000 on the project during the next two years. 

Bax said the Florida Migrant Ministry, headquarters in Orlando spends about 
i^OO.OOO a year in church contributions to operate day care centers for migrant 
children and to lobby to unionize migrant laborers. 

He said the Florida Migrant Health Project, funded by the U.S. Department 
of Health, oi)erates in 15 Florida counties. Among its services are i)rograms in 
health education and family planning, prenatal care, immunization, medical 
diagnosis and hospital treatment, and nursing services at labor camps and 

The Commmunity Action Fund in Fort Lauderdale spent more than $1 million 
in the last two years to find jobs and housing for migrants and to relocate them 
in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Collier, Lee and Hendry Counties. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 28, 1968] 

Defender Requirement Argued in U.S. Court 

(By Fred Winter) 

Naples. — Collier Sheriff E. A. Dong Hendry's attorney must file a brief Mon- 
day in a case involving an Immokalee defendant in which the federal court in 
Miami has held public defenders are required in misdemeanor triaks. 


At a hearing in Miami Monday, Federal Dist. Judge Clyde Atkins directed 
Attorney George Vega to file tlie brief. Judge Atkine had ruled in a far-reaching 
decision that defenders paid by the state are required in misdemeanor cases. 

Public defenders are provided in felony cases ; court-appointed defense attorneys 
are provided in capital, where the life of the defendant is at stake. The 
defenders required in felony cases resulted from the Gideon Decision, a Florida 
case before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Monday's instructions to Vega followed a habeas corpus hearing several weeks 
ago when the federal court took under advisement the Collier of Efrain 
Rivero Colon convicted in the Immokalee peace justice court on three mis- 
demeanor counts involving assault and display of a knife. Colon was sentenced to 
six months in jail by Judge O. W. Hancock. 

Representatives of the Migrant Legal Services organization filed the habeas 
corpus petition. 

On Tuesday, May 14, when Hendry. Vega and County Prosecutor J. Blan 
Taylor discussed Judge Atkins' ruling that Colon should have had legal counsel, 
commissioners and attorneys indicated it might cost Collier $G0,000 a year to 
provide attorneys in misdemeanor 

Colon, through the Migrant Legal Services in a hearing before Judge Atkins 
on April 28, won a new trial. 

The motion heard Monday, asking for a stay and discharge. accu.sed the state 
of blackmail and threats, which it said was confirmed by the fact that Colon was 
charged on May 8 with aggravated assault — a felony — so that he could be tried 
in cii'cuit court. 

Observers at Monday's hearing in Miami said Judge Atkins indicated he had 
read new.spaper accounts of the discussions at the Collier County Commission 
meeting and evinced keen interest in what the commi-ssion is doing. 

An apparent issue in the case is whether the principle of double jeopardy is 
involved ; whether, in effect. Colon is being tried twice on a charge, and whether 
the aggravated assault count was included in the misdemeanor charge previously 

A consensus of commissioners and attorneys at the May 13 meeting indicated 
the federal court action would apply against cases from county courts, city courts, 
police courts and juvenile courts as well as to circuit courts and others where 
previous rulings have required legal repre.sentation for those accused of crimes. 

Colon's Miami attorney. Eleanor L. Shockett. was quoted in connection with 
the accusation of threat as saying "the state made good its threat without legal 
sufficiency or justification" when it placed the felony charge of aggravated assault 
against Colon. 

Miss Shockett said the felony charge, which could carry a five-year sentence if 
Colon were convicted, "was contrary to the intent and purpose of the oral order 
of the court and was an attempt to trifle with it." 

Vega and Hendry said Monday the purpose of placing the felony charge was 
to have Colon tried in a court where the public defender system is established. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, May 19, 1968] 

Federal Probe of Camp Happy Area Planned 

(By Samuel Adams) 

The U.S. Department of Labor is planning to investigate living and working 
conditions of migratory farm workers in the Lee-Collier county area around 
Camp Happy. 

James J. Reynolds, undersecretary of labor, wrote that the department will 
look into conditions recently cited in a St. Peter.sburg Times .series. 

The articles reported problems of severe hunger and malnutrition, unsanitary 
and unfit housing, disease, child labor and poor education which face the migrants. 

They also spotlighted strict control of camp residents who arrive from out- 
of-state owing employers for transportation and having little of their pay left 
after paying these same employers for rent, food and wine. 

Reynolds said Secretary of Labor Willard V\'irtz has had a continuing interest 
in the problems of migrant farm workers and "has taken a number of actions 
to improve these conditions." 

Reynolds did not specify what action the department contemplates taking. He 
sent a letter to The Times after reading the Camp Happy series. 


His letter states : "We are interested in the events you relate and we intend 
to look into them." 

Meanwhile, there was other reaction to the conditions reported. 

U.S. Rep. Frank Thompson Jr., (D-N.J.), chairman of the special subcom- 
mittee on labor, wrote that The Times' migrant labor series is being made a 
part of the subcommittee's investigative tile. 

"The results of your investigation in many ways paralleled the testimony heard 
before this subcommittee," Thompson's letter states. 

A bill seeking to make the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act 
applicable to agriculture is now pending before the U.S. Congressional Committee 
on Rules, the letter adds. 

U.S. Rep. Charles E. Goodell (R-N.Y.) and Thomas F. Foley (D-Wash.) 
announced the formation of a "Coalition to Help Malnouri.shed Americans." 
The 14 member coalition of Democrats and Republicans is calling for "public 
hearings immediately to determine what can be done to improve and refocus 
existing programs" designed to help the malnourished. 

The coalition also asked the House to approve a Presidential Commission with 
authority to study the problem "on an emergency basis and report to the nation 
on Jan. 1, 1969." 

Aides to presidential hopefuls Richard M. Nixon and U.S. Sen. Eugene McCar- 
thy wrote of their desires to find solutions to migrant labor problems. 

McCarthy's office sent The Times a i>osition paper stating his efforts during 
the last 20 years to find legislative cures to the ills of the migrant labor system. 
He also listed related bills he has sponsored. 

Agnes Waldron, a campaign aide of Nixon's, said Nixon's staff now is working 
on si)ecific programs "which we believe will operate to alleviate the distressing 
problems which were so well repoi'ted in your series." 

Her letter further .states that their research "has paralleled the findings which 
were reported in your informative articles . . . Our research should shortly re- 
sult in a forthcoming program which aims directly at viable solutions. The in- 
formation . . . will prove u.seful in this task." 

From Tallahassee, Ralph Ross, chief. Farm Labor Department, Florida State 
Emjiloyment Service, wrote, "the articles were extremely readable and cer- 
tainly of interest," but were slanted to the worker. 

His letter suggests a future series on "the responsibility of the worker to the 
employer in making' himself available for a normal work week and protecting 
and maintaining living accommodations provided by the employer." 

Ross' agency was criticized in the series for the state lalior unit's role in re- 
cruiting out-of-state workers to live and work in sub-standard conditions. Along 
with Naples Farms Inc. and Lee County health officials, the employment service 
was named in a suit the .series reported, alleging negligence and providing un- 
healthy housing for laborers recruited from Texas. 

In the letter, Ross states : "It is the policy of this agency to do no recruiting 
and referral of workers except to growers who provide housing that has been 
inspected and licensed by the Florida State Board of Health. 

". . . Our main responsibility is the recruitment and referral of workers from 
all sources to provide manpower to harvest our citrus, vegetable and tropical 
fruit crops. In a good many areas, including Southwest Florida, the welfare and 
economy of the entire area depends upon agriculture and the agro-l)usiness." 

Reuben V. Anderson, a civil rights attorney in Jackson, Miss., wrote of plans to 
begin legal action "to correct some of the practices at the Mississijipi Employment 
Services." which periodically .sends migrant workers to Camp Happy in Florida. 

His suit would be on behalf of a migrant who .said he was promised earnings 
of up to $100-a-week at Camp Happy, but worked 79 hours one week and actually 
received only $31 of his gross earnings of $79. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 15, 1968] 

Public Defender Provisions Might Cost Collier $60,000 

(By Fred Winter) 

Naples. — Compliance with federal court rulings requiring pui)lie defender pro- 
visions in misdemeanor courts may cost Collier County in excess of $60,000 a year, 
county commissioners were told Tuesday. 


The federal court ruling resulted from a decision handed down April 22 by 
Federal District Judge Clyde Atkins in a habeas eon>us iietition entered by the 
Southwest Florida Migrant Legal Services organization for Colon E. Rivera of 

Rivera had been found guilty in Peace Justice O. W. Hancock's court in Im- 
mokalee on three misdemeanor counts involving assault and display of a knife. 

He had been sentenced to terms of up to six months in the county jail on the 

Sheriff Doug Hendry told commissioners Tuesday he had taken Naples Attorney 
George Vega with him to Miami to answer the habeas corpus petition in the 
Miami court. 

Under the ruling, Hendry, Vega, Asst. State's Atty. J. Blan Taylor and other 
members of the county bar pointed out, all misdemeanor cases involving charges 
which could result in maximum sentences of more than 90 days will require 
specific steps i;nder the constitutional rights rulings — all of them increasing 
costs of court procedures. 

They stressed the federal courts no longer are satisfied with a statement that 
a prisoner has been advised of his rights. 

Now, Vega said, it is essential to show whether the defendant intelligently 
waived his rights. 

Judge Atkins' ruling, Vega said, indicated it would apply against cases from 
county courts, city courts or peace courts. 

This means, he added, and other attorneys present agreed, "the sheriff must 
subject himself to eternally traveling to the federal court on habeas corpus 
petitions, or we'll have to turn (the defendants) loose or set up a satisfactory 
public defender code — especially in the J. P. courts." 

Costs of a court reporter, additional staff for the public defender, investigators, 
juvenile court personnel and extra staff for the county prosecutor could reach 
well above $60,000, County Judge Richard M. Stanley told commissioners. 

"People," Taylor noted, "are hollering about law and order, but why should 
the sheriff's office make arrests if the cases are going to get thrown out on the 
public defender's intei'pretations of the courts? 

"We're going to have to have this compliance with the federal court rulings," 
he said, "if we want law and order at all, especially in Immokalee." 

Rivera, Sheriff Hendry said, will be tried again in Collier County, this time on 
a felony charge of assault with a deadly weagon. 

When Commissioner Cliff Wenzel asked Stanley "Will you have time to do 
this ?" Stanley said that wasn't the point. 

"It isn't a matter of whether we have the time," he said. "It must be done." 

Attorneys pointed out that Hancock handled more than 300 cases, most of 
them subject to the ruling, during the month of April. 

The extent of criminal trial cases in Collier was stressed by Vega, who recalled 
that a few years ago. Collier with less than one-quarter of Sarasota County's 
population, had more felony cases than Sara.sota. 

Public Defender E. Weaver said "I personally handle more than 500 felony 
cases a year. 

"There can easily be more than that in Collier County for misdemeanors," he 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Apr. 25, 1968] 

Is Camp Happy Happier? Wages Raised To $1.25 

(By Samuel Adams) 

Naples.— "Farming is like the weather — no it is the weather. 

"One hurricane can wipe out a grower. After the hurricane season comes the 
freeze. After that the sun can tear you up. Farming can be 10 per cent skill and 
90 per cent luck." 

That was the way a top ofiicial of the Naples Fruit and Vegetable Co. explained 
problems facing growers and migrants alike yesterday as he gave this reporter a 
guided tour of the farm fields surrounding Camp Happy. 

Previously I had worked three days in these same fields, earning $1.15 an hour 
picking and lugging tomatoes and listening to complaints of migrant farm work- 
ers about the fruit company and Camp Happy. 


Yesterday Steve Pokleiuba, comiitroller for the company, told me during the 
tour the tirm has raised its wages to $1.25 an hour. 

Last Friday Carl Glidden, president of the tirm told me by telephone he would 
like to increase its hourly rate to this amount, so any connection between the 
increase and this series is moot. 

Poklemba also cited these problems facing south Florida fruit and vegetable 
growers : of changing federal policies, growers must employ domestic laborers 
at a minimum wage of $1.15 an hour instead of cheaper, easier-to-recruit foreign 
workers from islands offshore Florida. 

The cost of ferii.izer and other materials is increasing, while the selling 
price of tomatoes remains relatively unchanged. 

Bad weather did considerable damage to crops last March. 

The migrant workers often attempt to settle disputes between themselves 
by violence and weapons must be taken from them. 

On disjilay at the Camp Happy tavern is a large assortment of these fighting 
tools taken from the workers : knives, swords, pistols, chains and horseshoes. 

One unusual weai)On was the handle of a spoon fashioned into a ring with a 
shai-p two-inch point, apparently intended to be used like brass knuckles to cut 
and stab victims. 

Missing was a machine gun I had heard about while working in the fields. 
Bartender Walt Garadella said it had been removed by the camp's manager, 
Jack Branch, who is now in a hospital suffering from a lung illness. 

Naples Fruit and Vegetable Co. cultivates about 900 acres, and only a portion 
of its workers lives on the farm at Camp Happy. Others are recruited by crew 
leaders who make daily trips to the farm from Fort Myers, Immokalee, Naples 
and other areas. 

Life at Camp Happy provides some workers an opi)ortuuity to earn and save, 
Poklemba told me yesterday. Interviews with camp residents revealed some of 
the money comes from gambling. 

Willie Miller, 43, of Mulliiis, S.C, is listed as employe number one and has 
been with the camp six years. He said he gambled frequently and earned quite a 
bit of money from it. 

Employes who have been with the company the longest generally find little 
fault with the camp except for lack '>f motion pictures and other social outlets. 

A federally-funded antipoverty agency, the Community Action Fund, is at- 
tempting to set up movies, but the district director for the agency, R. S. Mitchell, 
last week said Branch had refused to let the agency show films at Camp Happy. 

Poklemba said one packing-house worker, Tony Cannon, 25, Florence, S.C., 
had accumulated .$800 and had just withdrawn it. Questioned about the with- 
drawal. Cannon called this an invasion of this privacy. 

Cannon, who wears a black headrag over his straightened hair, was accused 
by another worker of helping to beat up some employes. The worker. Turner 
Strong, 40, of West Point, Miss., said a gang of fellows at the camp beat up 
workers if they failed to go to the fields, but he always made it to work except 
for a short stint in the hospital. 

Strong, one of sevt ral disgruntled workers, said his hospital bill for four days 
was .$47, whicli was taken from his check. In addition to Cannon, he pointed out 
two so-called "enforcers," one of whom he identified as "Sonny." 

Strong said all the other workers were afraid to speak to "y'all labor men" 
and he asked that he not be interviewed in their presence, for it might mean 
trouble for him. He said he hoiH'd to leave the camp today. 

A 19-year-old worker, who stayed away from the fields to clean a one-room 
cabin he is to move into, also expressed <;on<-ern about violence. 

"See all them iM'Ople with stitches in their heads? They drink that wine and 
that them to get beat up," said Richard Peterson. I'eterson says he drinks 
only beer. 

Sixty -seven-year-old Thomas .Tefferson of Clarksdale, Miss., said violence had 
missed him. "I haven't had any trouble but .some have — fightin' and gettin' beaten 
up and things like that. Some fightin' is amongst them.«elves, (workers) and 
sometimes white folks l)(>at them uj)." 

Asked whether camp manager Jack Branch had hit anyone, he replied, "Yes, 
sure. I'm just goin' to admit it." 

Others interviewed painted a rosy picture of Glidden. Poklemba told of 
Glidden's paying $2,400 in delinquent taxes for one employe. He also told of 
fringe benefit.s — ^hospitalization — Glidden has provided for workers. 


Tato, 48, a Cuban exile who formerly owned a half-million dollar ranch, said 
Glidden used to have a farm near his in Cuba and provided work for Tato after 
his arrival here. 

The grounds around the camp are sodded and well kept. The "Juke" is a rela- 
tively handsome building paneled inside and selling such wines as Seabo, Petri, 
Fruit Bov>-l and Wild Russian. A half pint of wine costs 65 cents and beer costs 
40 cents, said Poklemba. These prices differed from what camp aliunnus Mike 
Walker said he encountered more than a year ago. Wine then was $1 and beer 
was 50 cents, he said in an interview two weeks ago. 

The firm's executives are experimenting with new housing arrangements thai 
are expected to lessen some problems. They are getting rid of barracks because 
units with fewer persons breed fewer conflicts. 

"Barracks cause friction," said Poklemba. "We got rid of one of the two bar- 
racks buildings last year, and we've had less problems this year because we've 
had only one barracks." 

They are planning to switch to two-man units, he said. A nearby company, the 
Basso Farms, is building more expensive small masonry units to house workers 
and Poklemba said his company will be watching to see how successful they are. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Apr. 23, 1968] 

A Day Of Sweat Axd Pain 

(By Samuel Adams) 

Naples. — "Lugger ! Luggerman ! Walk around." 

The sing-song chant kept me moving fast, for we were picking everything two 
inches or larger in diameter that day- — pinks and greens. And the tomato buckets 
of a single picker were being filled at a rate of about one every two minutes. 

The clean-cut 22-year-old Negro who was helping lug tomatoes on my side of 
the road began stumbling and falling toward the end of the day. But he would 
pull himself up. And he kept shufiling with a loaded pail in each hand. 

1 too fell occasionally as salty sweat flowed into my eyes and my legs gave 

Tuis was worse than the work I had done during summers from college when 
we shovel the hardened wa.ste from cattle cars. What made it even more difficult 
was the drinking water problem. Everybody was complaining because the water 
truck had not served our crew since lunch time. And now it was around 3 :30 p.m. 

Some pickers wet their throats by breaking open green tomatoes and sucking 
on them. But I was afraid to eat one because the vegetables were being sprayed 
and dusted continually. Pickers and crew leaders said the chemicals killed off 

We could see the water truck miles away serving the crew that lived-in at the 
Camp Happy compound, and pickers cursed the driver for serving us in the 
mornings but ignoring us in the afternoons. 

As everyone became more tired and thristy, a woman whose buckets I had 
been lugging began fussing about my taking someone else's first. Actually, the 
younger lugger was responsible for her buckets, but 1 had volunteered help most 
of the day. 

Her attack so angered me that I spoke curtly : "There's your lugger sitting on 
his bucket at the end of the row. You call him." 

He was breathing deeply as if almost passing out. 

"Whoo'ee ! You sho' must be tired. Your voice done even changed. And you 
kin tell it in your face, too," another woman said. 

She was right. In that moment of anger, I inadvertantly had slipped out of 
my assumed dialect. 

Before quitting time the unhappy word from Camp Happy was voiced by a 
foreman driving one of the pickup trucks armed with long rifles. Answering 
Big John's question about promises to arrange for me to stay at the camp, he 

"Jack (Branch, camp manager) don't want nobody in the camp from Fort 

"This boy ain't from Fort Myers," the Mexican crew leader explained. "You 
tell Jack. He's good worker." 


To keep me from having to stay in "that messy camp," Raymond, a stiff-legsed 
picker, offered to get me a room for about $8 a week. And an aging woman offered 
ti> let me share her place ''to keep me from that trouble" and maybe "save your 

Practically all my coworkers each day voiced the sentiments of the first crew 
leader I had asked to intercede for me about a job at the camp. He .said, "If 
I wuz you. I wouldn't move in. You subject to get beat or killed if you git in and 
try to leave or git in trouble." 

The alternative to joining the camp crew was to continue staying at Fort 
Myers or Immokalee or Naples and pick up jobs with bus-driving crew leaders. 
Because I wanted "in" and so many of those in wanted "out", I became the 
subject of a lot of talk that became moi'e vocal when an ambulance with flashing 
red lights drove through the field that day toward the camp crew. 

Pointing and yelling, a picker across the road shouted to me: "See that? 
That's what they'll be sending for you. When it gits in the newspaper, it'll say 
you had a fit and died." 

The whips and guns hanging in the rear windows of foremen's trucks made 
me wonder. 

While working a few days later with "Cowboy," another crew leader, a platted 
leather whip attached to a two-foot staff was taken from a truck driver by a 
young foreman called "Wayne". But I was too tired, too sore, and too numbed 
to worry. 

I had lost the lugging assignment and was picking an outside row next to 
the grassy bank of a large drainage and irrigation ditch. Some others didn't 
want to pick this row they had seen snakes in a nearby field. A giant 
ache thrf)bbed up and down the center of my back and spread out at the base. 
Sometimes I could not straighten up because of mu.scle spasms and pain. 

My compassion for the gray-haired picker on the first row, who was called 
"Old Man", vanished, for he seemed better suited than others for picking. His 
body was permanently stooped at about a 44-degree angle. 

P.ig Bad John had this job for me with Cowl)oy after I showed up a little late 
for his Itus and found all spots filled. 

I lii.usht dinner in the field that day, paid no sales tax, suffered again of 
thirst during the afternoon, and earned a little less than the $1.1") an hour mini- 
mum wage for large farms. (There is no minimum pay for small farms not 
covered by wage-hour laws.) 

No Social Security tax was withheld any day I worked and no one asked or 
knew my name or Social Security number. 

My eai-nings varied : $10.2.") for nine hours one day, $9.25 for eight hours on 
another day, and then $9 for eight hours. Day haul workers are paid in cash, 
usually by the crew leader, but Wayne, the young foreman, helped pass out the 
inoney to "Cowboy's" ci'ew. 

Crew lead(>rs. like operators of rolling company stores may make extra 
money. For example : 

Enroute to the field on one bus, cold drinks were sold to me for 20 cents and 
l)oiled eggs for a dime each. A hot dinner consisting of a small portion of rice, 
gravy and part of a chicken wing cost me 7.1 cents. A slice of cake was 25 cents 
and a candy bar was 15 cents. No sales tax was required, and nobody .seemed to 
worry about whether those serving had clean hands or health cards. 

Some buses that transported workers to and from the fields of Naples Fruit 
and Vegetable Co. were unsafe. The front wheel ran off a loaded bus Freddie 
rommodore was driving. Luckily, the vehicle had arrived in the fields around 
Camp Happy and was moving slowly. No one was injured. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Apr. 22, 1968] 

Fob the Migrant, Getting a Job is a Job in Itself 

(By Samuel Adams) 

Fort Myers. — I was still gulping down strong, black coffee when a Puerto 
Rican migrant ordered "one inch" of coffee in his styrofoam cup. He paid 
11 cents, then proceeded to fill the cup with cream and sugar from the counter. 

"If you want coffee, I'll sell it to you, l)ut you can't have a whole cup of 
cream and sugar for 11 cents." the tall graying proprietor spouted angrily. 


It was ;■) a.m. and dark in the small dingy restaurant. "Mac" and "Miss Pheobe" 
R-ere serving breakfast to those who had money. Sometimes it was mullet with 
grits, egg with grits, and very popular was pork chops with grits. Most only 
bought coffee and stayed near the window so they could see the approach of 
buses they might try for a job. 

"There comes dat Camp Happy bus." 

"Is Rol)ert driving it?" 

"No. he got a .iob making about $2 a hour." 

The green bus. bound for Camp Happy, was inscribed "Naples Fruit and Vege- 
table Co." I dashed out. spilling my coffee. There wasn't time for breakfast or 
to buy lunch. 

"Big Bad John" stood in the doorway of the bus surveying his regulars who 
made their way. I had been turned down often along with many others l)egging 
for work. This time I decided not ask for a job but to take one. 

I pushed my way on — not first, Itut nearly — as if I were a regular, asking as I 
squeezed by. "Where's Robert today?" 

"I don't know," answered Big John, the square shouldered Mexican crew 
leader. "We take 22," he yelled inside to Benny, the Puerto Rican driver who 
was married to Rosa, one of Big John's 14 children. 

I felt sick seeing so many, wanting and needing work, turned away. One 
regular who had been on the bus but left to buy something to supplement his 
lunch returned to find his place filled. 

He came aboard cursing to retrieve his greasy bag from the seat he left it on. 
One day he would be needed, and he might say "No" just to get even, he said. 

It was still dark, but I kept my face turned away from Benny, who kept count- 
ing, recounting and looking. I feared being dropped. I had spent several days 
trying to get hired and each time was among the nearly 200 rejected. 

Not knowing what to expect, I worried about going all day in the hot sun 
without food. When we pulled off I mentioned it to the old "Geechee" (mixture of 
slave-English dialect found near Charleston, S.C. ) woman who sat next to me. 
She told me the bus stopped every day at Morrell's Grocery en route to the 
fields. Tlien we waited for the store to open and pay its prices. 

I ordered three thin slices of bologna and cheese. The middle-aged storekeeper 
put it on the scale and pulled it off in one motion. He left not time for me to 
check quantity or price. 

"Thirty -five cents," he said, his tone suggesting finality. "Don't you also want 
a loaf of bread?" 

Instead, I found a long euban sandwich. "Eighty-seven cents," he said. 

I was a penny short and he wasn't budging. The Geechee woman came to my 
aid with the penny. 

I was carrying a surplus army gym-bag in.scribed with an assumed name. In it 
were a change of underwear, extra pants, shirt and socks. 

In the fields we drove through hundreds of acres before stopping at a pre- 
selected tomato plot. I became a tomato picker and the only instruction given was 
that "We gonna get pinks." 

I had a middle row and I struggled vainly to keep up. Benny, whose job now 
was "field walker." checked my row and. finding I had left some pinks, called me 
liack to the beginning, putting me further behind. I began picldng everything 
that bordered on being pink, but then I was chided for picking green tomatoes. 
Actually, all looked green except a few that were over-ripe. 

]My red-green color blindness didn't help, as I learned that the color changes 
begins first at the bottom of the vegetable. This meant stooping and inspecting 
the bottom of each one. I was failing the test and feared getting fired while 
attempting to work my way in as a resident of Camp Happy. 

Benny suggested that I "go lug" and "tell that lugger to take your row." I 
grabbed two red plastic buckets and took on the job which required only strength, 
mobility and a strong will to keep up. 

Between trots to pick up filled buckets of pinks, I grabbed wooden cartons to 
arrange them to be filled and stacked. 

Toward the middle of the day, a tractor with long arms that spread over 
nine rows came creeping behind us spraying a chalky wet chemical on the 

We stopped for a minute to let the vehicle pass, and the pickers went imme- 
diately back to work. Because I feared the spray might be a poisonous solution, 
I delayed going back by faking something wrong with my shoe. But the others 
began yelling for me to relieve them of filled buckets. 
36-51.3— 70— pt. 4A 9 


"I ain't the kinda guy to run from work," I said trying to impress Big John, 
whom I had asked to help me get into the camp. 

My story about having no place to stay won the Mexican's sympathy and he 
told me I might spend the night at his place if I did not get word that everything 
was prepared for me to move into the camp. A foreman had said the delay was 
administrative, that they needed me, but would have to get the okay of Jack 
Branch, the camp manager. 

The place I was given to sleep was too na.sty. But I did not want to appear 
too fastidious and create suspicion about who I really was. It was an abandoned next door to Big John's. 

Roaches were crawling. I decided to stay only long enough to convince my 
benefactor I was his Ivind of migrant, and before returning home I would obtain 
medicine to prevent any infection from a splinter I hud received in my hand. 

Soon I could stand it no longer, so I left. I returned at about 3 :30 a.m., but 
instead of going back into the house, I slept on the bus parked out front. 

\Mien Benny, his wife Rosa, and Big John joined me on the bus at 5 a.m., the 
Mexican crew leader said, "I thought you had gone. I check last night and you 
not there." 

''I met a gal and fooled around a little while," I chortled. 

Big John seemed satisfied with my story. WTiether I get in the camp or not, 
I can lug tomatoes with Big John's crew, he assured me. From my assumed 
accent, he said it sounded like I was from Georgia. He prides himself on being 
able to tell. To him, "Florida boys" are bad news. "They're crazy." Guys like me 
'from Georgia or South Carolina" are good guys. I continued to work with him. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Apr. 21, 1968] 

Migrant's Lot Not a Happy One at Camp H^ppy 

(by Samuel Adams) 

For the pa.-t several weeks Times reporter Samuel Adams has been investi- 
gating conditions facing migrant farm workers in the Fort Myers and Naples 
areas. He spent three days in the field picking and hauling tomatoes, and talking 
to men who work at a labor camp called Camp Happy. He was denied entrance to 
the camp himself — he was told — because he was from the Fort Myers area and 
the camj) wanted only out-of-.state workers. Since then he has spent days inter- 
viewing migrants, anti-poverty workers and crew leaders. Here is his report. 

Fort Myers. — They call it Camp Happy, But, de.spite the sometimes rollicking 
drinking of migrants living there, there's sadness at the camp and farm fields 
which surround it. 

This is the impression I received while working in the fields beside migrant 
farm laborers for several days — talking with them, riding to work and afterward. 

Carl Glidden, president of the company which operates the camp, sees things 
differently. He believes the majority of workers in and out of the camp are 

But he adds : "It doesn't matter what you do for them, they just aren't 

Migrant workers who have lived at the isolated camp say : 

AVorkers are forced to stay because they usually are in debt to camp operators 
from the time they arrive. 

Their main escape is wine, women and "juking." 

The cost of beer and cheap wine at the company store is high, and most work- 
ers couldn't buy it elsewhere (due to transportation problems and the isolated 

There are only a few women among some 150 men. And some of these earned 
money for favors. 

Enforcers of camp rules beat up who get out of line. 

Outsiders are prohibited from visiting and grounds are po.sted "Private Prop- 
erty, Postively No Trespassing." 

Many of these complaints were confirmed in personal interviews with migrants 
now working in Fort Myers, and by anti-poverty oflScials seeking to improve 
plight of the migrants. 


A court suit is pending in a Miami federal district court contending labor crews 
sent to the farm by the Texas State Employment Service were not paid wages 
they were promised and were given inadequate housing. 

The complaint was filed against the Florida State Employment Service and 
Naples Farm Inc., which has close financial connections to the Naples Fruit and 
Vegetable Co. 

Camp Happy is the self-contained camp for almost 200 migratory workers. 
It is about 30 miles south of Fort Myers, about the same distance west of Immo- 
kalee, and eight miles north of Naples. Corporation president is Carl Glidden, 
Naples : manager is Jack Branch, gun-toting former contract labor boss from 

Former camp residents tell of midnight escapes, fights, beating, peonage-like 
prohibitions against leaving while in debt to the company, and economic con- 
trols that keep many workers in hock to bosses. 

The camp recruits some of its resident work crew through state employment 
services in farm labor supply states, the bulk coming this year from South 
Carolina. Local "day haul" crews from Naples, Fort Myers and Immokalee are 
brought into fields around the camp each day additional workers are needed. 

Many camp migrants are in debt when they arrive, owing for transportation 
from out-of-state. Some claimed lieing charged also for rental of sheets and 
blankets. Records show room and board to be $15 a week, which alu m ni say was 
payable whether a worker is or not at the company mess. 

Wages for a regular six-day 51-hour week v.-as about $51, but take home pay 
was often less than $20 because of debts to company stores, advances and other 

Some former camp inmates now commute in day haul crews that harvest various 
farms in the area. One of these has just completed six months in the Collier 
County jail from charges stemming from a visit to Camp Happy. 

His crime was "tx'espassing." He was hired on a farm labor bus that went into 
field.^ around Camp Hapi'y a year rdtcv he had been told not to return. 

Mike Walker, 25, thin, weak-looking migrant, says he did not know where 
the crew leader was taking him when he hired on as a tomato picker that Novem- 
ber day. Shortly after he began work he was recognized as someone who swam 
a creek and slipped away from the camp during the night, taking with him two 
other disgruntled workers^"Wilbert" from Mullins, S.C, and James Michael 
Murphy from Larlington, S.C. 

Walker .said they sneaked through the woods, and when they came to the paved 
road leading into Naples, they would lie in the weeds to dodge car lights and 
keep from being arrested on possible charges of "beating the board bill." 

Mike had lived at the camp for about 10 days before leaving. Thinlving the 
camp owed him money, he went back to collect shortly after his escaije. But he 
was told he owed the company $6 and that he had better leave and not return, 
he recalls. He went back to the farm as a commuting worker a year later and 
was arrested. 

"He's the one been lying 'bout us," Walker said he heard one man say. 
"Yeah, He took those boys off," said another. 

According to Mike, the dialogue was between camp manager Branch and 
Glidden, president of the fruit and vegetable company. He alleges they threatened 
to bash his head but did no violence to him. 

"By the time we got to the place where the dispatcher was, they had two police 
cars waiting for me. And they said, 'lock him up for tre-passing ; he's one of 
those social workers trying to cause trouble.' " 

Walker, who now is a community aide for Community Action Fund, Inc., was 
convicted of "trespassing after warning" by a Collier County jury. Half of his six- 
month jail term was for having knife in his pocket at the time of his arrest — a 
standard too! for many farm laborers. 

After his release from jail a few days ago, the thin laborer said the isolated 
Camp Happy company store profited from large mark-ups and a virtual monopoly 
over items otherwise inaccessible to its trapped con.'*umers. 

He reported : Pocket combs which could have been purchased elsewhere for a 
dime cost a quarter. So did 15-cent containers of hair grease. A can of beer 
retailed for 50 cents, and a half pint of cheap wine was $1. Used shirts and pants 
were available for $1 each. 

Walker and other camp residents said most items coidd be purchased at the 
camp on credit, provided the worker had an ID number and a ticket (scrip) to 
show he had been working. The tickets served as collateral for continuing credit. 


lU'epiiig the hihonT in debt. Tliose owin.a: wore free to leave only after accounts 
were settled, he said. 

In the late eveuins: after work, camp residents line up in the field to receive 
their (scrip) ticket.s. They line up airain near their camp (piarters to receive 
small advances they are encouraged to take each day to si)end f<n- wine and 
other items at the company store. 

The .salary advance usually is $3 a day. acrording to Steve I'oklemba. comp- 
troller for the Naples Fruit and Vegetalile (Vt. 

From the road the camp appears handsome. Inside is dilTerent. It includes 
several long liarracks covered witii alumiuum siding and many small culiicles 
that look like tool sheds sold by large department stores. 

"Inside, they ai-e like most otJier camps — plywood partitions and six-ni:in 
rooms — terril)le." said Walker. 

The camp Hies an American flag, has an unused guard house at the entrance, 
and except for two entrance roads is cut ofif from the main road by a canal. 
Several miles deep in the tields are larger canals circling part of the farm. A 
migrant farm woman was i-eported drowned in one of the canals recently. Some 
other deaths in the area have been attributed to epileptic tits. 

Branch, camp manager, was hospitalized last week for lung surgery and was 
unavailable for cimunent. He is described as a gruff-talking, stwky man with a 
big stomach. '"lie keeps henchmen around him. And he's got a liat and scmie say 
thev have been beaten in the ribs with it." says Walker. "It's called his lazy -boy 

Answering the criticism, Glidden said, "There's nothing to it as far as I known." 
He said the camp is under the management of Branch Imt he believes some of 
the accusations are unfounded. 

'•When you get 200 to 400 in a camp, you're bound to have some problems," 
Glidden said. 

Glidden said he does not spend much time at the camp, but in reply to the 
question a 1 tout whether camp manager Branch had beaten workers, he replied, 
"I don't think so." 

He said "We are running a Tiice camp." And he told of medical and other bene- 
fits to workers. He said Branch on one occasion took a machine gun from a white 
worker who was threatening his roommate. The gun now is kept at the camp 
and can be seen, he .said. 

There has been a good deal of turnover at the camp, but some migrants have 
been there since it was opened, .said Glidden. They will confirm the opinion 
it is a good camp, he added. 

He said the company would lose money if the workers were permitted to leave 
soon after getting to the camp. But he allows them $2 on their travel expenses for 
each week they work, allowing $10 after five weeks, he said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 20, 1968] 
2.">0 Families Hunger — Migrants Need Aid Commissioners Toi.d — Recent weather conditions and low farm prices liave 
created an unemi»loyment situation here which has brought hunger to between 
400 and 500 people. Mrs. Marion Fether said Tuesday. 

Mrs. Fether, who has worked for years with the migrant committee here, told 
county commissioners in Naples Tuesday about 2."'(0 families are sufA'riiig severe 
hunger because of the combination of farm conditions and restrictions which for- 
bid local goverinnent assistance. 

"We will gratefully receive any contributions," ISIrs. Fether told the News- 
Tress Tuesday evening, "to help us feed these people during what we f(>el will be 
a temporary situation." 

IjCSS than $1,000 in money or food stuffs, Mrs. Fether said, would carry the 
families through the next two or three wf^eks when agricultural harvests are 
expected to iiick up again and iMit farm workers back in tlie fields. 

The combination of high winds and low temi>eratures delayed ripening of some 
crojts, and prices on others fell so low in the markets that it did not pay to pick 
the harvest, fiirmers s:iid. 

The migrant committee, a Florida corpor.ilion. has found during the p.-ist few 
year^. Mrs. Fether said, that there are mostly "semi-permanent" residents in the 
agricultral lalxir force here. 


These people, slie said, are suffering along ^^^tll tlie farmers whose crops have 
heen depressed during the period from about Jan. 10 this year. 

Collier County does not participate in either of the U.S. Department of Agri- 
culture's food programs designed to assist needy persons, either through dis- 
tributicm of surplus commodities or through the sale of food stamps redeemable 
at grocery stores for more food than they cost. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Jan. 4, 1968] 
Faemeb Protests Taxes, Prefers Collier County 

A Lee County farmer warned the County Commission Wednesday to "hold 
the line on taxes" and indicated he would welcome the opportunity to switch his 
holdings to Collier County if secession were still possible. 

Clifford B. Kinley. who owns 640 acres east of Estero just north of the Collier 
County line, said his taxes had risen 1,554 percent since 1955. In a letter also 
addressed to Tax Collector Dawson McDaniel, Kinley declared : "If the local tax 
inflation, together with the federal, keeps on rising, there is real danger of a 
complete economic breakdown which could be the worst ever experienced." 

Kinley said the first tax bill for his property, in 1955, was $74.97. "Each suc- 
ceeding year," he wrote, "it has increased until the current year which is for 
.$1,164.90. This is a total increase of 1,554 per cent since 1955. This is certainly 
greater than the rise in land value during the same period." 


Kinley, who maintains 564 acres of cleared land (presumably for crop-grow- 
ing and pasture) and 36 acres in timber, also has 40 acres in swamp. His letter 
expressed a measure of dis.satisfaction with the county's services. 

"I am sure you must know that the county has not supplied any roads in 
this area." he said. "The only help has been from the County Agricultural 
Agent's office, which is appreciated. I'erhaps I slKHild also mention two visits from 
four or five mosquito hunters who were not sure whether they were in Lee or 
Collier Counties. The work they did could have been done by one man in about 
30 miiuites. I want to assure you that the cattle egrets and purple martins are 
better mo.squito controllers than your boondoggle unit." 

Kinley's land is in what is known as the Corkscrew area which he says, ".should 
really be in Collier County," anyway. 

"Vegetable produce has to go out through that county over roads built by the 
farmers aiul landowners at a cost of several thousand dollars," Kinle.v stated. 
"It is well-known that the tax rate in Collier County is considerably lower than 
Lee. Also Collier County seems to be able to build roads in agricultural areas." 


The commissioners referred the letter to Tax Assessor Harry Schooley for 
his attention. 

Schooley told a reporter later than Kinley's assessment had been reduced from 
$71,360 to $60,080 after the countywide revaluation because it was agricultural 
property. It was taxed at $3 an acre in 1955, Schooley said. 

"I am sure he could sell at the present assessed valuation," Schooley declared, 
adding that county roads were available to him along the Corkscrew ridge. 

Kinley enclosed a check for his full tax bill with his letter. 

Schooley said he planned to send an inspector to the farm this week to see if 
Kinle.v hasn't erected improvements on his laiul which have not been evaluated. 

"I'm pretty sure he may have some buildings over there that we don't know 
about," the assessor declared. 

14,000 Migrants Come to Collier Facilities 
(by Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — Collier County officials are proud of their efforts to handle the 
annual influx of migrant workers that may exceed 14,000 in a county with normal 
30,0CK) population but say they are handicapped by state law and may be even 
more so by expected federal changes. 

State law i*equires a year's residence in the county before qualification for 


welfare payments. Payment to unqualified people could bring state auditor's com- 
plaints and perhaps indictments. 

Efforts to regulate migrant labor camps may be further limited by federal 
plans to deemphasize some programs and end the environmental health program 
aimed at improving such camps. 

'•Smith's Camp," cited in a New York Times story, was supposed to have been 
aband<ined, but it is only one of 100 or more camps that must be watched by only 
two county sanitarians, one a trainee, who have the job of covering a county 
twice the size of Rhode I.^land. 

County officials .<ay they are unal)le to hire more sanitarians because of a .short- 
age of trained personnel in that field. 

Some camps spring up overnight and unofficially in old tents or bus bodies and 
shacks hidden in the woods without county approval. 

"We have 22 camps under permit," Bob "\Mieeler, county environmental health 
director, said. "Every camp that applied we have worked with and gotten to 
minimum stand:n-ds or closed. The lull camp situation is the subject of a four 
month .survey we are just completi'i?;- which .should be ready in 10 days and tell 
exactly what the .situation is. 

"I don't claim there aren't migrants who are hungry and camps that are sub- 
standard, but we are making i)rogre.'-;<." 

Dr. Charles Bradley, county heaiin director, said that contrary to reports of 
lack of medical aid and medical ex;'enses for migrants, the coimty has an effec- 
tive medical program with the help of local pediatricians and doctors and Mt. 
Sinai Hospital cancer team from Minrni. 

"Doctors are free for the migranis," Dr. Bradley said in his office as migrant 
kids .s(inealed and cried around him while being examined. "The doctors help 
out on this." 

A w":uan mentioned in The Times' .story who pleaded poverty had just had a 
major . urgical operation at county expense, he said. 

Like Wheeler, Dr. Bradley said the camp survey would throw more light on the 
facts of migrants' needs and circum.^tances. 

"It will be the first that can really show us a lot," the doctor .saifl : "Then we 
can make suggestions. Right now we have no control over some camps, but we 
figure some roof is better than none.'" 

Other offic i.ils pointed out the story did not mention high quality camps in 
Collier which have been listed amon:; the best in Florida. 

Tlie Times story referred to "a loiijr hi.story of .snubbing federal aid, even during 
the depression" in Collier. County officials said this was a misunderstanding of 
county efforts to continue a traditional policy that "Collier County takes care of 
its own." 

The latest county refusal came on federal plans to supply $434,000 yearly in 
surplus food. The plan was rejected year after County Commissioners said 
they heard that qualifications would be by federal, not local standards and subject 
to possilde federal court suits. 

The amount was based, they said, on "a top of my head figure" worked up by a 
state commodity distributor on a pro rata extrapolation of figures obtained in a 
totally dissimilar north Florida county. 

The Collier school system for years has given free lunches to needy children 
and tMs year widened the field to end any restriction on formal requirements. A 
year ago Immolcalee .school children had 98 percent participation in school 
lunches, ahead of the county's 83 i^ercent average which was then Florida's 


Nutrition — Newspaper Clippings 

[From the Miami Herald, July 19, 1968] 

Surplus Food Plan Mapped for Collier 

4,200 persons qualify 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — A $434,000 surplus food program for the needy which would 
cost Collier County up to $45,000 a year to administer was mapped Thursday 
for the County Commission in a special session. 


E. Lee McCubbin, director of commodity distribution for the State Department 
of Public Welfare, detailed the proposals in suggesting that Collier should 6e the 
19th new county to join the 28 counties already under the joint federal-state 

He estimated that 4,200 persons or 15 per cent of the possible 27,700 population 
are probably qualified to obtain free food under such a program although only 
795 or 2.9 per cent are qualified for the state public assistance rolls. 

McCubbin admitted that the estimate was his own based on percentages 
prevailing in the North Florida tobacco growing county of Gadsden and denied 
they had been obtained from the discredited survey publicized by the South 
Florida Migrant Legal Services, which he said estimated up to 19,000 migrant 
workers here during the season. 

"I'm sure they're going to exert pressure to get the program going" he said. 

He estimated the county could obtain 151,000 pounds of foods monthly ranging 
from butter through farina with an annual wholesale value of $434,000, "so you 
can see the potential benefit to needy households." 

The director admitted the county would have a problem in administering the 
program to see it reached only the deserving. 

"I'm for people who're hungry getting food," said Commissioner Bill Sentell, 
a farmer, "but when they're getting $15 a day, I know of some who won't come 
back to work until they spend it." 

Commissioner Cliff Wenzel noted the county last week had 58 people ask for 
food but could hire only seven when it offered jobs even though some months 
ago representatives from Immokalee had asked county job consideration. 

^McCubbin said it is impo.ssible to make people 65 or older do hard manual 
work but Wenzel said the county felt its responsibility for the ill and the aged 
so this is not the problem. 

The program would be limited to people living as a unit with cooking facilities. 
If any are cut off they could appeal with the appeal going first to the County 

[From the Miami Herald, July 11, 1969] 
CoLLiEB Requests Food Stamp Pian 


(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — A food stamp program for the needy will be sought by Collier 
County, commissioners agreed Thursday, reversing a past stand on welfare aid 
but insisting on program supervision by the OEO's CAMP (Community Action 
Migrant Program ) . 

Under the CAMP program, CAMP officials would supply names of needj? 
individuals. Those individuals would be certified as needy by the Collier County 
Welfare Department. Then CAMP would make food stamps available to those 
persons, and at the same time try to enroll them in rehabilitation programs 
geared to making them self-sustaining wage-earners. 

CAMP also would agree to check the continuing need on the part of food 
stamp and training recipients. 

Previous plans offered free food, but with no provision for rehabilitation or 
removal of individuals no longer qualified for the program. 

Collier was the first county in the nation visited last spring by a Senate 
committee investigating hunger and malnutrition among the poor. 

"There was a lot of adverse publicity from the investigating Senate committee, 
and since then there have been certain noises from reporters," Commission 
Chairman Les Whitaker said in calling for the stamp plan. 

I'nder the plan the needy buy food stamps from CAINIP at a price lower than 
the face value of the stamps. The stamps are redeemed at local grocery stores 
for food purchases at face value. The federal government then reimburses the 
grocer for the face value of the stamp, paying the cost of the program from 
federal funds. 

Whitaker said the adverse publicity might benefit the county by speeding up 
the stamp program which he said is now sought only by three other Florida 
counties — Dade, Orange and Alachua. Whitiker declared past stories the county 


had recently refused federal food offers were untrue because "the Agriculture 
Department never contacted anyone here on the problem. 

•'The articles went all the way to Washington and started the ball rolling," 
Whitaker admitted, and added that he had gotten in touch with federal and 
state otiicials and at a meeting here Wednesday ■"attempted to set up some kind 
of a program." 

The chairman said he felt the best answer was to work with CAMP, which 
has a training program also to improve the needy and get them jobs. The coni- 
mi.ssiouers nearly two yeai's ago rejected a state-federal free food program 
because the board felt a permanent welfare community would result. 

Whitiker said he felt that CAMP had the right program and that as a result 
of the publicity "I think we cau get a special deal on food stamps for this and 
perhaps Hendry County." 

"The difference is CATNIP," Whitaker said. "We have worked with them for 
two years and they have done an excellent job. They will take the applications 
and we will have our own inve.stigator to detei-mine if people our actually 

The chairman said that CAMP checks to .see if there are able-bodied people 
in welfare families and gets them jobs, or trains them for jobs. The group also 
aids the handicapped. He cited a case of congenital foot defects where CA^Il* 
obtained remedial surgery, and the man involved can now work. 

"They make every effort to put these people on their own," Whitaker declared. 
"Otherwise there would be no effort to find employment." 

"That's the only kind of program I'd support," Vice Chairman A. C. Hancock 

Whitaker said he already has talked over the plan with state and federal 
men "and we have the assistance of Rep. Paul Rogers and others in Wa.shing- 
ton." He added that the Department of Agriculture and the OEO are out of 
funds "but due largely to the pnltlicity in our case there are indications they 
will come up with money." 

The commission gave unanimous approval to the application. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 15. 1969] 
Food Stamp P. id Madk uy Collier 

Naplks. — Collier Count.v Commission Chairman Les Whitaker was given per- 
mission to apply for a food stamp program to be administered by the Community 
Action Fund's Migrant Program (CAMP) Thursday by the county commissioners. 

Whitaker said indications from Washington, D.C., are that Collier County has 
a good chance of being approved for the stamp program. 

"We received a lot of publicity last winter from the Senate Investigating Com- 
mittee, and we have received a lot of static since for not having some type of 
surplus food program for needy people," he said. 

Whitaker asked for permission to write a letter to the OEO office in Jackson- 
ville requesting establishment of the food stamp program and that it be admin- 
istered l)y CAMP, a part of the Federal office of Economic Opportunity. 

"I have been working with OEO i)eople. officials involved in CAMP, and with 
Congressman Paul Roger's office in Washington," he told the commissioners. 
"I think my efforts have been successfid because I have been told to get your 
approval of filing a request for the .stamp program." 

Whitaker said if CAMP administers the stamp program they will review all 
applications received to be sure the applicant truly needs the food stamps. They 
will then strive to find a job for some member of the family getting the .stamps 
so the family will become selfsustaining. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, July 11, 1969] 

DtJNBAR CoM\roniTY Food Station Urged 

(By Patrick Kelly) 

Lee Count.v commissioners heard complaints Wednesday about the efficiency 
of the federal commodities program as administered by the County Welfare 
Department and agreed to study ways to improve it. 


The commodities program was designed to make surplus food items available 
to the poor, but the commissioners were told many of those eligible didn't 
receive this assistance because they were unaware of it. 

The gist of the complaints was : 

The people on state or county welfare rolls were not fully informed about the 
various types of aid on which they could call. 

There is a communications gap between the white administrators of the 
welfare programs and the Negroes who are dependent on welfare money to live. 

The suggestion was repeatedly made that the commodities available for Negroes 
be placed in a warehouse somewhere in the Dunbar area and that a Negro 
sui>ervisor be placed in charge of them. 

Commission Chairman Julian L. Hudson said after the session that he con- 
sidered both suggestions "reasonable." 

"We'll take them up during our budget sessions," he declared. "I don't imag- 
ine the employment of a Negro to supervise the distribution of commodities to 
Negroes is much of a problem. But the warehouse might be difficult. It would 
depend pretty much on how much refrigeration would be needed. Perhaps some- 
one would loan us a building, but refrigeration is costly." 

He explained that perishables have to be kept at the distribution ix)int every 
day in the week because groups of welfare recipients are assigned different days 
to call for their food to prevent overcrowding. 

The complainants were restrained in their statements. The commissioners 
patiently listened to each, occasionally posing questions to amplify a point. 

The complaints were voiced by Mickey Kantor and T. Michael Foster, attor- 
neys for the South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program Inc. ; the Rev. Z. D. 
Coaston, pastor of the Mount Herman Primitive Baptist Church ; Mrs. Veronica 
Shoemaker, one-time candidate for Fort Myers City Council ; Willie B. Green, 
vice president of the Lee County Branch of the National Association for the 
Advancement of Colored People : and Reuben Mitchell, director of the local 
community action program. 

Present at the hearing on the invitation of the commissioners were E. Lee 
McCubbin, director of the commodity distribution section of the State Depart- 
ment of Public Welfare, Gerald E. Evans and John Hughes, also from the state 
department. County Welfare Director Bob Craft was present but did not make 
any statements. 

Kantor said he felt the commodities program was not reaching enough people- 
particularly migrant agricultural workers. Chairman Hudson replied that the 
commission was required to comply with federal and state regulations. 

"We can't reach everyone," he said. "We are limited, probably to the most 

Kantor replied that an "outreach" effort was needed to publicize the program. 

Commissioner P. A. Geraci asked if posters and TV announcements would be 
effective and Kantor said they were probably the only effective way of commun- 
icating since, he said, many welfare recipients do not read the newspapers. 

Mrs. Dorothy Classon, county home economics agent, told how she tried to 
publicize the various programs available for welfare recipients with the help 
of Negro aides who sought to teach them how to make use of the foods given 

Mrs. Shoemaker said some welfare recipients were self-conscious and sometimes 
misinterpreted the attitude of welfare officials. They didn't "spread the word" 
because they felt they were not ti'eated with compassion, .she said. 

The Rev. Coaston said Negroes have been "conditioned" through the years to 
endure the hardship of discourtesy, but they didn't take full advantage of what 
was available because they tried to avoid being confronted with official brusque- 
ness whenever possible. 

Mrs. Shoemaker said she was employed in Page Park for years and never knew 
the welfare department warehouse was adjacent to Page Feld. She said Negroes 
without transportation were forced either to use taxicabs to pick up food allo- 
cations — or go without. 

"What is needed." she said, "is a distrilmtion center for Negroes in the Dunbar 
area where they won't be afraid to go — and where they will find a Negro in 


[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 9, 1969] 

Board Is Told Government Must Operate Food Plan 

(By Fred Winter) 

Naples. — The federal government has told Collier County, food stamp pro- 
gram administration cannot be delegated to non-government bodies. 

The commission wrote the Consumer and Marketing Service of the Department 
of Agriculture month, asking that, "if food assistance is to be given to low 
income families in Collier County, such assistance be made through the food 
stamp program." 

Additionally the request asked ''if the food stamp program is made available, it 
be administered by the Immokalee Migrant Committee Inc." 

"Administrative responsibility for the food stamp program on the state and 
local level is delegated to the state and local welfare agencies," responded 
Howard P. Davis, deputy administrator for consumer food programs. 

'Therefore," he said, "the administrative responsibility cannot be delegated 
to another group or organization." 

He also said that before the program can be begun, "local oflBcials musit request 
it from the state welfare agency who must then ask for it from the Department 
of Agriculture on behalf of those local areas in which it wishes to administer the 

'•I'm pleased to find out how that's really handled" commented Commissioner 
Ewell Moore. 

"I don't want to let these people push me into this," said Vice Chairman A. C. 

"We would have no way of controlling (what stamp recipients do with the 
food stamps)," said Commissioner Cliff Wenzel, "they might just trade them to 
buy wine." 

"Even if they did," said Hancock, "we couldn't deny them the commodities." 

Davis, in his letter, said his agency does "not have a request on file on behalf 
of Collier County hy the Florida State Dep;irtmont of Welfare. 

"In the meantime," his letter says, "the commodity distribution program is 
immediately available and county oflScials in Collier County may apply to the 
state to make arrangements to enter it. 

"Under this program, USDA-purchased foods are donated to households in 
need of them." 

Collier commissioners have taken the stand in the past that initial expenses 
of storage and costs of administration would be too expensive to handle a 
commodities program here. 

The current discussions on food stamp and commodities programs spring from 
the March 10 visit of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human 

Local area oflBcials reacted sharply against what they termed "a misrepresen- 
tation" of the facts of the lives of agricultural workers in the Immokalee area. 

During the visit of the senators, Governor Claude Kirk defended Collier's stand 
against adopting the federal government's food stamp program. 

But Collier commissioners agreed Tuesday they are not closing the door to 
federal food assistance, but are maintaining their position that "We want it done 
right, so the ones in need get the food." 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 30, 1969] 

Food Subsidy Plan Sought at State Level 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — A .$2-million food stamp or commodity surplus program to 
cover all Florida counties is the aim of a bill submitted to the state Legislature 
by Sen. Lee Weissenbom of Miami. The proposed legislation, which would allow 


the state to serve as the intermediary in present federal programs, was explained 
Tuesday to the Collier County Commission. 

The bill for "a state funded and state administered food program for each 
county to insure the existing programs at no cost to your county" was described 
in a letter from Weissenborn which was read by Chairman Les Whitaker. 

The letter explained that the act would cover the federally funded food pro- 
grams in which many Florida counties do not now participate. Collier had refused 
to join in the surplus commodities for welfare purposes last year because of what 
it said were high administrative costs. 

It participates, through the School Board, in commodity distribution to schools. 
This aid would be exempt from the bill as would be aid to charitable and ( hild 
care institutions, sstate non-penal units, children's summer camps, and Seminole 
and Cuban refugee programs. 

"Under my bill this (aid) would be administered by the State Department 
of Public Welfare," Weissenborn wrote. "The bill has been sent to the full 
Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and will have a hearing on 

The commissioners expressed interest in the proposal as a possible solution to 
welfare food problems that brought adverse national publicity during a recent 
county visit of the Senate Committee on Hunger and Malnutrition. 

After that visit, the County Commission had sought to take part in the food 
stamp program but was told by the federal government that it could not do as 
it wished and allow the longstanding volunteer Immokalee Migrant Committee 
Inc. to handle the stamp issuance and redemption the group is not a gov- 
ernment agency. The commission had suggested the commiWee because it is on 
the spot in Immokalee, familiar with the problems there, and experienced 
in meeting them. 

Since Immokalee is unincorporated, there is no local government there which 
could handle the food stamps. The County Commission felt that operating the 
program in that area from East Naples 42 miles away would be difficult. 

Weissenbom's bill would establish the State Department of Public Welfare as 
the sole agency to administer food stamp and surplus commodity programs in 
Florida and require one program or the other to be put in effect in every county. 
The county commission in each case would choose the type of program to be 
used, but the .state would handle the applications to Washington. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 28, 1969] 
Committee Backs Food Stamp Plan ; Collier Criticized 

Tallahassee. — A bill requiring all counties to participate in either a food 
stamp or surplus commodity program for low income persons was cleared by the 
Senate Ways and Means Committee Tuesday. 

The bill as originally introduced by Sen. Lee Weissenborn, D-Miami. called 
for the State Department of Welfare to administer the program with a $2 million 

But the measure was amended to eliminate the state appropriation and now 
would require counties to bear the cost of administering the program with all 
other costs borne by the federal government. 

Presently 16 counties do not participate in either program. "The question is 
whether the state should set a policy that counties should provide these programs 
or let the counties decide," said Sen. Lawton Chiles, D-Lakeland, chairman of the 
committee. "Some medium sized counties like Collier that should be doing this of the large number of migrants, aren't," said Sen. Kenneth Myers, D- 
Miami. "It should be a state policy." 

[From the Miami Herald, June 26. 1969] 

Odds Against Poor Receiving Food 

(By Elizabeth Heddericg) 

Washington. — Federal food programs are just not reaching enough poor, ac- 
cording to the results of a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. But the re- 


port shows that Florida and some other southern states Are doing better than 
the national average. 

Pinellas County ties with Monroe County for the state's lowest percentage of 
poor reached by commodity distribution programs. 

The report says only one-third of the counties in the country have a Food 
Stamp program, the other nmjor federal plan. And of those counties only 16 per 
cent of the families in need of assistance are receiving Food Stamps. 

Sen. George McGovern (D., S. Dak.), chairman chairman of the Select Com- 
mittee on Malnutrition and Human Needs said : 

"What these figures mean is that a poor American family has only one chance 
in three of living in a county where stami)s are distiibuted and even if it happens 
to have the good fortune to live in such a county, this family still has only one 
chance in six of actually receiving any stamps." 

In Florida, as yet. no poor are receiving Food Stamps because the program 
has not started in the one county in the state — Orange — which gained approval 
for participation. 

That approval came less than two weeks ago. after the proposal was tied up in 
state We.lfare Department red tape for about a year and a half. 

Fifty-one of Florida's G7 counties participate in the food commodit.v di.stri- 
bution program in those counties the program reaches 2 per cent of the poor — - 
five ix>r cent above the 22 i>er cent of the poor reached on a national average. 

On the county basis. Gad.sden County reaches the highest percentage of its 
poor. 74 per cent. However, Pinellas County and Monroe County are both listed 
as having only eight per cent of their poor participating in the commodity 
program. • 

Percentages of poor receiving commodities in other Florida counties include : 


Dade 11 

Broward 10 

Duval 18 

Hillsborough 13 

Pasco 14 

Hernando , 24 

Polk .- 48 

Hardee 15 

DeSoto 20 

Leon , 22 

Florida counties which have no food program are: Collier, Osceola, Brevard, 
Charlotte, Citrus, Flagler, Indian River, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Putnam, St. 
Johns, Sarasota and Seminoje. Orange County has no program at present. Hendr.v 
County has a commodity distribution program that serves only a portion of the 

[From the Washington Post, Mar. 11, 19G9] 

Florida Officials Stung by Hill's Hunger Probe 

(By Bruce Galphin) 

Immokalee, Fla., March 10. — A Senate committee turned the .spotlight on hun- 
ger here today, )»ut white officialdom said it still didn't see any. 

Florida Gov. Claude Kirk testily accused the committee of ignoring him and 
refusing to allow the State Health Department director to testify. 

The chairman of the County Commission angrily interrupted a network tele- 
vision fi.lming session to newsmen of misrepresenting conditicms in Collier 

But other witnesses appearing before the Select Committee on Nutrition and 
Human Needs offered statistics showing snb.stantial nutritiouiil and related 
health needs. And the Senators, in ii S^A-hour whirlwind tour this morning, saw 
that housing is also a severe prol)h'm. 

Kentucky's freshman Sen. Marlow Cook bi-oke off from the main tour to make 
unannounced visits to migrant worker camps, and expressed shock at what he 
had seen. 


He said he found "showers" that were no more than spigots "about two feet 
off the ground" and other housing conditions that couldn't pass urban code 
inspections. ,, 

At one camp, he said. "I shook hands with a man with wet paint on his hands. 
This was one of several references made during the hearings to last-minute 
sprucing up in Immokalee. 

Sen. (ieorge McGovem (D-S.D.), chairman of the Committee, told a standing- 
room-only audience at the Bethune School here that he was "not singling out 
Florida ... I suspect that in my own State, we will see problems of hunger and 
housing that are worse than those here." 

Sen. Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.) remarked earlier in the day that he believed the 
Nation is on the edge of a breakthrough against hunger. "I think this is at last 
going to spark the conscience of America," he said. 

During today's hearings, the hardest data on malnutrition came from T. 
Michael Foster, assistant director of the South Florida Migrant Legal Services 

He said the Florida Board of Health had investigated Immokalee a year ago 
and concluded ". . . there is no evidence of severe malnutrition or serious inci- 
dence in the migrant population." 

But, said Foster, the Citizen's Board of Inquiry in its report "Hunger U.S.A." 
listed Collier County as one with a serious hunger problem. 

Nearly 30 percent of the families in Collier County have incomes under 
$3000, Foster reported, and that does not include the migrant workers who 
nearly double the County's population in certain seasons. 

Foster contended that the high disease rate among migrants in Collier County 
was circumstantia,! evidence of malnutrition. 

Among children one month to one year in age, he said, the death rate is three 
times the national average. Among non-whites, he continued, the rate is more 
than six times the national average. 

A survey of 23 Collier County farmworkers' children, selected at random, was 
made at Miami's Variety Children's Hospital, Foster reported. It found 38 
clinical among the 23 children, including anemia, respiratory infection 
and pneumonia. Hospital director Gerald W. Frawley called it "a most extraor- 
dinary morbidity rate." 

The State Board of Health's own study showed Collier County has one of 
Florida's highest rates of incidence of new active cases of tuberculosis. 

Gov. Kirk, who stayed throughout the hearings, said he "regretted" that the 
Committee had not checked with his office about data he said he already had 
on Collier County. And he said the Committee called a State Health Department 
nutritional officer while refusing to a,llow the director. Dr. Wilson Sowder, to 
testify. "I like to get the generals, not the corporals," the Governor said. 

Kirk added later, however, "If there's any way we can help uplift them 
(migrant workers), we want to. We want them to grow and prosper with us. I 
think we too often make 'good' the enemy of 'better'." 

A Committee spokesman said the panel had been in contact with Kirk's office 
and understood Dr. Sowder was satisfied with the testimony arrangement. 

The flareup between the County Commission chairman, Lester Whitaker. and 
a CBS-TV newsman occurred during the morning tour of poverty areas. Whitaker 
interrupted while newsmen were recording introductory remarks, accusing them 
of lying about Collier County. When he was invited to state his own side on 
camera, Whitaker said newsmen would only "slant" his remarks, and stalked 

Chamber of Commerce President Harold M. Reece, who had argued that people 
would not work if they had free food, said that if there were any food program 
at all, it should be administered by the Farm Labor Bureau, so that workers 
refusing jobs would be ineligible for food distribution. 

[From the Miami Herald, Mar. 9, 1969] 

Immokalee : No Famine But Plenty of Misery 

(By Matt Taylor) 

Immokalee. — It does not come every day for Mrs. Sanchez, but every now and 
then she must face her 10 children at mealtime and make a grim choice : Which 
ones to feed. 


Her painful choice represents one extreme of a situation that will be investi- 
gated Monday and Tuesday by U.S. Senators who will journey to Collier and Lee 
counties to find out how widespread hunger is among Florida's migrant farm 

The senators will find there is no famine here, but they will find there is 

The choice she must make horrifies Mrs. Sanchez and her voice breaks as she 
stands with a baby in her arms and tells how she chooses which one will eat. 

"I decide on what they like and what I have," she said, "and on what they are 
going to have to do. Sometimes I only have to choose about what part of the meal 
to give them." 

She said if she prepares potatoes and beans for supper, some will get potatoes 
and some will get beans, but nobody will get both. 

Five days a week Mr. Sanchez brings home $10 a day for laboring in the 
fields. He is a migrant with no hope of getting anything better. His family lives 
in a sh; nty that co.sts $!."> a week. 

If it gets cold — like week — or rainy or the crops are bad somewhere el.^e 
in the United States, the Sanchez family will find itself with no income at all. 

They will get no help then from Collier County's commissioners. The com- 
mission does not consider migrant laborers their problem. Up to 10,000 migrants 
live in -"0 "•camps" in the area. At pre.sent, there are only about 7,000 and farmers 
complain there aren't enough to do the work. 

"There might be occasional times they're hungry through a meal," said Ewell 
"Pappy" Moore, the county commissioner responsible for the interests of 

Moore said "these people are farm laborers. That's all they are. They'll never be 
any different. They're that kind of people and they'll be that way till they die. 
They're farm labor." He said the Immokalee population is 50 per cent Mexican- 
Amt^ritaii, .'50 per cent Negro and 20 per cent Anglo Saxon. 

"If anyone on that board (the county commission) knew of hunger they'd 
do something about it, he said. "There isn't a man on that board that would 
stand by and .see people hungry." 

Mrs. Marion i-'eatters has been a volunteer social worker in Immokalee since 
1952. She is now paid by the federal government in school program to help the 
poor. Mrs. Featters said about the county commission : 

"We have been before them time and time again, asking for help for hungry 
peojtle . . . and in 17 YEARS they have never spent one penny on migrants." 

She added : "A couple or three times they did help us with the paperwork 
when we got emergency federal relief." 

It was a reporter for The New York Times who stirred up the recent con- 
troversy over whether Immokalee has hungry people. 

Homer Bigart, who has twice won journalism's highest award, the Pulitzer 
Prize, was not the first to discover poverty in Collier County, but he made it 
topical and in so doing brought the Select Committee of the U.S. Senate down for 
hearings that open Monday. 

In Collier, news stories declared it wasn't so. Reporters talked to county 
oflicials or farmers and went home, chortling over inaccuracies and fabrications. 

Most of the people that lloiiicr Bigart talked to vanished. Within a few days 
after. The times story was reprinted in the Miami News, people who had been 
neighborly the night before were gone, suddenly and with(mt word. 

For that reason, the name Sanchez used in this .story is a fabrication. The 
lady with 10 children has another name, but she is afraid to have it printed. 

Others are not afraid, or are beyond caring. Here are some of their stories : 

James Kelley is one man interviewed by The Times who is still around 
Immokalee. He is an old black man who thinks he is 56 or 57, but is probably 

He lives in a bus. Illness brought to an end his labor in the fields eight months 

At night when it is cold, Mr. Kelley lights a kerosene stove if he has any 
kerosene and sleeps on one of the seats. The seat is about 40 inches long. Mr. 
Kelley is about 05 inches long. 

"De biis sweat at night," Kelley said. He opens a window so he can stay inside. 

People bring food. "Sometimes they bring me fish to clean for them," he says, 
"and they give me some." 

During the day he sits in one of the front benches of the bus looking through 
the front window at the shanty dead ahead, as though he was on a ride to 


In that shanty, a man died in a fire over a week ago. The charred mattress 
that held the body still smells of choking smoke. 

All day long James Kelley stares ahead or nods in sleep, on a long ride after 
a hard life. 

Call her Rosita. She lives within two blocks of the heart of Immokalee in a 
house owned by a labor crew leader — as many are. 

Rosita's baby is two months old. It does not take a doctor to see that the 
child has a respiratory ailment — the breathing is labored and the child is running 
a fi'ver. 

Its home is a Time Saver bleach box. A cardboard box stuffed with old cloth. 
Flies swarm through the room. 

There are gaping holes where the screens and the doors don't fit. A thin, 
reedy, useless cry comes from the tiny, watery-eyed baby as a fly lands in his 

There are two rooms to the house — one is a bedroom just behind the general 
purpose room. There is an oil stove, electricity and indoor water. This is a 
luxury dwelling for a migrant. Rosita will probably not be hei-e long. 

Her husband is gone. Her rent is $25 a week and she is four weeks behind in 
the rent. Neither her home nor the others owned by crew chiefs of real estate 
specialists can expect much repair except when some investigation is under way. 
The housing shortage is acute and most residents "live outlaw" — that is, in con- 
demned housing. If the law was enforced, the migrants would have no where at all 
to live. 

Rosita would go back to the fields if she could work : But the baby is sick 
and there are two other little children to care for. 

Because Rosita lives in Immokalee only eight months out of the year, she is 
not eligible for county or state welfare. 

She is entitled to federal aid but Collier County, insisting it can take care of 
it.s own, refuses to allow a federal program to be started. 

Mike Saucier (that is his real name) is 19 years old. A husky, shaggy blond 
boy with crooked teeth and a hurry-up job. 

He is taking part In what ha'-; become Immokalee's big project: sprucing the 
place up before the senators get there. 

Mike's task right now is painting what used to be known as Smith's Camp, a 
place made sordid by Homer Bigart's story in The Times and almost glorified in 
local reaction. 

Bigart described the camp as "a dozen or more windowless plywood shacks, all 
without toilets or running water, all painted a dull green and all facing a dark 
slough . . ." 

He said there was a spigot in the ground running with what the migrants 
described as "foul smelling and foul tasting" water. 

The article mentioned filthy dwellings and cold water showers. 

What Mike Saucier is doing, he said, everybody else is doing. "We all had a 
piece of fixing the place," he said. His shirt was smeared with a red paint that 
made him look like he had suffered a terrible wound. 

The dull green shacks, under his care were becoming a blood red. "We been 
fixing the floors and the roofs, too." Mike said. 

He walked over to the community shower stall and pointed proudly to some 
open pipes inside. "They're bringing out a water heater, too," he said. Smith's 
camp was sold to D. C. Clemons and Sylvester Hill of Immokalee after the visit 
by Bigart. 

The "foul smelling" water described in The Times became something of a 
local joke. "Sulphur water. That fellow didn't know that was sulphur water." 
The well water had been declared safe for drinking. 

Whether Bigart had ever heard of sulphur water is not known. Native Florid- 
ians describe sulphur water as a foul smelling, foul tasting water that you 
get from untreated wells. It is considered safe to drink. 

In the slough, which he had helped clean, Mike had caught two mud cats that 
he was going to have for sui)per. if his boss ever got back from Zellwood, a muck 
farming community near Orlando. 

Mike was anxious for the boss to get back. He was waiting to go back to 
Gulfport that night on the bus. 

The boss was bringing Mike his pay so he could make the trip. Mike had 
been waiting for four days. 

"My wife Dorothy called me Saturday and told me," Mike Saucier said. "I'm 
sorry to be so long, but they have a good funeral home in Gulfport. They're 
keeping the baby in the cooler. They're waiting the funeral until I get there." 


Mike Saucier shrugged, dropped liis catfish liack in the water and returned 
to his painting. 

At The Health Clinic in Ininuikalee. a federal-aided welfare facility, Mrs. Ruby 
Conrad — waiting for treatment — thrust herself into the controversy over whether 
migrants get all the help they need. 

Angrily, Mrs. Conrad said, "If they're hungry, let them let it be known. If 
the county don't have it, go to the churches." 

She had children with her and said she had lived seven years in Immokalee 
as a migrant. "I pay $20 a week for three rooms," she said. 

She insisted there was no ueed for federal help. 

A.sked what would happen to her family if neither she nor her husband could 
get into the fields to work, shi> said : ••Someone will take care of us. We won't 
have to go hungry. You reporters only tell the one side." 

Agreeing with Mrs. Conrad is the man with all the power in Immokalee — 
Conmiissioner Moore. The place called Inunokalee is unincorporated and what- 
ever official guidance it gets comes from the County Commission. 

There is a move afoot now to create a city. '•They're figuring on the cigaret 
taxes helping them," Moore says, "I just don't give it much prospects as a city 

Moore thinks housing is the most critical problem in Immokalee. "People don't 
realize this was a sawmill town," he .<aid. 

"You come in here now and you look around and you say how terrible things 
are. Well . . . you should have seen it in the early 30s . . . then things were 
terrible, far far worse than they are now. 

"Well," said Moore, "there's some that's not so fancy." 

He has white hair with a flavor of gold in it and all his life in Immokalee he 
has been a farmer, or, as now, a public official. 

"I come here permanently in '49 and it look like everybody followed me — and 
we overran this town. Housing was short then and its short now." 

He .said he knows what he's talking about when he says people have to help 
themselves : "When times was bad in the 30s I had a wife and two kids and a 
grocer carried me. He carried me two damn year.s." 

Did he repay the grocer? 

"Yessir. Every penny. Why, that man saved me and my family." 

There is a half-mil tax in Collier County for welfare, and Commissioner Moore 
says "60 to 65 per cent of it is spent here. In Immokalee." The welfare budget 
last year was $131,500. 

It is not spent on migrants. It is spent on the permanent residents who are 

"We cannot spend these taxpayers' money on these migrants," he said. "We 
are restricted liy the laws of the State of Florida and we just don't have the right 
to do with taxpayers' money for migrants. We are solely responsible for the 
citizens of Collier County. The churches, this, that and the other help these 

Moore said he almost had the board talked into adopting the commodity food 
program, a federal undertaking that gives needy people a monthly allowance of 
basic foods. 

"Then come to find out it would take maybe $50,000 of county money to run 
this program, and we'd have to build a freezer and it was just dropped. If the 
federal people are gonna do it, okay." 

The migrants themselves, Moore said, "are federal people. They's not Immok- 
alee people, they're not Collier people, they're not Florida people. They're federal 

There is a more pressing problem in having a free food program. Commissioner 
Moore said. "If there's free food, these people'll come early and stay late. We'll 
have them in town all year long." 

As a farmer, he had other complaints about the migrants, whether black. 
Mexican or Anglo-Saxon. 

"They don't give you a day's work. They get good money. A tractor driver gets 
$12 to $14 a day. That don't sound like no starvation wage to me." Field laborers 
get about $10 a day, except at peak harvest time when the wages go uid — some- 
times about double. 

"But the farmer's got his land rent to pay ( all farm land in Collier 
County is owned l)y the Collier Corj).. tlie Tidewater Cypress Co. or l.eeco Land 
Co. and it is leased to growers) his labor to pay, his fertilizer, his tractors. 

"There's got to be something for these boys to survive. It's a little bit rough, 
brother. It's a little bit rough." 


There is a federal program that is l)eiug watched with apprehension in some 
areas of Collier County. It is Self-Help Housing. 

Under it, a loan for material and skilled labor is guaranteed by Farmers Home 
Loan and a family can, by providing its own unskilled labor, construct a home 
for $10,000 or $11,000 with no down payment. 

As in early America's pioneer days, large groups of people band together and 
provide quick construction to a house at a time. 

For the migrants taking part in the program, there is a danger. The family 
can find itself paying for two homes at once — $100 a month or so for rent and 
about $41 for the home they will own. 

They're interested in preserving things the way they are in Immokalee see, an- 
other great force at work : What happens when a significant number of migrants 
own homes in Immokalee, and pay taxes ? 

What happens, say members of the South Florida Migrant Legal Services Pro- 
gram, Inc., is that they will be able to demand services of the county. In addition, 
if a city is incorporated at Immokalee, they will run it and elect its government. 
Legal services is an unsettling force in both Collier and Lee counties. Full of 
young lawyers turned social reformers, it has met opposition that borders on 
paranoia. They are the only official agency that regularly plows into the migrant 
quarters. They bring small checks from another agency ($1 a person a day for 
a maximum of 14 days in cases of extreme and obvious need) and advise migrants 
of their legal rights. 

Some of this advice has led to law suits against farmers and combines that 
never before experienced interference in their labor relations. Often these inter- 
ests are heavy political contributors, sending men to Tallahassee and Washing- 
ton, and they do not intend to be hurt. 

Legal Services is under such heavy fire that its continued existence is in doubt. 
Its funds end April 30, but it can survive until July 1. 

Legal Services people are making all the preparations for the Senate hearings 
that open at Immokalee's Health Center Monday. 

William Dow is in charge of the Immokalee office of Legal Services. "There is 
a tremendous cleanup campaign going on in Immokalee now," he said, "just like 
when the governor came last year." 

He added : "I wonder just how far they think a can of paint will go covering 
up this mess.'' 

Albert Lee, president of the Community Civic Workers of Immokalee, and 
Ovidio Silva both work for Migrant Legal Services as investigators. 

Much of their time is spent gathering data for cases but more is spent getting 
food for women without men or for those too sick to work. 

"They say we don't have any problems in Immokalee" said Lee, outside a 
lean-to shack in which one mindless old man kept a death watch on a silent, even 
older man who kept his hands folded on his chest and muttered to the ceiling 
while lying on his rotting mattress. 

"They say we don't have any problems here," Lee said as he looked at a brand 
new migrant housing project, still uupainted, that would include the same old 
cheap, warped lumber, the size of a motel room but in which famlies of five and 
10 would live. 

Lee came to a no-trespassing sign (under Florida law farmers can prohibit 
anyone, even a man's own lawyer, from seeing him in a migrant camp) and said: 
"They say we have no problems here." 

Mrs. Feathers' main delight is to feed children at school. 

She also has about $1,000 a year in charity funds collected by the Salvation 
Army, the local Methodist Church and her Immokalee Migrant Committee. 

There is some resentment by Mrs. Feathers of the fact that local efforts have 
been ignored by those writing of migrant problems. 

"We're as successful as we're allowed to be financially," she said. "But it's 
extremely tight. We've never failed to meet a need that we knew of — though 
maybe not adequately. 

"The county commission has never given us any money," she said. "No they 
never." She agreed w^ith the view that training is necessary before any grand 
program is begun for the migrants. 

"They don't know how to save their money," she said, "and I know of people 
who have stayed home from work to get their commodities. I do not want to deter 
these people from making it on their own. 

"I have made over 200 home visits every month," Mrs. Feathers said. "We try 
to get the poor — if they aren't migrants — on the state welfare. We never try for 
county welfare. They're too rigid." 

36-513— 70— pt. 4A 10 


Mrs. Feathers' great joy is the food program at school. "You should see them 
eat," she .said. Elementary and pre-school children are indeed packed with food 
at Bethune or Highlands schools. At Bethune there is an unused cooler that 
friends of the migrants say the county could use if a food program was started. 

•'But what of the children who aren't old enough for school? What about 
food on the weekends? What about when they're too sick to come?'' Mrs. Feathers 
spread her arms. "We never have enough to be free with our help," she said. 
"We have to be meager." 

Next year, she is trying to get a food program for the middle school. 

What happens. Commissioner Moore was asked, when a migrant gets too old 
to work. Would the county help him if he was forced to settle in Immcikalee? 
What ever happens to a 70-year-old migrant? 

"Why," Moore said, "I don't remember the question ever coming up." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 17, 1969] 

Sexators To Investigate Hunger in Migrant Communities 

(By Homer Bigart) 

Editor's note : The New York Times, making a nationwide survey of 
reports of hunger in the United States, sent one of its top reporters, Homer 
Bigart, to look into the situation of the migrants at Immokalee. This is 
his account, as distributed nationally Sunday by the New York Times News 

Immokalee. — Ten miles .southwest of here, strung out like garbage along the 
edge of a cypress swamp, is Smith's Camp, a gathering place for some of the 
migrant farm workers who flock here in winter to pick the vegetable crops. 

It consists of a dozen or more windowless pljT\'Ood shacks, all without toilets 
or ru; ning water, all painted a dull green and all facing a dark slough choked 
with liuttles and 

Some di.stance away there are three .smaller shacks, two of them privies, the 
third a cold-water shower. None shows signs of recent use. Few migrants are 
hardy enough to take cold showers out of doors in the dead of winter, even in 
Florida, and the latrines are unspeakably filthy, seats and floors smeared with 
dried deflation. So the people use the woods. 

A spigot planted in the ground provides water for the shacks. But the 20 or 
30 migrants who live here say the water is foul smelling and foul tasting. The 
only apparent amenity is the naked electric light bulb hanging from the ceiling 
of each .shack. 

Such a place is Smith's Camp, its condition of poverty far removed from 
the showy affluence of nearby Gulf coast resorts and its people, during frequent 
periods of unemployment, vulnerable targets for hunger and disease. A Senate 
committee investigating hunger will be in the area March 10. 

On a recent Saturday, a visitor found most of the camp's adult population 
assembled in the canteen. The migrants had just been paid, ai)j)areiitly, and 
.severnl men and women were finding release from the surrounding squalor by 
getting themselves drunk. 

One woman, .still sober enough to talk, said that in good times she made as 
much as $60 for six days work in the fields, picking beans and peppers, but 
now work was .slack cold weather had retarded the crops. 

"We've got to pay $10 a week for the.^e huts," she said. "Last week the water 
was up so high we had to wade to the door. I never would've left Carolina, 
but they told us the rent was free." 

A man who introduced himself as "Hobo Bob" reeled out of the canteen and 
proudly produced an old photo that showed him with a wine bottle in one hand 
and a pistol in the other, a cigarette dangling from lips creased in a grin. He 
said he was sending the photo to a cousin in South Carolina, to show the relative 
what a happy life migrants could lead. 

"That's Hobo Bob," he laughed, patting the photo. 

Smith's Camp is one of 60 or 70 accommodations for migrants around Immok- 
ale<\ <>ther camps seem less appalling in physical appearance but hold a greater 
potential for human degradation and misery because they swarm with children. 

Albert Lee, an energetic young Negro who heads the local antipoverty proj- 


ect, the Community Civic Workers, said it was a bad season for migrants, 
with heavy unemployment. 

Immokalee, a town of 3,U00 near the northern edge of the Everglades, normally 
has a mid-winter population of 12,000 migrants, he said, but now there were 
only about 10,000. Many who normally wintered in Immokalee had gone to 
Texas instead. 

Immokalee is in Collier County. Many well-to-do retired people live in Naples, 
the county's biggest community. 

In a black camp nearby Mrs. Pauline Milton and 10 children were crammed 
into a two-bedroom-and-kitchen hut. 

"Me and two of the little ones sleep in this bed," said Mrs. Milton, "and there 
are two beds in the other room and one in the kitchen for the rest." 

She had worked two days that week, earning $11.05 each day, and paying 
$2 a day for baby sitters. 

"I couldn't afford to give them breakfast," she said surveying the hungry 
brood, ■"but we had boiled beans, rice and potatoes for lunch, and I'll give them 
the same for supper." 

Mrs. Milton is one of a ciniparatively few migrants eligible for county wel- 
fare, for she has lived in Immokalee for seven years. She said she had applied, 
but had been told that her application would take 30 to 45 days to process. 

Of all the ethnic groups, the Mexican-Americans probably suffered most during 
times of hunger, Dow said. 

"Mexicans are proud," he explained, "and feel they are violating cultural 
mores if they ask for help." 

Foster said that the Florida State Board of Health had denied the existence 
of widespread malnutrition in Collier County. 

"People are hungry, no one can quibble about that," he insisted, "and there 
is a tremendously high incidence of parasitic infection." 

Last March, the state health board is.sued a report saying that a team of 
doctors had "closely observed" .some migrant children at play or in schools and 
clinics and that "none had gross signs of malnutrition." 

The report said that pellnsra. a severe dietary deficiency disease, had been 
noted but only in "known chronic alcoholics." 

In reply, friends of the migrants released next day the results of clinical 
examinations of 34 migrant farm children of Immokalee by the Variety Chil- 
dren's Hospital of Miami. 

The samplings uncovered 38 clinical diseases in the 23 children, ranging from 
pneumonia to worms. 

The hospital's executive director, Gerald W. Frawley, described the findings 
as "rather incredible, a most extraordinary morbidity rate" and concluded : 
"The migrant population must be about the most underprivileged in the nation, 
at least in terms of medical attention." 

In a few weeks Collier County will feel the spotlight of national publicity. 
The Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs is making this 
county its first stop on a tour of suspected hunger areas. 

The committee is seeking information on the failure of the federal food pro- 
grams to reach millions of poor Americans. 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 1, 1968] 

17 OF Florida's Counties Holding Out for Hunger 

(By Bette Orsini, of the Times staff) 

Hunger is a guest at the table for the victims of poverty in 26 states^ — including 
17 counties in Florida. 

In the homes of these poor, the setting could be more festive — not only on holi- 
days but throughout the year — with federal food benefits available for the asking. 

Rut the waiting foodstuffs never get to the target tables. 

Why do the holdout counties, which refuse to participate in federal com- 
modity food distribution programs, elect to turn their backs on thousands of dol- 
lars worth of foods available to their hungry? 

In Florida. Citrus County ofiiclals say: "The people aren't starving." 

"We just don't figure we have enough hungry people," Charlotte County ofl5- 
cials assert. 


Say Orange County offitials : "How would you like it if we gave a child a 
free lunch and then found his father out drinking in a bar?" 

The attitudes that keep free commodity foods and other federal food benefits 
from the mouths of the hungry in some sections of the country and not others 
riui the gamut from pride to prejudice, with a lot of stops between. 
But through them runs a pattern. 

At least, there's one discernible to staff attorney Gabe Kaimowitz of Colum- 
bia University's Center on Social Welfare I'olicy and Law. which has filed suit 
iu federal district courts in 20 states to force the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
to start food programs in counties which have none. 

At New York. Kaimowitz says the pattern amtmg the holdout counties usually 
involves one or more of these elements : 

Pear and intimidation — "It's true in several southern states in which we are 
suing, particularly in Louisiana and Texas." 

Says Kaimowitz: "They don't want the federal government involved in their 
local community aft'airs. the fear being that if food had to come in, the federal 
government would be intimately involved in local county matters." 

Poor persons living in rich countie.s — "Some counties want to pride themselves 
on the fact that no hunger exists." 

In such counties, says Kaimowitz, "the poor have no access except through 
litigation to force the county to accept one program or another. 

"This is true in Michigan, Massachusetts and Kansas, in wliich the county 
governments do not want to admit that they have significant numbers of poor 

Philosophy of conservatism — "It's a feeling by the coiinties that they don't need 
the federal government coming in to help out their people; they can take care 
of their own." 

"The state of Idaho on almost a .statewide basis has refused to that the 
program be brought into its counties," says Kaimowitz. 

In Florida, the philosophy of conservatism "definitely applies," Kaimowitz 

"The attitude has been. What do we need with the federal government telling 
us who's hungry and who's poor'.'" 

Some Florida counties also suffer from the too-rich-to-have-any-poor complex. 
Kaimowitz reports. 

Tlie center attorney ranks the rich-county poor people as the "freshest angle 
going." "We didn't even realize a thing like this was possible until the plaintiffs 
we h;id flown into Washington came there and we got a chance to talk to them 

"We found a pattern of ijersons from wealthy counties who were saying they 
had gone time and time again to the welfare department or school system asking 
for to the foods and were told it's degrading to go on a line to get surplus 

"Tliere's some kind of moral stigma attached." 

Rut the contentions of rich counties that they have no poor to whom they should 
give access to commodity foods are contrasted by Kaimowitz in the suits. They 
present statistics "on the number of persons in a given county who are below 
the poverty line, the number receiving public as.sistance — which is u.suall.v sig- 
nificantly less- — the number of post-natal deaths between one and 11 months" and 
other tell-tale figures. 

On some matters fear is even more widespread among the states, says 

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Dee. 2. 1968] 
Xo Stomach For Federal Food Ties 
(By Bette Orsini, of the Times staff) 

Apathy, cost fears, and just plain "anti-federal-intervention" stubbornness 
are pieces to the puzzling answer of why 17 Florida counties block their pool 
from access to free federal commodity foods. 

Privately, some county commissioners .say flatly they don't want to be l)othered 
with "this federal dictation." They have a strong aversion to what they call "the 
federal government coming in." 

Publicly, the reasons run by pattern, too. 


Most of the counties give financial explanations for failing to gear their com- 
munities to participate in a commodity food distribution program estimated to 
provide more than $10 in food for the poor for every $1 of county money invested. 

The holdout counties : 

Contend they'd have to build expensive warehouses and hire large staffs of 

Say they're already meeting food needs with county welfare and don't have 
hungry residents not being served. 

But most counties which have started commodity food distribution have done 
It without building warehouses ; they rent them. And most of the holdout counties 
are small in population and wouldn't require large commodity staffs, state wel- 
fare officials say. 

Further, the county welfare setup, especially in small rural counties, often is 
only a one-man operation, with the occupant wearing a number of other hats 
as well, according to state welfai'e leaders. 

To the lioldout counties who claim they have no hungry residents in need of 
food, the State Welfare Department's E. Lee McCubbin, director of commodity 
distribution, responds : 

"There's not a county in the state in which we don't have public assistance 
recipients in one of the four categories of services who are eligible for this type 
of added help." 

The impetus that brings some Florida counties into the commodity food distribu- 
tion program is pressure brought by local anti-poverty comnuinity action groups. 
Hernando County has agreed to start a program. IMcCubltin reports Clay, Manatee 
and Seminole counties soon may come in. Florida counties being sued to get in 
are Brevard. Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Flagler. Indian River, Marion, Martin, 
Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange. O.sceola, Putnam, St. .Tohiis. Sarasota and Volusia. 
Federal officials say Okaloosa and Volusia along with Hernando have made 
arrangements to join tlie program. 

Dade in 1961 was the first county to participate. Pinellas came into the pro- 
gram in lOtM after a year of spadework during which McCubbin met with two 
successive county welfare directors. 

The long preamble to participation was spent "just getting the interest going 
and the county commissioners aware enought of it to make the decision that they 
wanted to go in," said McCubbin. 

There still is no provision for food stamps in Florida, but McCubbin says 
the state's plan has been approved tentatively in AVashington and will be -sub- 
mitted to the state budget director and Cabinet for approval. 

"But there's no money at the state level, so our plan says any county that 
wants the program has to l»e able to finance whatever isn't covered by federal 
reimbursement just as they're doing in the food distribution programs," says, 

Financing the cost of local operations has been the stumbling block with most 
Florida counties holding out against commodity foods, according to McCubbin. 

The holdout counties persist in their po.sitions. In Charlotte County : 

"You can give away anything, but we don't need commodity foods. Our county 
welfare director recommends the ones she feels are entitled to special help and 
w? help them." 

"We have a little welfare in this county. If we have someone who is in need, 
tie county will issue a grocery order and let them go to the store and buy 
what they need. Not on a permanent basis, you understand. Just till their situa- 
tion gets straightened out." 

"We never felt there was enough demand for food to justify the cost of admin- 
istering the program." 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Nov. 21, 1968] 
Food for Poor Asked in Suit 

Orlando. — Twenty Florida counties which do not participate in U.S. food 
programs for poor people could l»e forced to do so under a suit filed in U.S. District 
Court here. Among them are Charlotte and Collier. 

"We find no basis in federal law for counties to have any opinion in this 
regard." said William Rowland, Orlando attorney who is handling the ease. 

The suit is identical to actions filed in 25 other states by the Center on Social 
Welfare Policy and Law based at Columbia University. It was established with 
a grant from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which handles the food programs, has 
approved plans in the 26 states in which counties are given an option on whether 
to participate. 

The suits, directed against the USDA, contend that depriving poor people of 
food because of their place of residence violates the equal protection clause of 
the U.S. Constitution. 

In some counties. Rowland said, "where there have been strong political moves 
to the right," all federal programs are suspect, "even one such as this where 
tlifTP is a minimal contribution by the counties." 

"This is not a matching type of program," Rowland added. "It doesn't cost 
the counties anything but a small amount for administration to coordinate with 
the state effort." 

The Orlando suit seeks to enjoin the USDA from further participation in plans 
where "there is di.'jcrimination in counties," Rowland added, and also asks judg- 
ment on whether the state has the right to allow the counties to be excluded. 

"The court conceivably could rule that the counties must participate," Row- 
land said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, July 19, 1968] 
Collier Board Considers U.S. Food Gh-eaway 

Naples.- — It v»ill cost Collier County about $45,000 a year to administer a 
federal food giveaway program here, according to Lee McCubbins, state director 
of commodity distribution. 

McCubbins told county commissioners Thursday he estimated that 4,200 per- 
sons from low income needy families in the county would require 1.51,000 pounds 
of food per month with a whole.'^ale market value of over $400,000 per year. 

"In Collier County." McCubbins said, "yon have two extremes. Some 22 per 
cent of your households have a net income of less than $2,.500, while 14 per cent 
have more than .$10,000." 

^[uch of the economy of the county depends on the migratory labor force, 
M Cubbins pointed out. "I am sure thiit the South Florida Mi.^^raiit Legal Serv- 
ices will put pressure to bear to get this program going. Their attorney, Michael 
Foster, has sent a letter to various government officials asking for the food 
distribution program for this county." 

The state director said the SFMLS quoted figures of 12.000 to 19,000 farm 
workers and their dependents as being in the Immokalee area in the peak of the 


To participate in the food program a family of two can make no more than 
$130 a month, a family of three, $15.5. 

McCubbins told the conimis.«ion the program to feed an estimated 4,200 people 
would require a 4.200 square foot warehouse with 274 cubic feet of refrigerated 
space. Personnel to administer the program would include a commodity super- 
visor, two certification workers, a clerk typist, a field worker and three 

Commissioners said they would think the matter over but expressed concern 
that farm laborers would quit work when necessary to qualify them for the 
free food. They said there were only a few tiiiies during the year when migrants 
needed assistance and yet if the county decided to have the food distribution 
program they would be saddled with it all year. 


Health and Education — Newspaper Clippings 
[From the Fort My ors (Fl.n.) New^-Press. Nov. 21. 19681 
SxTPPOBT Due for Migrant Clinics in Lee, Collier 

A review being made of migrant clinics in Lee and Collier counties will mean 
changes, probably for more support, Miss Helen Johnston, chief of the U.S. 
Public Health Service's migrant program, said Wednesday night. 

Miss Johnston and other officials from Washington and Jacksonville, along with 


a member of the national review committee, will end a four-day tour of migrant 
health clinics today with visits in the Hendry-Highlands-Glades Counties project. 

"We are finding a great deal of evidence of need for this kind of service." said 
Miss Johnston after looks at clinics in Lee and Collier counties. "We also are 
finding a lot of dedicated people." 

Dr. Leopold Snyder of Fresno, Calif., a private physician and member of the 
"External Projects Review Committee" which sets policies for the migrant pro- 
gram, agreed with Miss Johnston. 

"I think you have a tremendous reservoir of need for health services," he said 
during the visit to the Teeter Road Camp in Lee County. 

"You have people who recognize it," he said. "But the ones trying to meet the 
needs need the support of the rest of the community and the political leaders." 

Miss Johnston said the program will have to be expanded to do more in Collier 
County. But the grovrth will have to be done within the county, with the county 
acquiring the peopJe, she said. 

"You can only stretch a shoestring so far," she said, commenting on the 

The Public Health Service cooperates financially with local sponsors of the 
migrant health programs. Most often the health departments are the sponsors. 
But some counties don't have health departments. Miss Johnston said. Medical 
societies, hospitals and migrant programs also are sponsors. 

In the tour with Dr. Snyder and Miss Johnston are Dr. A. F. Caraway and 
W. J. Clarke of the State Board of Health in Jacksonville, Dr. Spencer Larsen 
of the Washington oflice and Bob Martens of the regional office in Atlanta. 

The tour started Sunday with the health department oflSces in Jacksonville. 
The team Tuesday night visited the Harlem Heights clinic, went to Immokalee 
Wednesday and came back to see the Teeter Road Camp setup Wednesday uight. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 23, 1969] 
Federal Grant for "Bilingual"' Education Won 

Naples. — Collier county schools have won a "bilingual education" federal grants 
Rep. Paul Rogers reported Thursday. 

K. C. Pittman, federal programs coordinator for Collier schools, said the 
grant will provide educational assistance "for students of limited English or no 
English speaking ability." 

Pittman said the initial grant "for this school year is .$55,000, but should amount 
to $250,000 within three years and could reach a total $370,000. 

"Collier was the smallest county, in population, to be considered for this chal- 
lenging program," Pittman said. 

Supt. John A. Murphy reported several weeks ago that assistance was being 
sought for the bilingual education program. 

"In April," he said, "we were told we were one of 78 systems selected in 
competition with 312 other applicants to submit a formal proposal for further 

Collier's grant will be funded from a total of $G million appropirated nation- 
wide for the projects. 

"The challenge of making adequate educational provision for limited and 
non-English speaking children demands an informed and understanding attitude 
toward language and cultural differences," Murphy said. 

"It also demands a readiness to accept the challenge of meeting their educa- 
tional needs. Much commendable effort has been directed toward this need 
by our teachers, but we need all the help we can enlist," Murphy said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 8, 1969] 

"Test Tube" Villages in Lee County Pushing Ahead With Day Care Centers 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

Harlem Heights' Wee Care Day Care Center is getting promises of continuing 
operation support, the result of a season of operation on a shoestring and a 


Now effort is beginning to shift toward Charleston Park, another "test tube" 
community east of Alva and many miles from the metroiwlitan area Harlem 
Heights borders. 

Actually neither community is a vitally important farm labor center. Lee 
County's greate.^^t pool of migratory and farm laborers is the Dunbar Heights area 
near Downtown Fort Myers. 

Rut the attention has been on the outlying villages because there the effects 
of programs can be measured. Individual endeavor is not lost in the sheer 
volume of need. 

Dare care centers, or kindergartens, are needs often supported by the cus- 
tomers in normal conmiunities and are operated as private But the 
farm and dome.'^tic labor comiiuniities do not have the private resources to sustain 
enough centers as private businesses. 


A survey a few years ago, made in depth, showed thousands of L/ee County 
children in need of the formal care and training a full-fledged day care center of- 
fers. These included children of all races. 

The Lee County Day Care Advisoi'y Board was unable to get a nonprofit public 
center going, until the spark arose in Harlem Heights. 

A group of interested Harlem Heights citizens decided the only way it was 
going to lie done was for them to do it themselves, and ask for outside heli) 
when they could point to their own labors. 

The center site was prepared within the Harlem Heights ^Migrant Mission 
Chui"ch. with the aid of Kiwanians and other volunteers who added a room 
to the building and fenced in an area for the required play .space. 

The Charleston I'ark group is getting ready to stai't construction of a center, 
starting from scratch. A site has been obtained through Self-Help Housing and 
the community's day care board has raised some $1,200 toward the building. 


Both centers are under the direction and control of residents of the area they 
.serve. Mrs. Christine Allen is executive oiierator of the center in Harlem Heights 
and Mrs. John Allen is one of the board members who helps coordinate volun- 
teer activities. She has a phone and there is one at the center. 

;Mrs. Mizell Kuss is chairman of the Chai-leston Park board. She and the board 
have been working with John and Mary Wyttenbach, Volunteers in Service to 
America (VISTA) assigned to Self-Help Housing. VISTA workers in Harlem 
Heights are Fred and Dinah Bennett. 


The Wee Care Center has been operating day by day this year. The families 
are charged ?1 for the first child and 50 cents for each additional child. Attend- 
ance has ranged from 22 to 82, far less than the 40 the planning indicated 
would and could use the center. 

(Federal aid in the form of a grant was refused last summer the 
local board could not charge if the money was accepted. Board members, with- 
out exception, expressed the feeling that the center could never become inde- 
pendent if it started with federal deiiendence. ) 

Volunteer .services have been increasing, particularly during the last few 
nn)iiths and more people discovered the center. 

"People are so awfully generous,'' .said Mrs. Allen, "Wee Care Do You*.' has been 
just wonderful. It's been the shoulder we've had to lean on." 

"Wee Care Do You? is a new organization of Fort Myers Beach residents 
who discovered the needs of their domestic workers for a day care center, and the center is in existence with need of their help. 

The organization, being incorporated through Kjell I'edersen, is seeking pledges 
of scholarships for next .season. The scholarships are to supplement but will not 
rejilacp the charges to i)arents, except in the rare case where they cannot afford 
the fee. 

Tlie next few weeks will S(>e the niunber of volunteer workers drop because the 
winter residents who were volunteering are departing for the North. 


"The volunteers have been beautiful," said Mrs. Allen. "They've spent loads 
of time helping with the children and in the kitchen." The work is demanding, the center opens early. All the children are there and settled by 8 a.m., 
requiring the workers, paid and volunteer, to be up and moving by 6 a.m. 

In addition to the volunteers who work in the center there are volunteers 
who make things and those who buy things for the center. This, too, can be a 

"Nobody makes wheeled toys that will stand up to it." said Bennett. "That's 
partially because we have at times 10 children trying to use the same tricycle." 

But the playground equipment available through retail outlets isn't sturdy 
enough, apparently. 

"We need good, sturdy playground equipment," said Bennett. 

The Church Women United have been busy all along, one of the major groups 
involved. Mrs. Wayne Bishop, migrant chairman for the group, said the orga- 
nization now is dividing the assets to move a share toward Charleston Park. Mrs. 
Elton Shoup is clothing room chairman for the women. 

The group receives clothing, household items and other materials for resale. 
Until recently they were cleared through the migrant mission at the Heights 
almost entirely. Some of the materials and sales returns were shunted to the 
Heights center. 

"Since the Charleston Park center is now chartered, is now organized and has 
a treasurer, the Lee County Migrant Mission Board has voted to allow us to give 
them things. They can do as they wish with it and keep the money," said Mrs. 

All the materials from Lehigh Acres go to Charleston Park. 


The church women made coverlets for the Harlem Heights center to use, but 
didn't stop manufacturing. They will be x-eady for Charleston Park, Mrs. Bishop 

The Charleston Park clothing sales go on steadily. A sand-floored shack erected 
for the purpose is kept open as much as possible by the center's backers to sell 
needed clothing to the fann workers. 

The VISTA workers were offered a concrete floor for the shack but asked the 
Lehigh Acres volunteers to save the effort for the day care center. 

There is a morning kindergarten for the preschool children, the ones who will 
enter next year, in Charleston Park. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Milieu have been 
operating the kindergarten for three years in a simple church and community 
building. The building is unsuited for operation of a full day care center. 

The Heights center has an application in and approved b.v the Lee County 
School Board to enter a special food supplement program offered by the federal 
government for such centers next fall. The program will jirovide up to 55 cents 
l>er day per child for foods, based on two meals and a snack service at the center 
each day. 

The present center has a fine kitchen and dining area with a paid staff. The 
cook's salaiT has been increased to the federal minimum wage as required to 
qualify for the program. (Which makes the cook a higher paid employee than 
the center's director, but the women have iiut in so much time without pay dur- 
ing the past year they haven't appeared upset by the development ) . 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Apr. 23, 1969] 

Fort Myers Beach Residents Supporting Day Care Center 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

A growing group of Foi't Myers Beach residents are discovering their own 
antipoverty project. Initial response has the backers of the Harlem Heights Wee 
Care Day Care Center jubilant. 

Mrs. Christine Allen, center director, and Deura Mae Everett, a board member 
and Self Help Housing representative, met Tuesday with a luncheon gathering of 
nearly 90 Beach residents. They and Heights residents and workers answered 
questions on what the center has and what it is doing. 


The center has operated for the first time this year, the only "public" day care 
center in Lee County, but the operation has been a struggle. This spring a Beach 
winter resident, Carol Crotty, discovered that few people in the community were 
aware of the need in the Heights, even though most of the domestic workers at 
the Beach live in the Heights area. 

During the week in April she started talking to others, who immediately 
took up the project. Dr. John Williams, pastor of the Chapel-by-the-Sea, Beach 
Presbyterian Church, has become a leader in the unorganized movement calling 
itself "Wee Care. Do You?" 

A tiny goal was set to ascertain interest with the deadline to be the luncheon 
Tuesday. The group aimed at five "scholarships," or donation of .$200 each to 
pay fees for children at the center. By luncheon time seven scholarships were 
reported, plus some donations for otlier purposes (such as materials for shelving). 

The center has been operating with an average attendance of about 23 children. 
Peak attendance has been about 32 in one day. Parents have been required to pay 
•SI daily tur the first child in a family and 50 cents for each additional child. 

The center is designed for more than 40 children and the operators hope to 
h.ive that many by the middle of next year as Heights residents become aware 
of the service and the advantage of it. It is educational as well as caretaker in 

But the income has been between $75 and $100 a week, while outgo has been 
at least $165 per week. The difference has been made up by the operators of the 
center who spent long hours at the center during the week then promoted fund 
raising activities, mostly in the Heights, on the weekends. (Mrs. Everett even 
carried peanuts in her car, for sale at 10 cents a bag with proceeds going to the 

The support fund, which Mrs. Crotty maintains "should be closer to four or 
five thousand dollars," is a goal of the Beach group, and of some other groups 
in other parts of the county beginning to find projects in the Heights and in 
Charleston Park, an isolated farm worker community in the eastern end of Lee 

A second goal of the group is to spread awareness of the Heights as a com- 
munity on which the Beach depends for domestic and yard help and for laborers. 

This phase includes promoting a direct personal interest in the people of the 
Heights, particularly the influence the men can have in helping the youths in 
games and projects. 

A third phase of the effort will be to set future plans for the day care center 
and for involvement from the Beach. 

Those becoming involved so far include every church on booming Estero Island, 
and most of the businessmen. Ralph Dandridge of the Beach National Bank was a 
participant in Tuesday's luncheon, as was Glen Longworth, chairman of the boys 
and girls committee of the Beach Kiwanis Club. 

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Chapter at the Beach 
has indicated it may seek to involve the Lee County Council of AARP to some 
degree but no chapter decision has been announced. 

Swerving as liaison for these groups are Fred and Dinah Bennett, VISTA workers 
in the Harlem Heights area. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, June 17, 1969] 

He's Pumping Gasoline for Wee Care 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

Each Saturday Ed Kane sets aside the profit from gasoline sales at his Atlantic 
service station on Cleveland Avenue at Hansen Street. Once a month he sends the 
money to the Heights Wee Care Center, a nonprofit day care center in Harlem 

He's hoping to -start something. Maybe the death of trading stamps. Maybe a 
sales "cimmick" with plenty of community spirit in it. Maybe just some good 
kids off on a beneficial education. 

May was the first 'month for the project, but it will continue indefinitely, Kane 
said. It netted about i'^So for the center. 

"The net proceeds on gas isn't much," said Kane. But the money will pay 
tuition for one kid for 85 days. It will fill supply shelves with quite a bit of 

It beats savings stamps by far, in Kane's opinion. 



"If you took one half the cost of the stamps for a year you'd be surprised at the 
money you would have," he said. Quoting from memory, he said a group of Shell 
stations quit a stamp program because in 10 months they had spent some $25,000 
on it. "That's a lot of money just thrown out," he said, with most of the stamps 
ratted away in glove compartments and under seats. 

Philanthropy to causes is not new to Kane. He has been letting various school 
organizations prey on his washrack for a year and a half. 

"It's mainly to help the kids out," he said. "They have to have some means to 
make money for their different projects. We foot the expenses as to water, elec- 
tricity. Sometimes they block up the driveway, but so what?" 

Kane, a resident of the Villas, got into the Wee Care project through his wife's 
Brownie Scout troop. The troop made a trip to the day care center and saw the 
need for equipment, especially heavy duty playground equipment suitable for 
three to six year olds. 

She told Kane, and they did some collecting. But the money idea came later. 

Kane is hoping it will spread. There are other projects which could use money 
regularly, he said, citing the Lee County Children's Home in Page Park. 

"Not many people even know it's there," he said. "They could use a lot of help." 

"I thought maybe other places would pick it up and make a regular thing of it," 
said Kane of the project. "Just a little bit from each one of us would do a lot." 

It's keeping the money here in Lee County, too, he pointed out. Organized pro- 
motions generally send it out of the area or even the state. 

"The service station operator pays for the stamps to benefit the oil company, 
and he can't pass it on to the customer because the pump prices are fixed," he 
said. When 80 percent of the stamps later are swept out of cars into the trash by 
service station cleanup men, the operator discovers who keeps the money," he said. 

[From the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, May 20, 1969] 
Levi Choice Wants Work But Can't Afford to Buy Glasses 

(By Eddie Pertuit) 

Levi Choice wants to work. 

But he is 62, has bad eyesight and is a Negro migrant workei- 

Choice has tried to get glasses, and several agencies have ..lade some effort to 
help. He has, in fact, glasses that were obtained for him in New York. 

But he has been told by some eye doctors that he needs special tinted glasses 
they can't issue for just welfare allowance, and by others that glasses won't help. 
He paid the Waterville, N.Y. optometrist "four or five dollars" out of his own 
pocket to get the glasses he has, in addition to the welfare allowance, and that 
was after the doctor cut the cost greatly, he said. 

Choice doesn't want to go into a home. He is a bachelor, a Florida resident 
following the migrant stream since the 1940s. Prior to that he held various jobs, 
logging and driving among them. 

He said he has been to the Florida Council of the Blind. 

"They can't do nothing but put me in a home," he said. "I don't think I should. 
There's so much other work I could do. 

"If it's something I can lift, I can work as good as any back," he said. 

Choice, with a strong pride about such things, tried to hide his eye trouble 
for years. He would work in the fields anyway, pretending he was just missing 
the cucumbers or picking the wrong peppers, because of ineptness. 

"I have been fired four or five times." he said. "But I wouldn't let on I 
couldn't see. I let them think I was leaving the cukes." With his left eye he 
can read headlines, but not even large print. He has quit driving. 

Now his condition is known, but the crew leaders try to help him. He is 
likeable and doesn't drink, so he has many friends among the crews and 

"The contractors know I'm strong," he said, "and they lets me lug." To "lug" 
is to carry the heavy boxes of vegetables to the trucks or stacking i)oints, and 
to carry other items of need in the fields. 

But work has faded with the onset of summer and the crew with which 
Choice has been staying is moving north to the South Carolina vegetable fields. 


"They ain't too imu-h particular about me jioiiiii with them." he said, and 
he supports their thonjihts. A erew can't u.<e a blind man much on the road and 
Choice jirefers not to be a burden. 

Choice applied for his Social Security benefits, but discovered that all the 
money deducted from his pay since back in the lJ)40's didn't get to the Social 
Security office. 

"I've been working for a lot of different contractors," he said, "The money 
was taken out. but nothing was sent in." He even tried claiming he had no 
Social Security number, but the contractor (field crew chief) took out a deduc- 
tion anyway, he said. 

'"How could the.v send it in without a number"?'' he said. "They been getting 
tight about it the last two or three years and they have to send it in. But they 
not tight enough. 

"What about all those years past? I-'or the past .")() years I've been going up 
and down the road, and I ain't got a penny in Washington 1" 

Now the money is going in, but more work is necessary to make him eligible, 
he said. He applied for Florida disability, but was told he didn't qualify for 
that, either. 

"Yet, I tries to work," he said. 

Choice also has been without teeth for the past .several .vears, but nobotly, it 
appears, has a program to provide teeth. 

"If I could get a job I could save up for a while and buy them." he said. 
"I'd even buy them on time, if somebody sold them that way. It would be a 
tight squeeze, but I wants them more than I wants glasses. 

"When a man eats without teeth the food will dribble out of his mouth. It 
turns another man's stomach to see it, and I know it. It would mine. I hides 
my face, when I have to eat with other folks." 

Choice was on his way Sunday to South Carolina where an appointment has 
been arranged with a clinic. The appointment is in early June, but Choice was 
to meet a migrant grouj) at Belle Glade and accompanied them north. 

The clinic will provide the teeth for $40. Local prices proved so high that 
even transportation didn't offset the difference. VISTa\ workers Fred and Dinah 
Bennett made the financial arrangements for Choice and the teeth. 

[From the Miami Herald, June 25, 1969] 

Health Ci.txic for Immokalek Called Collier First Priority 

( By Barry Petersen, Herald Staff Writer) 

East Naples. — An expanded Immokalee health clinic was cited as a top 
priority need of the Collier County Health Department Tuesday morning by 
Dr. Charles Bradley, county health department director. 

Bradley speaking at a briefing session of the Coastal Area Planning Com- 
mission, said the clinic's expansion was needed of current demands and 
hinted that a proposal to have I'niversity of ^Miaml school of medicine residents 
workiTig in health clinics also contributed to the need for more room. 

"We need about double the room we now have." Bradley said after the 

Bradley also criticized migrant housing in Collier County during the meeting, 
saying many of the existing problems of housing are so bad "that the only cure 
is a great big yellow bulldozer." 

The Immokalee clinic. l)uilt in 19r>S. is one of three health care clinics oper- 
ated by the county's health dei)artment. A converted .lail is used in Immokalee 
and in Xaples the department's admiin'strative office doubles as a clinic. 

Bradley said following the meeting that the need for more space was nece.ssary 
in Immokalee whether or not the i)roi>osed Universit.v of INIiami project does 
become a reality. 

The .Miami proposal would involve using Aiijiiiii nied'cil students in Co!'i''r 
County's clinics who have completed their school and intern training but were 
seeking more experience. 

Bradley met with officials from the federal Community Health Service in 
Atlanta and representatives from the University of Miami last Wednesday 


;ii the Iiiimokalee t-linic where he talked for more than an hour with them 
n-arding migrant health projects. The men later toured the Immokalee area 
tn see migrant work camps. 

If the proposal does become a reality it would be funded with a federal grant. 

Bradley has been handling the three clinics by himself since he came here 

in March, 1968, but Dr. Leonidas Elbernoz, who formerly worked with Dade 

County, started work in the Immokalee clinic on a full time basis today. Drs. 

Elbernos and Bradley will be meeting with Miami officials again in Immokalee 

j tor another round of discussions. 

Bradley said in an interview that the Immokalee clinic has only one treat- 
ment room, divided by curtains into three sections for examining patients. 

"There is no privacy," he said. Overcrowding during the sea.son when migrants 
are in Collier County, primarily from December to March, is another problem, 
he said. The migrant population is estimated to be as high as 22.000 during the 
peak of the season. 

"The whole place is too small," he said. "We're crawling over each other's 
backs during the season because the waiting room and clinic are so jammed." 

And. Bradley added, the migrant population is growing from year to year in 
the county even as awareness to the problem by county officials is becoming 
more apparent. 

Members of the Planning Commission, however, were less than enthusiastic 
about the doctor's report. One of the commissioners asked the doctor if he was 
becoming carried away with his humanitarianism. 

"It's a necessity of my work," Bradley answered. "You see families all 
Ininched up and you know that if one gets a disease it won't be long l)efore 
others get the disease." 

"It scares me," Bradley said, "to see all of the people in Everglades and I 
can get there one day a week." 

Bradley said at a later point in the meeting that some of the people in the 
Everglades, who have no local doctor, "save up their illnesses for my visit." 

He .said earlier in the meeting that migrant health was tied to migrant 
housing conditions, some of which were very bad. 

"Some housing we can keep good by constant prodding, but other housing 
areas will never meet state health requirements," he said. 

"People have to have a place to live," he said, "and the federal government 
won't help so private money will have to do it." 

Bradley said low cost housing, well maintained and supervised, would "run 
borderline housing out of business." 

Commissioner David Jones, returning to the point later in the hour long 
meeting remarked that Bradley had the housing problem "confused." 

"Everyone is worried about the welfare of the migrant when it's no more 
our problem than the problem of New York where they live at the end of the 

"The migrant's a nomad, he won't be tied to Immokalee or anywhere else," 
Jones said. "Sometimes I wonder if we don't get cari'ied away trying to help 
someone who doesn't want to help himself." 

Bradley replied that the community also had to "protect it.self." 

"Their kids go into schools and have contact with other children," he said. 
"We have to provide the proi^er sanitary conditions and more." 

[From the Miami Herald, June 18, 1969] 
U.S. May Fund Health Project 


(By Barry Petersen, Herald Staff Writer) 

East Naples. — Resident doctors from the University of Miami Medical School 
would be welcome in Collier County, Dr. Charles Bradley indicated Tuesday to 
the Collier County Commission. 

Dr. Bradley, Collier County's health director, told the commission he has 
held informal discussions with officials at the Miami .school concerning their 
possilde interest in doing work in Collier County's welfare clinics, and will again 
discuss the matter with them. 


"They've just expressed the possibility of doing this," Bradley said, adding, 
"all I cau add is how I feel about this." 

Bradley is for the proposal, saying it would greatly relieve his duties in the 
three county welfare clinics, located in Naples, Everglades and Immokalee, and 
increase the quality of medical service to migrant workers. 

"I've been runnin:; the clinics ;ilone and I'm about out of gas," he said. "The 
migrant workers are the most indigent. This is the area that really lacks health 

During the time of the year when the migrant population is heaviest, from 
December to Mard;. estimates run as high as '22,000 for the migrant population 
in Collier County. 

Bradley spends two days a week in the Immokalee clinic, a day in the Naples 
clinic, and two afternoons a week in the Everglades clinic. 

"I handle a variable number of ca.^es a day," he said. "I could see patients 24 
hours a day if I stayed 24 hours." 

Bradley said he did not know at this time how many doctors might come to 
the county for residence training. 

Residency follows a medical student's internship. A resident doctor is licensed 
to practice medicine but is seeking further training. 

Bradley called his one-man efforts at present "stop-gap medicine. 

"During the migrant season I see so many patients that I can't do a thorough 
job of medical practice," he said. "They deserve a better brand of medicine than 

With aid from the Miami school, Bradley said the county could strive for 
"medical excellence." 

The cost of the doctors will have to be assumed by the Miami school, Bradley 
said, because the county can't fund them. 

"It's part of their curriculum," he said. "As far as I know there's no place for 
an expenditure to come from a local source." 

"They learn and we get," he said. 

Team Will Eyk Needs ix Col'xtt 
(By Al Pagel, Herald medical writer) 

Improved medical care may be in store for South Florida's migrant workers. 

Tentative plans call for providing the workers health care through the Univer- 
sity of Miami School of Medicine. A Public Health Service grant would finance 
the project. 

Dr. Lynn P. Carmichael, director of the school's Family Physician program, 
said a federal team from Atlanta would tour Collier County today to investigate 
the feasibility of .such a program. 

A later evaluation would be made by a group from Washington, he said. 

"Our information at present is so scant that we haven't even developed a 
plan," added the UM professor. 

Hi' said the first mention of the migrant program came last Friday in 

"Public Health Service oflBcials asked me if we would be interested in it and 
I said, 'yes.' " 

Migrant medical care in Collier County had been critically questioned by a 
Senate committee investigation of hunger and malnutrition in the area this 

PHS funds help finance the UM's Family Physician program, which furnishes 
doctors for health centers in Brownsville and Liberty City. 

If the medical .school becomes involved in migrant health, said Dr. Carmichael, 
the program will be directed by Dr. Leon E. Krueger, a member of the Family 
Physician team and an a.ssociate professor of pediatrics. 

[From the Miami Herald, July 16, 1969] 

Migrant Hospital Aid Gone 

(By Tom Morgan, Naples bureau chief) 

East Naples. — The mounting costs of migrant hospital aid in Collier County 
apparently will have to be met without federal help, the County Commission was 
told on Tuesday. 


Dr. Charles Bradley, county health director, said his department spent all this 
year's $41,000 in federal medical aid money by June 30 and has asked for $82,000 
iiext year but has no assurances it will be given. 

"Jacksonville offices of the State Health Department say they have no money 
right now," Dr. Bradley said. "We are sending the bills right on so if they do 
have money available they can pay off." 

"Hospital migrant funds are out for the rest of the year," confirmed William 
G. Crone, Naples Community Hospital administrator. 

Crone showed figures for the first five mouths of the year that indicated charges 
of $97,116 for 234 cases and 2,221 days of care were met only to the extent of 
$66,740 by various forms of welfare payments. 

"We have been taken to task for not taking care of the migrants," Chairman 
Les Whitaker said. "We want to put the spotlight on Washington for not supply- 
ing the funds." 

To help meet the problem for both Naples Community Hospital and Lee Me- 
morial Hospital in Fort Myers, the commission approved NCH sending emergency 
cases to Fort Myers without waiting for commission approval. 

"We don't want somebody to die while we are getting a motion passed," Vice 
Chairman A. C. Hancock said. 

The agreement to support the hospital actions is an informal one, based on good 
faith alone, because the County Commission cannot delegate its powers to an- 
other body. 

Mrs. Hazel Griffin, county welfare director, explained part of the increasing 
problem when she said recent court decisions mean "there's no such thing as a 
non-resident now." Hancock added, "the migrants are indigents now." 

Previously the county had held up on some migrant welfare aid because state 
laws, limited it to residents. County Health Department clinics, however, served 
the migrants, and the Immokalee Clinic was established for that purpose. 

[From the Miami Herald, June 4, 1969] 

U.S.-Paid Doctor fob Migrants Set 

bradley warns of opposition 

(By Tom Morgan, Naples Bureau Chief) 

East Naples. — The Immokalee area will get a federally financed full-time 
doctor to work with migrant labor if community resistance doesn't drive him 

Dr. Charles Bradley, Collier County health director, told the County Commis- 
sion on Tuesday that Dr. Leonidas Elbernoz, "who has been working with 
migrants in Dade County since the program started," is willing to take the 
Immokalee job. The area now has only one private doctor and two-day weekly 
visits by Bradley to meet migrant problems. 

Dr. Bradley said the new doctor is a native of Colombia, S.A., with five years 
of medical training in the United States including post graduate work at Har- 
vard University. Dr. Elbernoz speaks Spanish and is licensed by examination to 
practice in Florida. 

"He can do a very good job," Dr. Bradley said, "but how long he will stay if he 
meets with resistance I don't know." 

There had been some criticism in Immokalee's weekly newspaper against the 
addition of a physician through the federal program, which was viewed by some 
writers as interference with private enterprise. 

On this line Dr. Bradley said he didn't feel Collier County people should bear 
the total responsibility for medical aid to migrants "if we can get funds 

Medical attention available in Immokalee had been critically questioned by a 
Senate committee investigation of hunger and malnutrition in the area this 
winter. The federal grant of $20,000 to hire a doctor came after the Senate com- 
mittee study. 

"I thought if we could get a doctor, it would cost $50,000," Dr. Bradley admit- 
ted on Tuesday. "And Dr. Elbernoz is willing to live in Immokalee with his wife 
and three children. 

Dr. Elbernoz had previous experience in public health work in Massachusetts, 
Ohio, and New Jersey. 


[From the Miami Herald, June 10, 1969] 
Hkai.tii Officials Toik Camps ix Immokai.f.f, 

(By Barry Peter.sen, Herald Staff Writer) 

Immokalke. — Representatives from the federal government's Community 
llcaltli Service and the University of Miami School of Medicine met here with 
Dr. Charles Bradley, Collier County health diriH'tor. Wednesday and then toolj 
a one hour tour of migrant camps in and around Imniokalee. 

The four men — Robert Martens and David AYatson from the Atlanta office of 
the Community Health Service and Drs. Leon Kreuger and George Adie from 
UM's medical school — visited the county to observe conditions and "make obser- 
vations" of migrant health needs. 

The four were guided around Immokalee by Edward King, migrant projects 
.sanitarian, as they viewed camps and migrant housing from an air conditioned 

"We ^^■ere invited to take a look at problems in migrant health care." Dr. Kreu- 
ger said. "We don't know anything about the area and at this point I could even 
say there is a health problem here." 

Bradley said after the meeting that the officials discussed the possibility of 
setting up a program allowing residents from the Miami school work in the 
county's clinics, but added the talks were "just exploratory conversations." 

"They were quite enthusiastic about the idea," Bradley said. The next meeting 
between the county health director and the officials will be soon, he said, although 
he has no idea when a second meeting might take place. 

If the medical school does indeed take up the project the program would be 
directed by Dr. Krueger, a member of the school's family physician team. 

The federal and I'M officials declined to make any statements regarding the 
tour or their discussion with Dr. Bradley. 

Tlie men spent about an hour closeted with Bradley at the Immokalee Clinic — 
one of three which Collier County runs — before taking the tour. 

Bradley told county commissioners about the idea Tuesday at a commission 
meeting and that group endorsed the program as long as the county did not have 
to finance the project. Although the program is still very much in the formative 
stage. Bradley already has made one condition — that the program be run by his 
department although the staff and money for the program would come from 
outside the county. 

Bradley has been handling migrant health care in the county by himself, divid- 
ing his time among the Naples, Immokalee and Everglades Clinics. He said 
Tuesday he would welcome help because it would improve the medical care the 
county's clinics can provide to migrant workers. 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 2, 1069] 

Red Tape Snarls Migrant Doctor 

U.S. pay more than allowed 

By Tom Morgan, Naples Bureau Chief) 

East Naples. — A .$20,000 annual federal allocation for a doctor to handle 
medical problems of Immokalee migrant farm workers is apparently being held 
up on state merit system rules limiting the pay for the job to $14,050 a year 

Collier County commissioners were told Tuesday of the problem by Dr. 
Charles Bradley, head of the County Health Department, who said that word of 
th«> allocation from the Department of Health Education and Welfare was sent 
him by Rep. I'aul Rogers. 

"Ri'li. Rogers said he has a commit nient from IIEW for a permanent physician 
at the Immokalee Clinic where there is a real need." Dr. Bradley said. 

"The Federal government has given its approval and is willing to take the 
resi)on<ibility. but the grant of ."t^L'O.OOO is being hamstrung by the Florida merit 
system wliich sets a statutory limit of $14,"J50 a year for such jobs." 


"We can go 10 per cent above that if we can figure some way to bypass the 
system, possibly by a direct grant to the Immokalee Migrant Committee, but 
we can't supplement any salary by state law. The job has to go through the state 
merit system." 

Dr. Bradley makes $16,000 yearly as the county department head ; but said 
this doesn't matter — the thing is to get a full-time doctor over there." He 
admitted he hadn't studied possible merit system rules on relative pay scales 
for department heads and associates, "But I don't think this is a problem, it isn't 
with me." 

Immokalee has one resident physician for a possible 5,000 population and a 
migrant worker influx of up to 14,000 i>eople yearly. Dr. Bradley handles both 
the Immokalee and Naples areas and also must supply a clinic at Everglades City. 

The Immokalee area was the recent scene of an investigation by the McGovern 
Senate Committee on Hunger whose results have been seriou.sly questioned by 
community itself has worked through the independent Migrant Committee to 
provide food, clothes and medical aid for migrant workers. 

Dr. Bradley said that it is possible the country may also get federal funds 
to expand the clinic at Immokalee "and also federal funds for migrant housing 
are in the wind and I hope we can get them before the dust settles." 

"I move a vote of confidence in you and what you have done," said Commis- 
sioner Jack Kurke, with a slap at "ridiculous political publicity" of the Senate 

"I don't mind being kicked in the teeth if we can get something out of it," 
Dr. Bradley said. 

The commission also praised Mrs. Hazel GriflSn, county welfare director, who 
works on migrant problems and those of other farm workers. 

[From the Miami Herald, May 23, 1969] 
Bi-LiNGtTAL Pilot Project Approved 


(By Tom Morgan, Naples Bureau Chief) 

East Naples. — Collier County has only 64 U.S. school systems to get a first 
year pilot program in bilingual education for Spanish-speaking migrant children, 
it was announced Thursday in Washington by Rep. Paul Rogers. 

Rep. Rogers said the grant's amount has not been verified yet by the Depart- 
ment of Health Education and Welfare but is expected to be $55,000 for the 
first year toward a total five-year funding of $370,000. 

The project would start at Immokalee, the center of the county's migrant 
population and of the farm industry which employs them. 

"This is the second program to be funded and to bring national recognition 
to Collier County in two months," School Superintendent John A. Murphy said. 
"The first was a Teachers' Corps program where we were nametl among 20 school 
districts and counties in competition with the top national. 

"In the bi-iingual program, a nationwide competition, we w^ere the smallest 
county in population to be certified for a program which has a potential of 
guaranteeing $370,000 over five years." 

K. C. Pittman, county federal coordinator, said the program will attempt to 
meet the problems of Spanish-speaking migrant children not only by teaching 
them subjects in Spanish in the morning and in English in the afternoon,, but 
also will be carried into the migrant.s' homes to add to the teaching at school. 

There will be 240 pupils affected in the first and second grades said Rep. 
Rogers. The grant will cover one bi-lingual and one mono-lingual teacher and a 
teacher's aide to start. 

Murphy said the project was brought to the attention of federal authorities 
last January when Collier's preliminary proposal was entered in competition with 
312 other applicants for the grants. 

"In April we were advised that we were on of 78 selected to submit a formal 
proposal for further culling," Murphy said. "We were the only school system in 
the southeastern states to remain in competition." 
36-513—70 — pt. 4 A 11 


The determination of the districts chosen was said to have been made on 
"justitication of need as well as demonstrations of interest and denotation of 
capabilities "to carry out" the projects intent. 

The plans here were worked out witli the help of Mrs. Olivia F. Reid, and 
Dr. Frank Delia, consultants for bilingual education from the U.S. Office of 
Education who visited Collier County several times. They visited the schools and 
talked to teachers and principals. 

The bi-lingual program is based on the idea that a child's mother tongue, 
when it is other than English, can help his education. The mother tongue would 
be used as the instruction medium before the child's command of English is 
able to meet the school load. The dual approach is meant to help prevent 
retardation in school development. 

The pilot program at Immokalee will use eight classrooms, four each in the 
Lake Trafford and Highlands Elementary Schools. 

"With more of these Spanish-speaking children functioning at their proper 
grade levels we can expect to have better classroom leai-ning situations for all 
children," Murphy said. 

Variety Children's Hospital, 

Miami, Fla., March 7, 196S. 
Joseph C. Segor, 

Deputy Director, South Florida Miyrant Legal Services Program, Inc., Miami, Fla. 
Dear Mr. Segor : Some days ago you received from Dr. Jose Montalvo, the 
Medical Director of our hospital, a report on the examinations i)erformed in 
our outx)atient department last month on the migrant children from Inimnkalee. 
The findings in the report are most startling. It is rather incredible that out 
of twenty-three children, we found thirty-eight clinical diseases— a most extraor- 
dinary morbidity rate for such a group. 

The migrant population must be about the most under-provided for group in 
the nation, at least in terms of medical attention. Perhaps through our com- 
bined efforts some steps may be taken to alleviate this most serious and difficult 
problem. Certainly some sort of imaginative and innovative program can be 
evolved where this type of examination and provision for follow-ui> care can be 
placed on a regular basis rather than on a research or fact-finding basis. 

If Variety Children's Hospital can assist in any way, you will find us eager to 
cooperate to the maximum extent of our resources. 

I will be happy to discuss it with you at any time of your convenience. 

Gerard W. Frawley, 

Executive Director. 


Report on Infants and Children From Immokalee Examined at Variety 
Children's Hospital Outpatient Department February 7, 1968 

\VU #13&423 — MILTON, Herman: A six-months old colored male. X-rays 
showed pulmonary infiltrate and ea,lcified hilar node on the right. This is 
probably pulmonary tuberculosis. Hemoglobin 7.3 gms. Iron deficiency anemia. 

VCH #136425 — JOHNSON. Carrie : A six-year-old colored female. Upper respira- 
tory infection. Diarrhea. Impetigo. 

VCH #136424 — MILTON, Debbie Faye: Two-year-old colored female. Chronic 
respiratory infection. Hemoglohin 10.6 gms. 

VCH #136426 — JOHNSON, Elizabeth : fourteen-month-old colored female. X-rays 
showed central pneumonia, right lung with right hilar adenopathy. Hemo- 
globin 10.9. 

VCH #136427— FLETCHER, Duane : Three-year-old colored male. Upper respi- 
ratory infection. 

VCH #136428 — FLETCHER, Risa : Eleven-month-old colored female. Upper res- 
piratory infection. Diarrhea. 

VCH #136429— FLETCHER, Steven : Two-year-old colored male. Upper respi- 
ratorv infection. Otitis. 

VCH #136430— JOHNSON, David: Two-year-old colored male. Chest x-ray: 
Bilateral pneumonia. 

VCH #136431 — JOHNSON, Gary: Three-year-old colored male. Chest x-ray: 
bilateral pneumonia. 

VCH #136432 — JOHNSON, Linda : Five-months-old colored female. Upper res- 
piratory infection. Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 9.6 gms. 

VCH #136433— CONCEI'CION, Linda : Seven-month-o,ld colored female. Upper 
re-spiratory infection. Iron deficiency anemia (Hemoglobin 9.3 gms.) 

VCH #136434 — ROMOV, Vincent: Four-year-old colored male. Upper respira- 
tory infection. 

VCH #136435 — JOHNSON, Vernon : Two-year-old colored male. Upper respira- 
toi*y infection. Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 9.3 gms. 

VCH #136436 — PRAY. Ann : Fourteen-month-old colored female. Upper respira- 
tory infection. Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 8.7 gm.s. 

VCH'#136437 — HENDERSON, Sharon : Three-year-old colored female. Impetigo. 

VCH #136438— CONCEPCION, Ricky: Three-year-old colored male. Diarrhea. 
Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 9.9 gms. 

VCH #136439— GLADSDEN, Christa : Four-year-old colored female. Under- 

VCH #136440— BRYANT, Walter : Four-and-one-half-year-old colored male. As- 
cariasis. Upper respiratorv infection. 

VCH #136441— BRYANT, Michael: Three-month-old colored female. Upper 
respiratory infection. 

VCH #136442— BRYANT, Barbara: Three-year-Old colored female. Upper res- 
piratory infection. Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 9.9 gms. 

VCH #136444 — LOMOX, Watson : Three-year-old colored male. Iron deficiency 
anemia. Hemoglobin 7. gms. 

VCH #136445 — LOMOX, Thurston : One-year-old colored male. Upper respira- 
tory infection. Iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin 9 gms. 

VCH #120061— BRYANT, Richard: Two-year-old colored male. Hydrocephaly. 
(Shunt done at Variety Children's Hospital.) Iron deficiency anemia. Hemo- 
globin 7.6 gms. 


In twenty-three children and infants examined at Variety Children's Hospital, 
the following conditions were found : 

1 Case with probable tuberculosis (by x-ray) . 
11 Cases with iron deficiency anemia. 

3 Cases of diarrhea. • 

14 Cases of upper respiratory infection. 

3 Cases of impetigo. 

2 Cases of pneumonia. 
1 Case of otitis. 

1 Case of ascariasis.^ 

^The scotch tape test (N.I.H.) was performed in all children to detect oxyuriasis (pin- 
worm). The consistent negative results should be attributed to the fact that it was not 
performed under ideal conditions. There is probably a high percentage of intestinal para- 
sites which this test does not reflect. 


1 Case of hydrocephaly. 

1 Case of sickle cell trait. 

This represents a hish incidence of respiratory infections (including pneu- 
monia) and also of dietary deficiency (iron deficiency anemia). It is noteworthy 
also that 2o children suffered 38 clinical diseases which represents a very high 
morbidity for such n group. 

The children who were suffering from pneumonia were given an injection of 
long acting penicillin, supplemented by oral penicillin during 10 days. 

The children and infants who were found to have iron deficiency anemia were 
given either Iniferron, intramuscularly, or iron drops by mouth. 

No tuberculin test was carried on as this group was not scheduled to return 
to the hospital. 

Florida Rural Lf:(;al Services, Inc.. 

Fort Mi/rrn. Flu., October 1.3, 1969. 
Hon. Walter F. Mondale. 
Vhnirmnn. Suhcommittcc on Mif/ratonj Labor, U.S. Senate, Old Senate Office 

Building, Wa:<hin<jton. D.C. 
Attention Boren Chertkov, Counsel. 

Dkak Senator Mondale : This is in reference to my appearance before your sub- 
committee on 7, 1969, for the purpose of giving testimony on the legal 
pr()l)lems of this nation's sejisonp.l and migratory farmworkers. 

As you will recall, one of the points I .stressetl is the inadequacy of the present 
Inter-State Clearance Order System l)y which large farmers recruit workers. The 
system is at present strictly voluntary, and I pointed out the need for making it 
mandatory, so that the inter-state transportation of farmworkers could be strictly 

In that regard, I am enclosing a copy of the decision of the United States Court 
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Pete Gomez, et al., versus Florida 
State Employment Service, et al. This case establishes, for the first time, the right 
of farmworkers to .seek relief in federal court when they are deprived of the 
prot<'ctitin and benefit of the wages and working conditions promised under the 
act and regulations setting up the inter-state clearance order system. The case 
has great significance for farmworkers, and its ramifications are far-reaching. 
It is certainly one which we in the program are very proud of. However, its effect 
will ltt> limited if tliose farmers who recruit in inter-state commerce are permitted 
to do so witliout obtaining clearance orders. Consequently, the need for legislation 
makimr the system a mandatory one, is greater than ever. 

I hope tliat Congress will again consider this matter in light of this recent 
breakthrough in the law so that seasonal and migratory farm laborers will be 
afforded a meaningful remedy under the "Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 and the regu- 
lations promulgated by the Secretary of Labor thereunder. 

T. Michael Foster, 

Executive Director. 

In the United States Court of Appeals fob the Fifth Circuit — No. 2G719 
Pete Gomez, et al, plaintipfs-apellants 


Florida State Employment Service, et al., defendants-appellees 


(OctolM'r 9, 1909) 

Before Brown, Chief Judge, Gewin and Goldberg, Circuit Judges. 

Brown. Chief Judge : Remarkable as it may .set^m in this litigation i)rone 
world, this is the premier brought under a statute thirty-six years old. This 
case raises for the finst time^ the question of whether under the Wagner-Pey.ser 

1 The only reported litigation involving repiilations under the Wagner-Peyser Act were 
suits against the federal government for l)reach of construction contrae"ts where the 
employer was required either by the contract or the regulations of the War Manpower 
Commission to obtain labor from the United States Employment Service. Ottinger v. United 
States. Ct. of CI., 1952, lOG F. Supp. 198 ; Sanders v. United States, Ct. of CI., 1945, 
60 F. Supp. 483. 


Act of 1933 ' and the regulations ' promulgated by the Secretary of T.abor pur- 
■^iiant to that Act migratory farm workers who accept work through the employ- 
ment system set up by the Act and regulations have rights and remedies for 
vi(.hitions. The question is whether these workers have rights and remedies under 
which they can get relief in Federal Courts when they are deprived of the pro- 
tection and benefit of the wages and working conditions promised by the Act and 
it'-ulations bv employers and state officials — state officials charged with the 
l.nitection of "the workers' interest. Here the District Court dismissed the com- 
jiiaint on grounds that it had no jurisdiction and that the complaint failed to 
>!;ite a claim for which relief could be granted. We reverse and remand. 

The employment system involved here does not supply only agricultural work- 
ers but workers in all areas. It is an interstate system that operates through 
local, State controlled offices that are subject to the regulations * of the Secretary 
of Labor and tliat receive applications for work and workers and make a series 
of attempts in wider and wider areas to fill the applications." 

The system was established in 1933 when Congress passed the Wagner-Peyser 
Act, which established the United States Employment Service as a bureau of the 
Department of Labor. The Act's basic objective was to establish an interstate 
system for the recruiting and transfer of labor." The Act, quite obviously, was 
also intended to offer some protection to those employees who shift about the 

2 Act of June 6. 1933. c. 49, 48 Stat. 113, 28 U.S.C.A. §§49 et seq. 

3 20 C.F.R. § 602.9. See note 5. infra. 
* See note 11 and accompanying text 
^ The regulations provide : 

"No order for recruitment of domestic agricultural workers shall be placed into interstate 
clearance unless : 

"(a) The State agency has established, pursuant to recruitment efforts made in 
accordance with regulations, policies and procedures of the Bureau of Employment 
Security (United States Employment Service), that domestic agricultural workers 
are not available locall.v or within the State. 

"(b) The State agency has compiled and examined data on the estimated crop acre- 
age, yield and other production factors in accordance with procedures established by 
the Bureau of Employment Security (United States Employment Service) to assure 
the validity of need and the minimum number of agricultural workers required. 

"(c) The State agency has ascertained that wages offered are not less than the 
wages prevailing in the area of employment among similarly employed domestic agri- 
cultural workers recruited within the State and not less than those prevailing in the 
area of emplo.vmont among similarly emploj-ed domestic agricultural workers recruited 
outside the State. 


"(e) The State agency has ascertained that the employer has offered to provide or 
pay for transportation for domestic agricultural workers (1) at terms not less favor- 
able to the workers than those prevailing among the domestic agricultural workers in 
the area of employment recruited from the area of supply; or (2) in the absence of 
such prevailing practice in the area of employment, at terms not less favorable to the 
workers than those which prevail among the domestic agricultural workers recruited 
by out-of-State employers who recruit domestic agricultural workers from the area of 
supply, as determined by the State Agency in the State requested to supply the workers. 
"(f) The State Agency has ascertained that other terms and conditions of employ- 
ment offered are not less favorable than those prevailing in the area of employment 
for domestic agricultural workers for similar work." 
20 C.F.R. § 602.9. 

At the time this case arose the regulations regarding housing provided : 

"(d) The State agency has ascertained that housing and facilities: 
"(1) Are available; 

"(2) Are hygienic and adequate to the climatic conditions of the area of 
employment ; 

"(3) Are reasonably calculated to accommodate the agricultural workers 
sought ; and 

"(4)(i) Will not endanger the lives, health, or safety of workers. In making 
such determinations the State agency must acertain that the housing and 
facilities conform to the standards prescribed by the President's Committee 
on Migratory Labor (copies of these standards are available at all offices of the 
U.S. Employment Service), and applicable State, county, and local housing and 
sanitary requirements. 

(ii) If an employer can show that he is taking adequate steps to come into 
compliance with the standards prescribed b.v the President's Committee on Mi- 
gratory Labor a waiver until a date not later than December 31. 1967, may be 
issued by the State agency. After December 31, 1967, such waivers may be 
issued by the regional office of the Bureau of Employment Security, if the 
employer demonstrates that extenuating circumstances require more time." 
32 F.R. 7701 ( May 21, 1967 ) . 

The current regulations provide : 

"(d) The state has ascertained that housing and facilities which comply with 
the provisions of part 620 of this chapter are available." 
20 C.F.R. § 002.9(d). See notes 14-24 ; infra. 

fi See statement of duties of the U.S. Employment Service 29 U.S.C.A. § 49b. 


country " to meet the needs of those employers who voluntarily use the resource«< 
of the federal government to secure workers.* 

These objectives were to be ac-complished through that well-known device of 
"cooperative federalism", the grant-in-aid system." Under the particular system 
establi.shed by the Act. the st^ite agencies, which are substantially funded Ity fed- 
eral money and are subject to tiie regulations of the Secretary of Labor,'" process 
applications for workers and. after concentric Iwal searches to fill the applica- 
tion, .send the recpiest through the interstate facilities of the United States 
Employment Service." of its information about the supply of labor in 
all parts of the country, the Service then is able to forward the application — 
"Clearance Order" — to a st«ate agency that can fill the request. 

In ir>.~>l, reflecting the growing national concern about the deplorable condition 
of many mi.gratory Americans, usually Xegros or Mexican-Americans, who harvest 
the food for the nation's tables, the Secretary of Laltor first pTomulgated referral 
standards for farm workers. (10 F.R. 0142). The standards, as those that fol- 
lowed.^ were obviously designed to protect those workers that were acquired 
when farmers voluntarily sought the benefits of this federal system. 

Hut conditions of farm workers apparently remained much the .same despite and other efforts. Their plight was vividly described by the Secretary of 
Labor in his letter seeking the Attorney General's opinion on the Secretary's power 
to promulgate what became substantially the regulations in question here.''' The 
oi)inioii referring to the Secretary's letter used these strong words : The "housing 
provided for migrant farm workers 'has frequently bf^en overcrowded, unsanitary, 
lacking beds and bedding, unlieated. and a fire hazard. Some migrants h.ave even 
been rerjuired to sleep in the open, completely exposed to the elements.' These 
conditions 'bree<l disease and thus endanger the health of the whole commu- 
nit.v." " " The conditions were there summed up in the direct and equally pungent 
words of the rei)ort of a Presidential study commi.ssion : 

"Beyond wanting migrants to be available when needed and to be gone when 
not needed, they are expected to work under conditions no longer typical or 
characteristic of the American standard of life. In a period of rapidly advancing 
job and employment standards, we expect them to work at employment which, for 
all practical purposes, has no job standards." '"' 

It is the "jol> standards" promulgated by the Secretary under which Plaintiffs 
ask for relief. The standards are relevant not because they are self executing and 
apply of their own force to employing farmers. Rather, they become operative 
only through voluntary use of this Government Employment Service." 

Plaintiffs, twenty-nine migratory farm workers, six of whom appeal, alleged 
that in the fall of 1967 Naples Farms. Inc., through Raymond Creel, the superin- 
tendent, sought to take advantage of the recruitment service provided by the 
Florida State Employment Service and the United States Employment Service. 
The requisite forms were filled out and the request for workers — "Clearance 
Order"' — was eventually sent through the interstate facilities of the United 

"Sop Mlprant Farm Labor-Wasrnor-Ppyser Act 41 Op. A.G. 406, 409 (.Tuly 2, 1950). 

8 Tho structure reflects its genesis as lejrislatlon passed during the dark days of tlie 
economic depression of the 19.30's and the early days of 193.'i when Congress labored under 
a restricted conception of its power, a conception fostered by contemporary decisions 
such as A.L.A. Rchechtcr Poultry Corp. v. TTnited States, 19.'',.-). 29.-) TT.S. 49.'->. 'u, S.Ct. 
R.*??. 79 L.Ed. iruO: and Adair V. United States. 190S, 208 U.S. 101, 2S S.Ct. 277, r>2 
li.Ed. 4?>C,. which limited Congressional attempts to take direct action to improve the condi- 
tions of the American worker. See C. Swisher. American Constitutional Development 9;!."i 
(2d ed. 19.-4) ; Brown, Free Will in the Frontiers of Federalism, 58 Mich. L. Rev. 999, 
1019 (1960). 

9 Sep Krnwn. note 8, ■iiiprn at 1016-19. 

1" In order for States to particiapte in the federal funds they must establish a state 
agency that meets the requirements of the Act and regulations of the Secretary of Labor, 
29 U.S.C.A. § 49c. 

" The attempt to fill the request is first made on the local labor market. If this attemT)t 
is unsuccessful, copies of the order are forwarded to surrounding public employment offices 
within the state. If these efforts also fail the request is sent to a regional office of tin 
Federal Employment Service, and. finally, to Washington where the request is sent I 
other areas that have an excess supply of labor. 

'2 Sec note .5. supra. 

"^ See note 5. supra. 

" .\ttorney (ioneral's opinion, note 7, supra at 408. 

'•'' f(l. quoting report of the President's Commission. "Migratory Labor in American 
Agriculture" (19.-)1). See also references to otliT sources. /'/. n. 1. 

'"The Congress has often left the farmer free from the general regulation applicable to 
other segments of our economy. See, e.g. Fair Labor Standards Act of 19.''.8, 29 U.S.C.X. 
§201. 2i:; and Walsh-IIenley" Act, 41 U.S.C.-\. §8."). 43. Farmers who chose to acquire 
their necessary labor sui)ply from other sources, and not use the resources of the federal 
government, are free to subject workers to any conditions the lalssez-falre economy and 
local laws will allow. 


States Employment Service to Texas. In Texas the Texas State Employment 
Service forwarded the request to Plaintiff Pete Gomez " in Edinburg, Texas. 

Plaintiffs also allege that in response to the request they went to Florida to 
accept the jobs. When they arrived, however, they found that the wages were 
lower than those called for in the regulations and the housing was woefully 
inadequate and far below the requirements ^' that should have been met before 
the request or "Clearance Order" had been processed. The list of grievances is 
long: There was no electricity in most cabins." None of the cabins had running 
water and there were no working toilets."" There were no facilities for garbage 
pick-up or disposal.^ There was no access to drinking water.^ There were no 
workable showers.^ And, none of the cabins had any heat at all."* 

It is also alleged that in February 1968 Plaintiff Gomez sought to rectify the 
situation. Bellieving that his proi>er avenue of redress was the Lee County Board 
of Health, he got Everett Cooper, a sanitarian for the Lee County Board of 

1^ Gomez Is apparently a crew boss or crew chief who organizes groups of workers and 
delivers a specific number of workers to a particular employer upon demand. 

18 The housing regulations that must now be compiled (see note 5, supra) with before 
a request for workers Is supposed to be sent through the interstate channels of the U.S. 
Employment Service are found at 20 C.F.R. 620.1-.17. 

1* The regulations now provide : 

"(a) All housing sites shall be provided with electric service. 

"(b) Each habitable room and all common use rooms, and areas such as : Laundry 
rooms, toilets, privies, hallways, stairways etc., shall contain adequate ceiling or wall-type 
light fixtures. At least one wall-type electrical convenience outlet shall be provided in 
each individual living room. 

"(c) Adequate lighting shall be provided for the yard area, and pathways to common 
use facilities. 

"(d) All wiring and lighting fixtures shall be installed and maintained in a safe 
20 C.F.R. § 620.10. 

20 Tijg regulations now provide : 

"Excreta and liquid waste disposal. 

"(a) Faculties shall be provided and maintained for effective disposal of excreta and 
liquid waste. Raw or treated liquid waste shall not be discharged or allowed to accumulate 
on the ground surface. 

"(b) Where public sewer systems are available, all facilities for disposal of excreta 
and liquid wastes shall be connected thereto. 

"(c) Where public sewers are not available, a subsurface septic tank-seepage system 
or other type of liquid waste treatment and disposal system, privies or portable toilets 
shall be provided. Any requirements of the State health authority shall be complied with." 
20 C.F.R. § 620.6. 

^ The regulations now provide : 

"(a) Durable, fly-tight, clean containers In good condition of a minimum capacit.v of 
20 gallons, shall be provided adjacent to each housing unit for the storage of garbage 
and other refuse. Such containers shall be provided in a minimum ratio of 1 per 15 

"(b) Provisions shall be made for collection of refuse at least twice a week, or 
more often if necessary. The disposal of refuse, which includes garbage, shall be in accord- 
ance with State and local law." 
20 C.F.R. § 620.14. 

-- The regulations now provide : 

"(a) An adequate and convenient supply of water that meets the standards of the 
State health authority shall be provided. 

"(b) A cold water tap shall be available within 100 feet of each individual living unit 
when water is not provided in the unit. Adequate drainage facilities shall be provided 
for overflow and spillage. 

"(c) Common drinking cups shall not be permitted." 
20 C.F.R. § 620..5. 

=3 The regulations now provide : 

"(a) Bathing and handwashing facilities, supplied with hot and cold water under 
pressure, shall he provided for the use of all occupants. These facilities shall be clean 
and sanitary and located within 200 feet of each living unit. 

"(b) There shall be a minimum of 1 showerhead per 15 persons. Showerheads shall 
be spaced at least 3 feet apart, with a minimum of 9 square feet of floor space per unit. 
Adequate, dry dressing space shall be provided in common use facilities. Shower floors 
shall be constructed of nonabsorbent, nonskid materials and sloped to properly con- 
structed floor drains. Except in individual family units, separate shower facilities shall 
be provided each sex. When common use shower facilities for both sexes are in the same 
building they shall be separated by a solid nonabsorbent wall extending from the floor 
to ceiling, or roof, and shall be plainly designated "men" or "women" in English and 
in the native language of the persons expected to occupy the housing." 
20 C.F.R. § 620.12. 

-* Tlie regulations now provide : 

"(a) All living quarters and service rooms shall be provided with properly installed, 
operable heating equipment capable of maintaining a temperature of at least 68° F. if, 
during the period of normal occupancy the temperature in such quarters falls below 68°. 

"(b) Any stoves or other sources of heat utilizing combustible fuel shall be installed 
and vented in such a manner as to prevent fire hazards and a dangerous concentration of 
gases. No portable heaters other than those operated by electricity shall be provided. If a 
solid or liquid fuel stove is used In a room with wooden or other combustible flooring, there 
shall be a concrete slab, insulated metal sheet, or other flreproof material on the floor 


Health, to (•♦)uie to the campsite. Far from seeking compliance by the employer 
with the state health regulations or the regulations of the Secretary of Labor, 
however, Cooi)er threatened Gomez with a $500.00 fine for each offense if the 
houses were not repaired. 

The ba.sis of I'laiiitiff's complaint against the employees of the stat<^ employ- 
ment agency is that they failed to m«-t the obligations imposed on them by the 
regulations.' ( See note .").'.v»pra ). It is directly charged that they made no attempt 
to determine whether Naples Farms would comply with the regulations and by 
this failure deprived Plaintiffs of the benefit of these regulations. Naples Farms 
is alleged to have intentionally deprived Plaintiffs of the protection of the regu- 
lations by misleading the State otticials. Likewise, Cooi)er, the sanitarian, is a 
defendant, because of Plaintiffs' claim that he intentionally deprived them of the 
protection of the regulations. Finally, I'laintiffs allege that all Defendants not 
only acttHl intentionally but that they acted jointly and as a part of a conspiracy. 

Since there is no diversity jurisdicti(^n. the Plaintiffs, although their damages 
may be real, can obtain relief through the Federal Courts only if damage was 
doiie to a federal right that the Federal Courts are emixjwered to protect. The 
existence of the federal right in this case turns on whether the Wagner-Peyser 
Act. 29 r.S.C.A. §§49 et. scq., and the regulatious of the Secretary of Labor pro- 
mulgated pursuant to the Act bestow rights that the workers may assert, and if 
so. whether the Wagner-Peyser Act and the regulations created a federal remedy. 
Additioimlly, the claim is made under the civil rights acts that the rights created 
by the regulations and Act, are "privileges and immunities secureil by the . . . 
laws" -■ of the Cnited States. 

We start with the proposition that there can be no doubt that the regulations 
of the Secretary of Labor were intended to protect the interest of the workers. 
The conditions were deplorable. (See note 14, supra, and accompanying text.) 
There were no standards. The Secretary was concerned about preventing the use 
of the fe<leral resources to help prolong these conditions and to subvert other 
efforts to improve the conditions of the workers. In words attributable to the 
Secretary of Labor, the regulations were said to be designed to prevent "'the i)ub- 
lic employment service from being utilized to send workers over long distances 
to employment providing quarters dangerous to their health and safety." (At- 
torney General's opinion note 7. supra at 409). The Secretary's concern with 
workers, their wages, living and transportation conditions as being at the heart 
of the Secretary's in promulgating more effective standards is attested 
by the Attorney General's paraphrase: 

"Concerning the proposed wage amendment, it is said that its, like 
that of the existing regulation, is to prevent the use of the interstate system as a 
vehicle for undermining prevailing wage rates in the area of employment. As to 
the transportation amendment, you advise me that like the wage proposal it 
seeks oidy equal treatment for employees referred through the interstate re- 
cruitment program." 
Attorney General's opinion, note 7, supra at 409. 

.lust as important as this "legislative" history in demonstrating the Secretary's 
puri»ose is the clear emphasis of the regulations themselves. (See note 5, supra). 
Who was to be protected by regulations controlling working conditions and wages 
of farm laborers who worked for meager wages and under such barbaric 
conditions? The answer is plain, even though masked at times by euphemisms 
that cast the objective as avoiding conditions which would jeopardiz<> the repu- 
tation or patronage of the employment service as just another private employ- 
ment agency. Attorney General's oi)inion. note 7. supra, at 414. 

Thus fnmi the "legislative" history and from the regtilations them.selves it is 
plain that they were intended to confer an interest upon migrant fann workers 
such as Plaintiffs here. There being no explicit indication in the regulations or 
the Act that the workers were to have the opj)ortunity to protect such conferred 

under each stove, extending at least 13 Inches beyond the perimeter of the base of the 

"(c) Any wall or ceiling within 18 Inches of a solid or liquid fuel stove or a stovepipe 
shall he of fireproof material. A vented metal collar shall be installed around a stovepipe, 
or vent passing through a wall, ceiling, floor or roof. 

"(d) When a heating system has automatic controls, the controls shall be of the 
type which cut off the fuel supply upon the failure or Interruption of the flame or 
Ignition, or whenever a predetermined safe temperature or pressure is exceeded." 
20 C.F.R. S 620.9. 

Although the regulations cited In notes 19-24 were not in effect at the time this claim 
arose, we do not regard the current regulations as providing significantly different 
standards. They are merely more specific. See note 5. supra. 

^ 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983, see note 33 and accompanying text, infra. 


interest is not decisive since the existence of such an explicit grant of a remedy is 
not necessary. A civil remedy may be given to those protected by statutes or reg- 
ulations by implication. Its sources are broad, including the language and the 
apparent purpose of the Act and regulations, as well as its "legislative" history. 
See Note, Implying Civil Remedies From Federal Regulatory Statutes, 77 Harv. 
L. Rev. 205 (1963). 

This implication of a private civil remedy was first recognized by the Supreme 
Court in 1916 in Texas d Pac. Ry, v. Rigsby, 241 U.S. 33, 53 S.Ct. 43, 60, L. Ed. 
874, where the Court held that an employee could recover damages under the 
Federal Safety Appliance Act. Since Rigshy civil remedies have been implied in 
areas -•* ranging widely from airline regulations "' to control of the trading in 
corporate securities ^ and based upon regulations -^ as well as statutes. 

This Act, its setting and the regulations call imperatively for implied remedies 
here if the purpose of the regulations — the protection of migratory farm work- 
ers — is to be achieved. Experience proved the need for more and stringent stand- 
ards. Standards were stated and stated in terms relating to workers, their pay 
and conditions of living and tran.sportation. Who, more than the workers, would 
be the expected beneficiaries of them? What more effective way will there be 
to eradicate conditions so deplored? See Attorney General's opinion note 7, supra, 
at 409. What better way will there be to eliminate the problem of poor workers 
responding to "Clearance Orders", journeying hundreds of miles across the 
country to accept work and the advantage of the benefits promised by the laws 
of the United States only to find that the promise is a fraud? Absent an implied 
remedy, the workers have no protection. They would not have even the protection 
of a criminal sanction. And, civil suits under local concepts hardly meet these 

It is unthinking that Congress, obviously concerned ^ath people, would have 
left the Secretary with only the sanction of cutting off funds to the state. More- 
over, the private civil remedy is a method of policy enforcement long honored 
explicitly in statutes and by implication with the help of courts. Congress more 
and more commits the individuals, acting as a private Attorney General, the 
effectuation of public rights through relief to individuals. See Petticay v. Amer- 
ican Cast Iron Pipe Co.. 5 Cir. 1969, 411 F.2d 998 ; Jenkins v. United Gas Corp., 
5 Cir.. 1968, 400 F.2d 28. (Cases under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 
42 U.S.C.A. § 2000f-3(a) ). 

Nevertheless, Naples Farms, the employer, argues that, even if there is a 
pi'ivate civil remedy under the statute and regulations against the state ofl5cials, 
there is no such remedy against it since neither the regulations or the statute 
imposes any duty on the employer. It is true that the basic obligation for 
insuring that the housing and other working conditions meet the requirements 
of the regulations is placed on the state agency. (See note 5, supra). This does 
not mean, however, that the employer has no duty. It is, after all, the working, 
pay, living and tran.sportation conditions of that requesting employer which the 
state agency is to check and certify. And, if the employment system is to be 
workable,^" he has a duty not to intentionally mislead the state officials. When 
he does so and receives workers he is implicated with such oflBcials. 

23 See Tunstall v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Fireman and Bnginemen, 1944 2.3 U.S. 

210, 213. 6.5 S. Ct. 235, , 89 L. Ed. 187, 193, under the Railway Labor Act, 45 

U.S.C.A. § 151 etseq. 

2- See e.g., Fitzgerald v. Pan American World Airways, 2 Cir.. 1956. 229 F. 2d 499 ; 

Mortimer v. Delta Airlines N.D. 111., 1969, F. Supp. [38 L.W. 2089, Jnly 24, 


28 See e.g.. Hooper v. Mountain States Sec. Corp., 5 Cir., 1960, 282 F. 2d 195 ; Errion v. 
Connell. 9 Cir.. 1956. 236 F. 2d 447. 

^ It has often been held that civil remedies mav be implied from regulations, as well as 
statutes. See. e.g.. Hooper v. Mountain States Sec. Corp., 5 Cir. 1960, 282 F. 2d 195. 

200-01 ; Mortimer v. Delta Airlines, N.D. 111., 1969, F. Supp. [38 L.W. 2089 

July 24. 1969]. 

"" The great reliance that must he placed in the good faith of the employer is illustrated 
b.v a memorandum sent by the Department nf Labor to all state pmployment securit.v 
agencies on July 26, 1967. The memorandum explained the regulations and in part 
provided : 

"The State agency has the basic responsibility of assuring that all housing used, or to 
be used, for workers recruited through the interstate clearance process is inspected. 
However, the workload imposed by this policy may preclude State agency inspection of 
each unit on a timely basis. Employer certifications and the assistance of other responsible 
State and/or local agencies may therefore be used to reduce State agency workloads. To 
assure that the responsibility imposed by the Secretary's regulations has been met, however. 
State agency personnel must inspect as large a percentage of affected employer housing 
as possible. Where an agreement with a cooperating agency provides for inspection of 
all farm labor housing, and such agency has an acceptable inspection program, inspection 
reports supplied by such agencies may be accepted in lieu of an inspection by the State 
agency. (Employer certification and inspection by other agencies are explained below.)" 


It is .inst this type of intentional conduct Plaintiffs allese.^' Whether Plaintiffs 
can prove this claim is another matter,^^ but the complaint is more than adequate 

to resist a motion to dismiss. Prcil v. Board of Public Intitnictio)i. 5 Cir.. 1969, 

F.2d [No. 26.j76. Sept 9. 1969] and cases cited there at note 1. 

Defendant Cooper, the Lee County Sanitarian, also urges that there can be no 
private cause of action against him under the Wagner-Peyser Act and the regula- 
tions since he did not i)articii)ate in any way with this employment service. But, 
it is not that simple. The complaint charges that Cooper knew that Plaintiffs 
were being deprived of housing and working conditions to which they were en- 
titled. And. that he sought to deprive them of means of obtaining redress for 
their grievances. 

Certainly, if Cooper did act in concert W'ith the employer and other state offi- 
cial.'J, he is subject to similar sanctions. Moreover, the complaint asserts a bold, 
flagrant retaliation against Plaintiffs for Gomez having sought redress. This type 
of coercive retaliation, for which appropriate remedies have l)een offered, lias 
traditionally been in violation of similar statutes setting "job standards" in other 
areas. See e.g., Nash v. riorida Indus. Comm'n.. 1967, 3S9 U.S. 23.">. 238, 88 S.Ct. 
,362, 36.">, 19 L.Ed.2d 438, 442 (XLRA) : Mitchell i; Robert Dc Mario .Jeicclrii, Inc.. 
19(50. 301 U.S. 288, 80 S.Ct. 332, 4 L.Ed.2d .323 (FI.SA) ; Pdtwni r. American 
Ca.'<t Iron Pipe Co., 5 Cir., 19()9, 411 F.2d 998, lOO.VOT (Title VII (.f the 1964 Civil 
Rights Act). At this stage, we see no reason why such conduct does not give rise 
to relief here. 

We are not, however, limited to the existence of an implied civil remedy under 
these migratory -labor regulations to hold that Plaintiffs have stated a claim for 
which i-elief can be granted against either Naples Farms, Mr. Cooper, or the 
employees of the Fk)rida State Employment Agency. I'nder the Civil Rights Acts, 
Congress has provided a general stixtute giving a civil remedy t(^ those persons 
who are deprived "undor color of law'' of "any rights secui^d bv the Constitution 
and laws of the United States." "^ 42 T'.S.C.A. S 1983. 

The state action necessary mider § 1983 clearly exists as to the employees of the 
Florida State Eniploymejit Agency and the Lee County Sanitarian. ^Ir. Coo|)er. 
Moreover, no difficulty in regards to state action ari-ses as to Naples Farms in 
view of the positive charges that must be credited. 

llie comi>laint alleges — ^and with sufficient sj>ecificity (.see note 32, supra) — 
that all defendants acted jointly and as part of a plan or conspiracy to deprive 
Plaintiffs of the rights granted them by the regulations. (See note 32, supra). The 
S>i)ireme Court in United States v. Price. 19()6, 383 T^.S. 787, 80 S.Ct. ll.">2. 16 
L.Ed.2d 267, in construing 18 U.S.C.A. § 242, the criminal counterpart to § 1983. 
held that : 

•"" Parajrraph 14 of Plaintiffs' ooiuplaint proviflp« : 

"14. Somptime before Oft()l)f>r HC). 11H57. Defendant CREEL, seeking the sratuitous 
benefits of the procedures for the interstate recruitment of asricultiiral worliers by tlie 
Florida State Employment Service, prepared a Clearance Order. He knew at the tiiiie lie 
prepared this form that the hoiisinfr he designated in liis Order did not comply with 
regulatory standards of 20 CFR Sr)02.n(d). nor did he have any intention of hringing 
the housing into compliance with law. Further, he intended that he would not pay the 
minimum wage required by 20 USCA 201 et seq., or the wages and hours represented in 
the Clearance Order." 

■■'^ Plaintiffs also allege that all Defendants were a part of a conspiracy to deprive them 
of the benefits of the regulations and. in an attempt to state a cause of action iinder 
42 T'.S.C.A. § 198.^), to deprive them of equal protection of the laws. The allegations of 
conspiracy ajipear in paragraph 20 of Plaintiffs' complaint. 

'■2f>. At all times relevant the named Defendants acted under color of the statutes. 
ordinances, regulations, customs, or usages of the State of Florida and its legal subdivi- 
sions and Defendants SHEBEL. MOSS. TOOKE. BULL, and COOPER [the employees 
of the state agency! dirt act in their offlcial capacities as officers under the laws of the 
State of Florida. At all times releviint the Defendants acted jointly in concert and in 
conspiracy with one another causing Plaintiffs to be deprived of their contractual and 
federally guaranteed rights.'" 

Defendants contend that the allegations are not specific enough to state a claim. In 
support of this proposition thev relv upon such cases as Powell v. Workmen's Compensa- 
tion Board. 2 Cir.. lltfU. .•;27 ■F.2d" l."^! and Xeff v. World Publishing Co., S Cir.. 190.-.. 
.^49 F.2d. 2.3.T. 2.57. The idea that the requirement for specificity in the pleading of 
conspiracy is like that for pleading fraud is not followed bv us. See Pred. v. Board of 

I'nblic Instruction. ', Cir.. 190!i — — F.2d , n. 1] fXo. 2(;.-,7r,. Sept. 9. 19fi91 : 

Due v. Tallahassee Theatres. Inc.. "> Cir., 19fi4, y.H^i F.2d 0:^0. r,:;i. The remedy is not 
dismissal, which halts the proceedings at the Courthouse door. The remedy is full use of 
flexible discovery. Of. Surowitz v. Hilton Hotels Corp. 19fifi. P.H?, U.S. .SO.?," Sfi S. Ct. 845. 
1.5 L. Ed. 2d 807. 

■° This was S 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and it provides : 

"Every person who. under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or 
usage, of any State or Territory, subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the 
T'nited States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the depriyation of any 
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to 
the party injured In an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for 
42 U.S.C.A. § 198.3. 


'•Private i>er.sons, jointly engaged witli state officials in the prohibited action, 
are acting 'under color' of law for purposes of the statute. To act 'under color' of 
law d(*es not require that the accused be an officer of the State. It is enough that 
lie is a willful participant in joint activity with the State or its agents." 3S3 

U.S. at 794. 86 S.Ct. at , 16 L.Ed.2d at 272. 

See also Bnldwin v. Morgan, 5 Cir., 1961, 287 F.2d 750.'' 

Even with the necessary State action present for all parties. Defendants con- 
tend, and the District Court held, that § 1983 is not available to Plaintiffs since 
"the type of 'rights' which the plaintiffs alleged they were denied or deprived are 
not those protected under the Civil Rights Acts relied upon." Order of District 
Court dismissing complaint. 

It is true that § 1983 has quite often been used as a means of protecting 
Constitutionality guaranteed rights, particularly in the area of equal protection 
of the Negro. '^ But the language of this civil rights statute is broad : it is a 
violation of the statute to transgress "any rights, privileges, or immunities se- 
cured by the Constitution and hurs" of the United States. 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 
(emphasis added). Moreover, the Supreme Court in Peacock v. Greenicood. li)64, 
384 U.S. 808, 86 S.Ct. 1800, 16 L.Ed.2d i^44, clearly indicated that § 1983 was 
applicable when statutory, as well as, constitutional "rights, privileges and 
immunities" were involved. The Court said: "Under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 . . . the 
officers ma.v be made to respond in damages not only for violations of rights 
conferred by federal equal civil rights laws, but for violations of other federal 

constitutional and statutory rights as well." 3^ U.S. at 82i>-30, 86 S.Ct. at , 

16 L.Ed2d at 958. See also, Sheridan v. Garrison, 5 Cir., 1969, F.2d , at 

— [No. 25516, Aug. 13, 1964 (page 12 of slip op. ) ]. 

Despite these authorities and the clear purport of the language of the statute. 
Defendants argue that § 1983 does not provide a basis for recovery. The argument 
is based on statements in several cases that § 1983 does not protect property 
rights. ^^ 

We need not determine the extent to which "property" rights are outside of 
§ 1983 recourse " since the essence of the claim here is the denial of rights of 
an essentially personal nature, touching such intimate things as living and eating 
conditions, freedom from the marks of modern peonage, work at starvation wage 
levels in degrading poverty. 

The aim of the Plaintiffs, through appropriate judicial remedies, is to secure 
for themselves the fundamentals of human dignity. They seek to protect their 
right to decent housing and sanitary living conditions so they and their children 
may be free of disease. They seek to protect their ability to work for the wages 
which Congress has in effect determined to be the minimum to which they are 
entitled. They seek sanctions for having been deprived of some of those few 
protections designed by Congress to lift them out of economic-sociologic peonage. 
Such fundamental human, highly personalized rights are just the stuff from which 
§ 1983 claims are to be made. 

In addition to the argument that Plaintiffs have stated no claim for which 
relief may be granted. Defendants argue that the Trial Court was correct in 
holding that it had no jurisdiction to hear the claims, even if such claims were 
stated, since the requisite jurisdictional amount is not claimed. 28 U.S.C.A. 
S 1331.^ 

^^ It warrants emphasis asain that the use of the maj;ic word "conspiracy" does not 
necessarily take it out of S 1983 and throw it into § 198.5. On usual principles of afiency 
person.s may be held accountable for the acts of others under § 198.3. Most times such a 
combination, concerted action, etc. would constitute "conspiracy", too. 

3- See M<mroe v. Pape. 1961. .''.6.5 U.S. 167, 81 S. Ct. 47.3. 5 L. Ed. 2d 492. 

M Hague V. C.I.O., 19.39. .307 U.S. 496, .59 S. Ct. 9.54, S3 L. Ed. 1028 : Holt v. Indiana Mfg. 
Co. 1899, 176 US 68. 20 S Ct 272, 44 L. Ed. 374 ; Citv of Boulder v. Snvder. 10 Cir., 1968, 
396 P. 2d 8.53 ; Howard v. Higgins. 10 Cir., 1967, 379 F. 2d 227 : Ream v. Handlev. 7 Cir., 
1966, 359 F. 2d 728 ; Fuller v. Volk, 3 Cir., 1965, 351 F. 2d 323 : Booth v. General 
Dynamics Corp., N.D. 111.. 1967, 264 F. Supp. 465; Pudlick v. Public Service Co.. D.C. 
Colo. 1958, 166 F. Supp 92a. 

3" Bussie V. Long, 5 Cir., 1967, 38,3 F. 2d 766, 769, See also Atlanta Bowling Center, 
Inc. V. Allen, 5 Cir., 1968, 389 F. 2d 713. 

Without intimating our position on it the "property" limitation on S 1983 first 
articulated in Justice Stone's concurring opinion in Hague v. C.I.O.. 1939, 307 U.S. 496, 
at 529-.32. .59 S. Ct. 9.54. S3 L. Ed. 1423 at 1444-45, may be giving away to changing 
concepts of "property". See Reich. The New Property, 73 Yale Tj..T. 733 (1964). For 
examples of what some consider to be an erosion see Damico v. California, 1968, 389 U.S. 
416, 88 S. Ct. 526, 19 L. Ed. 2d 647 (aid to families with dependent children) ; Pred v. 

Board of Public Inst., 5 Cir., 1968. F. 2d [No. 26576. Sept. 9, 1969] (job as a 

school teacher) ; Mansell v. Saunders, 5 Cir., 1967, 372 F. 2d 573 (garbage district 

**"(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions wherein 
the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $10,000, exclusive of interest and 
costs, and arises under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 

"(b) Except when express provision therefor is otherwise made in a statute of the 


28U.S.C.A. §133Ha) (b). 

But that is not the end of the matter since 2S U.S.C.A. § 1343 and its interplay 
with 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 adequately supply jurisdiction.™ Additionally, jurisdiction 
is established by 28 U.S.C.A. § 1337,"' which provides that the District Court has 
original jurisdiction of any cause of action arising under a statute regulating 
interstate commerce. There is no requirement for any jurisdictional amount. 
Almost every conceivable test of "arising under" is met. The claim i.s a direct 
as.sertion of' federal statutory (regulatory) rights. Also, construction one way 
or the other will have a direct bearing on recovery or non-recovery. Florida East 
Coast Ell. Co. V. JarksonviUc Terminal Co., 5 Cir., 1064, 328 F.2d 720, cert, denied. 
379 U.S. 830, 85 S.Ct. 59, 13 L.Ed. 2d. 38; ef. Muyxfiin v. Florida East Coast Ry., 

5 Cir.. 1969. F.2d [No. 26333. Sept. 1969]. The complaint both 

directly invokes the regulations as a basis for i-elief and brings the construction 
of the Wagner-Peyser Act and the regulations into direct question. The whole 
structure is to regulate the interstate flow of workers to places of need from 
places of surplus. This is interstate commerce in its plainest form.*^ 

Thus we hold that the complaint does state claims for which relief may be 
given and that on the basis of this complaint that the District Court has jurisdic- 
tion to hear the.<;e claims. Xow the real facts — not just what the lawyers say the 
facts are — must be ascertained. And, after those facts are determined tlie rem- 
edies to be given, if — and the if may be substantial — Plaintiffs can prove their 
ca.-<e. must l)e determined. These remedies may be, and probably will be, different 
for the various Defendants. Thus, when the nvil facts are determined, it may be 
that money damages, which are appropriate against the private defendants may 
not be appropriate for all defendants. But, we leave this case to the superin- 
tendence of the Trial .Tudge without even a murmur of how it should come out 
either on the intrinsic merits or the relief to be granted.^" 

(Adm. Office, U.S. Courts— Scofields' Quality Printers, Inc., N. O., La.) 

TTnltod States, where the plaintiff is finally adjudged to be entitled to recover less than 
the Slim or value of .$10,000, computed without regard to any setoff or counterclaim to 
which the defendant may be adjudjred to be entitled, and exclusive of interests and costs. 
the district court may deny costs to the plaintiff and, in addition may impose costs on 
the plaintiff." 

3» 2S r.S.C.A. § 1M^ provides : 

"The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action authorized by 
law to be commenced by any person : 

"(1) To recover damages for Injury to his person or property, or because of the 
deprivation of any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, by any act 
done in furtherance of any conspiracy mentioned in section 1985 of Title 42 ; 

"(2) To recover damages from any person who fails to prevent or to aid In 
preventing any wrongs mentioned in section 1985 of Title 42 which he had knowledge 
were about to occur and power to prevent ; 

"(.3) To redress the deprivation, tinder color of any State law, statute, ordinance, 
regulation, custom or usage, of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the Con- 
stitution of the United States or by any Act of Congress providing for equal rights of 
citizens of of all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States ; 

"(4) To recover damages or to secure equitable or other relief under any Act of 
Congress providing for the protection of civil rights, including the right to vote." 
28 U.S.C.A. § 1.34.3. 

This section has traditionally been the basis for jurisdiction of claims arising under 
the Civil Rights Act including § 198.3 — it was en.Tcted specifically to provide federal 
jurisdiction in cases arising under these statutes. See Note, Federal .Tudicial Review of 
State Welfare Practices. 67 Colum. L. Rev. 84. 111-15 (1967). Section (3) tracks the 
language of S 1983 except for the variation that gives the district courts jurisdiction of 
Buits to redress only deprivations of rights secured by law "proridhifj for equal lights." 
We do not here determine whether the claim based on violation of the regulations of 
the Secretary would come within the proviso of "equal rights", nor consider (he significance 
of the Supreme Court's reservations on the point in King v. Smith, 1968, 392 T^.S, .309. 

lat 313, n. 3. 88 S.Ct. 2128, n. 3, 20 U.Ed. 2d 1118, 1123, n. 3, See Cover, Establishing 

Federal .Jurisdiction In Actions Brought to Vindicate Statutory (federal) Rights when 
no Violation of Constitutional Rights are Alleged. (Unpublished paper submitted to 
Columbia Center on Social Welfare Policv and I.,aw) , Note. Federal .Judicial Review of 
State Welfare Practices. 67 Column. J>. Rev'. 84, 111-15 (1967). 

We need not do this since § 1.343(4) does provide jurisdiction for all claims stated 
under § 1983, although operating as a conduit through which other statutor.v rights are 
protected, is itself an "Act of Congress providing for the protection of civil ri.ffhts . . ." 
<" "The district court shall have original jurisdiction of ;iny civil action or proceeding 
arising under an.v Act of Congress regulating commerce or protecting trade and com- 
merce against restrains and monopolies." 28 U.S.C.A. § 1337. 

" Programs administered b.v the Department f)f I^abor have uniformly been claimed to 
arise under under Acts of Congress regulating interstate commerce. See e.g., Felter v. 
Southern Pac. Co., 1959, .359 U.S. 326, 79 S.Ct. 847, 3 L.Ed. 2d 8.54 ; Scrlo v. Llss, 3 Cir., 
1961, .300 F.2d 386. 

*- A partv should be granted all relief to which be is entitled even if the relief lias not 

been demanded. S.'c F.R. Civ. P. 54(c) : Mungln v, Florida E. C, Ry. Co., 5 Cir., 1969, 

F. 2d . [No 26333. Sept. . 19691 : Eqiiitv Capital Co. v. Rponder, 5 Cir., 1969. 

F. 2d . n. 1 (No. 26705, Aug. 7, 19(59] ; Molnar v. Gulfcoast Transit Co., 

5 Cir.. 1967, 371 F. 2d 639. 


Senator Mondale. Our next witness is jNIr. Jonathan Chase, pro- 
fessor of law at the University of Colorado, and director of Colorado 
rural legal services program, Boulder, Colo. 


Mr. Chase. My name is Jonathan Chase, associate professor of law 
at the University of Colorado. I have a prepared statement that I 
would like to submit for the record, and I would like to sunnnarize 
my statement orally. 

Senator Mondale. We will print your statement in the record at this 
point and then you may continue with your summary. 

Mr. Chase. I would first like to thank the committee for the oppor- 
tunity to speak here today on behalf of this Nation's migrant farm- 
workers. I am ever hopeful that hearings such as this will eventually 
result in some meaningful change on behalf of agricultural workers. 
I fear, however, that even we, the white collar, middle-class spokes- 
men for the farmworker share his powerlessness when it comes to 
effecting any real institutional change or to causing government to 
respond faborably to his need. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Chase follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Jonathan B. Chase, Professor of Law, University of 
Colorado ; and Director, Colorado Rural Legal Service : Program, Boulder, 

I would first like to thank the Committee for the opportunity to speak here 
today on behalf of this nation's migrant farm workers. I am ever hopeful that 
hearings siuch as this will eventually result in some meaningful change on behalf 
of agricultural workers. I fear, however, that even we. the white collar, middle 
class spokesmen for the farm worker share his powerlessness when it comes to 
effecting any real institutional change or to causing government to respond 
favorably to his need. 

Three years ago, while teaching at the University of Colorado School of Law, 
I spent the siimmer in an effort to learn of the life of the migrant farm worker 
in Colorado. During the first three weeks of that summer, I worked in sugar beet 
fields and lived in labor camps in two different parts of the state. During the 
remainder of the summer I traveled around the rest of the state speaking with 
people and observing conditions relating to farm workers. That simamer resulted 
in an article published in the Colorado Law Review which I would like to make 
a part of this record. 

I have maintained my interest in the problems of the farm worker in the 
state of Colorado and this summer am supervising a VISTA Education in 
Action program operating through the Universitw of Colorado School of Law. 
I would also like to make a copy of the proposal for that program part of this 
record. The purpose of this VISTA program is to provide legal services to mi- 
grant farm workers, particularly with regard to their legal problems as farm 
workers. In order to accomplish this objective, eleven law students from the 
University of Colorado, two from the University of Iowa, one from the Uni- 
versity of Michigan and one from Denver University are working in con- 
junction with the University of Colorado School of Law's legal Aid and Defender 
Program in two parts of tlie state of Colorado: northeastern Colorado and the 
Arkansas Valley. By legislation and court rule in the state of Colorado, our law 
students associated with the Legal Aid and Defender Program are permitted, 
under certain circumstances, to appear in the courts of this state. These students 
are living among the farm workers, utilizing outreach workers employed by 
other government and charitable institutions in these areas, in an effort to 
bring legal services, for the first time, to these forgotten people. 


I think it is fair to say that tlio proijram, which is a little more than half 
over, has been very successful. The best way to describe its success and to 
also tell you of the kinds of legal itroblems that we have identified and dealt 
with, would be to relate to the Comniittoe an account of the cases handled liy 
our students thus far this summer. I am not ^oinsj to include in this case sum- 
mary any of the criminal cases, usually traffic offenses, handled by our students, 
of whicli there have been very many. Nor shall I include the many informal 
actions taken by our .-students as relatively articulate white middle cla.s.s nej^otia- 
tors. I will merely relate those cases of a more formal nature involving some 
aflSrmative action taken by our students on behalf of farm workers. Before I 
relate the cases, however, I think it important that I briefly describe to you the 
harul operations involved in the production of sugar beets, the largest hand labor 
crop in the state of Colorado, and the crop with which we have become most 

In Colorado there are customarily two hand operations involved in the 
production of sugar beets. The first is the thinning and first weeding, and the 
sec(nul is what is referred to as the hoeing, a second weeding operation. In some 
instances a third weeding operation is also required. Up until this year, there 
was very little mechanical thinning utilized in this state. This has changed rather 
drastically, however, this summer, with the result that many workers no long<'r 
thin as a first operation, but merely weed. As you are probably aware, wage 
rates for the production of .sugar beets are established by the United States 
Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Federal Sugar Act of 104K, 7 U.S.C. 
§§1100-1161. If a worker feels that he has not been paid according to the rate 
established by the Secretary of Agriculture, he then files a wage claim before 
the county Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Committee. An 
appeal may be taken to the state ASCS committee, and from there to the Deputy 
Administrator, state and county operations, Agricviltural Stabilization and Con- 
servation Service. I believe that is sufficient background to understand the cases 
to be discussed below. I can elaborate further as this becomes necessary. 

Cane y^o. 1. — Generally workers understand that if they do the thinning and 
first weeding, they will then be able to do the .second weeding operation. In this 
case, after the workers completed the thinning and first weeding, however, the 
farmer refused to let them do the second operation. We have filed in county court, 
claiming lost wages of $10 per acre ftbe minimum rate for that operation, as 
established by the Secretary of Agriculture). AVe have had many cases such 
as this, in most of which there was no express agreement between the grower 
and the worker that after the first band operation the worker would be able 
to do the second. It is, however, certainly the understanding of the workers 
that this will be the case. With this expectation, many workers will do a very 
careful job on the first operation, earning relatively little money at that tim<-. 
knowing that their care at this time will be rewarded by the ease at which 
they will be able to complete the second operation. Farmers have been known 
to take advantage of this by firing the crew after the first operation and bringing 
in another crew for the second operation, paying the second crew at the hourly 
rate, .$1.0." an hour, as opposed to the piece work rate of $10 per acre. There 
has been no di.sposition of this case to date. I might add that in the county court 
proceedings which have been brought by our law students, we have proceeded in 
forma pauperis, thus avoiding court costs. 

Case A"o. 2. — This case rai.«es the same issues discussed in Case No. 1, with the 
difference here that, in addition to bringing suit against the grower. Great 
Western Sugar Company is also named as defendant. Tlie reason for naming 
Great Western as defendant in this case is because there were representations 
made by Great Western to the farm \\orker that he would l»e able to do the 
second hoeing. As a matter of fact, unless the farm worker stayed on to do 
the second hoeing, he would be ineligible to receive the bonus ordinarily paid 
by Great Western for the return trip to Texas. This suit has been filed in county 

Cuxr .Yo. ?,. — A crew had been promised a particular field on which to do a 
second hoeing. When they showed up to do the work they found that they had 
been replaced by another crew. A suit has been filed in county court for the 
re.sulting lost wages. 

Caste .Vo. '/. — Here, again, suit was filed in county court for wages lost as a 
result of being denied the second hoeing. 


Case No. 5. — Both the American Crystal Sugar Company and the Great 
Western Sugar Company, operating in the Arkansas Valley and northeastern 
Colorado resi:>ectively, do most of their own recruitment, as opposed to the Holly 
Sugar Company, operating in western Colorado, which does not do any of its 
own recruiting, but relies exclusively on the state employment service to supply 
the workers needed by growers under contract with Holly. Both American 
Crystal and Great Western give each worker a small sum of money with which 
to come from Texas to Colorado. If the workers do all of the work for the 
grower with whom they're placed by either of these companies, and do it to 
the satisfaction of the grower and the sugar company field representative, a 
bonus will then be given to the workers for the return trip to Texas. In addition 
to the amount of money actually given to the workers, loans ranging from $100 
to $300 will also be made. In consideration for these loans, in the case of Great 
We.stern, the workers turn over the title of their automobiles to the sugar 
company. Although by virtue of this agreement, the sugar company does not 
actually acquire a security interest in the automobile, it is the understanding 
of the workers that until they pay off their loan, the sugar company actually 
owns their automobiles. The in terrorem effect usually accomplishes its purpose. 
In addition to the car title, both companies also take a non-interest bearing 
promisory note, payable on demand. In agreeing to labor to growers 
under contract to the sugar companies, both Great Western and American Crys- 
tal then require, as a condition to the placement of workers, that the grower 
assume the obligations owed by the woi'ker to the sugar company. Unbeknown 
to the worker, therefore, at the end of this entire transaction, he is indebted 
primarily to the grower with whom he has been placed, although, as far as 
he knows, the loan was strictly between him and the sugar company. What 
usually happens as the next step is that the amount of the loan is then deducted 
by the grower from the worker's first paycheck. It is this particular part of the 
transaction which was the subject of Case No. o. It was our contention that 
under the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant 
to the Sugar Act of 1948, particularly 7 C.F.R. § 862.13, the farmer could not 
properly deduct the amount of this loan from the wages earned by the worker 
and still remain eligible to receive his sugar payments. A claim contesting the 
propriety of this deduction has been filed with the Otero County Agricultural 
Stabilization and Conservation Service Committee. There has not yet been a 
hearing on this particular case. For the account of a similar case, see summary 
of Case No. 6. 

Case No. 6. — This case raises the same question discussed in Case No. 5, above, 
whether the indebtedness owed originally to the .sugar company, then assumed 
by the grower, can be deducted from wages due the farm worker. In this case 
the ASCS Committee for Weld County agreed with our contention that under 
7 C.F.R. § 862.13 this was an impermi.ssible deduction. A representative of the 
Great AYestern Sugar Company was in attendance at the hearing and indicated to 
the law student arguing the case that the contractual arrangement set up by 
Great Western had never been challenged before. The decision of the Weld 
County ASCS Committee has been appealed, indications being that the appeal 
is being prosecuted by the Great Western Sugar Company. 

Case No. 7. — The Great Western recruiter in Texas promised a farm worker 
that the home in which he would live while in Colorado would be in excellent 
condition, with running water. When the farm worker arrived in Colorado he 
found the home to be very dilapidated, without running water, and refused to 
live in it. Great Western then terminated his employment, telling him that he 
would have to return to Texas. In the meantime the farm worker found other 
work by going through the state employment service. A suit will be filed against 
Great Western Sugar Company for lost wages accruing during the nine day 
period in which the farm worker was unable to find other work. 

Case No. S. — A worker claimed that he was being paid less than a minimum 
wage established by the Secretary of Agriculture. A complaint has been filed 
with the ASCS Committee of Otero County. 

There has been great diflaculty this year, as in past years, with the distinction, 
if any, between two wage classifications established by the Secretary of Agri- 
culture in 7 C.F.R. § 862.10, hoeing and hoe-trimming. The former, for which 
the worker receives a minimum of $15.50, involves removing weeds and excess 
beets with a hoe only. The latter, hoe-trimming, for which the worker receives 


a minimum of $18.75, involves removing weeds with a hoe and by hand am 
removing excess beets with a hoe only. The problem is that most workers, 1>: 
custom, automatically use their hands for the first operation, unless told to d- 
otherwise by the grower. Even where workers are told not to use their hands 
growers are ordinarily dissatisfied with the work done unless hands are used. 
The result is that many workers are paid at the $15.50 rate when, in fact, they 
are entitled to receive the $18.75 rate. This was part of the problem involved 
in Case No. 8. 

Case No. 9. — The grower in tliis case deducted from the farmer worker's 
paycheck an amount equal to the amount of damage allegedly done by the farm 
worker and his family to the grower's home. It was our contention that under 
7 C.F.R. § 862.13, this was an impermissible deduction. The ASCS Committee for 
Weld County agreed, awarding the farm worker the amount deducted from his 

Case No. 10. — On one evening a group of young people living in the labor camp 
operated by the Gates Rubber Co., knovpn as Big Creek Farms, caused about 
$300 damage to one of the large central buildings. People living in the camp 
refused to divulge the names of those who had cau.sed the damage, with the 
result that the manager of the camp deducted $10 from the wages due each of 
the 30 families residing in the camp. The ASCS Committee for Yuma County 
ruled that these were improper deductions. 

Case No. 11. — A sugar beet grower dissatisfied with the work done by the 
farm workers, witheld half the payment due them. The ASCS Committee for 
Weld County ruled that this was an improper deduction, but then went on to 
agree with the grower that, under the Sugar Act of 1948, the grower would not 
be required to pay the amount due until just prior to distribution of the sugar 
payments, in January. It is to be noted that under the Sugar Act of 1948 the 
worker is not guaranteed a minimum wage. His only protection lies in the fact 
that a grower who fails to pay in accordance with the minimum wage estab- 
lished by the Secretary of Agriculture will be ineligible to receive sugar payments 
under the Act payments are .sufiiciently desirable to insure the fact that 
any grower who is given reason to believe that he will his payments due 
to noncompliance with the established wage rate, will come into compliance in 
order to receive them. We have appealed the deci.sion of the ASCS Committee to 
the extent that it indicates that this grower, apprai.sed of the fact that his 
deduction is improi)er, may nevertheless be eligible to receive sugar payments 
so long as he pays the amount due at any time prior to receiving the payments. 
It is our contention that under 7 C.F.R. § 862.18, unless payment to the worker 
is made immediately, the grower will be ineligible to receive any of his sugar 
payment and nothing that he does between now and January will restore his 
eligibility. Thus far, the state ASCS Committee has not taken our appeal, 
indicating that it wishes more information before it will accept the case. Should 
the state committee persist in refusing to hear the case, claiming, apparently, 
that there was no decision adverse to us which we can appeal, we will then file 
suit in federal court against the Secretary of Agriculture for a declaratory 
judgment that, under the facts as stated, the grower is ineligible to receive his 
payments in January. 

Case No. 1^. — A worker was paid less than the minimum guaranteed by the 
Secretary of Agriculture and was also not paid at the hourly rate for weeding 
entirely by hand. It is our contention that inuler 7 C.F.R. 862.10(d) work not 
otherwise classified, such as weeding entirely by hand in a third weeding, is com- 
pensible at the hourly rate of $1.65. Tlie case will be filed before the ASCS Com- 
mittee for Weld County. The farmer has indicated that, should the ASCS 
Committee rule against him, he will refuse to pay until January. 

Case No. 13. — A vrorker felt that he had been shorted on the acreage and was 
paid at a piece work rate for a third hoeing which yielded far below $1.65. During 
negotiations with the grower, an extremely unsatisfactory settlement was sug- 
gested to which the farm worker agreed because he was desperately in need 
of money, as his wife was in the hospital and he being without funds. The money 
was accepted but a claim was filed with the ASCS Committee for Boulder County 
on the grounds that the settlement was signed under duress and ought not to be 
binding. There has been no disposition of this to date. 

This case illustrates the problem facing many farm workers should they decide 
to prosecute a claim through the ASCS Committee. Although, ordinarily, a case 
will be head by an ASCS Committee within two to three weeks after the complaint 


has been filed, even this relatively short period can work a great hardship on 
a farm vs^orker in desperate need of money. Furthermore, many workers do not 
wish to jeopardize their jobs and thus wait to file claims with ASCS until they 
have completed work. At that time, of course, they are ready to leave for Texas 
and are unavailable for the hearing. 

Case No. 14- — For the third hoeing, a farm worker was paid at a piece work 
rate which yielded far less than $1.65 an hour. A claim will be filed with the 
ASCS Committee for the difference between that rate and $1.65 an hour, the rate 
to which the worker is entitled under 7 C.F.R. § 862. 10(d). This farm worker, as 
countless others in the area, is in great fear of retaliation. Specifically, many work- 
ers feel that if they file complaints or make trouble they will be placed on a black- 
list and will no longer be recruited by the sugar companies for work in Colorado. 
More immediately, workers who reside in houses supplied by the farmer are 
ju.stifiably afraid that should they complain, not only will they loes their jobs, 
but their houses as well. Such is the case here, and the complaint therefore will 
not be filed until the work has been completed. 

Case No. la.^In 1968, the Gates Rubber Company began extensive irrigated 
farming in eastern Colorado in the Joes area. In the summer of 1968 workers were 
paid $20 an acre for thinning, the minimum for that operation at that time being 
$17.25, now $18.75. This past winter, when Great Western was recruiting workers 
for Gates for this summer, word was out that wages at the Gates operation were 
very high. Nothing was said by either Great Western or Gates indicating that 
wages would be less this year than they were last year, and when the people 
arrived they fully expected to receive high wages for their work. They were rather 
appalled to find out that this year Gates had employed mechanical thinners, 
thus permitting Gates to pay only $10 per acre for the first hand operation. A suit 
is being prepared for filing in district court against Great Western and Gates 
for the difference between $10 and $18.75, the latter rate being that to which 
we believe the workers are entitled in the absence of any notice to the contrary. 

Case No. 16. — Here the worker claimed that he should be entitled to $15.50 per 
acre for the job done, although the farmer claimed that he had used a mechanical 
thinner, thus entitling him to pay merely $10 an acre. The case was heard by the 
Montrose County ASCS Committee, although their decision has not yet been 

Case No. 17.— X couple of boys had a wage claim of $10.95 for work done 
in onions. Suit was filed in county court and later settled at $10.95. This was a 
rather hollow victory since filing fees and other costs, advanced by another 
agency, exceeded the $10.95 recovered as settlement. 

Case No. 18. — A grower ran off a family at gun point, not letting them finish 
their work. A complaint will be filed in county court for lost wages and for assault. 

Case No. 19. — A complaint will be filed in County Court for wages due for 
work in pickles. 

Cases No. 20 and 21. — Both of these cases involve efforts to have the United 
States Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Security, investigate viola- 
tions of the Crew Leader Registration Act of 1963. 7 U.S.C. §§ 2041-2053. These 
will be discussed in more detail below. 

Case No. 22. — We have here challenged the validity of 7 C.F.R. § 862.15, per- 
mitting payment of workers through crew leaders. Under this section, a farmer 
will be eligible to receive his sugar payments if he can establish that the workers 
have authorized their crew leader to receive payments for them and that he, the 
grower, has paid to the crew leader the minimum required by the Secretary of 
Agriculture. There is no further requirement that the grower be able to prove 
that the workers actually received the minimum wage. In this case four minor 
boys received less than the minimum wage while working for a crew leader, 
although the farmer was able to establish that in fact he had paid the minimum 
to the crew leader. It was our contention in the hearing held before the Otero 
County ASCS Committee that the authorization was initially invalid because the 
minors lacked the capacity to authorize the crew leader to receive wages for them. 
It was our further contention that, even if the authorization should be otherwise 
valid, the .section was invalid as being inconsistent with the Sugar Act of 1948. 
This 'Rill be discussed further with reference to Case No. 25 below. Another 
issue raised in this case was whether the workers should be entitled to a higher 
wage rate on ?ccount of the fact that, according to them, they had been instructed 
to use their hands. 

Case No. 2!'. — The Fort Lupton Labor Camp, oi)erated by the Weld County 
Housing Authority, is the largest migrant labor camp in the state, housing 202 
36-513— 70— pt. 4A 12 


families. Rent for each of these units is $6 per week ; but, in early June, rumors 
in the camp were that the rent was to be raised to $8 per unit on July 1. Migrant 
headers living within the camp wished to do something to protest the expected 
rise in rent and sought our advice in this regard. We suggested that, since the 
camp was not in compliance with the state Sanitary Standards and Regulations 
for Labor Camps promulgated by the Colorado State Board of Health, the resi- 
dents of the camp could properly withhold payment until such time as the camp 
was brought into compliance. "We explained that this was a relatively new and 
untried legal theory, but one worth testing. AVe further explained that the suc- 
cess or failure of the proposed rent strike would depend, not on legal theory but 
on the ability of the camp leaders to bring all of the camp residents together to 
act as a united body. We explained that if the residents wished to go ahead with 
a rent strike, rent should be collected and put into an escrow account. Organiza- 
tion of the camp was effected by these leaders and, as a step in the planned rent 
strike, residents of the camp filed complaints with the State Health Department, 
specifying violations of the state Sanitary Standards and Regulations for Labor 
Camps. These complaints were filed on June IS. At that time it was learned that 
the Health Department, itself, had, on June 16, sent a thirty day letter to the 
Weld County Housing Authority demanding compliance with the health stand- 
ards. Also on June 18, a group of the residents of the Fort Luptou Labor Camp 
held a peaceful demonstration in front of the camp manager's office and pre.sented 
to him a list of demands. Copies of both the complaints filed with the Health 
Department and the list of demands are attached to the complaint entitled Valen- 
ziicUi V. Wchl County Housiny Authority, which I will make a part of the record 
at a later time. 

On June 20, a mimeographed notice was passed out in the camp to some of the 
residents stating that the labor camp would be closed on July 1, 16 days before 
the Health Department had required compliance. Following June 20, there 
were various meetings held for the purpose of attempting to raise suflScient rev- 
enue to keep the camp open. By June 26, however, although much had been said 
about wanting to keep the camp open, nothing had actually been done in that 
direction. It was on June 26, therefore, that suit was filed in federal district 
court claiming that the motive for closing the camp was to retaliate against 
those residents who had filed complaints with the Health Department and who 
had made demands upon the camp manager. I would like at this time to make 
a copy of the complaint filed in this case a part of the record of hearings. 
Following the filing of the complaint, a stipulation was reached with the Weld 
County Housing Authority to keep the camp oi)en until a final disposition of the 
case. Thus far the camp has remained open and neither side has been particularly 
anxious to set a date for a hearing. In all likelihood, with the expiration of the 
summer, the complaint will be withdrawn. 

Cane So. 2.'/.— The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Com- 
mittees before which all wage disputes between farm workers and growers must 
be heai-d and determined, must necessarily, by federal statute, be composed 
entirely of farmers. Moreover, these farmers i'erving on the committee are 
selected entirely by other farmers. On July 31, suit was filed in federal district 
court against the Secretary of Agriculture, a.sking that a three-judge court declare 
the comriosition of the ASCS Committees to be unconstitutional. A copy of the 
complaint in that case, entitled Snlaznr v. Hardin, No. C-1616, is submitted to be 
made part of the record of hearings. 

Cnxc Xo. 25. — As discussed above in Case No. 22. under 7 C.F.R. §862.15, a 
jiroducer of sugar beets will be eligiiile to receive his sugar payments if he is 
al)le to show that workers have autliorized a crew leader to accept payment for 
them and that he. the i)roducer, has paid to the crew leader the minimum required 
by tbe Secretary of Agriculture. It is our contention that to the extent that this 
peimits a producer to remain eligible to receive .sugar payments in cases in which 
the workers themselves received less than the minimum as the result of fraud 
on the part of crew leaders, the regulation is inconsistent with the language and 
tbe of the Sugar Act of 1948, and is therefoi-e invalid and void. On July 
ol, suit was filed in federal district court asking that such a declaratory judg- 
ment be issued. This suit is also entitled Salazar v. Hardin, No. C-1617, a copy 
of the complaint in which is hereby made a part of the n'cord of these hearings. 

Cr/.sr Xo. 26. — Thus far we have had only one case involving the Fair Labor 
Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq., and this case did not involve the 1966 
amendment including farm labor. I have included it in this case summary because 


I anticipate that the cooperation received from the United States Department 
of Labor, Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Division, in this case would 
also be duplicated in cases involving farm labor. The department has undertaken 
an investigation in this case and will notify us if it decides to institute litigation 
for back wages. One of the obvious failings of the Fair Labor Standards Act as 
applied to farm labor is the 500 man day requirement for coverage. Almost none 
of the farmers using migrant labor use a sufficiently large amount of labor to 
come under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although most of 
the crew leaders are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is almost 
impossible to locate people who are willing to file complaints their crew 

I have not included in the case summary any of the many cases handled by 
our students that do not relate to the farm worker's legal problems as a farm 
worker. As mentioned earlier, all criminal cases have been excluded, as well as 
many consumer cases handled by our students and actions of a less formal 
nature, as, for instance, making phone calls to welfare departments in efforts to 
have food stamp certification and sales done on a more frequent basis and at 
places closer to the migrants. Our students have also cooperated extensively 
with the State Department of Health in helping people fill out and file housing 

It is my belief that our program this summer has, to date, been extremely 
successful. I believe that law students are ideally suited to providing legal serv- 
ices to migrant farm workers. First, the seasonal nature of the case load mili- 
tates against the hiring of full time attorneys based in any one place. Second, 
the peak period for use of migrant farm workers in most areas coincides with 
the student vacation period. Third, even in states where limited court appear- 
ances are not possible, much of the legal work to be done on behalf of farm work- 
ers is before administrative agencies where students may appear. Fourth, in 
order for a legal services program serving farm workers to be efi:ective, the 
attorneys must be prepared to live and work in areas of farm worker concentra- 
tion. Most of our students this summer did live out in the countryside, many of 
them moving from one section of the state to another as the work on one crop 
ended and, on another began. Experience has also shown that a full year legal 
services program concentrates its efforts on the permanent population and many 
legal .services programs operating in areas of migrant concentration have little 
or no familiarity with the laws pertaining to agricultural labor. For that reason, 
a team of law students especially trained in this area of law can provide a very 
valuable complement to existing legal .services. One very important caveat to 
the use of law students in a project such as this is that there be assurance of a 
carry-over after the summer ; that is, that there be .someone or some agency who 
is able to continue begun during the summer but still pending in the fall. 
In the case of our program, Colorado Rural Legal Services. Inc., will take over 
any cases still pending at the termination of this project in late August. 

I think that the educational value to the students is beyond question. Everyone 
of the students participating in this summer's program feels that this has been 
the most valuable experience of their educational career thus far. The Univer- 
sity of Colorado School of Law has agreed to give two hours academic credit on 
a pass-fail basis for this summer's work. In addition to the field work, a seminar 
length paper will also be required, which, of course, will not be due until 
sometime in the fall. 

I believe that the case summary adequately points up the defects of the regula- 
tions promulgated under the Sugar Act of 1948. Basically, the Sugar Act, 
properly administered, lu'ovides a fairly good model that might be used with 
other crops. The fear of losing sugar payments is such that compliance with the 
wage rate established by the Secretai-y of Agriculture is fairly good. I would 
like at this point to discuss some of the other problems relating to farm workers 
which have not been adequately brought out in the discussion of the cases 

The initial problem facing farm workers when they come to Colorado is that 
of housing. The condition of housing in this state is, I imagine, similar to that 
of other ai"ea.s — ranging from tolerable to abysmal, with most at the latter end 
of the spectrum. The health department of the state of Colorado has adopted 
very fine standards regulating the condition of migrant farm housing. The stand- 
ards, however, as is also true of the federal standards, are joke. For example, 
the standards require, under certain circumstances, that farmers provide toilet 


facilities in the fields. I have traveled exttMisively in the state this summer and 
have yet to see one of these facilities. In all fairness. I must concede that I have 
been told that there is a toilet in the Arkansas Valley. The problem, as is true 
of virtually all the laws passed for the protection of migrant farm workers, is 
lack of enforcement. Either there is no enforcement or what enforcement there 
it is inoffective. In Colorado there are two and one half full time employees of 
the State Department of Health whose job it is to enforce the regulations 
relating to migrant farm housing. 

In addition to our own state regulations pertaining to migrant farm housing, 
there is. of course, the Wagner-Peyser Act, 29 U.S.C. § 49. which purportedly 
regulates migrant farm housing on the federal level. Supposedly, the state 
employment service is not permitted to place a work order for a grower whose 
housing does not meet federal housing standards, or, in the case of Colorado, 
the standards adopted by the State Department of Health. This is also is a joke. 
Initially, when the grower places his work order, he self-certifies his housing 
as being in compliance with the state's health standards. Prior to the actual 
placement of workers, so the state employment service maintains, there is an 
actual inspeK^tion of the house. If there are inspections in these cases, they are 
meaningless gestures. I have yet to see any on-farm housing which is in full 
compliance with the state's health standards. 

The an.swer to the problem of adequate housing for farm workers does not, 
it seems to me, lie in trying to beef up existing regulatory legislation. One 
must heed the cry of the farmers that they cannot afford to provide housing 
on a short term basis which would meet the minimal standards of human 
decency. Either the farmers themselves, through cooperative efforts, or govern- 
ment agencies, must either build new housing or develop new ideas for the 
providing of housing, such, for example, as i>roviding farm workers with mobile 

Another recurring problem is that of the crew leader, touched upon briefly above. 
Although only a relatively small percentage of the farm workers in the state 
of Colorado are employed through crew leaders, they are the most disadvantaged 
group and in need of the greatest government protection. The crew leader regis- 
tration act of 1963, 7 U.S.C. §§2041-2053, has been extremely ineffective. Not 
only does the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment 
Security, do no investigating whatever on its own, it has been extremely 
reluctant to respond to well documented complaints of violations of this act. 
In Colorado, Peter Kiel, employed by the United States Department of Labor 
to oversee compliance of the Crew Leader Registration Act, has done virtually 
nothing about complaints that have been filed with him by our law students. 
I was informetl yesterday by one of our students that Mr. Kiel had assured us 
that investigations are presently being conducted. I will believe it when I see it. 

One other problem which seems to be much worse this year than in past years 
is the great number of "wetbacks" in the state competing with our own workers 
for scarce jobs. They are knowingly and eagerly employed by growers and 
governmental otEcials are conveniently ignorant of what is going on under 
their bureaucratic noses. 

Almost all of the state and federal laws relating to agricultural labor were 
passed with the design of protecting farm workers against abuses from which 
they were unable to protect themselves. This, of course, is because farm workers 
have no power, either economic or political. There is one law, which, if amended, 
might r)ermit farm workers to realize the power necessary to make all of the 
other laws pa.ssed for their protection unnece.ssary. The law to which I refer 
is, of course, the National Labor Relations Act. You have heard people speak 
of this countless times and I will not dwell on it. 

I would like to conclude by saying that I am here not only to plead for the 
farm worker, but also to plead for the continuation of a system which is 
supposed to respond to the justifiable needs of its citizens. Farm workers are 
beginning to learn that there have been laws passed for their protection, and, 
at the same time that they learn that these laws exist, they also learn that 
they are not enforced. Moreover, they travel through this country's affluence and 
continue to live in the same poverty that they have lived in for years and that 
their ])arents lived through for years before them. The result of all this is the 
same kind of frustration which has erupted in riots in the cities. Thus far, the 
countryside has been relatively calm. That time is drawing to an end unless a 
committee such as yours responds meaningfully to the just demands of America's 
forgotten people, the migrant farm worker. 


Mr, Chase. Three years ago, while teaching at the University of 
( 'olorado School of Law, I spent the summer in an effort to learn of the 
] ife of the migrant farmworker in Colorado. During the first 3 weeks of 
that smnmer I worked in sugar beet fields and lived in labor camps 
in two different parts of the State. During the remainder of the sum- 
mer I traveled around the rest of the State, speaking with people 
and observing conditions relating to farmworkers. That summer re- 
sulted in an article published in the Colorado Law Review, which I 
would like to make a part of this record. 

I have maintained my interest in the problem of the farmworker in 
the State of Colorado and this summer am supervising a VISTA 
education in action program operating through the LTniversity of Colo- 
rado School of Law. I would also like to make a copy of the pro- 
posal for that program part of this record. 

The purpose of this VISTA program is to provide legal services to 
migrant farmworkers, particularly with regard to their legal prob- 
lems as farmworkers. In order to accomplish this objective, 11 law 
students from the University of Colorado, two from the LTniversity 
of Iowa, one from the University of Michigan, and one from Denver 
University are working in conjunction with the LTniversity of Colorado 
School of Law's legal aid and defender program in two parts of the 
State of Colorado — northeastern Colorado and the Arkansas Valley. 

By legislation and court rule in the State of Colorado, our law stu- 
dents associated with the legal aid and defender program are per- 
mitted, under certain circumstances, to appear in the courts of this 
State. These students are living among the farmworkers, utilizing 
outreach workers employed b}' other Government and charitable insti- 
tutions in these areas, in an effort to bring legal services for the first 
time to these forgotten people. 

I would like to relate a few of the cases we have handled. I will omit 
some I have in my statemeiit here. In Colorado there are customarily 
two hand operations involved in the production of sugar l^eets. The 
first is the thinning and first weeding, and the second is what is re- 
ferred to as the hoeing, a second weeding operation. In some instances 
a third weeding operation is also required. 

Up until this year there was very little mechanical thimiing utilized 
in this State. This has changed rather drastically, however, this 
summer with the result that many workers no longer thin as a first 
operation, but merely weed. 

As 3"ou are probably aware, wage rates for the production of sugar 
beets are established by the U.S. Secretarv of Agriculture pursuant 
to the Federal Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. 1100-1161. If a worker 
feels that he has not been paid according to the rate established by 
the Secretary of Agriculture, he then files a wage claim before the 
county agricultural stabilization and conservation service committee. 
An appeal may be taken to the state ASCS committee, and from there 
to the Deputy Administrator, State and county operations. Agricul- 
tural Stabilization and Conservation Service. 

I believe that is sufficient background to understand the cases to 
be discussed below. I can elaborate furtlier as this becomes necessary. 

I would like to be specific about the Federal Sugar Act, if I can. 

Generally workers understand that if they do the thinning and first 


Aveeding, they will then bo able to do the second weedins; operation. 
In this case, after the workers completed the thinning and lirst weed- 
ing, however, the farmer refused to let them do the second operation. 

We have filed in county court, claiming lost wages of $10 per acre — 
the minimum rate for that operation, as established by the Secretary of 
Agriculture. We have had many cases such as this, in most of which 
there was no express agreement between the grower and the worker 
that after the firsthand operation the worker would be able to do the 

It is, however, cei-tainly the understanding of the workers that this 
will be the case. AVith this expectation, many workers will do a very 
carefid job on the first operation, earning relatively little money at 
that time, knowing that their care at this tune will be rewarded by the 
ease at which they will be able to complete the second operation! 

Farmers have been known to take advantage of this by firing the 
crew after the first operation and bringing in another crew for the 
second operation, paying the second crew at tlie hourly rate, $1.05 an 
hour, as opposed to the piecework rate of $10 per acre. There has been 
no disposition of this case to date. 

I might add that in the county court proceedings which have been 
brought by our law students, we have proceeded in forma pauperis, 
thus avoiding court costs. 

I would propose that the regulation be required to, in addition to 
])aying the wage agreed upon, that the full contract be performed 
and that the terms of this contract be in writing at the time of aj)- 
j)roval, prior to beginning to work, and the rate to be paid at each 
operation. To avoid this problem, we liave no recourse but to sue in 
county court instead of being able to go through administrative 

I will skip over to case Xo. 7. 

The Great Western recruiter in Texas promised a farmworker that 
tlie home in whicli he would live while in Colorado would be in ex- 
cellent condition, with running water. When the fai'mworker arrived 
in Colorado, he found the home to be very dilapidated, without run- 
ning water, and refused to live in it. 

Great Western then terminated his employment, telling him that 
he would have to return to Texas. In the meantime the farmworker 
found other work by going through tlie State employment service. 

A suit will be filed against Great Western Sugar Co. for lost wages 
accruing during the 9-day period in which the farmworker was un- 
able to find other work. 

I mention this case because it involves the corporate processor. Great 
Western Sugar and Holly Sugar disclaim all responsibility for the 
fannworker. They claim that they are not the employer, that they 
merely bring him up to Colorado and then it is the sole responsibility 
of the farmer. 

AVe will soon be bringing suit probably in State court to establish 
that particularly the Great Western Sugar Co. as the recruiter and as 
a person who is supplying the money to bring the people up, to supply 
the money to bring the people down and whoso field rej^resentative 
supervises their work during the summer, are employers for the pur- 
pose of the P'air Labor Standards Act, and we will be suing for a 
minimum of $1.30 an hour. 


This becomes important because even in sugar beets where there is 
minimum required by the Secretary of Agricuhure, v.orkers in many 
instances make as little as 50 cents an hour working at minimum rate, 
wliich raises another problem and that problem is that under the 
Sugar Act itself, we feel that the Secretary of Agriculture should 
establish for beet workers as well as cane workers an hourly minimum. 

Senator Mondale. What is the hourly rate for cane workers? 

]Mr. Chase. I belieye it is $1.6S an hour. 

Senator Moxdale. Tliere is no hourly rate established for beets? 

Mr. Chase. Xo. It is an alternatiye rate. It is either the piece rate 
or the hourly rate, but there is no requirement that it be at least the 
hourly rate as there is with cane. 

I don't know why there is a difference between cane and beet except 
perhaps the production is sufficiently different to allow for that. 

Case Xo. 8. — A worker claimed that he was being paid less than a 
minimum wage established bj^ the Secretary of Agriculture. A com- 
plaint has been filed with the ASCS Committee of Otero County. 

There has been great difficulty this year, as in past years, with the 
distinction, if any, between two wage classifications established by 
the Secretary of Agriculture in 7 C.F.R. section 862.10, hoeing and 
hoe-trimming. The former, for which the worker receiyes a minimum 
of $15.50, involyes removing weeds and excess beets with a hoe only. 

The latter, hoe-trimming, for which the worker receives a minimum 
of $18.75, involves removing weeds with a hoe and by hand and re- 
moving excess beets with a hoe only. The problem is that most workers, 
by custom, automatically use their hands for the first operation, un- 
less told to do otherwise by the grower. Even where workers are told 
not to use their hands, growers are ordinarily dissatisfied with the 
work done unless hands are used. 

The result is that many workers are paid at the $15.50 rate when, 
in fact, they are entitled to receive the $18.75 rate. This was part of 
the problem involved in case Xo. 8. 

We have had a lot of cases like this. 

Case Xo. 11 : A sugar beet grower dissatisfied with the work done by 
the farmworkers, withheld half the payment due them. The ASCS 
Committee for Weld County ruled that this was an improper deduc- 
tion, but then went on to agree with the grower that, under the Sugar 
Act of 1948, the grower would not be required to pay the amount due 
until just prior to distribution of the sugar payments, in January. 

It is to be noted that under the Sugar Act of 1948 the worker is not 
guaranteed a minimum wage. His only protection lies in the fact that 
a grower who fails to pay in accordance with the minimum wage 
established bj- the Secretary of Agriculture will be ineligible to receive 
sugar payments under the act. These payments are sufficiently desir- 
able to insure the fact that any grower who is given reason to believe 
that he will lose his payments due to noncompliance with the estab- 
lished wage rate, will come into compliance in order to receive them. 

We have appealed the decision of the ASCS committee to the ex- 
tent that it indicates that this grower, apprised of the fact that his 
deduction is improper, may nevertheless be eligible to receive sugar 
payments so long as he pays the amount due at any time prior to re- 
ceiving the payments. 


It is our contention that under 7 C.F.R. section 862,18, unless pay- 
ment to the worker is made immediately, the grower will be ineligible 
to receive any of his sugar payment an^ nothing that he does between 
now and January will restore his eligibility. 

Thus far, the State ASCS committee has not taken our appeal, indi- 
cating that it wislies more information before it will accept the case. 
Should the State committee persist in refusing to liear the case, claim- 
ing, apparently, tliat there was no decision adverse to us which we can 
appeal, we will then file suit in Federal court against the Secretary of 
Agriculture for a declaratory judgment that, under the facts as stated, 
the grower is ineligible to receive his payments in Januarj% 

Case No. 12. — A worker was paid less than the minimum guaranteed 
by the Secretary of Agriculture and was also not paid at the hourly 
rate for weeding entirely by hand. It is our contention that under 
7 CFR 862.10(d) work not otherwise classified, such as weeding 
entirely by hand in a third weeding, is compensable at the hourly 
rate of $1.65. 

The case will be filed before the ASCS committee for Weld County. 
The farmer has indicated that, should the ASCS committee rule 
against him, he will refuse to pay until January. 

This raises another problem that the regulations are extremely 
vague as to when workers are entitled to $1.60 an hour for unclassified 
jobs. There are two sections of those regulations which appear to be 
inconsistent and nobody at this time seems to know which one applies 
to what, so we will probably loiow fairly soon after ASCS on the 

Case Xo. 13. — A worker felt that he had been shorted on the acreage 
and was paid at a piecework rate for a third hoeing which yielded 
far below $1.65. During negotiations with the grower, an extremely 
unsatisfactory settlement was suggested to which the farmworker 
agreed because he was desperately in need of money, as his wife was 
in the hospital and he being without funds. The money was accepted 
but a claim was filed with the ASCS committee for Boulder County 
on the grounds that the settlement was signed under duress and ought 
not to be binding. 

There has bex^n no disposition of this case to date. 

This raises yet another prol)lem in that these workers are desperate 
financially and if they are required to have to agree to any kind of 
settlement, they will — and if these things are binding, they could be 
precluded from asserting their rights before the proper committees. 

Case No. 14. — For the third hoeing, a farmworker was paid at a 
piecework rate which yielded far less than $1.65 an hour. A claim will 
be filed with the ASCS committee for the difference between that rate 
and $1.65 an hour, the rate to which the worker is entitled under 7 
CFR 862.10(d). 

This farmworker, as countless others in the area, is in great fear of 
retaliation. Specifically, many workers feel that if they file complaints 
or make trouble, they will l)e placed on a blacklist and will no longer 
be recruited by the sugar companies for work in Colorado. 

iVIore immediately, workers who reside in houses supplied by the 
fanner are justifiably afraid that, should they complain, not only will 
they lose their jobs, but their houses as well. Such is the case here. 


and the complaint therefore will not be filed until the work has been 

"We heard this over and over again of farmworkers afraid of black- 
listing. Whether or not this blacklisting goes on, I don't know at this 

Case No. 15. — In 1968 the Gates Rubber Co. began extensive irri- 
gated farming in eastern Colorado in the Joes area. In the summer of 
1968 workers Were paid $20 an acre for thinning, the minimum for 
that operation at that time being $17.25, now $18.75. 

This past winter, when Great Western was recruiting workers for 
Gates for this summer, word w as out that wages at the Gates opera- 
tion were very high. Nothing was said by either Great Western or 
Gates indicating that wages would be less this year than they were 
last year, and when the people arrived, they fully expected to receive 
high wages for their work. They were rather appalled to find out 
that this year Gates had employed mechanical thimiers, thus permit- 
ting Gates to pay only $10 an acre for the firsthand operation. 

A suit is being prepared for filing in district court between Great 
Western and Gates for the difference between $10 and $18.75, the 
latter rate being that to which we believe the workers are entitled in 
the absence of any notice to the contrary. 

Case No. 16. — Here the worker claimed that he should be entitled 
to $15.50 per acre for the job done, although the farmer claimed that 
he had used a mechanical thinner, thus entitling him to pay merely 
$10 an acre. The case was heard by the Montrose County ASCS 
Committee, although their decision has not yet been announced. 

Case No. 17. — A couple of boys had a wage claim of $10.95 for 
work done in onions. Suit was filed in county court and later settled 
at $10.95. This was a rather hollow victory since filing fees and other 
costs, advanced by another agency, exceeded the $10.95 recovered as 

Case No. 18. — A grower ran off a family at gunpoint, not letting 
them finish their work. A complaint wnll be filed in county court for 
lost wages and for assault. 

Case No. 19. — A complaint will be filed in county court for wages 
due for work in pickles. 

Cases No. 20 and No. 21.— Both of these cases involve efforts fo 
have the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Security, 
investigate violations of the Crew Leader Registration Act of 1963, 
7 U.S.C. 2041-2053. These will be discussed in more detail below. 

Case No. 22. — We have here challenged the validity of 7 CFR 862.15, 
permitting payment of workers through crewleaders. Under this sec- 
tion a farmer will be eligible to receive his sugar payments if he can 
establish that the workers have authorized their crewleader to receive 
payments for them and that he, the grower, has paid to the crewleader 
the minimum required by the Secretary of Agriculture. There is no 
further requirement that the grower be able to prove that the workei's 
actually received the minimum wage. 

In this case four minor boys received less than the minimum wage 
while working for a crewleader, although the farmer was able to estab- 
lish that, in fact, he had paid the minimum to the crewleader. 


It was our contention in tlie hearing held before the Otero County 
ASCS committee that the authorization was initiall}^ invalid because 
the minors lacked the capacity to authorize the crewleader to receive 
wao;es for them. It was our further contention that, even if the authori- 
zation should be otherwise valid, the section was invalid as being incon- 
sistent with the Sugar Act of 1948. 

This will be discussed further with reference to case No. 25 below. 
Another issue raised in this case was whetlier the workers should be 
entitled to a higher wage rate on account of the fact that according to 
them, they had been instructed to use their hands. 

Case No. 23. — The Fort Lupton Labor Camp, operated by the Weld 
County Housing Authority, is the largest migrant labor camp in the 
State, housing 202 families. Rent for each of these units is $6 per week, 
but in early June rumors in the camp were that the rent was to be 
raised to $8 per unit on July 1. 

Migrant leaders living within the camp wished to do something to 
protest the expected rise in rent and sought our advice in this regard. 
We suggested that, since the camp was not in compliance with the 
State sanitary standards and regulations for labor camps promulgated 
by the Colorado State Board of Health, the residents of the camp 
could properly withhold payment until such time as the camp was 
brought into compliance. 

We explained that this was a relatively new and untried legal 
rjie(7i7»-, but one worth testing. We further explained that the success 
or failure of the proposed rent strike would depend not on legal theory, 
but on the ability of the camp leaders to bring all of the camp residents 
together to act as a united body. We explained that if the residents 
wished to go ahead with a rent strike, rent should be collected and 
put into an escrow account. 

Organization of the camp was effected by these leaders and, as a 
step in the planned rent strike, residents of the camp filed complaints 
with the State health department, specifying violations of the State 
sanitaiy standards and regulations for labor camps. These complaints 
were fded on June 18. At that time it was learned that the health 
department itself had, on June 16, sent a 30-day letter to the Weld 
County Housing Authority, demanding compliance with the health 

Also on June 18, a group of the residents of the Fort Lupton Labor 
Camp held a peaceful demonstration in front of the camp manager's 
office and presented to liim a list of demands. Copies of both the 
complaints filed with the health department and the list of demands 
are attached to the complaint entitled Valenzuela v. Weld County 
Hoit^'nuj Authority, which I will make a part of the record at a later 

On June 20 a mimeographed notice was passed out in the camp to 
some of tiie residents stating that the labor camp would be closed on 
July 1, Ifi days before the health department had required compliance. 
Following June 20, there were various meetings held for the purpose 
of attempting to raise sufficient revenue to keep the camp open. 

By June 26, however, although much had been said about wanting to 
keep the camp oi)en, nothing had actually been done in that direction. 
It was on June 26. therefore, that suit was filed in Federal district 



court claiming that the motive for closing the camp was to retaliate 
against those resident who had filed complaints with the health 
department and who had made demands upon the camp manager. 

I %yould like at this time to make a copy of the complaint filed in 
this case a part of the record of these hearings. 

Senator Moxdale. We will include these papers at the conclusion 
of your remarks. 

Mr. Chase. Fine. 

Following the filing of the complaint, a stipulation was reached 
with the Weld County Housing Authority to keep the camp open 
until a final disposition of the case. Thus far the camp has remained 
open and neither side has been particularly anxious to set a date for a 
hearing. In all likelihood, with the expiration of the summer, the com- 
plaint will be \vithdrawn. 

The rent strike has been going on. The people have not paid rent 
all sunnner long and the last I heard, no one was being evicted, al- 
though the lawyer got back from vacation and I am fearful that some- 
thing might be going on back in Colorado. 

Cai^e No. 2Ji-. — The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation 
Service Committees before which all wage disputes between farm- 
workers and growers must be heard and determined, must necessarily, 
by Federal statute, be composed entirely of farmers. Moreover, these 
farmers serving on the connnittee are selected entirely by other farmers. 

On July 31, suit was filed in Federal district court against the Secre- 
tay of Agriculture, asking that a three-judge court declare the com- 
position of the ASCS committees to be unconstitutional. 

A copy of the complaint in that case, entitled Salazar v. Hardin, 
No. C-1616, is submitted to be made part of the record of these 

Case No. 25. — As discussed above in case No. 2:2, under 7 CFK 862.15, 
a producer of sugar beets will be eligible to receive his sugar payments 
if he is able to show that workers have authorized a crew leader to 
accept payment for them and that he, the producer, has paid to the 
crew leader the minimum required by the Secretary of Agriculture. 

It is our contention that to the extent that this permits a producer to 
remain eligible to receive sugar payments in cases in which the workers 
themselves received less than the minimum as the result of fraud on the 
part of crew leaders, the regulation is inconsistent with the language 
and the purpose of the Sugar Act of 19-1:8, and is therefore invalid 
and void. 

On July 31 suit was filed in Federal district court asking that such 
a declaratory judgment be issued. This suit is also entitled Salazar v. 
Ilard'ui, No."C-1617, a copy of the complaint of wdiich is hereby made 
a part of the record of these hearings. 

I would like to mention a few of the efforts we have made to have 
the regulation changed. We have documented on various occasions of 
the crew leader skimming money oft' the top. I can relate a personal 
exi^erience that irritated me because it happened to me. 

I worked for a crew lender and was earning 60 cents a row doiiig 
sugar beets. Finally I went back to speak to the farmer 2 months after 
the work ceased and found out the crew leader was ])aid %1 a row in 
addition for overseeins; our work. 


This is very, very common. In my own particular case, that turned 
out to be less than the minimum required by the Secretary of Agri- 
culture. "We didn't know it because we weren't told how many rows 
there wore to the acre and, tlierefore, couldn't figure out if we were 
getting tlie niininium per acre. 

This is the conunon thing crew leaders will do or they will lie to the 
workers about the acreage. 

In 1907, October, I testified before Secretary Freeman in El Paso 
at the interagency hearings, and I related this incident to Secretary 
Freeman and he expressed great shock and horror to learn that crew 
leaders indeed might be less than honest with their workers. I remem- 
ber he asked, "Was this generally true or was the experience you related 
some unique instance?" 

Persons from the audience said it happened throughout the Soutli- 
west and I am sure it is working anywhere there are crew leaders and 
migrant farmworkers. At that time Secretary Freeman vowed that 
something would be done from the very top to correct these abuses. 

In December of that year I again testified at an annual sugar hear- 
ing, and we again talked about these abuses and even went to the point 
of explaining that it is the farmworkers' own self-interest that the 
workers receive whatever the farmer is paying, because if we are going 
to do a 60-cent job, he might as well get $1 a job if that is what he wa^ 

The farmers agreed that although it was some inconvenience to them 
to have to make out several different checks, they would be willing to 
have the requirement that all workers be paid directly and money not 
pass through the hands of the crew leaders. 

Yet the regulations came out for the year lOGD with the same kind 
of thing, permitting payment through crew leaders. People from the 
migratory research project here in Washington testified last year 
at the hearings, asking for the same thing and again the regulations 
in 1909 permit payment through crew leaders. 

We are suing in court and perhaps will win, but if we don't win, 
perhaps it seems to me that the Secretary of Agriculture could adopt 
regulations which would curtail these terrible abuses by crew leaders. 
They go on all the time. 

Senator Moxdale. They show the ability at the Department of 
Agriculture to do certain things they want to do. I see they have got a 
new golf course going up in Mississippi that violates civil rights 
statutes, but somehow they managed to get around those regulations. 
You would think they would be ingenious enough to figure this one out. 

Mr. Chase. You would think so. I would like to mention something 
about the Crew Leader Registration Act. 

We haven't had much experience with it because unfortunately it 
doesn't apply very often and Mr. Foster has already related the 500- 
man-day requirement as something that makes its meaningless. 

We may have some experience with it as we get into some large 
vegetable production that is beginning now in Colorado. I am hope- 
ful that the Department of Labor, upon filing of complaints by us, will 
investigate. They have in one case we filed so far, which was a non- 
farm case. Unfortunately the Wage and Hour Division does not do any 
of its own investigating in the farm areas. 


This is absolutely essential because people again are afraid to file 

I will mention a word about our program this summer, because I 
think it may be more in terms of how legal services can be provided 
to farmworkers. 

It is my belief that our program this summer has, to date, been ex- 
tremely successful. 

Senator Mondale. Was there OEO funding of that program, eft- 
are they volunteers ? 

Mr. Chase. We are funded by VISTA associate lawyers. They are 
all law students. I believe the law students are ideally suited for pro- 
viding service to migrant farmworkers. 

First, the seasonal nature of the caseload militates against the hir- 
ing of full-time attorneys based in any one place. 

Second, the peak period for use of migrant farmworkers in most 
areas coincides with the student vacation period. 

Third, even in States where limited court appearances are not pos- 
sible, much of the legal work to be done on behalf of farmworkers is 
before administrative agencies where students may appear. 

Fourth, in order for a legal servdces program serving farmworkers 
to be effective, the attorneys must be prepared to live and work in 
areas of farmworker concentration. 

Most of our students this summer did live out in the countryside, 
many of them moving from one section of the State to another as the 
work on one crop ended and on another began. Experience has also 
shown that a full-year legal services program concentrates its efforts 
on the permanent population and many legal services programs operat- 
ing in areas of migrant concentration have little or no familiarity with 
the laws pertaining to agricultural labor. For that reason, a team of 
law students especially trained in this area of law can provide a very 
valuable complement to existing legal services. 

One very important caveat to the use of law students in a project 
such as this is that there be assurance of a carryover after the summer; 
that is, that there be someone or some agency who is able to continue 
cases begim during the summer, but still pending in the fall. 

In the case of our program, Colorado Rural Legal Services, Inc., will 
take over any cases still pending at the termination of this project in 
late August. 

I think that the educational value to the students is beyond question. 
Every one of the students participating in this summer's program feels 
that this has been the most valuable experience of their educational 
career thus far. The University of Colorado School of Law has agreed 
to give 2 hours academic credit on a pass-fail basis for this summer's 

In addition to the fieldwork, a seminar-length paper will also be 
required, which, of course, will not be due until sometime in the fall. 

Senator Mondale. What year in law school are your volunteers ? 

Mr. Chase. We have 10 that have finished first year and five that 
have finished second year. 

Senator Mondale, Are they all out in the field a good bit of the time ? 

Mr. Chase. Yes, they are. 

Senator Mondale. And under VISTA their transportation costs 
are paid ? 


Mr. Chase. That is a bit of a problem. VISTA's budaret unfortun- 
ately is not larec enough to adequately provide for travel. 

Senator Moxdale. Are they workino: in the field themselves? 

Mr. Chase. Most of them have one time or another gone out with a 
family working in tlie field. We try to set that u]) during training, 
but unfortunately it rained all week. So they were trained in a lab or 
camp during training sessions. 

Senator ^Ioxdaee. Have j'ou met any resistance from the power 
structure, or efforts to cut off or end the program ? 

Mr. Chase. We haven't met resistance that we expected at the 
outset. We have gotten along very well witli the attorneys and judges 
in the area. Our students can only go before county court judges or in 
discussion with the judges, and no one has been kicked out of court j^et. 

We have been called ''outside agitators" many times. 

Senator Moxdale. You confidently believe you can carry on the 
program in the future ? 

Mr. Chase. Yes. 

Senator Moxdale. There is nothing at this point that would cause 
any jeopardy? There is not a lot of money involved, is there? 

Mr. Chase. Xo, the entire program cost $15,000 for the summer. So 
it is a relatively inexpensive way, I think, to provide effective mobile 
legal services to farmworkers. 

Senator Moxdale. How many migrants are in Colorado at the peak 
time ? 

!Mr. CiL\sE. I would estimate we must have, including the families 
of the migrants, probably 30,000 at the peak. 

Senator Moxdale. Do you see any difference in the attitude of the 
Sugar Act administrators, health and sanitation officials or others, 
tliat are fearful that tliey might be the object of a lawsuit or legal 
proceedings, knowing that your program is underway ? 

]Mr. Chase. The health people have always been fairly good. There 
just weren't enough of them. The sugar people, I really can't say that 
we have gotten anybody to do things institutionally for fear of law- 
suits that they didn't otherwise do. As a matter of fact, we have per- 
haps built up some resistance going before the county committees. 

They sort of think of us as troublemakers whereas they might, had 
the farmworker filed a complaint, given him a hearing. With us, they 
want to teach the people a lesson not to go around messing with the 
outside troublemaker. 

Senator Moxdale. Is it your legal judgment that some of those 
lawsuits are winable ? 

Mr. Chase. Yes: we have actually done fairly well before these 
committees on questions of interpretation of regulations. We have lost 
all cases involving issues in cases which may or may not have some- 
thing to do with it, where the committees are made up solely of farm- 
ers. But I think these are cases that ought to be won by some other 

But we are not Avinning the fact cases. Let me mention two other 

The Crew Leader Registration Act is not enforced at all in the State 
of Colorado. I suppose it is not elsewhere either. We have filed com- 
plaints on two separate occasions with a man, Peter Kiel, who was 


employed by the Department of Labor of the State of Colorado to 
oversee compliance with Crew Leader Registration Act, and we have 
had no response from him to date. 

We have been informed he has undertaken some sort of investiga- 
tion in the eastern part of the State. 

One other problem which seems to be much worse than in past years 
is a great number of wetbacks in the State competing with our own 
workers for scarce jobs. 

They are knowingly and eagerly employed by growers and govern- 
mental officials are conveniently ignorant of what is going on under 
their noses. 

I would like to mention one other thing about the National Labor 
Relations Act. I recounted to you a specific instance involving an 
aborted strike in Colorado. North of Denver there is a large green- 
house operation called Kitayama. He must employ 120 workers during 
peak periods and a year ago last summer they went out on strike. 

Prior to going out on strike, the organizers were fired. When they 
did go out on strike, demands were met as to workers that were still 
remaining in the plant and both initial firings and meeting of demands 
would have constituted unfair labor practices under the act. 

Furthermore, even though the majority of people in the plant did 
not go out on strike, most of the people in the plant would have voted 
for election and the fact that they are precluded from having an 
election, they effectively j^recluded the opportunity for them to have 
an effective union. 

One of the things that we hope to do with Colorado Rural Legal 
Services is contest the constitutionality of the exclusion of farm- 
workers from State and Federal labor regulations. 

Senator Mondale. Is it likely that you will win a suit like that? 
I was once a lawyer myself. 

Mr. Chase. I can't say that it is likely. I think it is a case worth 
bringing. I think what has been happening under equal protection 
clauses is a growmg recognition that when fundamental rights are 
being impaired by classification, there must be some compelling in- 
stance to justify these exclusions. Of course, the issue would be whether 
or not this is purely economic regulation permitting one step at a time 
or are we dealing here with fundamental rights, the rights of workers 
to earn a livelihood, and I think there is some very good language in 
the Shapiro case to show that this is indeed a fundamental right being 
impaired by this exclusion. 

I would like to conclude by saying that I am here not only to plead 
for the farmworker, but also to plead for the continuation of a system 
which is supposed to respond to the justifiable needs of its citizens. 
Farmworkers are beginning to learn that there have been laws passed 
for their protection, and, at the same time that they learn that these 
laws exist, they also learn that they are not enforced. 

Moreover, they travel through this country's affluence and continue 
to live in the same poverty that they have lived in for years and that 
their parents lived through for years before them. The result of all 
this is the same kind of frustration which has erupted in riots in the 


Thus far, the countryside has been relatively cahn. That time is 
drawing to an end unless a committee such as yours responds meaning- 
fully to the just demands of Americas' forgotten people, the migrant 

Senator Moxdale. I wish to commend you for not only a fine state- 
ment, but a program which I think creatively uses the vast talents 
of law students. As you know, some of the best legal literature written 
is found in our law reviews, which are student projects. I have always 
thought law students are about as good as they are ever going to be 
in theory and writing of law. 

It might take some years to develop tools as courtroom lawyers, 
but basic legal issues which you are dealing with here are ones which 
they can deal with about as well, if not better, than the average 
practitioner, particularly when students work with a faculty 

I am im])ressed with wliat you are doing. We are very interested in 
GEO legal services programs and we are trying to get a substantial 
increase of funds to support them. Remarkable efforts such as we 
have at the T^niversity of Minnesota and elsewhere, when law students 
become involved with neighborhood legal services, indigent defense 
work, and other similar efforts while they are in law school, is not 
only valuable in terms of the law and suits being brought, but hope- 
fully the students will learn something about some of these social 

I wish we could see a similar effort in medical schools. I think the 
American Bar Association is showing some signs of understanding 
this, and has done some remarkable work, I am surprised and proud 
to say, in this field. But the American Medical Association is still 
back about 1907, and I think one of the reasons is that medical stu- 
dents aren't being exposed to these human problems. 

I think that is really the issue that surrounded the rebuff of Dr. 
Knowles. He is trying to get out in the ghetto and elsewhere where 
people are not getting benefits of decent medical care. If we can get 
more medical students, for example, involved in health problems, 
while law students are working on legal problems, there would be 
better health, and also medical leaders in the future would be more 
sympathetic and understanding of these problems. 

I can't help but think tliat this kind of program is one which every 
law school ought to have, in this case in dealing with migrants, else- 
where where there are no migrants but there are similar problems. 

Mr. Chase. They could work in all kinds of problems. I think the 
point is very well taken that the students, after experiences such as 
this, are not the same people as they were before. There is a ripening 
effect in terms of what they Avill do thereafter in terms of their own 
private lives. 

Senator Mondale. Are you going to ask for an expansion of this 
program ? 

Mr. Chase. We would hope next year we would plug the program 
into Colorado rural services and at least double it, if not more than 
that. I would like to see very much the same kind of program developed 
in other States through the State law schools to deal with migrants 
coming into those areas during the summertime. 



Senator Mondale. If you have any suggestions about legislation 
that might be helpful in this regard, I would appreciate receiving 
them, because it seems to me this is an institution that you are experi- 
menting with that, one, guarantees quality legal work, which I think 
is important, and second, I expect it is peculiarly protected from, 
interference from the power structure. 

The top law schools and law professors and law students are not 
going to let their work be tam_pered with, and they don't have to, and 
the top university understands the importance of these kinds of pro- 
grams and stands behind them. 

One of the problems with our rural legal services program is that 
local bar associations try to interfere and cut off the j)rograms, or 
better yet, take it over themselves. I think these services only make 
sense if they are dedicated to the service of the client, not somebody 

If you want a greater sense of cynicism in the migrant poor, give 
him a legal service program that is not working for him. It is almost 
better not to have any at all than a corrupt system. 

I think if we could have the sort of program nationally that you 
have in Colorado, that we could get a million dollars in free legal help, 
good legal help, and help that would be not only that of helping the 
poor, but would be a great training process for the lawyers themselves. 

Most of the migrants that you are dealing with probably would not 
claim residence in Colorado ? 

Mr. Chase. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. They live in Texas, probably. Some of them, I 
think you indicated, are illegals from Mexico. 

Mr. Chase. Eight. They are relatively small minority. Almost all 
of our migrant population comes from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas 
with some people working in southern Colorado and northern New 

Senator Mondale. Have you become involved at all in the political 
problem, trying to get those who could claim residency registered and 
voting ? 

Mr. Chase. We have not done that at all. 

Senator Mondale. Do you see much hope for it in Colorado in 
light of the fact that most of them probably have residences elsewhere? 

Mr. Chase. There isn't too much hope. 

Senator Mondale. You do have a permanent Mexican-American 
population in Colorado, don't you ? 

Mr. Chase. Many of them are down in southern Colorado. There 
are many migrant dropouts and there are also people who have been 
there four of five generations, small farm families. 

Senator Mondale. How about their voting habits ? 

Mr. Chase. I was going to mention that the political impotence of 
the migrant in our State reflects political impotency generally of the 
Mexican-American throughout the Southwest and this is certainly 
true in Colorado. 

I don't know how you account for that other than the fact that 
people who have been down under so long rather lose hope in being 
able to do anything through any sort of institutional pattern, such as 
voting or anything else such as that. 

36-513 0— 70— pt. 4A— 13 


Senator ^Iondale. Is there any coniinimity organization underway 
that offers some hope? 

Mr. Chase. There is some economic development going- on in south- 
western Colorado. There is some migrant organization going on in 
the labor camp and it is a continuation of the group of migrants in 
action that enumated from Laredo, and that particular group is going 
to travel throughout the stream. They are splitting off now. 

They are going to have people from the organization brought to 
other States and ^et more people to join this organization, which is 
not now either political or labor in terms of its objectives. I don't know 
what its objectives are except to get more control by migrants them- 
selves of programs that are supposed to be for their benefit. 

They would like to see them funded instead of more bureaucratic 

(Material supplied for the record by Mr, Chase follows :) 


(The University of Colorado Law Review, Volume 40, Number 1, Page 45, Fall, 1967] 



I. The Life 
A. Delta, Colorado 

Although it was still early in the morning, I could feel the sun burn- 
ing a spot on my back through the hole in my tee-shirt. I straightened up, 
wiped my face with my already damp and dirty handkerchief and gazed 
down the long row of sugar beets — about a half a mile of them. Looking 
to either side, the beets on the eighty acre field seemed to mock me, "You 
asked for it, baby, and here it is.** The land beyond the field was treeless 
and flat, with only a farm house and an irrigation ditch making an occa- 
sional bump. Every once in a while a family on its way to church would 
make a trail of dust as it drove down the distant road. For some reason, 
that periodic passing of humanity only increased my feeling of desolation. 

Hunched over, eyes down, looking for weeds (and they were every- 
where), I made my way slowly, ever so slowly, down the row. There's 
one! Get it! I brought the hoe down again and again, harder and harder, 
against the tough root. My hands were already blistered from yesterday, 
and as the hoe came down short into the rocky soil it sent painful shivers 
through my body. Some weeds grew smugly rigjit next to the beet; and, 
after having wiped out a small portion of the crop, I learned that it was 
almost hopeless to use the hoe in such a situation. I began reaching in to 
puU the weeds out with my hands. Some came out; others held as I pulled 
at them. New blisters were forming where the stalks had slipped through 
my grasp, and my hands had turned green. The sun continued to beat 
down on me. 

* Assistant Professor of Law, University of Colorado School ci Law. 

The field experiences recounted in. this article were made possible by a grant 
from the University of Colorado, Office of Educational Experimentation. The 
grant was made for the purpose of permitting me to coQtct materiab for a sem^ 
inar to be taught during the fall semester at the University ci Colorado School of 
Law by Professor J. Dennis Hynes and myself, on Law and Poverty. Because 
of my interest in rural poverty, in general, and the migrant agricultural worker, 
in particular, I decided to H>end the first three weeks of the suouner working as a 
migrant laborer and living in labor camps, the three-week period to be divided 
between Delta, Colorado, and Fort Lupton, Coiondo. The first part of Ibis 
article describes my experiences during this three-week period. 

I wish to express my gratitude to the many persons throughout the stale 
associated with the Colorado Council on Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural 
Workers and Families [hereinafter referred to as the Cirforado Migrant Council}, 
and particularly to Pete Mirelez, Executive Director, and Tom&s Atencio, Associ- 
ate Director, for their invaluable advice and codperatioa m the planning and execu- 
tion ot my research this sumnur. 


After working forwhat^cemcd a long time, I looked up, expecting to 
be well down the row. I had made about twenty feet — twenty feetl The 
anger and frustration vented themselves as I came down harder and 
faster with the hoc. 

At last the end of the row. "Don*t walk back down the row for 
water," that lukewarm water sitting out in the sun in an old Clorox bot- 
tle. "Make yourself work back to it." "But I'm so thirsty .** I started 
working back down the row. Towards the middle of the field, as I came 
down hard on a particularly tenacious weed, I heard and felt a familiar 
snap. I had happened yesterday, too; and I wasn't really sorry. The hoe 
had broken; I could leave the field! But what's the farmer going to say? 
Two hoes in two days? I began to realize that I must not be doing this 
exactly right. I had been working about six hours and had completed 
three and a half rows. At $8.50 per acre,* sixteen rows to the acre, I had 
earned about $1.85, or $.30 an hour. I loaded my tools (broken hoe, 
rusty file, and Clorox jug) in the car, drove by George Hines' (my em- 
ployer) house, and happily, finding no one there, left the broken hoe 
against a tree and headed back to my home — the Holly Sugar Labor 
Camp in Delta, Colorado. 

My hands were sore, I was hot, my house was filthy and I was in a 
strange town, domg strange work — badly — and living in a work camp 
where I was a curiosity. I was overpowered by a feeling of loneliness. 

I had arrived at t^e Holly camp on Saturday afternoon, July 1, 1967. 
As I entered the camp office, George Hines, who grew sugar beets for 
Holly, was paying a family crew of Navajo workers. After tabulating 
their acreage, he made out a check, gave it to them, and they left the 
office. A few seconds after they had left, Mr. Hines turned to his son 
and asked him if that crew hadn't done a particular field, to which his son 
responded that they had. "We forgot to pay them for that," Hines said. 
"That's another hundred dollars we owe them." Whereupon he immed- 
iately left the office, brought back the crew leader, and made out a check 
for the right amount. My first preconception had been shattered within 
five minutes after arriving at the labor camp. I had expected to have 
things clearly and simply aligned, the good guys against the bad guys, the 
worker against the farmer. Well, it wasn't that easy. 

I very briefly explained my purpose to the manager and asked if 
I could stay at the camp. He explained that the camp was only open to 
people already contracted to work for Holly growers and that since I 
didn't have a job with a farmer growing sugar beets for Holly, I couldn't 
stay in the camp. I then turned to George Hines, who had overheard 
all of this, and asked him if I could work for him. I confessed I had had 

1. Pursuant to auihor.ty under 7 U.S.C. § lt3](c}(l) (1964), the Secretary 
of Agricultuie has set ihc minimum piecework rate for weeding beets at $8.50 
per acr\ 32 Fed. Reg. 545.: (1967). 


110 experience weeding beets, that indeed, I didn't even know what a sugar 
beet looked like, but that I was sure I could learn to do it. He reckoned 
as how that was so and said he could use me. Now under contract to work 
for a Holly grower, I again asked the manager if I could stay. Not know- 
ing quite what to do with mc, he said that I could until he had an oppor- 
tunity to check with his superiors on Monday. I was assigned a hoiise 
and then drove out to the fields with Mr. Hines. Mr. Hines was extreme- 
ly interested in my project and asked me several questions about it. 
Again Mr. Hines surprised me, because there was no suspicion or resent- 
ment whatever in his questions, only sincere interest plus tolerant amuse- 
ment. In discussing the plight of the migrant worker I found Mr. Hines 
to have a real, although perhaps paternalistic, sympathy for his workers, 
referring to them over and over again as "poor things." His sympathy, 
however, had a fatalistic quality to it. It was a hard life, but that was 
the way it was — inevitably. 

After a brief introduction to the beets, I was left alone in the field, 
working there for about three and a half hours until I broke my first hoe 
and returned to my new home. 

The Holly Sugar Labor Camp is located in the northwest corner of 
Delta, just across the railroad tracks. Driving into the camp, one comes 
into a dirt lane lined on either side by large trees and five cinder-block 
houses, each containing two living units. About 150 feet to the soutli of 
the entrance road is another row of about five houses. At the east end of 
this 1 50 foot clearing is a large aluminum washroom, and 200 feet north 
of the central road stands another row of houses. This latter section was 
occupied by Spanish-American families and the remainder of the camp 
by Indians. With the exception of one family, all of the Indians were 
Navajo. I am sure the camp was rather attractive many years ago. Even 
now, it is not too unpleasant, although the absence of grass anywhere 
gives it an ovenvhclmingly barren quality. (Why is it that migrants are de- 
nied the simple luxury of grass? In none of the labor camps that I visited 
this summer did I ever see a blade of grass — with the exception of a 
well-kept lawn surrounding the administration building of the Weld 
County Housing Authority in Fort Lupton.) 

My house was in the central part of the camp, in the Indian section. 
The inside had not been cleaned since last occupied (which had appar- 
ently been some time ago), and the former tenants had left a few open 
jars of pickles, chile, and other spicy foodstuffs, the rotting smell of 
which permeated the place. The floor was thick with dust and parti- 
cles of decaying food. 

There were two rooms, each about twelve by eighteen feet. The 
front room contained a large wooden picnic table with benches, a double 
burner gas stove, some enamel cups and plates, a wash bowl, a frying 
pan and sonic eating utensils. (Only families were supplied with refri|- 


crators.) In the rear room were about six army-type cots covered with 
stained, stinking mattresses. 

I spent the first night in the camp sleeping in my car, ostensibly be- 
cause the house was so stuffy, but really because I couldn'jt stand the filth 
and smell. Even after I cleaned the front room of my house and began 
to sleep there, I was sufficiently squeamish that I slept on an air matt- 
ress which I had brought rather than on one of the mattresses provided. 

My source of water was a standpipc in front of the house which the 
children enjoyed playing with during the day, with the result that I usually 
had to vault a small moat when returning from work in the evening. 

The central washroom contained his and her lavatory facilities. In 
the men's room there was a row of about twelve unenclosed toilets to 
the left and several basin-type urinals to the right. This room was filled 
with the stench more usually associated with outhouses. 

There was another room containing sinks and laundry tubs, at the 
end of which was the entrance to the men's shower. The drain in the show- 
er room was plugged and almost the entire floor was covered by water 
thick with filth which one had to walk through to get to a shower. The 
stench from the lavatory found its way into the shower room and the 
combined smell of feces and putrid water rendered taking a shower almost 
intolerable. These, then, were the living quarters at the camp. 

On Monday, during the noon break, I met Al Edwards, Holly's 
local field representative, whose role deserves explanation. HoUy under- 
takes to supply the labor needed by its growers and does so by going 
through the Colorado Department of Employment, Farm Placement 
Service, which recruits for HoUy in Texas^ and on the Navajo reservations. 
Once recruited, the labor either gets to Delta itself (with some financial 
help from Holly) or is transported in buses supplied by Holly (Indian 
labor is usually bused). The workers live in the Holly camp, Holly being 
paid a small amount for board by the fanners employing the labor. It 
is Al Edwards' job, among other things, to place the labor with particular 
growers and then to act as a go-between for the workers and the growers 
throughout the work period in beets — roughly from mid-May through 
late July or early August, The important factor is that once Holly has 
placed labor with a particular grower. Holly's direct responsibility ends. 
It is the farmer who arrives at the camp at 6 a.m. each morning to trans- 
port the workers without cars out to the fields, and who supplies them 
with hoe, file, and water. It is the farmer who drives the workers home 
every evening (perhaps stopping by a store on the way so that they may 
sliop), learns his employees names, sees their children, sees where they 
live, and, when the section has been completed, pays them. The signifi- 

2. This is accomplished through the cooperation of the Texas Department 
of Employment which docs the actual recruiting in Texas. 


cancc of this system will be appreciated when compared, below,' to the 
contractor system utilized elsewhere in the state for furnishing labor not 
already placed and living with individual growers.* 

Al Edwards, aside from his role as farmer-worker intermediary, is 
also directly over the camp manager in responsibility for the operation of 
the camp. He came to see me on Monday to find out what I was doing 
at the camp, and then to determine whether or not I could stay. He was 
very personable and we talked easily, although he obviously had reserva- 
tions about my presence. He explained that there was a policy against 
admitting single men (those traveling without families, either married or 
unmarried) because of a fear of drinking and the disquieting effect they 
might have upon the single maidens. I assured him that I was upright 
and that he had nothing to fear from me. When we parted, he was to 
check with his superior, Robert Ginn, the regional field representative, and 
let me know the verdict on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, Edwards told me that I would have to leave, reiterating 
the reasons given previously. (I had learned by this time, however, that 
other single men had lived and were presently living in camp.) I asked 
if I might speak to Mr. Ginn, myself, before having to leave, and this 
request was granted. 

On Wednesday I went to the office of Robert Ginn in the Holly 
processing plant located near the camp. My demeanor in camp having 
been beyond reproach, I was sure that I would be pcnnitted to remain. 
We discussed my being single and seemed to get over that hurdle. Ginn's 
next objection to my staying was that I was an Anglo. There were two 
races in the camp, he said, and that was already twice as much potential 
trouble as he wished. He specifically talked about the possibility of 
someone picking a fight with rae. This sounded absurd to me, although 
I am sure that to Ginn it was a very real fear. I had begun to make 
friends in the camp, and the last thing in the world that I felt was hostility. 

By this time I began to realize that Edwards' and Ginn's misgivings 
about my presence were not really those which had been articulated, but 
rather concern about who I was and what I was really doing there. I had, 
of course, told both that I was an assistant professor of law at the Uni- 
versity of Colorado School of Law, but had never thought to show any 
identification. Admittedly, I did not quite look the part of a professor. 
At my expense, we called the then Associate Dean of the Law School, 
James Buchanan, who verified my identity and purpose. After promising 
.to stay out of the camp on Saturday night (that is when someone would 
be most likely to fight with me) and drafting and signing a waiver of 

3. See text accompaaying notes 18-20 injra. 

4. It has been estimated that approximately half the agricultural workers 
in Colorado are housed by individual growers on their own properly, the other 
half being housed in labor camps. Telephone interview with TomAs Atencio, as- 
sociate director of the Colorado Migrant Council, October 30, 1967, 


liability in case someone should choose a night other than Saturday, I 
was permitted to remain. 

Life in the camp soon became less lonely, thanks to a remarkable 
man named Frank Pebeahsy who befriended me early during my first 
week in Delta. I had found the Indians, in whose area of the camp I had 
been placed, to be rather wary of me. As mentioned earlier, there was no 
trace of hostility, but merely a bemused distance. I was indeed quite a 
curiosity. Children stared at me when I walked through the camp, and 
adults responded shyly to my greetings. Thus I was very happily surprised, 
when answering a knock at my door one evening, to find Frank had come 
over to say hello and talk with me. 

Frank, as I said, is a remarkable man. He is Comanche, from Okla- 
homa, and married to a wonderful Navajo woman named Mary, who 
generously became my camp mother during my stay in Delta. He has 
completed high school, which is extremely unusual for a worker in the 
migrant stream, and both Frank and Mary speak perfect English, also 
unusual among the adult Indians. They have three sons living with them: 
Ronald, who is five; Frank, Jr., who is fifteen; and Adrian, who is 

Frank and Mary were regarded by most of the Indians in the camp, 
as well as by the camp manager, as the camp leaders. People went to 
them with their troubles, both domestic and those connected with work 
or the camp. I felt privileged and grateful to be their friend. During 
the two weeks I was in Delta, I spent many pleasant evenings either going 
in Frank's pick-up to the drive-in movies with him and his family, and 
usually a couple of other people as well, for some welcome entertainment, 
or just sitting around talking. My nickname was Custer, which I mention 
both because I am proud that they called me by a nickname and because 
it exemplifies their wonderful sense of humor which made being with them 
a lasting pleasure. 

I must also mention the one incident involving the law. A girl of 
seventeen had been out with a couple who had been drinking heavily, 
although she had not. They asked her to drive their car home, and, al- 
though she had never before driven a car, she consented to do so. In the 
process she wrecked the car, injuring the couple. She was arrested for 
careless driving and driving without a license, and faced a maximum of 
six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. We all expected the worst — or 
near to it. 

The incident had occurred prior to my arrival in Delta, but I attended 
the trial. The court-appointed attorney asked the girl several questions, 
tlirough a Navajo interpreter provided by the Colorado Migrant Council, 
in an effort to make sure she fully understood the charges against her and 
the nature of the proceedings. He asked her whether she wished to plead 
guilty or not guilty and she replied, "guilty". I was surprised since the 


attorney had done nothing in the way of a defense, did not appear to banc 
advised her as to how to plead, and then did nothing, before sentencio^ 
to bring out any extenuating circumstances. I was most amazed, however, 
when the district attorney recommended only a small fine and the judjgc 
sentenced her to pay twenty dollars, payable ten dollars a week out of her 
pay. This was as sensitive a handling of such a case by the court acd 
the district attorney as anyone could have wished. Tlie punishment was 
enough to teach her a lesson — for what she had done was serious — aod 
yet was within her power to pay. Again, those from whom I had expected 
harshness had demonstrated mercy. 

I worked the remainder of the first week for Mr. Hines. Haviag 
learned to keep my hoe sharpened by using the file regularly, I was able 
to move faster and to avoid breaking any more hoes. On Monday I 
had started getting company on my field. I was first joined by an Indiai 
family working to my right. The mother, father and daughter worked^, 
and a little boy about five or six stayed with them all day, cntertainiag 
himself as best he could by the side of the field. In an effort to give ham 
an escape from the sun, the father assembled a rather ineffectual make- 
shift lean-to from a blanket and two short sticks, I always wondered vJhy 
they didn't send the child to the school operated by the Colorado Migrant 
Council and finally, towards the end of the week, asked the father. Once 
he was able to understand my question, as he spoke vei-y little English, be 
merely replied that they did not want to, that they wanted the boy wifli 
them. Perhaps this is another example of the Navajo suspicion of tie 
white man.5 

Thursday afternoon we finished the first field and I was given a job 
on another small field belonging to Mr. Hines which was even weedier 
than the first. Working with me on this field were five men from Mexico 
who had only been in this country two years, and who spoke no English.* 

5. The Colorado Migrant Council, a statewide organization funded by fle 
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) which is presently in its first year of 
operation, has established several infant care centers and Head Start schoafe 
throughout the state, one of which is located in Delta. In an area in which Ac 
population to be served is largely Navajo Indian, however, there are no Indiase 
employed on the staff of the Colorado Migrant Council. Mr. Peter Mirelez, Bi 
ccutive Director of the Colorado Migrant Council, e.xplained to me that the rcaaa* 
for this is that originally the Colorado Migrant Council worked out an arranig©' 
ment with the Oflice of Navajo Economic Opportunity (ONEO) whereby Ac 
latter would supply personnel to work with the Colorado Migrant Council ia 
axeas of Indian population. This was vetoed by Washington, however, on Ac 
grounds that ONEO funds were not to be used to implement programs spotwoBod 
by the Colorado Migrant Council; and by then it was too late to make other 

6. In 1963 Congress refused to extend the Agricultural Workers Importatiao 
Act (Mexican), 65 Stat. 119 (1951), commonly known as Public L w 78, Itaa 
causing the importation of Mexican labor ("Braceros") to cease as of December 
31, 1964. Aside from Mexican nationals entering this country illegally ("wet- 
backs*'), at present all agricultural workers in Colorado arc United States citi/ent 


They were (raveling and working without their families and were living 
on the land of a farmer for whom they had been working. 

On Thursday night it rained, and the ground was still wet when we 
came to work on Friday morning, soaking my boots and. trousers as I 
worked down the rows, and causing the hoe to become heavily weighted 
with clinging mud. By 4:30 p.m., we had almost completed the field, 
only about six rows remaining to be done, when it began to rain again. 
That was it; we all started walking off the field. As we were leaving, Mr. 
Hincs arrived to check our progress and was dismayed to see that wc 
(actually, they) were quitting. He had planned to irrigate the next morn- 
ing and wanted the field finished that night, and implored us to stay. 
Since the men spoke no English and Mr. Hines spoke no Spanish, I used 
my meager Spanish and became the interpreter. It would have been all 
right had I only had to translate, but I found that I had to act as censor 
as well. The men wanted more money, Mr. Hines refused, the men said 
he was a cheap "son-of-a-bitch", Mr. Hines asked what they'd said, and 
I replied that they said he was careful about how he spent his money. 
Finally all of us, including Mr. Hines, worked furiously together, finishing 
the field in about fifteen minutes. 

Because the first field was unusually weedy and the second worse, Mr. 
Hincs paid $10 per acre for the first and $1.40 per hour for the second.' 
My wages for the first week, for about forty-two hours of work, came to 

On Monday of the second week I began working with Frank 
Pebcahsy and his family and learned a few things about weeding beets. 
During the height of the afternoon heat the beets wilt and all weeds rising 
above them must be cut down below that level. All others are ignored. 
My new savvy, plus the very important fact that that field was particular- 
ly free of weeds,® enabled me to do two rows at a time, sixteen rows be- 
fore lunch and another sixteen in the afternoon, two acres, $17 a day. 
Aside from the knowledge that I was making good money, I experienced 

7. Under the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c)(1) (1964), an alterna- 
tive to the minimum piecework rate is an hourly minimum of $1.40. See notes 
33-35 infra and accompanying text. 

8. Tliere are two basic hand labor operations involved in the production of 
beets: a first operation of thinning the beets and weeding; and a second weeding, 
in which I was engaged. It is common practice for a worker employed to do 
ihc first stage to make an agreement with the grower that the same worker will 
also do the second weeding. With such assurance, the worker will do an ex- 
tremely careful job at the first stage, making relatively poor wages, but with the 
result that when the second weeding is required the field is particularly "clean" 
(free of weeds) and a much better wage can then be made. This was the case 
in the field in which I was then working, where Frank had done the first weed- 
ing, as compared to Mr. Hincs' field, where a different crew had done the first 
weeding. The impoilant thing to remember is that one cattnot merely look to the 
wages earned with Frank on the second weeding, but must average these in with 
the lower wages earned on (he first stage, in order to get a fair indication of the 
overall average wages. 


a wonderful feeling of freedom and exhilaration in walking quickly and 
easily down the rows, flicking out now and then at occasional weeds. The 
anger, the frustration, the feeling of desolation were gone. Instead, I 
was out under the open sky, my own boss, making a good wage, working 
easily down a field abreast of my friend. 

Our take for five days of work on that field was about $77 apiece. 
With three members of Frank's family working (Adrian was visiting his 
grandmother in Idaho), that is a living wage. If it were always like this, it 
would not be a bad life; but, as I had seen the week before, it was not — 
although conditions, generally, in Delta had been ideal. The weather had 
been almost perfect, with hardly any rain, there was plenty of work and 
not an oversupply of labor, and no contractor had taken anything in the 

Although now very much at home in Delta, I felt I ought to work 
in some other part of the state and, having learned from the farm bulletin 
in the Delta State Employment Office that ample work was available in 
Fort Lupton, I decided that would be a good place to go. On Friday 
evening I said goodbye to Frank, Mary and the children, of each of us 
promising the other that we would meet again, and headed for Fort Lupton. 

B. Fort Lupton 

On Saturday, July 15, 1967, 1 arrived at the Fort Lupton Labor Camp, 
which is owned and operated by the Weld County Housing Authority and 
managed by a Mr. J. L, Rice. Until 1956 the camp was owned by the 
federal government, having been used during the 1930's as a CCC camp 
and during World War II as a concentration camp. In 1956 it was turned 
oyer to Weld County, under the United States Housing Act of 1937,^ to 
be used for low income housing. 

I first spoke to Mr. Rice about staying in the camp, merely saying 
that I planned to work in the fields and needed a place to live. He directed 
me to speak to a woman working in the camp office who, he said, would 
be able to tell me about the availability of housing. I was informed by 
this woman, whose name was Kathy, tliat the only housing open was for 
people who wanted to work pickles.**' I explained that I only planned to 
stay a week, to which she replied that in that case there was nothing 
available, since I would have to be willing to stay for longer than that 
to get into .the pickle housing. 

I was aware that the Peace Corps had leased a large number of 
houses at the Fort Lupton Labor Camp in which to house and train 
over one hundred volunteers for service in Afghanistan. Hoping to some- 
how be squeezed into Peace Coips housing, I went to see Dr. William 
Grlswold, the assistant director of the Peace Corps training program, and 

9. 42 U.S.C. § 1401 (1964). 
10. See note 19 ao4 accompanying text infta. 


v*?kt>laincd my objoc^ives^and my plight.'^ He was extremely interested in my 
project and wished to help me if possible, and ofTered to speak to Mr. 
Rice to sec if anything might be done. He was told by Mr. Rice that I 
ought to speak to Nato Martinez, a contractor in the camp, and ask him 
if I could work on his crew and live in one of the block of houses leased 
for him for his workers." I found Nato, and informed him that I was 
from the University of Colorado, wished to work with the migrants, and 
would like a job with his crew and a place to live. He asked me if I had 
ever worked sugar beets, to which I, feeling rather pleased with myself, 
replied that I had, and was told that I had a job, beginning Monday 
morning at 6:30 a.m. He also told me that on Monday he would find mc 
a place to stay, which he did. 

The Fort Lupton Labor Camp contains about 210 living units, 
most of which are wooden frame structures, each containing one room 
about fourteen by sixteen feet in area in which up to six persons must 
eat and sleep. Army-type cots without mattresses, a small table about 
three feet square, one chair and a two-bumer gas stove are furnished 
in each unit. Water is supplied by outside standpipes and there are central 
washrooms. On the whole, the camp was cleaner than the Holly camp in 
Delta, particularly the bathrooms. I was told, however, by several people 
who had been in the camp in prior years, that the buildings had been 
painted and repaired this year, with the arrival of the Peace Corps, whereas 
in past years conditions were terrible. Even though cleaner, however, 
the facilities provided were far less adequate than those of the Holly 

On Monday morning we drove to a farm north of Erie, about fifteen 
miles south of Fort Lupton, waited while Nato talked with the farmer and 
then drove out to the field of beets. Nato walked out on the field, ex- 
amined it, and came back and told us that the farmer was paying $.60 a 
row. The field was extremely weedy, but more than that, the ground was 
wet, the beets very small and chewed up by hail, and the rows appeared 
to have been planted by someone who'd had a bit too much to drink. They 
were crooked, with large gaps where there were no beets, and other 
sections where the beets became lost, running up into the center section 
between the rows. I am certainly no expert on agriculture, but the differ- 
ence in appearajKc between the beet crop near Delta, where the fields are 
irrigated, and that near Fort Lupton, where by and large the fields arc 
not irrigated, was startling. Although we all grumbled about working on 
such a weedy field for .$.60 a row, we began the task. At one point I 
asked Nato how many rows there were to the acre, to sec if we were 
being paid the minimum set by the United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, and he said he did not know. We finished the field on Wednesday, 

1 1 , See note 1 9 and accompanying text infra. 


working an average of about six hours a day. I completed twenty rows, 
earning $12; those working with me did not do much, if any, better. 

The particular group' 2 that 1 worked with consisted of a grand- 
father, his son, his two grandsons, and a friend of the grandsons. They 
were, as were almost all of the people living in the Fort Lupton Camp, of 
Spanish-American descent and from southern Texas. The crews that I 
observed in the Fort Lupton area seemed to work shorter hours than 
those on the Western Slope, partially, Fm sure, because the crews in the 
East usually had their own transportation and were thus more mobile 
than those on the Western slope who were dependent on the farmer and 
his hours. I believe another reason for the shorter hours and, indeed, for 
a recognizably different attitude toward work, was the fact that the pay 
was so poor and the work so sporadic around Fort Lupton. There was 
little incentive to do anything more than earn enough for the next day or 
two, for it was hardly possible to save any substantial amount of money 
at $.60 or $.75 an hour, or even less. 

When we finished the field on Wednesday, Nato informed us that 
he would have no more work until the cucumber harvest began, and 
that he did not know when that would be. Moreover, when I met Nato 
that evening to get paid he told me that Kathy had told him to inform 
me that I was to leave the camp. That day I had photographed a child 
of nine working in the field with us, an apparent violation of both state" 
and federal''* labor laws, and Nato had mentioned this to Kathy. Since I'd 
planned to leave the following day I was not particularly concerned. 

Wednesday evening I went with Jennifer Taylor and James Green, 
Head Start teachers in Fort Lupton working with the Colorado Migrant 
Council, Roberto Valenzuela, a migrant worker and Marianno Ortiz, a 
former migrant and now a permanent resident of Fort Lupton, to a meet- 
ing of the Weld County Migrant Council in Greeley. Mr. Ortiz, who 
speaks very little English, had first mentioned the meeting, infonning me 
that he was a member of the Weld County Migr?.nt Council and that he 
would not attend any more of their meetings since no one cared whether 
he was there or not. He said he couldn't understand what was happening 
at them anyway. He did agree, however, that if the rest of us went he 
would go too. 

12. In addition to the group with which I worked, there were about twenty- 
five other workers in the field, all supplied by Nato. 

13. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-6-3 (1963) (twelve-year minimum). 

- 14. Sugar Act of 1948. 7 U.S.C. § 1131(a) (1964) (fourteen-year minimum). 
When I later spoke with the farmer who owned the field, see text accompanying 
note 20 infra, he explained that the child's mother had asked if the boy n)ight 
stay with her in the fields, as they were living in housing provided by the farmer 
far from any schools available to the migrant children living in Fort F.upton; and 
unless he could accompany her, there would be no one to watch hWn during the 
day. Although I did see the child working, the farmer explained that the 
boy had not weeded more than twenty feet the entire time the family was in that 
field. The farmer felt the "work" was the only form of recreation available. 


In an interview with the Denver Post'' I was quoted as having said, 
as a result of this meeting in Greeley, that "It [the Weld County Migrant 
Council] is composed of farmers and bureaucrats dedicated to maintain- 
ing the status quo." I went to the meeting at a time when people in the 
camp could not find work, and had not been able to for some time, and 
when food and money amongst the migrants had disappeared.'* The 
situation had become desperate, and I was anxious to know what steps 
would be taken by the Weld County Migrant Council to alleviate the 
terrible conditions. 

Instead, the following transpired. The first topic of discussion was 
the relationship between the Weld County Migrant Council and the Colo- 
rado Migrant Council, the fear being expressed that the former might 
be subsumed within the latter. Next, representatives of the State Depart- 
ment of Education expressed concern over the fact that some children 
aged five, who should have been attending the state operated schools, were 
attending the Head Start schools operated by the Colorado Migrant Coun- 
cil. The plain fact which emerged from this discussion was that these 
state educators were far less concerned over the welfare of the children 
than they were with seeing children, over whom they were supposed to 
have jurisdiction, go somewhere else. The last topic of discussion was the 
proposed stipendcd adult education program sponsored by the Colorado 
Migrant Council, whereby adult migrant workers, after the crops had 
been harvested, were to be paid to attend classes during the day in basic 
education, including reading, writing and arithmetic. Tliis program, al- 
though financed by the Colorado Migrant Council, could not be imple- 
mented in an area unless the local migrant council gave its blessing; and, 
in the case of the Weld County Migrant Council, where the farmers have 
a controlling voice, the program was rejected." One farmer at the meet- 
ing, with unabashed candor, remarked, "What are they [The Colorado 
Migrant Council] trying to do, educate these people so that they will be 
able to get better jobs and leave the fields?" 

If this had been a meeting of the Farm Bureau or some school board, 

15. Denver Post, July 30, 1967, § G, at 6, Col. 5. 

16. In a survey of forty-four families living at the Fort Lupton Labor Camp, 
conducted on July 22, 1967, by Philip Vargas, then a graduate student in sociol- 
ogy at the University of Colorado and now a first-year student at the Harvard Law 
School, and myself, in which we were assisted by Reuben Montoya, Victor 
Saragoza and Rotcrto Valcnzucln, of Fort Lupton, we found the following: only 
iwo families had been working steadily, most had not had work since July 18, 
and fiv« families had had no work in two weeks; only sixteen had received more 
than $1.00 per hour, S1.30 being the highest, and eleven had received $.75 or less 
per hour; one family still had $75, the next affluent had $45, half had very little 
money left, and twenty families had none; only three of the families were receiv- 
ing any help whatever, and that came from the Catholic Church, The Migrant 
Ministry, The G. L Forum in Fort Lupton, and The Head Start teachers placed in 
Fort Lupton. 

17. Later in the su/nmer The Weld County Migrant Council rcverecd this 
decision and accepted the stipendcd adult education program. 


the display of mscnsitivity would have been disappointing; but that this 
is what happened at the meeting of a migrant council, a group supposedly 
established for the welfare of the migrant, was absolutely shocking. 

I had made arrangements Wednesday evening to go out the next 
morning with Roberto Valenzuela to look for work. Roberto, 28, with 
a wife and three children, had not had any work for two weeks because 
of a hand injury,'^ and by Thursday morning had absolutely no money 
and only a little flour left with which to feed his family. I went to his 
house in the labor camp at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning to pick him up 
and was overcome, as I had never been before, by the terrible pathos of 
the way migrant families arc forced to live. There, still sleeping curled 
around one another, were Roberto's three children, aged three, four, and 
six, on a single army cot — with no mattress. 

We drove over to the Brighton employment office, arriving a few 
minutes before it opened at 7:00 a.m. We told the man we would do any 
kind of work, and were directed to sit on chah:s along the wall — and wait. 
During the next half-hour four or five employees of the office and two 
other men looking for work arrived. After waiting for two hours with no 
work requests coming in, we headed back to the State Employment Office 
In Fort Lupton. 

On the way to Fort Lupton we stopped to talk to a crew topping 
onions, and they told us of a beet field west of Fort Lupton where workers 
were needed. Following their directions we got to an extremely weedy field 
with the longest rows I'd ever seen — about two-thirds of a mile — on which 
a family of four were working about two-thirds of the way down tlicir 
first row. They told us that the farmer was paying $.50 a row and that 
it had taken them over an hour to get as far as they had. In other v/ords, 
they were working for less than $.30 an hour. They platuicd to finish 
the row they were on, do one more back, and leave, earning just enough to 
get them by for another day or two. 

Roberto and I left, went back to the Fort Lupton Employment Of- 
fice, found out about another field, and went out and worked on it for 
about three and a half hours. Our combined take was $4.42. Roberto told 
me later that he and his wife went back to the same field on Friday and 
worked on a section containing shorter rows than on the section we had 
worked and made $1.83 between them for another three and half hours 
of work. 

What had happened in Fort Lupton was that for several weeks workers 
had gradually been filling up the labor camp for the cucumber harvest 
which, however, was to be two to three weeks later than usual due to 
heavy rains, and had not yet begun. Beet work was almost finished, 

18. Because Roberto was an agricultural worker, he was not covered by 
either workmen's compensation or unemployment insurance. See notes 80 and 81 
and accompanying text infra. 


thoHgh a few fields remained to be done. The workers were hungry, they 
had no money, and the situation was ripe for exploitation. 

Who was guilty of the exploitation? I cannot say for sure, but per- 
haps an explanation of the way contractors work will provide the basis for 
a calculated guess. Nato Martinez is typical of the labor contractor. He 
was, himself, a migrant worker at one time and has now, in the best 
American tradition, turned entrepreneur. He contacts a crew of fifty or 
sixty workers in Texas and contracts with the Kuner-Empson Company to 
bring them up. Kuner-Empson, then, in addition to providing some 
financial aid in bringing the workers to Colorado, also leases a block of 
houses from the Weld County Housing Authority in which the workers 
Jive rent-free while working cucumbers. Prior to the cucumber harvest, 
when the people work beets, they still are allowed to live rent-free in hous- 
ing leased by Kuner-Empson; the rent is paid either by the Great Western 
Sugar Company or by Kuner-Empson. Once the cucumber harvest begins, 
however, anyone living in Kuner-Empson housing must work cucumbers-^^ 

Prior to the cucumber harvest, during the period when the migrants 
work beets — which is the period with which I have some familiarity — • 
Nato finds work for his crew by being directed to growers through the 
Great Western field man, a counterpart of Holly's Al Edwards in Delta. 
That is the sole extent of Great Western's responsibility; all further ar- 
rangements, the most important being the rate of pay, are made strictly 
between the fanner and Nato. As mentioned cariier, when working for 
Nato he told us that the farmer was paying $.60 per row and that he 

19. Towards the end of July, because of the presence of the Peace Corps and 
the leasing of houses by the pickJe companies, there was no unrestricted housing 
available to workers and thoix families who wished to be able to work whichever 
crop they pleased and pay their own rent, $6 a week. Thus, families arriving at 
(his time who sought housing in the Fort Lupton Labor Camp had to work pickles 
in order to have housing. 

Since the original grant by the United States in 1956 to the Weld County 
Housing Authority specified that such was pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1401, 
1402(1) (1964), limiting the use of the camp to low income housing, it is ques- 
tionable whether the leasing of space for use by the Peace Corps was not violative 
of that grnnt. At the very least, the taking of space in the camp by the Peace 
Corps was certainly insensitive; the resultant housing shortage was almost 

The Weld County Housing AutJiority was created in 1951, pursuant to Colo. 
Rev. Stat. Ann. § 69-6 et seq. (1963), an act perinilling counties to establish 
authorities for the housing of agricultural labor. Tlie Weld County Housing 
Authority "is a public body, corporate and politic, possessing all powers necessary 
to exercise essential governmental functions. . . ." Description by J. L. Rice in 
Colorado Legislative Council, Migratory Labor in Colorado 140 (1962). Since 
action of the Authority is action of the state for purposes of the fourteenth 
amendment of the United States Constitution, there would be a serious constitu- 
tional question under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment if 
the Authority itself were to restrict the use of its facilities only to those willing to 
work a particular crop. If it would be unconstitutional for the Authority to take 
such action, the fiction of is lessees is then unconstitutional. Burton v. Wilming- 
ton Parking Authority, 365 U.S. 715 (1961); Derrington v. Plummer, 240 F.2d 
922 (5lh CIr. 1956). 


didn't know how many rows there were to the acre. He also told me the 
farmer paid him $1.00 for each acre we did, which he indicated was the 
extent of his pay. Recently, however, I went back to sec the farmer that 
I worked for on Nato's crew and learned some interesting facts, as did the 
farmer, whose name, I lcarned,2o is Carl Larson. First, Larson paid Nato 
$2.00 per acre, not $1.00 as Nato claimed. Second, Larson paid Nato 
$1.00 per row, not the $.60 which Nato paid us. Larson was unaware 
of the discrepancy, although he had made no elTort to find out what we 
were actually paid. Third, on the particular field on which we worked, 
there were between nine and twelve rows to the acre, meaning that we 
got paid between $5.40 and $7.20 per acre, far below the minimum set 
by the Department of Agriculture of $8.50 per acre. Tliat particular field 
contained thirty-six acres and approximately 400 rows, resulting in Nato's 
having received about $270.00 for our three days' work. Mr. Larson said 
this amount was more than the profit that he, the grower, would realize 
from the field. 

In addition to the obvious economic disadvantage to the migrant 
farm worker incurred as a result of the exploitation by contractors, there 
is an economic disadvantage to the grosver as well. I recall that Mr. Lar- 
son had been very dissatisfied with the job we had done on his field and 
it was not until I told him what we actually received that he understood 
why our work had been so sloppy. 

Quite apart from tangible economic factors, the complete insulation 
of the farmer from his workers, as a result of the contractor, enables the 
farmer to treat labor as any other commodity, such as seed, which must 
be purchased at the lowest possible price. In Delta on the other hand the 
farmer was forced to respond to his workers as human beings, with the 
result that in one area the growers seemed to be genuinely concerned 
over the plight of the migrant and, in the other, conveniently blind and 
comfortably ignorant. 

In an effort to alleviate at least partially the hunger in Fort Lupton, 
[ called the Weld County Department of Welfare in Greeley to inquire 
into the availability of food stamps'^* for these people. ^2 I was told that 
the head of each family should go to the Greeley welfare oflficc to fill out 
the necessary forms, and that sometime during the following week a case 
worker would make an investigation. After another week or so, if the 
family qualified, the food stamps could be purchased. I suggested that I 

20. While working for Nato, I asked him the name of the farmer for whom 
we were working and he refused to Icll me, saying. "I'm the boss. You don't have 
to know his name." 

21. Food Stamp Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2011-25 (1964). All of the families living in 
the Fort Lupton Labor Camp were ineligible for state welfare because of Colo- 
rado's residency requirements. See note 82 supra. 

22. Although these families were eligible to participate in the food stamp 
program, they were unaware of their eligibility and no ciTort whatever had been 
made by the local welfare office to inform them of the existence of the program. 

36-513 O - 70 - pt. 4A - 14 


bring a busload of people over and was told that that would be quite 
impossible, that the forms were filled out in individual interviews, taking 
about an hour each, and that the size of the staff precluded accommoda- 
tion of more than four families per day. Even should families qualify 
for the stamps, I was told, they would then have to pay an exorbitant 
amount to get them. For example, a family of six, earning $150 between 
them in the previous month, would have to pay $64 for food stamps 
entitling them to purchase $106 worth of food. The notion that members 
of a family being paid daily or bi-weekly should be able to save $64 out 
of $150 earned in a month is absurd. Fortunately, the Department (A 
Agriculture also recognizes this, as I learned from a call to the Denver 
office, and instructs local welfare offices to certify that families be per- 
mitted to purchase stamps on less than a monthly basis, at intervals co- 
incidental with when they are paid down to once a week. 

After much prodding by migrants at a later meeting of the Weld 
County Migrant Council, the Weld County Welfare Department sent 
representatives to the labor camp in Fort Lupton where they spent almost 
two full days signing up families for food stamps. To my knowledge, 
however, no family was permitted to buy stamps more frequently than 
once every two weeks, which still rendered the program inaccessible to 
most inhabitants of the camp.^' 

In late July, Vicente Xinienez, Chairman of the Inter-Agency Com- 
mittee on Mexican-American Affairs, conducted a hearing in Denver on 
the problems of inigrant fann labor. Among those attending tills hearing 
were several of the migrant farm workers from the Fort Lupton Labor 
Camp, myself, and representatives of relevant federal agencies in Den- 
ver, including the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Depart- 
ment of Labor. In 1966 the Fair Labor Standards Act^* was amended to 
cover agricultural employment for the first time, and, as of February 1, 
1967, any employer of agricultural labor using more than 500 man-days^* 
of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year was 

23. Carlos Lczl, area director of the Colorado Migrant Council for North- 
eastern Colorado, informed inc that of the twenty-five families living in the Fort 
Lupton camp certified by welfare as eligible for the program, only three were able 
to purchase the stamps. 

24. 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-19 (Supp. H 1966). 

25. A "man-day" is defined as "any day during which an employee performs 
any agricultural labor for not less than one hour." 29 U.S.C. § 203 (u) (Supp. 11 
1966). At the hearing in Denver, representatives of the Wage and Hour Division 
of the United Slates Department of Labor stated that for purposes of coverage 
under the Fair Labor Stanctirds Act, as amended in 1966, farmers and con- 
tractors would be considered joint employers, with the result that if one were 
covered, so then would be the other. Thus, a farmer who did not meet the 500 man- 
day requirement of 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(6) (Supp. II 1966) and would not, therefore, 
be covered under the Fair Labor St.'\ndards Act, will, if he employs a contractor who 
docs meet the 500 man-day requirement, lose his § 213(aX6) exemption. Rut sre 
note 94 infra for a different inierprctatfon. 


required to pay a minimum wage of $1.00 an hour.^^ This is a protection 
in addition to ihc minimum piece work rates set by the Department of 
Agricylture. Therefore, if the producer is covered by both Acts, the 
worker has his choice of the piece rate minimum under the Sugar Act 
or the hourly minimum under the Fair Labor Standards Act, whichever is 
greater.*' Although most beet workers are aware of the minimuni pic-ce 
rates prescribed under the Sugar Act, none that I talked with had any 
knowledge of the hourly minimum prescribed under the Fair Labor 
Standards Act with the result that any compliance with the Fair Labor 
Standards Act by a grower paying at the piece rate was purely coincidental. 
When the piece rate yielded less than $1.00 per hour, compliance with 
the Fair Labor Standards Act was not demanded and it was certainly 
not offered. 

We Lnformed the representatives from Wage and Hour that everyone 
working out of the Fort Lupton camp had received less than the hourly 
minimum wage and tliey asked that complamts be filed by those then 
present for bacK wages, x iclt at that tirne, assuming tiiat actiori was to 
VtA i^^ap AKrMif ♦w'^ weeks later 1 called Wa'^e and Hour and learned 
that no complaints had been filed and that nothing was being done. I 

Ah.^^^^*^^ *l».-v*- *l«^a. l«r«^ ^^j^.A»t fj%^ .-» »^ .^ e 5 *•« j-1 ..^ l-/-*r-.%i /I frt./^ff* i.t^*»o»^^ in^ii^ tir%^ 

3iiX^s;5iwVi liiui mcjr iiav* iwv^itvvj vsivugti nii-ui •ii--i'.ivjii tv ^ttuivuih. uix-it t-tAs" 

dertaking their own investigation and was told that that would be impos- 
sible witiioui complaints. I explained that since the workers uiu not krsow 
the names of tJic farmers for whom they worked, any complaints would 
have to be made against the contractof. and It was unlikely tliat anyone 
would flit agaiiist a contractor since the workers were dependent on him 
for work and housing. I was told Ihat names of compUiinants would be 

thcnnore, the people in the camp had very Utile faith in filing complaints 
and thought it foolish to lake risks when the likelihood of any satisfac- 
tion was exircriely remote. 

One apparently simple solution to the problem of the migrant fann 
worker is for huii to stay in one piace and get a ii nrfarin job. Let me 
describe, however, the difficulties encountered by Roberto Vaienzuela 
when he tried to do just that, Roberto's education ended with the second 
grade, which imnicdlatcly excludes him from most of the better jobs. He 
had had experience, however, as a truck driver in Texas, and, when 
interviewed in a State Employment Office in Denver, where he went to 
look for a permanent job, he informed them of this experience. He was 
told that unless he could produce references from Colorado employers 
for whom he had diiven, he could not be referred to anyone for a position 
as a truck driver. Since this was obviously impossible, he was told that 
he would hear, within a few days, about opportunities for factory work 

26. 29 U.S.C, § 206(a)(5) (Supo. II 1966). 

27. See 29 U.S.C. § 218 (Sypp. H 1966). 


in Denver. After almost two weeks had gone by with no word from the 
cmploymeni oiTicc, I offered to call to sec what had happened. I was in- 
formed that factory jobs were very scarce and that there was little possi- 
bility in getting one unless Roberto were to come to the office each 
morning. Because it was necessary for Roberto to get whatever work in 
the fields he could, and because of the time and cost of driving to Den- 
ver, ibis could not be done. 

Next, Roberto tried to get a house in the permanent housing section 
of the Fort Lupton Labor Camp. He was first told that such housing was 
only open to persons who had lived in the area for six months or more, a 
policy which effectively excludes all migrants wishing to remain. He was 
later told, however, after obtaijiing a job with the Colorado Migrant 
Council, that when the Peace Corps vacated the p-ermancnt housing it was 
occupying, he couju have a placc. In the nicaniiiiiG, howvver, he had 
found anotlier place to live, A Mr. Heniandez, however, was not so 
fortunate. He also wished to stay in Fort Lupton, had a job through 
February, but was not permitted to stay in the permanent section of the 
labor camp: ^o reason was given for his rejection.^^ 

During the period before Roberto located a residencOj he altcmpted 
to enroll his oldest boy in the Fort Lupton public schoois, but was told 
that as loiig as he continued to live in the migrant section cf tnc labor 
camp his son would have to attend the special migrant school between 
Brighton and Fort Lupton, where Spanish is used extensively in teaching. 
Roberto, however, was vcty anxious that his boy learn to speak English 
ariu, lOf tuui fcuson, tnut rie attcnu ts«c rcKuiar public scuOgJs. But TtC 

During the peak period of 1966, there were approxirnntdy 14,500 
agriciiiturai workers employed in the state of Colorado, ab-out 7,83G of 
whom were migrant workers (from out of state), and the remainder 

Colorado residents.^' 

The totiil liuniber of agricultural workers employed in the stale at 
one time or ai:« ilier during the year, however, is far more than 14,500, 
since dilTorcut psople enter and leave the labor force as work on one crop 
begins and work on another ends. At some time during the summer 
(actually from about May 1 through the middle of November^*') almost 

28. Mr, Hernandez arrived at the Fort Lupton Labor Camp in late July and 
wns one of tliosc who did not wi^h to work picVlcs and was ihcrcfore unable to 
find housing. Since much of the pickle housing was still unoccupied, however, 
pressure was put on Nfr. Rice, by Mr. Hernandez and others, to require the pickle 
companies to rclinqui-^h some of their empty houses. This was accomplished with 
the rciult that Mr. Hcrniindcr, after n-.t:ch diflP.culty, was finally able to obtairt 
housing in the tcmporar>' section of the camp. 

29. Colorado Department of Fmployment, Annual Farm Labor Report 8 
(1966) [hereinafter cited as "Colorado Farm I^abor Report"]. 

30. fd. at app. A, ex. 2. 


iill of these workers were out of work for days or weeks, cither because 
of a crop failure, bad weather conditions, or an over-supply of labor in a 
_particular area. Furthermore, even when jobs were available, almost all 
of these workers at times worked for shamefully low wages. Computing 
the average rate of pay in light of the many days of forced idleness during 
the season, the resulting per diem figure is pitfully low. Roberto Valea- 
zuela estimated his family's average annual income over the past several 
years at well below $2,000. 

In addition to the problem of chronically low wages, there is also the 
problem of housing the migrant workers and their families, who, at a 
conservative estimate based upon the above figures, must number at least 
30,000 within Colorado at some time during the agricultural labor season. 
Although the housing in Delta and Fort Lupton is in many ways inade- 
quate, I saw labor camps in other areas of the state, particularly in the 
Arkansas Valley, that were not fit for animals. I did not have an oppor- 
tunity this summer to see much on-farm housing; from what I have heard 
from others, however, at least some of the on-farm housing is as bad as 
any to be found in the worst labor camps. 

Before discussing possible solutions to the problems of wages and 
housing, there is one other factor which must be considered — the impact 
of mechanization on the migrant farm worker. The number of workers 
employed in Colorado during the peak period has declined steadily from 
16,700 in 1963,^' to the present 14,500; this is at least partially due to in- 
creased mechanization. New machines are being tested for the harvesting 
of tomatoes and pickles,'^ and I saw extensive use of mechanical potato 
harvesters in the San Luis Valley. In an interview with Mr. E, G. Kidder, 
manager of the American Crystal Sugar Company plant in Rocky Ford, 
he predicted that pickles and tomatoes would be mechanized within two 
to three years. He was a bit more cautious in discussing sugar beets, 
saying that herbicides and mechanical diinners would be sufficiently 
developed within "the near future" to avoid the need for hand labor. A 
farmer with whom I talked in Wray, Colorado, however, did not believe 
that mechanical improvements for sugar beet fields would ever be 
sufliciently perfected to replace hand labor. Tliis view was confirmed by 
a discussion with a man who recently resigned from the Great Western 
Sugar Company, after three years as a field man. He said that there had 
been no noticeable improvement in thinners and herbicides within the 
past several years and tliat representations to the contrary by the sugar 
companies are merely to induce farmers, who would like to avoid the 
many problems involved in employing hand labor, to begin or to remain 
in beet production. Hence, mechanization is unlikely to make the migrant 
farm worker's plight a moot question in the foreseeable future. 

31. Id. at 8. 

32. Id. at 24. 


In considering possible solutions to the problems facing migrant 
farm workers, particularly in Colorado, the focus will be on sugar beets, 
for the following reasons. In Colorado, there arc almost four times as 
many workers employed in sugar beet production as in any other crop," 
and, during the peak period, workers in sugar beets account for over 
half the work force;'* there appears to be little likelihood that the number 
of persons employed in sugar beet production will decrease significantly 
in the next several years; and improvements in wages and other working 
conditions in beets are likely to be reflected in similar improvements in 
those associated with other crops. 

A. Wages — Rates 

Under the Sugar Act of 1948,'^ wages for labor in sugar beet pro- 
duction are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture on the basis of 
annual regional hearings.'^ As of 1967, producers of sugar beets arc 
given the option of paying on a time basis ($1.40 per hour) or on a 
piecework basis.'' Payinent of these rates is effectively ensured by re- 
quiring producers to give evidence of compliance as a prerequisite to 
receiving annual sugar payments.'* 

Tlicsc annual hearings, which provide the basis for the wage determin- 
ation, are dominated by sugar processors and producers, although Acting 
Secretary of Agriculture John Schnittker, in his report on the 1967 wage 
determination, docs indicate some representatives of labor did appear at 
the hearings,^^ Given the fact, however, that there is presently no organi- 
zation of sugar beet workers whatsoever, it is hardly likely that the individ- 
ual workers who testified were particularly edective against the larger, 
more sophisticated representation of producers and processors. Further- 
more, the former field man for the Great Western Sugar Company with 
whom I spoke informed me that he was instnicted by his employer to 
bring in the v/ork sheets of four or five workers who had been able to 
earn the highest hourly wage at the prevailing piecework rates; these 
work sheets, together with others produced by other field men, were used 
as evidence at the hearings to show the adequacy of the present rate. Thus, 
the workers are not only prejudiced at the wage hearings by not having 
their interests adequately represented, but also by the fact that what evi- 
dence is presented is often designed to produce an inaccurate conception 

33. In 1966, ddring the peak demand period for labor in sugar beets, 8.600 
workers were employed, as compared with 2,300 in the peak period of potatoes, 
the crop using the next highest amount of labor, fj. at 9. 

34. Id. at 8-9. 

35. 7 U.S.C. §§ 1100-1161 (1964). 

36. 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c)(1) (1964); 7 C.F.R. § 802 (1966); 32 Fed. Reg. 
5458 (1967). 

37. 32 Fed. Reg. 5458 (1967). 

38. 7 U.S.C. § 1131 (1964); 32 Fed. Reg. 5459 (1967). 

39. 32 Fed. Reg. 5460 (1967). 


Labor Peace Act,^'^ wliich would be unnecessary if employers of farm 
labor were in no way afTcctcd by chapter 80. It seems arguable that, 
in addition to those articles of chapter 80 specifically including employers 
"of agricultural labor, the following relevant articles also cover such em- 
ployers: articles 3 (wage equality regardless of sex), 5 (employer's liabil- 
ity), 7 (minimum wages of women and children), 11 (labor relations 
generally), 15 (assignment of wages), 16 (preferred claims), and 21 
(antidiscrimination in employment). Not only does it hardly seem possible 
that the legislature intended to exclude agricultural labor from the benefits 
of these articles, but for it to have done so would probably constitute a 
violation of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitu- 
tion.5*' It is inconceivable that as to these specific articles there could be 
any reasonable basis for such an exclusion. In particular, section 1 of 
article 7 states as follows: 

The welfare of the State of Colorado demands that womeri 
and minors be protected from conditions of labor which have a 
pernicious effect on their health and morals, and it is therefore 
hereby declared . . . that inadequate wages and unsanitary 
conditions of labor exert such pernicious effect.** 

Inadequate wages are dcfmed in article 7 as those "which are inadequate 
to supply the necessary cost of living, and to maintain in health the women 
so employcd."52 j^ jj possible to draw the nccessaiy rational distinction 
— -in light of these objectives — between women employed in agricultural 
labor and those employed elsewhere to constitutionally exclude the former 
from the protections afforded by article 7 of chapter 80?^* 

If, then, women and minors employed in farm labor arc covered by 
article 7, the Industrial Commission of Colorado is required, upon a 
complaint by "twenty-five persons engaged in any occupation in which 
women or minors are employed,"^'* to undertake an investigation to ascer- 
tain whether the wages paid are inadequate; and, regardless of any com- 
plaint, the Commission is required to "ascertain and determine . . . the 
minimum wages sufTicient for living wages for women and minors of 
ordinary ability, including minimum wages sufficient for living wages, 
whether paid according to time rate or piece rate . . . ."^^ 

49. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-4-2(3)(a) (1963). 

50. See Smith v. Cahoon. 283 U.S. 553. 566 (1931); Mayhuc v. City of Plan- 
tation, 375 F.2d 447 (5th Cir. 1967). 

51. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-1 (1963). 

52. Colo, Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-3 (1963). 

53. As further evidence that it was not the intention of the Colorado legisla- 
ture to exclude agricultural labor from coverage under article 7, section 6 specifi- 
cally states that " 'occupation' as used in this article shall be so construed as to 
include any and every vocation, trade, pursuit and industry." Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. 
§ 80-7-6(1) (1963) (emphasis added). 

54. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-4 (1963), 

55. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-5 (1963). 


Once the Commission sets minimum wages for women and minors, 
article 3 of chapter 80 (requiring wage equality regardless of sex),^^ and, 
under certain circumstances, title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, section 
703(a) (1),^^ demand that they also become the minimum wages for 
men employed in agricultural labor. Although it is unlikely that the 
Industrial Commission would set wages at a rate higher than that set 
by the Secretary of Agriculture for sugar bccts,^^ or even any higher 
than the wages required to be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act,^^ 
it is possible. Moreover, there might be employers who are not covered 
by cither of these acts who would be covered under article 7.^" Even if 
an employer should be covered by both federal statutes, there would be 
additional state enforcement machinery available under article 7: the 
failure to pay the minimum wage prescribed by the Industrial Commis- 
sion, at least to women and minors, might result in criminal prosecution;** 
and tlic Industrial Commission is required to investigate complaints and 
undertake whatever proceedings are necessary to enforce payment of 
back wages in cases of violations,^^ xiiese are more than merely academic 

li. IV ages — Enforcement 

Once ihc wages for agricultural workers have been set at a rcabuu- 
able rate cither by the Secretary of Agriculture under the Sugar Act of 
1948, by the Industrial Commission of Colorado under article 7 of chap- 
ter 80 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, or pursuant to the Fair Labor 
Standards Act, there remain two basic problems in relation to wages: 
first, to make sure that the required minimum is actually paid; and, sec- 
ond, that it is received. 

The Sugar Act of 1948 requires, as a condition to receiving sugar 

That all persons employed on the farm in the production ... of 
sugar beets . . . with respect to which an application for payment 
is made shall have been paid in full for all such work, and shall 
have been paid wages therefor at rates not less than tliose 
. . . determined by the Secretary to be fair and reason- 
able . . . ." 

56. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-3-2 (1963). 

57. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(l) (1964). 

58. See note 1 supra. 

59. 29 use. §§ 201-19 (Siipp. II 1966) (SlOO per hour in 1967). 

60. See Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-1-3 (4) (d) (1963) ("employers who em- 
ploy less than four employees regularly" not covered by chapter 80), 

61. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-15 (1963). But see Casey v. People, 139 
Colo. 39, 336 P.2d 308 (1959). 

62. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 80-7-17, -18 (1963). 

63. 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c)(1) (1964). 


of what the average worker is able to make at the present rate. 'I'hc result 
is a minimum piecework rate which, in circumstances when the minimum 
rate is necessary, is inadequate. 

Under favorable working conditions, such as those prevailing this 
summer in Delta, Colorado, the required minimum wage merely provides 
a framework in which the bargaining between the farmer and the worker 
takes place. Workers under these conditions have suflicient bargaining 
power to ensure that minimum piecework rates are paid only when they 
yield an hourly wage at least equal to the hourly minimum of $1.40. If 
the minimum piecework rate yields less than that, experienced workers 
will refuse to work unless a higher piecework rate is paid. And tiiey 
are successful. 

The minimum wage becomes particularly relevaiit and necessary 
when the grower, but for the minimum, would be able to pay less than 
that rate for his labor; such was the situation in Fort Lupton this summer, 
when there was a surplus labor force, most of whom had no savings either 
in money or food, and relatively little work was available. In this at- 
mosphere, a producer with a particularly weedy field will be able to get 
labor for weeding at the $8.50 per acre minimum required for that opera- 
tion, although the hourly yield may be as low as $.75. Yet, that is all 
that is required of the producer to qualify for sugar payments. The ad- 
equacy, then, of minimum wages must not be measured in reference to 
conditions in which they are unnecessary, but in reference to conditions 
in which they arc a necessary protection to the worker; and, under those 
conditions, they are inadequate. 

There are several. ways in which the present wage regulations for 
sugar beets might be improved. In order of desirability, they are as 
follows. First, if the Secretary of Agriculture has determined that $1.40 
per hour is a fair and reasonable hourly wage for working sugar beets, as 
he has for 1967,^° then that is what a worker should get. Present rcgula- 

40. 32 Fed. Reg. 5458 (1967). It should be noted, however, that at $1.40 per 
hour, working 50 weeks for eight hours a day (which is extremely unlikely) a 
worker would have an annual income of $2,800, hardly a living wage. 

On October 26-28, 1967, the Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican American 
Affairs sponsored unprecedented cabinet hearings in El Paso, Texas [liereinafter 
referred to as the "Cabinet Hearings"]. Cabinet members attending were Orville L. 
Freeman, W. Wiilard Wirtz, John W. Gardner. Robert C. Weaver and Sargent 
Shriver, each of whom conducted separate simultaneous hearings at which eight 
pcrsoxvi were invited to testify. Testimony was heard on the afternoon of October 
27, and that evening round tabic discussion groups n^et to discuss the papers thai 
had been presented that day. On the morning of October 28 each discussion group, 
through its chairman, announced specific recommendations agreed upon by the 

I was invited to testify before Secretary of Agriculture Oiville Freeman 
concerning the problems of migrant farm workers in sugar beets. The discussion 
group which considered my presentation recommended to Secretary Freeutan that 
the minimum hourly wage for workers in sugar beets bo raised to $2.00 per hour 
in 1968. 


lions permit the producer to pay cither on an hourly basis, or at a piece- 
work rate, 2nd, as a practical matter, the rate paid is ihc latter.*' The 
best arrangement would be to permit the worker, not the producer, to 
have his choice of the piecework rate or the hourly rate, whichever is 
greater. The next best arrangement would be to require the producer to 
pay at least the hourly minimum wage rate, as is now required by the 
Secretary of Agriculture of producers of sugar cane in Florida.*^ \ thifj 
suggestion, in the absence of a prescribed hourly minimum by the Sec- 
retary of Agriculture, would be at least to require, as a condition to re- 
ceiving sugar payments, proof of compliance with the Fair Labor Stan- 
dards Act" by covered producers,** the burden of proving non-coverage 
to be upon the producer. 

In addition to the federal laws relating to minimum wages for mi- 
grant workers, it is this writer's view that the Industrial Commission of 
Colorado has the authority to establish minimum wages for children and 
minors employed in agricultural labor,*^ although Mr. James M. Shaffer, 
Chairman of the Commission docs not believe that it has such authority."** 
The basis for the latter view is section 80-1-3(4) (d) of the Colorado Re- 
vised Statutes, which states: "This chapter is not intended to apply to 
employers of . . . farm . . . labor. . . ." Perhaps the Icgiolature did not 
intend that chapter 80 apply to employers of farm labor, but its intent 
appears to be wholly inconsistent with other language of the chapter that 
does, quite explicitly, apply to such employers. For example, article 6, 
the Child Labor Law, prohibits the employment of children under twelve 
years of age in agricultural labor;*^ and article 8, covering wages, regulates 
certain payment practices of agricultural labor contractors.*^ On the other 
hand, agricultural labor is explicitly exempted from coverage under the 

41. 32 Fed. Reg. 5460 (1967) (report of Acting Secretary of Agriculture Joha 

42. 7 C.F.R. § 863.18(a)(I)(iii) (1966) ("[T]hc hourly rate of earnings of 
each worker employed on piecework [rates] . . . shall average . . . not less than 
the applicable hourly rate prescribed in . . . this subparagraph.") 

43. 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-19 (Supp. II 1966). See generally notes 24-35 supra 
and accompanying text. 

44. As to which producers are covered, sec note 25 supra. 

45. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-1 et seq. (1963). 

46. Telephone interview in June, 1967. On October 20, 1967, in a later 
telephone interview with Mr. Richard Moss, F.xccutive Sccrclaiy of the Industrial 
Commission, he stated the Commission had never been faced with the problem 
of setting minimum wages for women and minors in agriculture since there had 
never been any complaints. But sec Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-7-5 (1963). He 
further stated that it was his private view that the Commission would have 
authority to set minimum wages for women and minors employed in agriculture 
but that a final determination could only be made after full consideration, which 
would not occur until a complaint had been received. 

Nor would the setting of such minimum wages by the Colorado Industrial 
Commission be in conflict with either the Sugar Act of 1948 or the Fair Labor 
Standards Act. 32 Fed. Reg. 5458 (1966); 29 U.S.C. § 218 (Supp. II 1966). 

47. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-6-3(l)(b) (1963). 

48. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann §§ 80-8-1(7), -2(3), (4) (1963). 



111 the regulations adopted pursuant to this section, the producer is re- 
quired to keep "such wage records as will fully demonstrate that each 
worker has been paid in full in accordance with the requirement of this 
section.*'^* The importance to the producer of receiving sugar payments 
adequately assures compliance on his part in paying the wages required 
of him by law. The problem arises when contractors are used as a 
conduit for payment of these wages to the workers — somehow they de- 
crease in amount between the time the farmer pays and the worker re- 
ceives. But how is it possible for the contractor to pass on an amount to 
the workers which is less than the required minimum, when the regulations 
established by the Secretary of Agriculture require proof by the producer 
that "each worker has been paid in full?" The answer is depressingly 
simple: the requisite proof is merely a signed statement by all the workers 
and the contractor that the former have been paid and the latter has paid 
in full. Proof of the amount paid each worker and the acreage each has 
worked is not required.<^^ The irony is that the solution to the oroblem is 
just as simple. Require the farmer to pay each worker personally. If 
this were made a prerequisite to receiving sugar payments, the worker 
would be effectively assured of receiving a fair wage, assuming that the 
wage rate which has been set is reasonable, and it would not cost the 
producer a penny more than he is now paying. Whatever small administra- 
tive inconvenience this requirement may entail to the producer hardly 
justifies the discrepancy that exists between what the farmer pays and 
what the worker receives when the farmer delegates the responsibility of 
payment to a contractor. 

64. 32 Fed. Reg. 5459 (1966). 
■ 65. When talking with Mr. Larson, we went through his records to verify his 
recollection that he paid the workers $1.00 per row. The only records that he 
had of the field in which I worked was a single sheet signed by all the workers 
indicating that we had received full payment for our work and signed by Nato 
Martinez indicating that he had paid us in full. That, of course, was tnie; but 
it was also meaningless. There was no way to ascertain from these records wheth- 
er we had been paid in full "in accordance with the require/ncnts of" the Sugar 
Act, i.e., the requisite minimum wage. Mr. Larson informed me that the use of 
such a form was the custom and not merely an individual aberration. In Novem- 
ber, 1967, in a telephone interview with Mr. Myron Frit/Jer of the Agricultural 
Stabilization and Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 
in Denver, he stated that if the grower is able to prove that the workers have 
authorized the contractor to collect wages for them and if the amount paid to the 
contractor, divided by the number of acres worked, is equal to or more than the 
required minimum, that is all the proof required under the Act. Nevertheless, I 
am firmly convinced that growers generally do pay the minimum piece work rale 
prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture. 

One apparent solution, then, to the problem of exploitation by the con- 
tractor is to include in the statements signed by the workers the acreage worked 
and the amount paid. This, however, would still be unsatisfactory since I have 
no doubt that if this wei^e required, the contractor would mertly falsify the work 
sheets eventually submitted so they would be consistent with the rate paid by the 


In addition to the conditional payment provisions,'^*^ there is other 
aulhoiily under the Sugar Act of 1948 for the Secretary of Agriculture to 
require the producer to pay each worker directly. Section 1 1 59 of the 
Act empowers the Secretary, after conducting an investigation, "[t]o make 
recommendations with respect to ... (b) the terms and conditions of 
contracts between laborers and producers of sugar beets . . . ."^' 

Another means of enforcing compliance with minimum standards 
of pay would be for the Wage and Hour Division of the United States 
Department of Labor to take an active, rather than its currently passive, 
role in enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act. Given Wage and Hour's 
present attitude, it would be better not to have agricultural labor covered 
under the Fair Labor Standards Act than to have coverage which is 
meaningless. There is nothing which so deservedly places the law in dis- 
repute than to have it clearly violated, the fact of violation brought to the 
attention of the proper authorities, albeit not on the proper forms, and 
then to have nothing whatever done about it. 

Wage and Hour first ought to undertake an educational campaign, 
communicating to producers the extent of coverage of the Fair Labor 
Standards Act, especially the fact that an otherwise exempt farmer might 
lose his exemption by employing a covered contractor.*^^ My impression 
is that unless informed of this legal subtlety, most producers would be 
unaware of it and many would unwittingly violate the Act. Furthermore, 
Wage and Hour ought to advise producers that another edect of consider- 
ing the farmer and contractor as joint employers is that violation of the 
Act by one will also be considered a violation by the other, so that a 
farmer cannot escape liability by merely paying the minimum wage to 
the contractor if the contractor pays less than the minimum to the 

A second program which must be undertaken by the Wage and 
Hour Division is to begin making their own investigations in agricultural 
areas, cither in the fields or in the camps, to ascertain whether or not the 
minimum wage is being paid; and if violations are found, to see to it 
that back wages are forthcoming. To have these programs undertaken 
is agricultural labor's right "unless the recent amendments be splendid 
baubles, thrown out to delude those who deserved fair and generous 
treatment at the hands of the nation. "^^ 

Another recently enacted statute which vies with the Fair Labor 
Standards Act for impotence is the Farni Labor Contractor Registration 
Act of 1963,'" which requires farm labor contractors to obtain a ccitifi- 

66. 7 use. § 1131 (1964)7 

67. 7 U.S.C. § 1159 (1964); 7 C.F.R. § 802.9 (1967). 

68. See note 25 supra. 

69. Civil Rig])ts Cases, 109 US. 3, 48 (1883) (Harlan, J., dissenting), 

70. 7 U.S.C. §§ 2041-2053 (1964), For the ill-fated history of an attempt 
at similar legislation in Coiorado, see Parkinson & Harper, The Law and Migrant 
Agricultural Workers. 38 Dicta 341, 351 (1961). 


cate of Registration from the regional director of the Bureau of Employ- 
ment Security, United States Department of Labor, as a condition to 
engaging in the activities of a fanri labor contractor.^' Grounds for revoca- 
tion of the certificate, or for refusal to issue a renewal, include "[k]nowing- 
ly • • • [giving] false or misleading information to migrant workers con- 
cerning the terms ... of agricultural employment."'^ In addition to sus- 
pension of the certificate, the contractor is also subject to a fine of not 
more than $500 for willful violations of the Act." How is it then, when 
every migrant worker knows the contractor falsely states the piecework 
rate the farmer is supposedly paying, that certificates are never revoked or 
fines imposed? The answer is that renewals are issued as a matter of 
course, without investigations; and investigations would not be conducted 
unless a complaint were filed with an ofilce of the State Employment 
Service. But how is a worker to find out, with the certainty required to 
file a complaint, that misrepresentation has been made to him by the 
contractor? Moreover, for the sam.e reasons workers are reluctant to Hie 
complaints against the contractor for violation of the Fair Labor Standards 
Act, discussed above,'^ they will also be reluctant to file complaints 
against him for violation of the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act. 
Here is a.nother "splendid bauble" which will remain such until the 
Bureau of Employment Security stops waiting to be told about violations 
and goes out to find them.'' 

The foregoing discussion should make it evident that there is a basic 
cancer in the wage system for migrant farm workers, and that cancer 
is the contractor. My experience with Nato Martinez was not the excep- 
tion, but the rule. It is common knowledge among migrant workers 
that the farmer always pays more than the contractor says he pays. The 
only thing I know that the rest of the workers did not, in reference to 
Mr. Larson's field, was how much more. Enforcement of the above 
regulations would make it possible to minimize the contractor's opportim- 
ily for exploitation; the best solution would be to eliminate him entirely. 

The first step in this direction would be for the Colorado Depart- 
ment of Employment, Farm Placement Office, to refuse to recruit workei-s 
through contractors, and recruit only family heads or individual workers. 
Such a policy would have a great impact since the Farm Placement OlTice, 

71. 29 C.F.R. § 40.3 (1966). 

72. 7 U.S.C. § 2044(b)(2) (1964); 29 C.F.R. § 40.10(c)(3) (1966). 

73. 7 U.S.C. § 2048 (1964). 

74. 5^<? text at p. 61 supra. 

75. Perhaps the lack of enforcement of the Farm Labor Contractor Registration 
Act in this area is explained by the fact that the agency entrusted with its en- 
forcement, the Bureau of Employment Security, United Stales Department of 
Labor, has one man for a four-state area, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New 
Mexico, whose job it is to investigate complaints of violations of the Act. Tele- 
phone interview with Mr, Daum of the Bureau of Ixmploymcnt Security, United 
States Department of Labor, Denver Olllce, November 16, 1967. 


in 1967, recruited both interstate and intr^istate for all three sugar 
companies operating in Colorado — Great Western, Holly, and American 
Cr>'stal.'^ In addition to using the Farm Placement Office, Great Western 
and American Crystal do their own recruiting and they could, if they 
would, follow the same policy of refusing to recruit through contractors. 

Furthermore, beyond the initial recruitment, the other sugar com- 
panies could do as Holly Sugar has done in Delta and usurp the function 
of the contractor by having the field man place families or individuals 
with farmers instead of merely working through the contractors as they 
do at present. It is true that this makes things more di^cult for the field 
man and causes some inconvenience to the farmer; but the latter, if for 
no other reason, ought to support such a change because of the economic 
advantages Inherent in dispensing with the parasitic middle man." 

Another way in which contractors could be put out of business 
would be for the state farm employment offices, located in every agri- 
cultural community in Colorado, to begin to serve some useful function. 
These offices could become clearing houses for agricultural labor, hiring 
halls where farmers in need of workers and workers in need of jobs could 
go to find one another. 

If all of the above steps were taken, there would be no need to pro- 
hibit the existence of contractors; it would no longer be possible for them 
to make a living. 

C. Homing 

As I was leaving the labor camp in Fort Lupton, T stopped by the 
office to ask Kathy the reason for my eviction. In the course of our 
conversation, I asked her why the families living in the camp could not 
be furnished with mattresses and decent-sized tables. Her reply was that 
they would slash the mattresses and break the tables. Yet I had just come 
from Delta where these were supplied and were not destroyed. Further- 
more, a new camp built last year in Manznnola has met with such great 
success that a group of farmers in nearby Granada have constructed 
another new camp this year, consisting of seventy-two units. The truth is 
that v;hcn good housing is provided it is cared for; unfortunately, the at- 
titude expressed by Kathy in Fort Lupton reflects the attitude of all too 
many people in this state, which attitude becomes the excuse for providing 
wretched housing. And, when wretched housing is provided, it is cared 
for accordingly, thus further entrenching erroneous preconceptions. 

The State Department of Public Health, in 1962, promulgated 
sanitary standards and regulations for industrial camps pursuant to author- 
ity granted under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 66-1-7(14) (1963),'8 which 

76. Telephone interview wi!h Mr. M. Pachcco of the Farm Placement Office. 
October 20, 1967. 

77. See text accompanying note 20 supra. 

78. See nho Colo. Rev. vStat. Ann. § 66-1-8(5) (196:^). 


regulations apply to living quarters "for five or more seasonal or tempor- 
ary workers engaged in . . . agricultural activities. . . ." These regula- 
tions provide, inter alia, for a separate room for kitchen use, which ob- 
viously is being violated by the Weld County Housing Authority in Fort 
Lupton. The regulations also require that toilet, lavatory, shower and 
laundry facilities be provided, which requirement is being openly violated 
in countless labor camps in the state, particularly many of those located 
in the Arkansas Valley. 

In a telephone interview, William Taylor of the State Department 
of Health very candidly confessed that these regulations are not being 
enforced by the Department, mainly because the legislature has not 
authorized the imposition of any meaningful sanctions against violators.'* 
The only present method of enforcing minimal health standards is to 
condemn the housmg under section 66-1-7(5), which provides for the 
abatement of nuisances, a sanction which the Department of Health is 
reluctant to use because of the view that poor housing is better :han no 
housing at all. This view is questionable since it is obviously to the 
farmer's advantage to have housing for workers; were the threat of 
condemnation a real one, regulations set by the Department would more 
likely be observed.^** 

One other method of enforcing standards set by the Department of 
Health is to be found in the Colorado Farm Labor Report, which states: 
"All employer orders requesting recruitment either intra or interstate were 
required to meet the housing requirements established by the Colorado 
State Department of Public Health."^' Probably the most wretched 
housing to be found anywhere in the state is a place called "Wilkins Vil- 
lage," located north of Las Animas and owned by E. L. Wilkins. This 
housing has not met tlie requirements set by the State Department of 
Health for the past several years, including 1966, the date of the Farm 
Labor Report, although workers and their families have continued to 

79. In Casey v. People, 139 Colo. 89, 336 P.2d 308 (1959), the court held 
that Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 66-2-14 (1953), making it a misdemeanor to know- 
ingly violate a regulation of the Department of Health, was an unconstitutional 
delegation of the power to define a crime to the executive department. For an 
account of an unsuccessful attempt to rectify this defect, see Parkinson & Harper, 
supra note 70, at 350. The provision found objectionable in Cci'iey was carried 
over in Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 66-2-14(4) (1963). See also Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. 
§ 66-1-14(4) (1963). 

80. Mr. Taylor is of the opinion that this is not so. Farmers, he said, even 
under a real threat of condemnation, will not make the improvements necessary 
for compliance with health regulations. He said that this is because farmers arc 
somehow under the impression that if their housing is shut down, facilities for 
the migrants will be found elsewhere, either in town, in tents, or under trees. 
They simply will not, he maintains, spend any money to rehabilitate housing. 

81. Colorado Farm Labor Report 26 (1966). Under the regulations adopted 
pursuant to the Wagner-Peyser Act, 29 U.S.C. § 49 (1964). the federal govern- 
ment requires such a policy by the state employment office. 20 CF.R. § 602.9(d) 


occupy it.^2 Yhc cfTectivcncss of the above-quoted statement of policy 
by the Colorado Department of Employment, Farm Placement Service, 
is to be tested in light of the fact that in 1966 llie Farm Placement 
Service recruited workers for E. L. Wilkins.*' 

What is obviously needed is that the state legislature put some teeth 
in the health laws relating to farm labor camps.^* Until that happens,^'' 
it would be desirable if the sanctions presently available were utilized. 

The Secretary of Agriculture also has authority to require that pro- 
ducers who undertake to provide housing for their workers, as a condition 
to receiving sugar payments, provide housing which is adequate. This 
authority is found under sections 1131(c)(1) (relating to wages) and 
1159 (relating to the contract between the laborer and producer) of the 
Sugar Act of 1948.^^ This authority, however, has not heretofore been 
exercised by the Secretary in the area of housing, a part of the migrant's 
life which is surely as important as the wages he is paid. 

D. Exclusion from Protection Under Federal and State Law 

The major piece of federal legislation from v/hich agricultural labor 
is excluded is the National Labor Relations Act.*^' Wlicthcr or not unions 
are the answer, or even a partial answer, to the problems of the migrant 
farm worker is an extremely complex question which I am not prepared 
to answer. But it is also an irrelevant question in determining whether 
or not the exclusion of agricultural labor from the benefits enjoyed by 
their industrial brethren should be continued. Wliether or not to unionize 
is a decision to be made by the migrant. Whether or not he is to have 
that choice is a decision to be made by Congress. And to have that choice 
is a right v*'hich the agricultural worker has too long been denied. 

On the state level, the agricultural worker is excluded in Colorado 

82. In a letter to Mr. Wilklns of August 28, 1967, from Robert A. Downs, 
Director of the State Migrant Plan tor Public Health Seivices, Mr. Wiikins has been 
instructed not to use the camp after this season unless violations arc corrected. 

83. Telephone interview with Mr. M. Pacheco of the Farm Placement Service, 
October 20, 1967. 

84. "Teeth" in this instance might mean enacting the regulations into law, 
thus avoiding the problem found in Casey; or it might mean giving the Depart- 
ment of Health the power to have violations corrected at the expense of the 
owner. It must be noted, however, that no matter how many teeth are put into 
a hcahh code, enforcement procedures still render this an unsatisfactory method 
of providing decent housing for migrant workers. Much of the housing, in fact, 
is no longer capable of being rehabilitated. What is needed is public housing, or 
private cooperative housing financed through F.H.A. loans, as was done in 
Granada. For an interesting developmcni in low cost housing for agricultural 
workers, sec Life, November 3, 1967, at 88. 

85. Htit see note 79 supra. 

86. 7 U.S.C. §§ 1131(c)(1), 1159 (1964). 

87. 29 U.S.C. § 152(3) (1964). S^e Givens. Lesal Disadvantases of Migratory 
Workers, 16 Lab. L.J. 584, 586-89 (1965), for an argument that the exclusion is 
violative of the due process clause of the fifth amendment of the United States 
Constitution. Sec generally Morris, A\triciiitnrol Labor and National Labor Leg- 


regulations apply to living quarters "for five or more seasonal or tempor- 
ary workers engaged in . . . agricultural activities. . . ." These regula- 
tions provide, inter alia, for a separate room for kitchen use, which ob- 
viously is being violated by the Weld County Housing Authority in Fort 
Lupton. The regulations also require that toilet, lavatory, shower and 
laundry facilities be provided, which requirement is being openly violated 
in countless labor camps in the state, particularly many of those located 
in the Arkansas Valley. 

In a telephone interview, William Taylor of the State Department 
of Health very candidly confessed that these regulations are not being 
enforced by the Department, mainly because the legislature has not 
authorized the imposition of any meaningful sanctions against violators.'^ 
The only present method of enforcing minimal health standards is to 
condemn the housing under section 66-1-7(5), which provides for the 
abatement of nuisances, a sanction which the Department of Health is 
reluctant to use because of the view that poor housing is better .han no 
housing at all. This view is questionable since it is obviously to the 
farmer's advantage to have housing for workers; were the threat of 
condemnation a real one, regulations set by the Department would more 
likely be observed.®^ 

One other method of enforcing standards set by the Department of 
Health is to be found in the Colorado Farm Labor Report, which states: 
"AU employer orders requesting recruitment either intra or interstate were 
required to meet the housing requirements established by the Colorado 
State Department of Public Health."^' Probably the most wretched 
housing to be found anywhere in the state is a place called "Wilkins Vil- 
lage," located north of Las Animas and owned by E. L. Wilkins. ITiis 
housing has not met tlie requirements set by the State Department of 
Health for the past several years, including 1966, the date of the Farm 
Labor Report, although workers and their families have continued to 

79. In Casey v. People, 139 Colo. 89, 336 P.2d 308 (1959), the court held 
that Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 66-2-14 (1953), making it a niistlcnicanor to know- 
ingly violate a regulation of the Department of Health, was an unconstitutional 
delegation of the power to define a crime to the executive department. For an 
account of an unsuccessful attempt to rectify this defect, see Parkinson & Harper, 
supra note 70, at 350. The provision found objectionable in Casey was carried 
over in Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 66-2-14(4) (1963). See oho Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. 
§ 66-1-14(4) (1963). 

80. Mr. Taylor is of the opinion that this is not so. Farmers, he said, even 
under a real threat of condemnation, will not make the improvements necessary 
for compliance with health regulations. He said that this is because farmers are 
somehow under xha impression that if their housing is shut down, facilities for 
the migrants will be found elsewhere, either in town, in tents, or under trees. 
They simply will not, he maintains, spend any money to rehabilitate housing. 

81. Colorado Farm Labor Report 26 (1966). Under the regulations adopted 
pursuant to the Wagner-Peyser Act, 29 U.S.C. § 49 (1964). the federal govern- 
ment requires such a policy by the state employment office. 20 C.F.R. § 602.9(d) 

36-513 O - 70 - pt. 4A - 15 


occupy it.^2 Yh^ effectiveness of the above-quoted statement of policy 
by the Colorado Department of Employment, Farm Placement Service, 
is to be tested in light of the fact that in 1966 tlie Farm Placement 
Service recruited workers for E. L. Wilkins.*' 

What is obviously needed is that the state legislature put some teeth 
in the health laws relating to farm labor camps.^* Until that happens,*'' 
it would be desirable if the sanctions presently available were utilized. 

The Secretary of Agriculture also has authority to require that pro- 
ducers who undertake to provide housing for their workers, as a condition 
to receiving sugar payments, provide housing which is adequate. This 
authority is found under sections 1131(c)(1) (relating to wages) and 
1159 (relating to the contract between the laborer and producer) of the 
Sugar Act of 1948.^^ This authority, however, has not heretofore been 
exercised by the Secretary in the area of housing, a part of the migrant's 
life which is surely as Important as the wages he is paid. 

D. Exclusion from Protection Under Federal and State Law 

The major piece of federal legislation from v/hich agricultural labor 
is excluded is the National Labor Relations Act.^' Wlicthcr or not unions 
are the answer, or even a partial answer, to the problems of the migrant 
farm worker is an extremely complex question which I am not prepared 
to answer. But it is also an irrelevant question in determining whether 
or not the exclusion of agricultural labor from the benefits enjoyed by 
their industrial brethren should be continued. Wl-icthcr or not to unionize 
is a decision to be made by the migrant. Whether or not he is to have 
that choice is a decision to be made by Congress. And to have that choice 
is a right which the agricultural worker has too long been denied. 

On the state level, the agricultural worker is excluded in Colorado 

82. In a letter to Mr. Wilkins of August 28, 1967, from Robert A. Downs, 
Director of the State Migrant Plan for Public Henlth Sei-vices, Mr. Wiikins has bcea 
instructed not to use the camp after this season unless violations are corrected- 

83. Telephone interview with Mr. M. Pacheco of the Farm Placement Service, 
October 20, 1967. 

84. "Teeth" in this instance might mean enacting the regulations into law, 
thus avoiding the problem found in Casey; or it might mean giving the Depart- 
ment of Health the power to have violations corrected at the expense of the 
owner. It must be noted, however, that no matter how many teeth are put into 
a health code, enforcement procedures still render this an unsatisfactory method 
of providing decent housing for migrant workers. Much of the housing, in fact, 
is no longer capable of being rehabilitated. What is needed is public housing, or 
private cooperative bousing financed through K.H.A. loans, as was done in 
Granada. For an interesting development in low cost housing for agricultural 
workers, sec Life, November 3, 1967, at 88. 

85. But see note 79 supra. 

86. 7 U.S.C. §§ 1131(c)(1), 1159 (1964). 

87. 29 U.S.C. § 152(3) (1964). S^e Givens. Lcsal Dismtvanlases of Migratory 
Workers, 16 Lab. L.J. 584, 586-89 (1965), for an argument that the exclusion is 
violative of the due process clause of the fifth amendment of the United States 
Constitution. See s^enerally Morris, Agricultural Lobar and National Labor Leg- 


from the Labor Peace Act,®^ Workmen's Compensation,^^ Employment 
Security (unemployment insurance),^" and, at least as regards the migrant 
worker, Welfare.^' Basically the Labor Peace Act is the state's equivalent 
of the National Labor Relations Act, and the desirability of excluding 
agricultural labor therefrom need not be discussed further. 

As to the remainder of the exclusions, they are all undesirable and 
ought to be ended by the legislature. A few words in reference to Work- 
men's Compensation and Employment Security are, however, in order. 

In September, 1967, I went to Center, in the San Luis Valley, to 
visit Frank Pebeahsy and his family who were there for the potato harvest. 
While there, I had occasion to work for a short period on the back of a 
mechanical potato harvester, reaching in among the rollers to pick out 
weeds. It was obvious that the designer of the machine had been much 
less concerned about the safety of those working on it than its efficiency 
in harvesting potatoes, which was indeed impressive. As more and more 
machines are used in agriculture, more and more workers will be maimed 
or killed; and yet these workers, the least able to afford the casualty, are 
not covered by workmen's compensation. That is shameful. 

As I have attempted to point out, one of the regular features of 
agricultural labor is sporadic employment. For one reason or another 
most workers will have days or weeks during a season without work. 
Yet, those most vulnerable to employment insecurity are excluded from 
unemployment insurance coverage. That is also shameful. 

E. Legal Services 

Not only are the agricultural workers invisible, living out on the 
farms or in secluded labor camps, but they are also silent. This silence 
may be attributed to several factors, one of which is not contentment. 
One reason for the silence is that their voice is not sought by those who 
seek the voice, and the vote, of other segments of the population — the 
politicians. This is because migrant workers, who arc not residents of 
Colorado, cannot vote hcre.^2 Other reasons for the silence are: (1) for 
the most part, agricultural workers arc unaware of the few rights available 

islation, 54 Calif. L. Rev. 1939 (1966); Britton. Open Sky Sweat Shops, I Hous- 
ton L. Rev. 131 (1963); McDanicl & Gordon, Comment: Asricultural Labor Re- 
lations—The Other Farm Problem: A Rebuttal, 15 Stan. L, Rev. 616 (1963); 
Comment, Agricultural Labor Relations — The Other Farm Problem, 14 Stan. L. 
Rev. 120 (1961). 

88. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 80-4-2(3)(a) (1963). 
- 89. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 81-2-6(4) (1963). 

90. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 82-l-3(8)(a) (1963). 

91. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 119-3-8, -9, (state residency requirement of three 
years), 119-3-10 (1963) (county residency requirement of six monllis). Sim- 
ilar residency requirements in Delaware and Connecticut have recently been 
declared unconstitutional. Green v. Department of Pub. Welf.^re, 270 F. Supp. 
173 (D. Del, 1967) (three-judge court); Thompson v. Shapiro, 270 F. Supp. 33i 
(D. Conn. 1967) (three-judge court). 

92. See generally Givens, supra note 87, at 593. 


to them and thus do not complain when tlicse are violated; (2) even 
if aware of the denial of rights, they have, with reason, sufficiently little 
faith in the legal structure to hope for redress; (3) even if they should 
seek redress, language barriers prevent articulation of grievances; (4) there 
is no one who will champion their cause to whom they can turn for 

Colorado is in desperate need of a rural legal assistance program, 
such as the California Rural Legal Assistance program funded by OEO, 
to take an aggressive and creative role in educating the entire rural popu- 
lace generally, and the agricultural workers in particular, as to their legal 
rights; and then to actively seek redress when infringement of these rights 
occurs.^' As this article has pointed out, most of those rights to which 
the agricultural worker is entitled are dependent upon the action of some 
state or federal bureau. It is a fact of life, of which the agricultural work- 
er is only too well aware, that bureaucracies do not act of their own ac- 
cord — but only when pushed to action. It is necessary that legal services 
be made available to the farm worker to perform that function. 

III. Conclusion 

A summary of my proposals is as follows. 

1, The Secretary of Agriculture should require that workers in sugar 
beets be given their choice of the hourly or piece rate minimum, whichever 
is greater; but in no case should the producer be permitted to pay less than 
the hourly minimum. 

2. The Colorado Industrial Commission should set minimum wages 
for women and children employed in agricultural labor. 

93. The author is currently engaged in drafting a proposal to the OEO for the 
funding of such a legal services program, a brief outline of which follows: 

ITie Colorado Migrant Council has established four regional offices in Grand 
Junction, Alamosa, La Junta and Greeley. It was my Lhourlit that a legal services 
program should work very closely with the Council, establishing offices in the 
same areas. The Council has imaginative, aggressive people on its staff who are 
making significant inroads in the areas of community organization and education. 
By establishing regular lines of communication with the Council, the legal services 
prograni would be educated as to the needs of the community it is to serve, have 
clients fed to it by Council employees working in the community, and, by taking 
an active part in the Council's adult education program, have the opportunity 
to apprise people in the community of their legal rights. I have already been 
assured by Pete Mirclcz and Atencio of the Council's complete cooperation 
v/ith a Colorado niral legal assistance program. 

Although the number of attorneys needed requires extensive investigation, 
I envisage about five permanent staff attorneys assigned to each olTice, each 
office also to be supplied with one mobile unit for riding circuit in the region. 
During the summer, with the influx of migrant workers, the staff of each ofTice 
would be augmented by five or six law students from the University of Colorado 
School of Law. 

I would welcome suggestions and comtnents from interested members of the 
bar throughout Colorado. 



3. The Secretary of Agriculture should require producers of sugar 
beets to pay workers directly. 

4. The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department 
of Labor should take a far more active role in enforcing the Fair Labor 
Standards Act, including the education of growers and workers as to the 
scope of the act and independent investigations to determine the existence 
of violations. 

5. The Bureau of Employment Security of the United States Depart- 
ment of Labor should enforce the Fann Labor Contractor Registration 
Act of 1963, particularly that portion of the Act relating to misrepre- 
sentation by the contractor to his workers of the terms of employment, 
by undertaking their own investigations to discover violations. 

6. The Colorado Department of Emplo>Tnent, Farm Placement 
Office, should cease recruiting through contractors and recruit only heads 
of families or individual workers. Those companies which undertake their 
own recruitment should do the same, 

7. Local State Employment Offices ouglit to begin to serve some 
useful function in the area of farm labor by becoming clearing houses 
where farmers in need of workers and workers in need of jobs can go to 
find one another. 

8. The Colorado legislature should enact into law tlic regulations 
applicable to labor camps adopted by the Colorado Department of Health 
so that criminal sanctions would be available to enforce compliance with 
minimal standards of health and decency. 

9. The Colorado Department of Employment, Farm Placement 
Office, should do as it says it does and stop recruiting for growers who do 
not meet the standards set by the Colorado Department of Health for 
the housing of workers. 

10. The Secretary of Agriculture should require that, as a condition 
to receiving sugar payments, producers who undertake to provide housing 
for their workers must provide housing which is adequate. 

11. Congress should amend the National Labor Relations Act so as 
to include agricultural labor . 

12. The Colorado legislature should extend to agricultural labor the 
protections afforded other workers by removing the exemption of agricul- 
tural labor from the Labor Peace Act, Workmen's Compensation and 
Employment Security. 

♦ i3. The Colorado legislature should remove the requirement of 
residency as a condition to eligibility for welfare programs. 

14. The Colorado bar should support and aid in the development 
and implementation of a vital, creative statewide rural legal assistance 

The adoption of these proposals would merely alleviate rather than 
eliminate the dreadful working and living conditions of the migrant work- 


er. Essentially, the plight of the migrant is not a legal problem but an 
economic and social problem. It is economic because the migrant worker 
is engaged in an industry which is chronically ill — agriculture. The mi- 
grant worker merely suffers the most from the illness. It is a social prob- 
le because the migrant, due to a lack of education and training, is con- 
demned to that life of suffering. 

In the long run, the only solution to the problem of the migrant 
worker is the elimination of the institution. Through a combination of 
farm consolidation, increased mechanization and higher wages for the 
relatively few workers that are still needed, the migrant will eventually 
disappear. As farm jobs become more attractive and demand greater 
technical skill, local residents will fill them. 

The major long run problem, a problem hardly touched upon 
in this article, is that of educating and relocating the migrant worker so 
that the deleterious effects of the inevitable displacement of man by 
machine can be minimized. It is a problem, however, which has not been 
entirely ignored. Programs such as the Colorado Migrant Council, which 
concentrate on the education of the migrant and his children, have been 
developed throughout the Southwest. 

Nevertheless, there will be migrant workers in this area for at least 
the next fifteen to twenty years, and the short run problems discussed in 
this article cannot be ignored. There are things wliich can and must be 
done during this period to make the life of the migrant worker and his 
family more bearable. At the Cabinet Hearings in El Paso, Roberto 
Valenzuela testified with me before Secretary Freeman and asked the 
Secretary a particularly poignant question: "Why is it that in a country 
which has so much, our children go hungry?" It is a question which the 
Secretary did not answer, yet it is a question which must be answered. 
There is no excuse for a country as rich as ours to have within it hard 
working people who are so poor.^* 

94. In regard to the joint employer concept as it relates to the coverage of 
agricultural employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act discussed in note 25, supra, 
Mr. Clarence Lundquist, Administrator of the Wage and Hour and Public Contracts 
Divisions of the Department of Labor, in a letter dated December 29, 1967, and 
received immediately prior to publication of this article, takes the following position. 
The only effect of the joint employer concept is that when a laborer is employed 
jointly by a farmer and a contractor, the man-days worked will be counted against 
each employer in determining whether or not he has met the 500 man-day require- 
ment. If the farmer is not himself covered, however, he will not be liable for non- 
compliance by a contractor joint employer who is. But see 29 C.F.R. §79L2 (1967) 
("all joint employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, for compliance 
with all of the applicable provisions of the act"). 


Education in Action Proposal 

Most people today are aware that migrant farm workers are paid dismally 
low wages and live in wretched housing. These, of course, are economic and social 
problems. What most people are not aware of, however, is that these economic 
and social problems may in part be legal problems as well. 

In the course of preparing an article on the subject of migrant farm workers 
and the law, a copy of which is attached hereto, the author identified the following 
relevant federal and state laws : 

1. Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended in 1966 (Federal), providing for 
minimum hourly wages for agricultural workers under certain conditions; 

2. Federal Sugar Act of 1948, providing for minimum wages for workers 
employed in the production of sugar beets, the major crop utilizing hand labor 
in Colorado ; 

3. Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963 (Federal), providing for 
protection of farmworkers against certain abuses by labor contractors; 

4. Colorado labor legislation also providing for limited regulation of labor 
contractors ; 

5. Colorado labor legislation which arguably authorizes the establishing of 
minimum wages for women and children employed in agriculture ; 

6. Wagner-Peyser Act (Federal), providing that workers cannot be recruited 
interstate unless adequate housing is provided by employers for whom workers 
are recruited ; 

7. Colorado housing regulations applicable to migrant worker housing; 

8. Federal Food Stamp Program, providing for limited welfare benefits for 
migrants, excluded because of residency requirements from other welfare. 

This is a striking number of laws which, according to their terms, give sub- 
stantial protection to a group of people who would appear to have relatively lit- 
tle influence in the United States Congress and the Colorado legislature ; and yet 
they were passed. The existence of the laws, however, does not give an adequate 
picture of the relationship of the migrant farm worker and his government. As 
this writer has discovered numerous times in recent years, most dramatically in 
Mississippi in 1965 and in the beet fields and labor camps of Colorado in the 
summer of 1966, there is often a very large gap between legislation and its 

Research done thus far into relations between law and the migrant worker 
justifies two observations about the laws mentioned above. They all depend for 
enforcement upon the action of administrative agencies, both federal and state, 
including: the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour and Public 
Contracts Divisions and the Bureau of Employment Security ; the United States 
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Ser- 
vice (ASCS) ; the Industrial Commission of Colorado; the Colorado Department 
of Employment, Farm Placement Service ; the Colorado Department of Public 
Health ; and the Colorado Department of Public Welfare. The second, more 
important, observation is that of those laws regulating the conduct of others, 
which include all of the laws mentioned above except numbers 5 and 8, all are 
notoriously violated ; and, to my knowledge, there has been no administrative en- 
forcement whatever, with the exception of two labor camps closed last summer 
by the Colorado Department of Health. 

In that portion of the enclosed article which discusses legal services, the 
author states : 

"Not only are the agricultural workers invisible, living out on the farms or in 
secluded labor camps, but they are also silent. This silence may be attributed to 
several factors, one of which is not contentment. One reason for the silence is 
that their voice is not sought by those who seek the voice, and the vote, of other 
segments of the population — the politicians. This is because migrant workers, 
who are not residents of Colorado, cannot vote here. Other reasons for the silence 
are: (1) for the most part, agricultural workers are unaware of the few rights 
available to them and thus do not complain when these are violated; (2) even if 
aware of the denial of rights, they have, with reason, suflSciently little faith in the 
legal structure to hope for redress ; (3) even if they should seek redress, language 
barriers prevent articulation of grievances; (4) there is no one who will cham- 
pion their cause to whom they can turn for satisfaction." 

The above quotation may explain the silence, but it does not indicate what 
might occur if the silence were broken. That is precisely what we hope will be 


learned this summer by implementation of this proposal. The research done 
thus far has been mainly concerned Nvith identification of legal problems, research 
that has certainly not been completed. Enough has been done, however, to war- 
rant a new project which is solution rather than problem oriented — although 
there is no doubt that as we move toward solutions other legal problems will 
either be discovered or generated. For example, last summer a crew of migrant 
workers called the county ASCS office in Greeley, Colorado, to report an alleged 
violation of the Federal Sugar Act. They learned that no complaint would be 
acted upon luiless presented in writing, a rather impractical requirement in view 
of the lack of sophistication and attitudes of the people for whom the legisla- 
tion was enacted. They further learned that even after receipt of a written com- 
plaint, the ASCS director could not do anything until authorized to do so by 
his local ASCS committee. Since the crew was departing for Nebraska in two 
days, attitudes towards the law already present were further entrenched. The 
requirement of ASCS committee approval becomes even more onerous when the 
composition of the committee becomes known. Michael Enwall, now a third- 
year student at the University of Colorado School of Law, worked last summer 
as a VISTA associate in conjunction with the Colorado Migrant Council. He 
quickly di.sccvered that he was arguing a case on behalf of migrants against a 
farmer before an ASCS committee entirely and necessarily composed of farmers 
eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture payments. 

In order that further research be carried on in the area of identification of 
legal problems relating to migrant farm workers and that the solution of those 
problems already identified be begun in earnest, it is proposed that the Uni- 
versity of Colorado School of Law be the recipient of an Education in Action 

With this grant, fifteen law students, \mder close faculty supervision, will ho 
place<l as VISTA associates into the migrant stream for a period of ten weeks. 
It will be their responsibility to create further legal tools available for the 
alleviation of the apparent economic and social problems facing migrants. They 
will also work with those laws already identified in an effort to try to make 
them do the job for which they were enacted. Since all of the agencies men- 
tioned above are complaint oriented, this will mean that the students will pri- 
marily be involvel in case documentation, filing complaints with the approi>riate 
agency, and then documenting agency action or, as is more likely, agency inaction. 
It may be that the students will find it most efficient for each, or a couple of 
them, to concentrate on a particular law and corresponding agency. Because 
they will not all be in the same place, however, this kind of si>ecialization may 
prove impractical. Each student, through orientation, will be responsible for im- 
plementation of all of the laws mentioned above. 

It is anticipated that there may be some short run benefits accruing to those 
migrants who have complaints adjudicated in their favor. It is more likely, 
however, from what we already know but have not documented, that the 
benefits to the migrants will be long run benefits. There is reason to believe that 
either all of the relevant agencies are either so hopelessly understaffed or are so 
grower oriented (as. for example, the case of the ASCS committees), that agency 
enforcement, even with prodding, will not differ substantially from that of 
previous years. By documenting such inaction and by proper dissemination of 
such documentation to media, legislators and cabinet officials, it is hoped that tlie 
laws can be made to do what the people of this country and state thought they 
would do when they were<l. In addition, when appropriate, agenc.v inaction 
or comi)osition might be challenged in the courts. 

For law .students to accomplish goals, it is essential that they become 
tru.sted member.s of the migrant community. Our students must depend upon 
willing cooi>eration from those who are suffering from the present lack of 
enforcement. The only way in which this kind of relationship can occur is for 
the law students to become part of the connnunit.v itself, that is, live with 
the migrants and their families. The group will be divided between North- 
eastern Colorado and the Arkansas Valley, and, insofar as is possible, will be 
hou.sed in labor camps. Eventually this alone would be a sufficient way for law 
students to gain the kind of acceptance necessary for their work. With an 
introduction into the community, however, the process is instantaneous. Our 
law students will gain this introduction by working in conjunction with the 
VISTA as.soc'iates employed by the Colorado Migrant Council, many of whom 
will be hired directly out of the migrant .stream. Further, our law .students, b.y 
alerting these VISTA associates as to the kinds of problems to look for, can 


receive invaluable assistance from tliem in the documentation of violations of the 
various state and federal laws. 

Although the main emphasis of our program will be as set forth above, the 
law students will be officially associated with the University of Colorado Sobool 
of Law Legal Aid and Defender Program, which, by court rule in Colorado, will 
permit them under certain circumstances to appear as attorneys in county courts. 
It will be understood from tlie outset that our students are to concentrate on laws 
relating to migrants as migrants. They are not to become bogged down in divorce 
work or in handling traffic offenses or misdemeanors. It may be necessary, how- 
ever, in order that community acceptance be realized, that crises be dealt with 
in whatever form they take. Should court appearances be necessary the faculty 
director and a member of the Colorado Bar will be present at all such occasions. 

Prior to undertaking their ten week summer field assignments, the law student 
as.^iociates will participate in the week long orientation program conducted by 
the Colorado Migrant Council for its VISTA associates. Len Avila, of the Colorado 
Migrant Council, has given assurance that such oooiieration will be possible. In 
this way our students will be familiarized with the socio-economic problems 
facing niiigrant workers and will have an opportunity to become acquainted with 
the other VISTA associates with whom they will be working throughout the 
summei*. There will also be a legal orientation program conducted by the faculty 
director and a practicing attorney in which the students will be informed of the 
kinds of legal problems, already identified, which typically plague migrant farm 
workers and how these problems might practically be dealt with. The latter 
program would probably require another two to three days. 

It is essential, not only from an educational standpoint but also because of 
the need for direction and coordination of efforts, that the law associates be 
carefully supervised in their work. A member of the faculty of the University of 
Colorado School of Law will serve as full time director of the a.ssociate program, 
living probably in Northeastern Colorado, in or near the town of Fort Lupton, 
the site of the state's largest farm labor camp. Weekly seminars with the faculty 
director will be held in each region (Northeastern Colorado and the Arkansas 
Valley), at which time the group will discuss and evaluate what its members 
have been doing. Further, information will be shared and .strategies for future 
action will be planned. At least once a month the entire group will meet together. 
Although students will initially be placed in the two areas stated above, it is 
important that the program maintain flexibility. If a crisis develops in one of 
the areas covered, or, indeed, in one of the areas n{)t covered, such as the San Luis 
Valley, students will be dispatched for short i>eriods of time to meet immediate 
needs. It may also prove desirable to have some small number of students at the 
Law School in Boulder, on a rotating l>asis. as a research backup to the field 

Between the end of the sunmier and the middle of the fall semester each par- 
ticipating student will submit a paper of seminar length (thirty or more pages) 
and quality in which he will analyze the problem with which lie has dealt over 
the summer, evaluating his own performance. In addition, a major emphasis of 
the paper will be to propose changes in the law and administrative structure 
which would close the gap between affluence and poverty and legislative enact- 
ment and administrative non-enforcement. 

Aside from the service that hopefully our students will be able to provide to 
migrant farm workers, they will also neces.sarily realize educational benefits to 
themselves. They will learn a body of law in its application. They will learn how 
to extract legal problems from socio-economic problems. They will learn how to 
prepare a case. They will learn how to train laymen to be alert to legal problems. 
They will learn that laws in books are not law at all unless applied, and that 
often they are not. They will gain exi)erience in supervised research and writing. 
They will learn that there are ills in this society which cannot be cured by 
laws alone. They will learn to know a forgotten* people and gain a sensitivity 
to the needs of the impoverished in this country that hopefully will remain with 
them in whatever they do after earning their degrees. The University of Colorado 
School of Law i-ecognizes the unique educational opportunities available to its 
students through participation in this program and has agreed to grant two 
hours of non-graded academic credit to those students who do so. 

Tliose student who worked at VISTA associates during the summer will also 
be required to commit themselves to at least one semester's participation in the 
School of Law's Legal Aid and Defender Program. In this way some future 
community involvement will be assured. 


In the United States District Court 

For the District of Colorado 





1. This is a civil action brought by plaintiffs on their own behalf as individuals 
and on l)ehalf of all other sugar beet workers for a declaratory judgment pur- 
suant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, that 7 U.S.C. § 1135, on its face and as applietl by 
the Secretary of Agrieulutre, is violative of the due process clause of the fifth 
amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs also seek a permanent 
injunction against the Secretary of Agriculture conducting any further pro- 
ceedings pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 1135 to resolve wage disputes arising under the 
Sugar Act of 1948, and an order compelling the Secretary of Agriculture to es- 
tablish new procedures for the resolution of wage disputes arising under 7 U-S.C. 
§ 1131(c) (1), assuring the parties thereto due process as required by the fifth 
amendment to the United States Constitution, 

2. Jurisdiction is conferred upon this court by 7 U.S.C. § 1154 ; 28 U.S.C. § 1361 
and 28 U.S.C. § 2282. 

3. The plaintiffs are farm -workers who have been employed regularly in the 
production of sugar beets. They are currently residents of Colorado and citizens 
of the United States. 

4. Plaintiffs are members of and bring suit on behalf of all farm workers 
engaged in the production of sugar beets who may have a wage dispute under 
7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1). Plaintiffs and said other farm workers constitute a class 
for the purposes of this .suit. The meml^ers of this class are so numerous as to 
make it impractical to bring them all before this Court. There are common 
questions of law and fact affecting the rights of the members of said class with 
respect to defendant herein, and common relief is sought pursuant to Rule 23 
Fed. R. Civ. P. 

5. Defendant is the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture 
and is responsible for the administration of the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. 
§§ 1100 et .seq., particularly 7 U.S.C. § 1135, pursuant to which, on information 
and belief, the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service committees 
were delegated authority to determine wage disputes arising under the Sugar 
Act of 1948. 


6. Under 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1), farm workers employed in the production of 
sugar beets are entitled to receive a minimum Avage by virtue of the fact that 
any producer of sugar beets who fails to pay workers at the rate establishetl by 
the Secretary of Agriculture becomes ineligible to receive sugar payments pur- 
suant to the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1131-37. 

7. On information and belief, sugar payments are sufficiently valuable to a 
producer of sugar beets that any such producer who is informed by the proi)erly 
constituted authority that he will be ineligible to receive said payments due to 
noncompliance with the minimum wage standard will immediately do whatever 
is necessary to come into compliance with the regulations established by the Sec- 
retary of Agriculture so as to again become eligible to receive sugar payments. 

8. Under 7 U.S.C. § 1135, the defendant Secretary of Agriculture is authorized 
to utilize "local committees of sugar beet or sugar cane producers, state and 
county agriculture con.servation committees, or the Agricultural p]xtensi(>n Serv- 
ice and other agencies" to enforce the provisions of the Sugar Act of 1948 relat- 
ing to the establishment of a minimum wage. 

9. Under 7 C.F.R. § 862.17, the defendant Secretary of Agriculture has desig- 
nated the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) County 
Office as the body to hear wage claims. 

10. Under 16 U.S.C. §590h(b), the committees known as the Agricultural 
Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) County Committee must neces- 
sarily be comprised of "three members who are farmers [participating or co- 
operating in programs admini-stered unde this section] in the county." 

11. Any wage disputes between growers and farm workers arising under the 
Sugar Act of 1948 will therefore be heard and determined by a committee com- 
posed necessarily exclusively of growers. 


12. When the interest of the committee hearing a dispute are necessarily 
aligned with one of the parties, in opposition to the other, a decision adverse to 
the latter party — the claimant farm worker — denying to him a claim for wages, 
constitutes a denial of due process in contravention of the fifth amendment to 
the United States Constitution, thus rendering the rights granted to him under 
the Sugar Act of 1948 ineffective and unenforceable. 

13. Plaintiffs and the other members of the class represented by them have had 
wage disputes decided in the past by ASCS committees in contravention of their 
constitutional rights and continued deprivation of such rights is threatened and 

14. 7 U.S.C. § 1135 is also unconstitutional on its face since the other alter- 
natives available to the Secretary of Agriculture for determination of wage dis- 
putes — "local committees of sugar beet or sugar cane producers ... or the 
Agricultural Extension Service and other agencies" — suffer the same constitu- 
tional defects as does the Agricultural Stabilization and Consen-ation Service 

15. If the ASCS committees lack the requisite impartiality to hear and deter- 
mine disputes between farm workers engaged in the production of sugar beets 
and producers of sugar beets to meet the standards of due process required by 
the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution, a fortiori, committees 
composed of producers of sugar beets could not constitutionally hear and deter- 
mine such disputes. 

16. On information and belief, the Agricultural Extension Service functions 
solely for the benefit of growers. 

17. Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. §590h(b) the county agricultural extension agent 
is at least an ex officio member, if not secretary, of the county ASCS committee. 

18. Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 590h(b) the State director of the Agricultural Ex- 
tension Service is an ex oflicio member of the State ASCS committee. 

19. On information and belief, the Agricultural Extension Service is sufficiently 
aligned with the interests of growers so as to render impossible an imi)artial 
decision on its part in a dispute between a farm worker and a grower. 

20. 7 U.S.C. § 1135 is therefor unconstitutional on its face since neither the 
ASCS committees, nor committees of sugar beet producers, nor the Agricultural 
Extension Service have the requisite impartiality to hear and determine dis- 
putes between farm workers and producers of sugar beets to meet the standards 
of due process required by the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution. 


21. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege paragraphs 1 through 20, inclusive, with the 
same force and effects as if fully set forth herein. 

22. Under 16 U.S.C. §590h(b) only farmers are eligible to vote, or to serve 
on the ASCS committees, the body hearing and determining wage disputes 
pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 1131(e) (1), thus arbitrarily excluding farm workers from 
either serving on or participating in the selec-tion of the ASCS committees, the 
body selected by the defendant Secretary of Agriculture to hear and determine 
wage disputes involving said farm w^orkers, plaintiffs herein, in violation of the 
due process clause of the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution. 

WHEREFORE, the plaintiffs respectfully pray for an order : 

1. Convening a three judge District Court under the authority of 28 U.S.C. 
§ 2282 ; 

2. Declaring that 7 U.S.C. § 1135, on its face and as applied by the Secretary 
of Agriculture, is violative of the due process clause of the fifth amendment to 
the United States Constitution ; 

3. Permanently enjoining the defendant Secretary of Agriculture from con- 
ducting any further proceedings pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 1135 to resolve wage 
disputes arising under the Sugar Act of 1948 ; 

4. Compelling the Secretary of Agriculture to establish new procedures for 
the resolution of wage disputes arising under the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. 
§ 1131(c) (1), assuring the parties thereto due process as required by the fifth 
amendment to the United States Constitution ; and 

5. Awarding plaintiffs costs, damages and other equitable relief. 
Respectfully submitted. 

Jonathan B. Chase, 
Migrant Division, University of Colorado, 

Legal Aid and Defender Program. 
William Redak, 
Colorado Rural Legal Services, Inc. 



for the District of Colorado 





1. This is a civil action brought by plaintiff.s on tlieir own behalf as individiial.s 
and on l)ehalf of all other sugar beet workers for a declaratory judgment, pur- 
suant to 28 U.S.C. U 2201-02, that 7 C.F.R. S 8G2.15, on its face and as applied 
by the Secretary of Agriculture, is invalid as being inconsistent and in conflict 
with 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1). Plaintiffs also seek a iK^rmanent injunction against 
the Secretary of Agriculture from making sugar i>ayments to any person Avho 
in the future i>ay.s crew leaders instead of the sugar beet workers directly as 
required by 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1). 

2. Jurisdiction is conferred upon this Court by 7 U.S.C. § 1154. 

3. The plaintiffs are farm workers who have been employed regularly in the 
production of sugar beets. They are currently residents of Colorado and citizens 
of the United States. 

4. Plaintiffs are members of and bring suit on behalf of all farm workers 
employed in the production of sugar beets who work or will work for creAV 
leaders. Plaintiffs and said other farm workers constitute a class for the pur- 
pos-es of this suit. The meml)ers of the class are so numerous as to make it 
impractical to bring them all l)efore this Court. There are common questions of 
law and fact affecting the rights of the members of said class with respect to 
the defendant herein, and common relief is sought pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23. 

ii. Defendant is the Secretary of the I'nited States Department of Agriculture 
and is responsible for the administration of the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. 
§§ 1100 et seq. 


6. Under 7 U.S.C. 11131(c) (1), farm workers employed in the production of 
sugar beets are entitled to be paid in full for all such work and are entitled to 
receive a minimum wage by virtue of the fact that only when a producer of sugar 
beets is able to establish that workers employed by him in the production of sugar 
beets "have been paid" in full and at rates established by the Secretary of Agri- 
culture do such producers become eligible to receive sugar payments established 
pursuant to the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. H 1131-37. 

7. On information and belief, sugar payme its are sufliciently valuable to a 
producer of sugar beets that any such producer who is informe<l by the pro{)erly 
con.stituted authority that he will be ineligible to receive said payments due to 
noncompliance with the condition for such payments established by 7 U.S.C. 
$ 1131(c)(1) will do whatever is necessary to come into compliance with tin- 
statute and the regulations validly promulgated thereunder so as to again become 
eligible to receive sugar payments. 

8. On information and belief, 7 C.F.R. § 862.15, promulgated by the defendant 
Secretary of Agriculture purportedly to effec-tuate the provisions of 7 U.S.C. 
51131(c)(1), sugar beet producers will re<'eive their sugar payments if they 
pay to the crew leaders the minimum wage due to eacli worker and if they have 
received from each worker a signed authorization allowing payment of wages 
to tlie crew leader. Upon information and belief, the protlucer will receive his 
sugar payments when he has met the al»ove conditions even though tlie worker 
does not actually receive the minimum wage tlie crew leader has kept 
part of that wage for liim.self. 

9. On information and belief, many crew leaders do not pay to the workers 
the minimum wage to which they are entitled under the regulations established 
by the Secretary of Agriculture. 

10. Bei-jiu-se prrxlucers of sugar Inlets are thus altle to receive sugar payments 
witliout liaving to establisli that workers employed by tliem in tlie production of 
sugar be<'ts "have hern paid" in full and at rates established ity the Secretary of 
Agriculture, thus effectively denying to many workers employed tlirough crew 
leaders the minimum wage established for tlieir benefit pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 
§ 1131(c) (1), the regulation establi.shed by the Secretary of Agriculture, 7 C.F.R. 


§ 862.15, permitting eligibility for sugar payments without proof tliat workers 
"have hccn paid" the minimum wage is void and invalid since it is in direct 
contravention of and inconsistent with the language and puriJOse of 7 U.S.C. 
§ 1131(c)(1) 

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs respectfully request the Court to issue an order : 

1. Declaring 7 C.F.R. § 862.15 void and invalid as inconsistent with and In 
directcontraventionof 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1) ; 

2. Permanently enjoining the Secretary of Agriculture from making sugar 
payments to any sugar beet producer who after the date of this order pays a 
crew leader instead of paying the workers directly ; and 

3. Awarding plaintiffs costs, damages and other equitable relief. 
Respectfully submitted. 

(S) Jonathon B. Chase, 
JoNATHOX B. Chase, 
Migrant Division, Vniversity of Colorado, 

Legal Aid and Defender Program. 
(S) William Redak, 
AViLLiAM Redak, 
Colorado Rural Legal Services, Inc. 

Ix THE United States District Court for the District of Colorado 

(Civil Action No. C-1617) 

Gregorio Salazar and Lionel Sanchez, on behalf of themselves and all others 
similarly situated, plaintiffs, v. Clifford Hardin. United States Secretary of 
Agriculture, defendant 

Mr. Jonathon B. Chase, Attorney at Law, Colorado Rural Legal Services, Inc., 
970 Aurora Avenue, P.O. Box 1367, Boulder, Colorado, for Plaintiffs ; Mr. James 
L. Treece, United States Attorney, and Mr. Leonard W. D. Campbell, Assistant 
United States Attorney, 323 United States Courthouse, Denver, Colorado, for 

memorandum opixiox and judgment 

Doyle, Judge. 

Plaintiffs have institutetl this suit as a class action on behalf of all farm 
workers employed in the production of sugar beets who work or Avill work for 
crew leaders. They .seek a declaratory judgment that 7 C.F.R. § 862.15 is invalid 
because inconsi.stent with 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1). Also demande<l is a permanent 
injunction against the Secretary of Agriculture prohibiting his making sugar 
payments to any person who pays crew leaders rather than sugar beet workers 
directly. We have previously determined that this Court has jurisdiction over the 
subject matter and have made informal findings and conclusions from the bench 
favoring plaintiffs. The purix)se of the present memorandum is to express 
somewhat more fully the reasons for this ruling. 

The Sugar Act of 1948. as amended, 7 X'.S.C. S 1100 et seq. provides for sugar 
payments by the Secretary of Agriculture to producers of sugar. Section 1131 of 
Title 7 imposes certain conditions which must be met before a .sugar producer is 
entitled to receive his payment. The definitive conditions relevant to the instant 
contro^-ersy ( § 1131 (c) (1) ) are • 

That all persons employed on the farm in the production, cultivation, or 
harvesting of sugar beets or sugarcane with respect to which an application 
for payment is made shall have been paid in full for all such work, and shall 
have been paid wages therefor at rates not less than those that may be deter- 
mined by the Secretary to be fair and reasonable after investigation and due 
notice and opportunity for public hearing . . . 
The above statute evidences a Congressional intent that sugar beet and sugar- 
cane workers receive from the producer a minimum wage to be set by the 
Secretary. There is nothing in the statute which suggests that diminished worker 
compen-sation is to be tolerated. It is also clear that under the terms of the 
statutory condition set forth in § 1131(c)(1), the burden of carrying out this 
Congressional intent is cast uiwn each individual producer. The sanction imposed 
on a producer who fails to meet this burden is the withholding of his allotment 


Plaintiff claims that 7 C.F.R. § 862.15, a regulation adopted by the Secretary 
allegedly pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 1131. conflicts vrith the statute and hence is 
invalid.'7 C.F.R. § 862.15, when read in conjunction with 7 C.F.R. § 862.9, provides 
that : 

A producer of sugarbeets shall be deemed to have complied with the wage 
provisions of the act if all persons employed on the farm in production, 
cultivation, or harvesting of sugarbeets as provided in § 862.12, shall have 
been paid in accordance with the following : 

If a producer employs workers through a labor contractor or crew leader 
and makes payment of workers' wages to him, the pro<lucer shall obtain from 
such contractor or crew leader (a) a copy of his authorization signed by 
each worker to collect wages due each such worker; (b) a wage record 
sheet showing the amoimts earned and due each worker; and (c) a written 
representation that he will pay to each worker the wage rates agreed upon 
by the contractor and the producer but in no event less than those provided 
by this part. 
The general legal principle to be applietl in this case has been summarized by 
the Supreme Court as follows : 

The i)Ower of an administrative officer or board to administer a federal 
statute and to pre.scribe rules and regulations to that end is not the power to 
make law, for no such power can be delegated by Congress, hut the power to 
adopt regulatiom to carry into effect the will of CongrenH an expref<.sc(l by 
the statittc. A regulation tchich does not do this, hut operates to create a rule 
out of harmony icith the statute, is a mere nullity. Manhattan General 
Equipment Co. v. Commissioner, 297 U.S. 129, 134 (1936) (emphasis 
added. ) 
Weight must be given to the administrator's interpretation of applicable stat- 
utes. However, where the regulation in (piestion is plainly inconsistent with the 
statute and operates in a manner which frustrates Congressional intent, it can 
be given no force and effect and must be declared invalid. See, e.g., Celebrezze r. 
Kilbom, 322 F.2d 166 (5th Cir. 1963). 

The evidence at trial establishes that the above quoted regulation has been 
used as a means of frustrating this intent of Congress to insure full payment of 
wages to workers ; crew leaders, at times at least, receive the compensation and 
pay the worker less than the amount, keeping a commission for their services. 
Under the regulation, the producer fulfills the condition prece<lent to receiving 
his allotment by paying full wages for workers to the crew leader. The end re.sult 
of this practice is to deprive the Avorkers of the minimum wage which they are 
entitled to receive. It is no answer to .say that the worker consents because it is a 
questionable con.sent in view of language and other difficulties. 

Furthermore, the regulation on its face destroys the very scheme which Con- 
gress envisaged as a guarantee that full payment would be made to workers. 
Congress provided in 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c)(1) that no allotment payments would 
be made to producers until all Avorkers had been paid in full in accordance with 
at least the minimum rate .set by the Secretary. Under .sucli a scheme the federal 
government provided an effective incentive in the form of allotment payments 
not only for producing sugar, but also for paying a decent wage to workers. 

The regulation here in question enables the producer to remove the burden 
which Congress intended for him to fulfill merely by making payment to Crew 
leaders. Once this has been done, he is deemed to have complied with the terms 
of the statute, and thus can no longer be held re.six)nsible by either the individual 
workers or the government if any workers are ultimately shortchanged. 

Finally, Ave are unable to i)erceive that the regulation advances any desirable 
.social It is merely a convenient and expedient method. We therefore 
conclude that Congress intended to place ultimate responsibility for insuring full 
payment to workers on the producer and tlierefore that 7 C.F.R. § 862.15 con- 
flicts Avith this intent in that it allows the prfKlucer to evade the statutorily 
impo.sed resix>nsibility. We further find and conclude that creAV workers are being 
injured in that the above regulation promotes and encourages the evil which 
Congress intended to remoA-e — the iiayment of less than a minimum Avage to 
.sugarbeet workers. 

Based on the foregoing AA'e find that : 

1. The named plaintiffs are members of a class of i>ersons comix)sed of sugar 
beet farm Avorkers in Colorado, and can properly represent that class. 


2. When sugar beet producers pay their workers through crew leaders, the 
crew leaders may pay aoid have paid some ifami workers less than the statutory 
minimum wage. 

3. 7 C.F.R. § 862.15, which allows the sugar beet producer to pay the farm 
worker's minimum wage to tlie crew leader with no assurance that the crew leader 
will pay over the minimum wage to the farm worker, permits actual payment to 
the farm Avorker of less than the minimum wage. 

4. No public interest protected by 7 C.F.R. § 862.15 has been demonstrated. 
We conclude that : 

1. This action is properly maintained as a class action under Rxile 23(a) of 
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 

2. 7 C.F.R. § 862.15, which allows the sugar beet producer to receive his sugar 
payments even though his farm workers may not have received the minimum 
wage, contradicts and is not in harmony with the statute under which it was 
promulgated, 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c)(1). 

It is therefore Ordered : 

1. That 7 C.F.R. § 862.15 is void and invalid as inconsistent with and in direct 
contravention of 7 U.S.C. § 1131(c) (1) ; 

2. That the Secretary of Agriculture is permanently enjoined from making 
sugar payments to any Colorado sugar beet producer who after the date of this 
order pays wages due to farm workers to a crew leader or labor contractor ; and 

3. That the Secretary of Agriculture notify all Colorado Agricultural Sta- 
bilization and Conservation Service committees and beet producers of this order. 

Dated at Denver, Colorado, this 15th day of July, A.D. 1970. 
By the Court: 

William E. Doyle, 
Judge, U.S. District Court. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much. I appreciate your testi- 
mony and your efforts to develop a program of the nature and scope 
that you have discussed here this morning. 

I would like to have inserted into the record at this point the report 
''Seasons in the Sun," prepared by the staff of the South Florida Mi- 
grant Tjegal Services Program, Inc. 

(The material referred to fdllows :) 





36-513 O - 70 - pt. 4A - 16 


director's note 





















CAMPS (six counties) 







FLORIDA AND NATION 1965 - 1967 .... 14 




OF SEPTEMBER, 1968 47 








This report is the product of the entire staff of 
South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc. ("LS) . It 
is a first synthesis of the experience of all of those who 
have labored, often under adverse circumstances, to bring some 
small measure of justice and equality to the agricultural work- 
ers who make possible Florida's enormous aqricultural industry. 

The idea that such a report should be written was 
pregnant in many minds for some time, but was first articulated 
at a meeting of attorneys in the summer of 1968 by Gerald Cassidv 
of the Fort Myers Office. The burden of preparing the manuscript 
fell to two women, Elizabeth J. du Fresne and ^'alerie Kantor. 
Mrs. du Fresne was formerly a Planning and Research Attorney with 
the Miami Office. She is now a trial attorney with the law re- 
form unit of Economic Opportunity Legal Services Program, Inc. , 
the legal services project in Dade County, Florida. Mrs. Kantor 
is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, who, in between 
taking care of her two children, finds time to clerk for the Fort 
Myers Office where her husband is a staff attorney. I extend my 
heartfelt thanks to these two dedicated women who spent so many 
overtime hours making this report possible. 

For all of you on tlie staff v;ho have fought the battle 
against injustice, intolerance, ignorance and misunderstanding, I 
have only feelings of pride and gratitude. When the day comes that 
America's agricultural workers take their place amongst those who 
have achieved economic and social equality, you will be able to say 
that you played your part. 

Executive Director 
Miami, Florida 
February, 1969 



This report is dedicated 

to our clients , 

whose day wilt come. 

The Staff of South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc. 


Mark. Buchbinder 
Gerald S. J. Cassidy 
Mervin N. Cherrin 
F. Hayden Curry 
William F, Dow, III 
Frank N. Dubofsky 
Jean E. Dubofsky 
T. Michael Foster 
Roberta F. Fox 

Dorsey F. Henderson, 
Michael Kantor 
Alan M. Kuker 
Eleanor L. Schockett 
Joseph C. Segor 
Fredricka G. Smith 
Spencer L. Smith 
Joel R. Teague 



Cyril J. Armstrong 
Elijah Boone, Jr. 
William B. Darden 
Lynda W. Dolliver 
Victor Garcia 

Antonio Henry 
Rodolfo Juarez 
Fran B. Kaplan 
Albert Lee 
Ovidio Silvas 

Law Clerks 

Valerie Kantor 
Michael Maguire 
Hector Uribe 

Administrative & Clerical 

Teresa Canales 
Mary E. Dorman 
Evelyn A. Ely 
Janet A. Jones 
Stanley A. Kadlec 
Margaret M. Matlack 
Jean K. Mayer 
Mary M. McDougle 

Mary L. Miller 
Joyce R. Payne 
Haddy M. Reyes 
Cynthia A. Reynolds 
Joan Rohrlich 
Shirley M. Walker 
H. Gail Wall 

Copyright 1969 
By South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc. 



"The urban riots during 1967 
had their roots, in consider- 
able part, in rural poverty. 
A high proportion of the peo- 
ple crowded into city slums 
today came there from rural 
slums. This fact alone makes 
clear how large a stake the 
people of this nation have in 
an attack on rural poverty." 
The People Left Behind, a re- 
port by the President's Nation- 
al Advisory Commission on Rural 
Poverty ix (1967) . 

In this century, America has rapidly changed from an 
agricultural nation to an urban society. However, in the pro- 
cess some of our citizens have been "left behind" to work in 
the fields and pick the crops until mechanization eliminates 
the need for their labors. During the next few years the human 
laborers in agriculture will be reduced by half and soon the 
field worker will be obsolete. What will happen during the in- 
terim years? How will the people exist on v/ages and in an environ- 
ment which is fast becoming an intolerable anachronism? What legal 
problems are unique to their condition of life and what institutions 
do they deal with? What does the future hold for the farm worker as 
he is being replaced by a machine? 

South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc., is an 
OEO-funded research and demonstration project which is seeking to 
answer these questions while performing traditional legal services 
for seasonal agricultural workers in a six county area in Florida. 
This document represents the initial stage of an intensive research 
project designed to partially fill the void in information on the 
rural poor of South Florida, especially those engaged in agricul- 
tural work. It is hoped that from this work there will eventually 
emerge a few solutions to the many problems raised by the Report of 
the President's Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty and the Report 
of the Citizens Board of Inquiry (Hunger, U.S.A.). 

It must be remembered that Migrant Legal Services (MLS) 
is composed of lawyers, investigators and other staff serving peo- 
ple. Thus, this effort cannot be a mere recital of impersonal facts 
and objective descriptions. It will be colored and enriched by the 



people we serve and the people and institutions from whom help 
or conflict come. We are lawyers, not scientists. Lawyers are 
essentially justice-seekers and justice involves itself with 
the individual as well as the problem. 

The farm worker who comes to the MLS offices represents 
only a small part of the fourteen million rural poor of America. 
Some of his problems are peculiar to his work. For example, those 
who cut sugar cane are covered by the regulations which govern 
practically every phase of the sugar industry. Other problems 
arise from the particular location in which work is found. While 
some of the small farming communities are of "Deep South" orienta- 
tion with an undercurrent of racism, which pre-determines the white 
population's relationship to the many Negro, Mexican-American and 
Puerto Rican farm workers, agricultural centers closer to metropoli- 
tan areas tend to be much less obvious in any discrimination prac- 
ticed against non-white workers. 

Since the commitment of MLS and this publication is to 
the farm worker, the narrative will flow with the migrant stream 
from South Florida's truck farms, sugar cane fields, and acres of 
commercial flowers to Northern labor camps and grape harvests. The 
emphasis shall be on that portion of the world of the farm worker 
in which MLS participates, and, ultimately, the world of tomorrow 
in which the agricultural worker with his outmoded skills must some- 
how endure. 



Migrant Legal Services serves a six county area 
of southern Florida, including Broward, Collier, Dade, Hendry, 
Lee, and Palm Beach Counties. The image that immediately 
comes to mind are the beach communities on the southern Atlantic 
and Gulf seacoasts. Miami Beach and Naples, in particular, 
have always been regarded as pleasure vacation spots for winter- 
weary northern travelers. Tourism is indeed an important asset 
to this area, but plays only a weak second to the very important 
and lucrative industry of agriculture. The tourists and visitors 
to the area drive past miles of citrus groves, sugar cane fields, 
and beautiful flower lands, but they are usually unaware of the 
streams of migrant agricultural workers who have preceded them 
in preparing these fields for the rich harvest. 

Because of the seasonal nature of both the tourist 
industry and the agricultural business, the population fluc- 
tuates wildly. Consequently, the number of year round, involved 
citizens is extremely small. It is also obvious that the climate 
and tax attributes of Florida attract many persons seeking a 
retirement haven. The elderly represent a much higher proportion 
of the stable population than is found nation wide.l Persons who 
have played an active role in the communities where their families 
were raised do not usually seek to involve themselves in similar 
problems in their adoptive state of retirement. Age often fosters 
a more conservative attitude, favoring the status quo, and 
unconcerned about problems that pose no direct threat to their 
retirement solitude. These factors produce a hard core "establish- 
ment" to assume the duty of presenting a lush vacation image to 
wealthy seasonal tourists, and to manage the more profitable 
agricultural industry, whose results reach virtually all Americans. 

With agriculture being the number one industry, the 
local power structure in Collier, Hendry, and Lee is largely 
controlled by agricultural interests, while in the more urbanized 
counties of Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward, the power structure is 
more diverse. 2 Naturally, the officials are most concerned with 

County and City Data Book: 1967, Dept . of Commerce and 
Bureau of the Census, p. 52; aompave with Id. at 2. 

For statistics concernina county-by-county characteristics 
of the region served by MLS, see attached chart. 




preserving (and improving) the high profit return on their 
county's farm products. There is little or no farm worker 
or minority group representation on any official board or 
position of power so as to promote the self interest of these 
groups. Unfortunately, what is in the best interest of the 
farmers and growers, is not always best for the conditions of 
the workers in the fields. The interests of the two groups, 
the growers versus the workers, are often in direct conflict 
with one another. 

The dichotomy is vast and the problems facing both 
participants are difficult to solve. Partially, it is to 
bridge this schism and begin to work out palatable solutions 
that MLS was founded in the spring of 1967. 

Prior to defining the problem areas and seeking means 
to resolve them, it is necessary to identify the component parts: 
namely, the farmers, growers, workers and crew leaders. Who are 
the farmers and growers and what do they represent? 

Agriculture means big business in southern Florida; 
it is not left to small family farms or cooperative plots; the 
coined euphemism "agribusiness" most aptly describes the farming 
concerns in the MLS target area. 

The real giants in the business are the sugar companies, 
with U.S. Sugar Corp. in Hendry County and South Puerto Rico Sugar 
Co. in Palm Beach County by far the largest both in assets and 
number of employees. It is estimated that there are approximately 
200,000 areas devoted to sugar cane in this region, which is 
processed by 9 major grinding mills. ^ The sugar cane industry 
utilizes over 50% of the total agricultural work force in the 
Belle Glade area alone.'* In addition to U.S. Sugar Corp. and 
Southern Puerto Rico Sugar Co., the large employers are Talisman 
Sugar Corp., Florida Sugar Corp., and New Hope Sugar Co., all 
located in Palm Beach County. It should be noted that these 
concerns do not rely solely on their product output for income 
producing revenue. Under the Farm Subsidy Provisions of the 
Price Control Act of 1965, these 5 corporations collected a total 
of $2,639,198 from the federal government in the calendar year 
1967. 5 

3. Florida 1967 Farm Labor Report (Florida Industrial Commission) 
p. 14. 

4. Florida 1967 Farm Labor Report, p. 14. 

5. U.S. Sugar Corp. - $1,275,687; South Puerto Rico Sugar Co. - 
$610,923; Talisman Sugar Corp. - $419,178; Florida Sugar 
Corp. - $212,454; New Hope Sugar Co. - $120,956. Congression- 
al Record, July 26, 1968 (E 6967, 6968). 



Relief handouts to farmers in the form of price sub- 
sidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which have 
variously been called "a bonanza for a great number of corporate 
farms and wealthy farm owners" and "legislation for the rural 
'fat cats'," and a "financial boondoggle"^) are not exclusive 
to the sugar industry or the State of Florida. This piece of 
legislation "putting farmers on the dole" cost the taxpayers 
$3 1/2 billion annually. Many more diversified Florida farming 
corporations take their share.' 

Citrus remains the largest job-producing single crop 
in the state of Florida, employing upwards of 30,000 farm workers 
per year.^ However, the vast total of citrus acreage is confined 
to the central ridge area, and MLS has little direct contact with 
the workers in that section. Nonetheless, citrus still produces 
an income of approximately $600,000 per year in the fairly small 
county of Hendry.^ And substantial acreage is being planted with 
citrus in the southern portion of the state. 

By and large, the growers in the six county area of 
southern Florida concentrate on vegetables: cucumbers, peppers, 
potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, egg plant, and of course water- 
melons and cantaloupes. Over 290,000 acres are devoted to the 
commercial production of vegetables in the state of Florida, with 
a yield of almost two million tons in 1966. ^"^ Thus, Florida ranks 
third anong all the states in total vegetable acreage, and second 
only to California in production yield. One other statistical 
comparison is worthy of note: whereas the production yield of 
commercial vegetables in California is roughly four times that of 
Florida, the value of this production in California is only double 
that of Florida.-'-^ Thus, the value to the grower of producing 
vegetables in this region of Florida is well established. 

Lee County calls itself "the flower capital of the 
world," and the name is no doubt well earned with over 3,000 
acres devoted to growing gladiolus alone. Pompom Chrysanthemums 
are the other major flower assortment from this area. Agricultural 
products, including flowers, produced in Lee County provide an 

6. Hon. Ray J. Madden (U.S. Rep. - Ind.) in the U.S. House of 
Representatives July 18 & 20, 1967. (Cong. Rec. E6642, E6967.) 

7. A. Duda & Sons - $158,080; 715 Farms Ltd. - $131,484; Closter 
Farms Inc. - $116,890; S.N. Knight Sons, Inc. - $110,784. 

Cong. Rec. June 20, 1967, p. E6968. There are many more Florida 
farmers who receive a more modest sum - anywhere from $50,000 to 
$100,000 under ASCS programs. See Royko, "The Farmers on the 
Dole," Tropic Magazine, Miami Herald, Sept. 22, 1968. 

8. Florida Industrial Commission, Florida State Employment Service, 
1967 Farm Labor Report, p. 8. 

9. Fort Myers News-Press , Feb. 20, 1968, p. 3-g. 

10. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Statistics 1967, Tables 
225 & 226, p. 187-8. 

11. Production Tonnage of Commercial Vegetables, 1966. California - 
7,129,050; Florida - 1,947,270. Value of Commercial Vegetable 
Crop, 1966. California - $585,252,000; Florida - $210,748,000. 
Statistical Reporting Service, USDA, Agricultural Statistics 

1967. p. 189. 



annual income of more than $25 million and generate more than 
$75 million in agribusiness activity according to County Agri- 
cultural Agent Robert G. Curtis. ^2 

Collier County, to the south, reaps a vegetable har- 
vest income of $40 million. -^ This figure is significant in that 
the bulk of the $40 million dollars was earned by three corpora- 
tions: A. Duda & Sons, Inc., Naples Farms, Inc., and Naples 
Fruit and Vegetable. Collier is the largest county in Florida 
(2,880 square miles), and at the time of its creation (1923) 
Barron G. Collier owned approximately 75% of all the land.-'-^ 
The Collier Corporation remains the major land holder, although 
Gulf American, the Lee Tide Water Cypress Co. , and Alico (sub- 
division of Atlantic Coastline Railroad) are making inroads. 
Much of this land is leased out for farming. 

The make-up of the Collier County agricultural interests 
highlights the size and power of the farmers and growers in the 
south Florida region. These are large corporate enterprises in- 
volved in raising fruits and vegetables, and not family farms or 
single entrepreneurship businesses. The background of some of 
the "overseers" or "front men" reveals a history of "wild cat" 
farming, often starting in Cuba, then coming to Florida and 
leasing land from the large corporations to continue their well- 
learned exploitation of agricultural workers. 

With this history, it is interesting to note that one 
of the farmers ' chief concerns is the amount of low-priced 
foreign imports in vegetables (peppers, cucumber and tomatoes), 
especially from Mexico, "produced in areas where labor is cheap. "15 
It takes great business expertise as well as considerable invest- 
ment to be a successful farmer in this competitive environment. 
Not only does he have to concern himself with the best utilization 
of his land, the market and business trends, but he also has to 
plan the amount of labor he will need, where to get that labor, 
and how best to manage it. 16 

12. Fort Myers News-Press, Feb. 20, 1968. 

13. The Miami HeraJd, July 21, 1968. 

14. Tebeau, Charlton W. , Florida' s Last Frontier - A History of 
Collier County, Univ. of Miami Press, 1957. 

15. See Fort Myers News-Press, Jan. 24, 1968. 

16. For Statistical comparisons of agricultural significance 
in the 6 county MLS region, see attached chart B. 




Florida qrov<7ers depend UDon an actual farm work force 
of over 89,100^', while in the six county region served by MLS, 
it is estimated that a total migrant population (including de- 
pendents) of 83,250 streams in every year.-'-^ Since figures and 
estimates can be deceptive, it may be more informative to des- 
cribe the seasonal farm worker than to attempt an exact head count. 

'■Jith the variety of crops making three harvests possible 
annually (fall, winter and spring) the "season" in southern 
Florida extends from late October often until the end of May. 
Hov'/ever, it would be rare for a worker to be employed in one crop 
or by one farm for that length of time, and he may be rotated or 
seek other employment when work is slow at his assigned station. 

It is impossible to speak of the seasonal farm worker in 
generalities. There are roughly nine groups comprising the total 
of agricultural ivorkers in this area: 1) Spanish-speaking migrants 
(often called "Texas-^lexicans" ) , 2) Negro migrants (originally from 
other southern agricultural centers) , 3) the "of f shore"workers 
(generally from Jamaica and the West Indies) ; 4) Florida-based 
Spanish culture agricultural workers, 5) Home-base v Negro agricultur- 
al workers, 6) Local low-income Caucasians, 7) Cuban refugees, R) 
out-of-state Caucasians, and 9) Indians native to this area. 

Each grouninrr, and indeed each individual compromising 
this classification, has its own history and cultural characteris- 
tics. Uov/ever, once a person becomes encraged in seasonal farm work, 
they all share many common problems and goals. The most basic prob- 
lem is simply that the work is seasonal. The agricultural worker is 
forced to subsist on whatever income he makes here during the season, 
or travel north when the local season is over to v7ork in another har- 
vest, or try to find some makeshift work to supplement his income if 
the rigors of the migrant stream prove too taxing for himself and his 
familv. . 

17. Florida 1967 Farm Labor Report, p. 7. 

18. Florida Migrant /lealth Project, Fourth Annual Progress 
Report, pp. 45, 65, 75, 83, 97. This figure includes 
"offshore" v/orkers, but does not include local or day- 
haul laborers. 




Since the average yearly income of the migrant farm 
worker is only $1737-'-^, far below the $3000 income level under 
which families are commonly considered to be living in poverty, 
it is not difficult to see why trying to subsist on this income 
year-round is not satisfactory. Nonetheless, many are forced 
to do just that either because no other employment is avail- 
able locally or because they are untrained for those jobs that 
may be available. Although documentation is scant^^ , it is 
obvious that every year more and more migrants stay in this area 
year round. 

Unfortunately, the drop-off of agricultural jobs during 
the summer and early fall is not balanced by an increase in em- 
ployment possibilities in any other field. The worker is left 
to his own devices to try to find jobs mowing yards, driving 
tractors, doing repairs, etc. Often his livelihood during the 
off-season will depend on finding transportation to nearby cities 
to seek construction work. 

Most of these workers used to "go up the road" for 
the northern crop harvest every year, but have now decided that 
this, routine is both uneconomical and undesirable. From inter- 
views, it appears that most unmarried people or people with 
fairly small families do travel, often with the same crew that 
they worked with in this area, whereas the workers with larger 
families tend to stay in this area year round. MLS records show 
that rather than going to New York for the potato harvest as is 
shown on most maps of migratory patterns, the worker from this 
area travels to many states to harvest various crops. ^1 

There are many seasonal farm workers who do not migrate. 
Of those who do travel north to do farm work when the season is 
over in Florida, many consider this state their home base. 
Despite their permanency and their vital contribution to the 
area's economy, as well as the nation's, the seasonal farm 
worker is almost totally powerless. 

19^ "The Migratory Farm Labor Problem in the U.S.," 1967 Report 

of the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor & Public Welfare, p. 6. 

20. From interviews and questionnaires answered by MLS investi- 
gators (former migrants who maintain everyday contact with 
migrants in the south Florida region) . 

21. MLS Summer Project Study, tracing the destinations of migrant 
crews from the MLS area, shows that while some crews do tra- 
vel the Atlantic Seaboard stopping off at farms in Georgia, 
South Carolina, New Jersey and New York, others travel in- 
land to Indiana and Michigan. 



Because of the strenuous long working day, and lack of 
adequate facilities at home, the horizons of the farm v/orker are 
necessarily limited. From the time of his birth the field worker 
is surrounded by people who do farm work, and he knows that he will 
eventually do the same. While the present system makes it impossi- 
ble for a field v/orker to obtain any material satisfaction from his 
job, these people identify v;ith agriculture and take great pride in 
their v;ork. 

It cannot be overemphasized that the migrant worker is an 
expert at his trade. While farm labor is not a "first choice" oc- 
cupation, the laborer who has trained arduously throughout his life 
has mastered a most difficult and hazardous vocation. He knows 
V7hich tomatoes are ready to be picked on a row, how to Dick them with- 
out bruising or damaging, and the most efficient v;ay to gather a rioe 
harvest in the least amount of time. This knowledge and ability can 
never be fully replaced by machines. The field v;orker needs little, 
if any, supervision, and most "overseers" or field supervisors can 
orofit greatlv from the expertise of those working for him. 

However, the v/orker 's entire life is subject to the needs 
and controls of others. He is vulnerable to a great variety of 
pressures from those who depend upon him for their own livelihoc5d. 
He seldom has any direct contact with the farm owner, or even mana- 
gers, but he is completely dependent upon the continual favor of his 
crew leader; which, in turn, gives a crew leader enormous power over 
his crew. 

T;!E CREW LF-'^'^E'^ 

The crewleader's role is crucial - both as to his activi- 
ties and maintenance of the crev7 as a social unit. Among the activi- 
ties: establishing initial contact with the prospective employer; 
assembling a crew (which may mean maintaining an extensive network 
of contact with individuals on a permanent year-round basis or by main- 
taining contacts v.'ith individuals v.'ho v?ill recruit for him); arrang- 
ing for transportation of the crew to the '.'ork site and camp. Then, 
if he acts as camp manager, he is responsible for the direction and 
maintenance of the crew within the camp. He usually provides buses 
or other vehicles for transporting the crev; to and from the work site. 

At the work site, the crewleader assumes a supervisory 
role, allocating specific tasks to 'vorkers, directing them in the 
course of nicking, and managing all aspects of the operation until 
produce is actually delivered to the packing house. This may include 
planning the work, supervising the workers in the field, maintaining 
inspection procedures to insure that crops are properly picked, bulk- 
ing of crops on the trucks, and actually transporting the produce to 
its destination. 



He is responsible for paying the members of his crew. 
He is like a banker for the crew: lending them money directly 
or through the allocation of credit for food, alcohol, trans- 
portation, etc. Likewise, he should be accountable to the 
workers both for what they are paid and for any deductions 
whether daily or weekly. However, almost every crew operation 
is run with extensive reliance on memory. 

"Crew leaders function as entrepreneurs 
without stable or guaranteed incomes, but 
with a potential of earning very substan- 
tial sums during the course of the season. "^^ 

A thorough study of the crewleader's role in a black 
migrant crew in a northern camp situation illustrates much in- 
sight into the relationship between the outside world, the 
crewleader and the workers t^^ 

"In contrast to most production organizations, 
what is notable about the role of the crew leader 
is the variety of activities which have to be 
carried on by a single individual. But this 
explains only in part his crucial sociological 
role. This must be perceived in terms of his 
ability to articulate between the Negro crew 
member and the white world.' Crew members view 
the white world as unpredictable and dangerous. 
They prefer to have as little contact as pos- 
sible with all aspects of white society. But- 
tressing this attitude is a similar attitude 
of whites who want as little to do as possible 
with the Negro migrants and who, on their part, 
feel that migrants are unpredictable and vio- 
lent. Both groups look upon the crew leader as 
a liaison." 

Mr. Friedland has created a descriptive typology 
of the various characteristics of crew leaders, each of which 
is pertinent to crewleaders found in the MLS area. The first 

22. Friedland, "Migrant Labor: A Form of Intermittent Social 
Organization," ILR Research, vol. xiii, no. 2, Nov. 1967, 

23. See note 20, supra at 6. 


type is called "the village chief" who exemplifies the tra- 
ditional leader. He is found in all ethnic groups and locales. 
His crew is recruited almost entirely in the leader's hometown, 
consisting largely of families and older people, many of whom 
had been with this leader in previous years. The village chief 
creates a social dependency by extending favors, giving loans, 
rides, etc. Productivity is high because the crew members are 
selected with care, and consequently there is a surprisingly 

low percentage of dropouts from the crew. 


Another type is called "the coal baron." His style 
of control is by force and fear rather than kinship obligation 
or social dependency. Force can be exerted through manipulation 
of wages and credit as well as through threats of expulsion 
or refusal to pay wages for a variety of reasons, and just 
plain physical force. Many workers resent him and are afraid 
of him. The crew consists mainly of unattached young men, 
picked up from the surrounding area or en route. The highest 
dropout rate and the lowest productivity is evident here. The 
prevalence of this type crew leader in the Negro portion of 
our clients and especially among the constantly changing "day 
haul" crews is quite evident. 

The third type, and perhaps the most common amongst MLS' 
Spanish-speaking population, is classified as "the pater familias, 
This crew leader recruits his workers from family and very close 
friends, turning out to be one big family. This type usually 
has the most remarkable record of productivity, and along with 
it one of the higher dropout rates. Approximately half the crew 
"members drop out before the season is over, leaving the central 
core of kin. 

The "pater familias" traits may best be depicted by 
profiling a 33-year old Mexican American crewleader who has had 
extensive contact with MLS. He is married with eight children, 
and was originally contacted at Edinburg, Texas by the Farm 
Labor Placement Bureau of the Texas Employment Commission with 
an offer for a crew of 120 men to work from December through May 
in Naples, Florida. 

After applying for registration as a crew leader, 
he recruited his crew consisting largely of relatives and 
friends, all of them then residing in southern Texas. In 
groups of ten or twenty, the workers with their families made 
the trip by car from Texas to Florida, paid for by transpor- 
tation expenses advanced to the crewleader. 

24. Only 1% dropout rate during the season. Ibid, at 7. 


The Clearance Order, setting forth the arrangements 
for crewleader and workers was fairly typical: specifying 
that the migrants would have regular work seven days a week 
at $1.15 an hour, and that the leader would be paid a bonus 
per worker and a bonus per crate for haulage, which would be 
paid at the end of the season. It also stipulated that pro- 
per housing was available. 

Before becoming a crev;leader, this man had been a 
farm worker, spending part of the past four years in southern 
Florida. When the Florida season was over, he always went 
up the road, taking his family with him, usually to Indiana. 
He can earn $15.00 a day v;hen working in the fields, which 
does not count the bonuses for being a crewleader. 

The white field manager, or ov/ner's agent, would 
give the crewleader money to pay the workers at the end of 
each day. It appears that no money was ever taken out for 
social security, although whether the crev/leader had been 
advised that he should is another question. 

The problems encountered bv this crew, perhaps more 
serious in nature than most, are nonetheless typical of the 
conditions workers may find when coming to south Florida for 
the season. Basically, it was a problem of not enough x\?ork 
(not as much as promised) and consequently not enough pay, 
together with abominable housing. 

The members of the cre^: brought here from Texas to 
pick tomatoes had been promised approximately $9.09 a day for 
the season (based on working a seven-day week) . At most they 
earned $30.00 a v;eek. The housing supolied to the workers for 
a rental charge can only be described as unfit for human habi- 
tation. The MLS attorney handling the legal problems for this 
crev; remarked: 

"The conditions at both camps v;ere bad. There 
was no electricity in any of the cabins but two. 
None of the cabins had running water. None of 
the cabins had working toilets. There were no 
facilities for garbage piclc-up or disposal. 
There was no access to drinking water. There 
v;ere no workable showers. The electrical wiring 
was faulty. The cabins were without stoves. 
There was no heating system to the cabins. The 
beds v;ere without proper mattresses. There were 
no pillows, linens or blankets furnished." 


36-513 O - 70 - pt. 4A - 17 


The accompanying photographs are perhaps a more des- 
criptive attestation to the conditions encountered than any 
number of words. That human beings should be subjected to such 
circumstances is appalling; the fact that many of the migrant 
workers in south Florida face this as a way of life is indefen- 

In the past, not only did the tourists and resident 
citizens ignore the plight of the migrant, but most even seemed 
unaware of his existence. Now that various social-conscious 
state and federal agencies have been apprised of some of the 
problems, there is at least hope towards betterment. MLS has 
had a unique opportunity through its rural field offices of 
observing these conditions firsthand, of establishing contact 
and rapport with the migrant population, and of seeking solutions 
to bring equality and justice to the seasonal farm worker. 

Sweeping legislative and judicial gains have not come 
within our first year of operations, but the groundwork has been 
laid and analysis has chrystallized goals and plans for the future. 

The following sections attempt to demonstrate eight 
major problem areas, with comments on the progress that has 
been made. 




Nothing more clearly underscores the alienation of 
the seasonal farm worker from the mainstream of American life 
than an examination of his working milieu. From the moment he 
is recruited, transported to the picking site, and begins to 
labor, the distinctions between his employment environment and 
that of all other occupational groups is obvious. As the MLS 
Chief Investigator, a former police officer himself, said 
recently, "The grower for his part treats the worker in a simi- 
lar manner to that of the police. The handling of workers' 
crews, transportation, work assignments, housing, and pay 
arrangement is reminiscent of the arrangements made for prison 
labor crews. "-'■ Considering the power which Labor wields on 
the national scene, the archaic labor/management relationship 
in agriculture^ is all the more clearly antiquated. The Presi- 
dent's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty summarized 
the situation. 

Rural workers have been excluded from coverage 
of protective labor legislation that guarantees 
workers' rights to organize and to bargain 
collectively. Nor have they been protected 
against injury on the job, or against the risk 
of unemployment and disability. Until recently, 
farmworkers, especially, were untouched by 
these labor laws that most urban industrial 
workers take for granted. Even today, most 
farm workers and many rural non-farmworkers are 

Great injustice has been done in extending 
coverage of certain types of labor legislation 
to some workers and not to others . The Commis- 
sion proposes to end the traditional discrimina- 
tion against rural workers by extending the 
prospective labor legislation to co^'er all 
workers . 

T"^ William Boone Darden in an unpublished narrative answer to 
questions posed by the MLS research staff, 1968, 1. 

2. Some efforts of a non-legislative nature have recently 

been made in this field. In early 1968, the Florida Agri- 
cultural Extension Service of the University of Florida 
initiated a training program for farm-labor supervisors. 
Numerous classes have since been held which are designed 
to assist farmers in employee relations. See Cully, 
Training Programs For Farm Labor Supervisors , Farm Labor 
Developments, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Sept. 1968, pp. 18-20. 



The Commission recoiranends-- 
8. That the provisions of the National 
Labor and Management Relations Act, work- 
men's compensation laws, unemployment 
insurance, and old age, survivors and disa- 
bility insurance (OASDI) be extended uni- 
formly to all workers. 

4 • 
Extension of the NLRA will not magically alleviate 

the plight of the farm -v-crkers in South Florida. However, the 

right of collective b^raaining has been shown to be a necessary 

ingredient in any equitable framework for industrial peace-- 

and, yet, the agricultural industry remains more than three 

decades behind other industries in the non-recognition of the 

freedom of association and organization.^ 

The argumenc that agriculture is somehow different 
from all other industries has been the rationalization by 
which farmworkers were excluded from almost all federal labor 
legislation. When one considers the vast corporations^ which 
play such a major part in agriculture today--as the number 
of farmers gets fewer and fewer and their holdings get larger 
and Inrger, such justification seems weak. 

It has only been since 1966 that a national minimum 
wage for farm workers was established by Congress, when some 

The ' eople Left Behind , The Report of the President's 
Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty, 1967, 24. 
National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 449 (1935), as 
amended, 61 Stat. 13 7 (1947), 29 U.S.C. 151, et seq. (1964). 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor of the Senate Committee 
on Labor and Public Welfare, The Migratory Farm Labor 
Problem in the United States , S. Rep. No. 1006, 90th Cong., 
2d Sess. 40 (1968) . 

E.g. , two obvious examples of the industrial magnates of 
agri-business in South Florida are U.S. Sugar Coro . of Clew- 
iston (Hendry County)and South Puerto Rico Sugar Co., Fells- 
mere (Palm Beach County) . The first received government 
subsidies of $1,275,687.00 in 1967 and the latter $610,923. 
They were amongst the 12 corporations receiving the largest 
individual government payments under all farm programs for 
the calendar year of 1967. See also, supra note 5 at 27. 
E.g., in the six county area MLS serves, the number of 
farms (1960: 2,735; 1964: 2,546) continues to decrease 
while the acreage under cultivation has increased (1960: 
1,682,000; 1964: 1,786,000). County and City Data Book : 
1967, Bureau of the Census 60. 



agricultural workers were brought under the Fair Labor Standards 
Act.^ This may help to explain why farmworkers are the lowest 
paid occupational group in America--but it does not explain why 
Florida is amongst the lowest of the low. Florida is one of the 
10 lowest wage states for farmworkers in the country. Only 
New Mexico, West Virginia and the Deep South states are behind 
her. Florida has not yet reached the national average of 1965- 
and everyone agrees that this average was at that time scandalously 
inadequate. ^ 

1965 1966 1967 

National Average $1.14 $1.23 $1.33. 

Florida Average .99 1.07 1.12- 


In addition to the deplorably low level of wages, the 
seasonal nature of farmwork intensifies the problem. The work- 
year of the hired farm worker is shorter than almost any other 
occupatj.onal group. -'-■^ Hourly wage increases can never solve 
the lack of steady year-round employment. The Farm Labor Place- 
ment Service has attempted to cope with the problem in its 
Annual Worker Plan;!^ however, the efforts of the agency do not 
have the backing of the sophisticated computerized system that 
would be necessary for a really workable national mobilization 
plan to couple available jobs and workers. 1^ So far all such 
proposals have gone unimplemented . Spending many futile days 
driving from place to place seeking work, waiting for a delayed 
harvest or a break in bad weather, the seasonal farmworker only 
finds work for a small number of the possible working days of 
the year.-'-'* Beyond this "occupational hazard" is the lack of 
management skills of many engaged in farming. This means that 
even the time when one is employed is a time of "underemployment" 
since workers are not given any motivational direction and the 
incentive for higher production is not encouraged. This unpro- 
ductive time means loss of income to the worker and inefficient 
use of the labor force to the grower. Since farm workers cannot 
qualify for unemployment compensation in Florida,-'-^ as they can- 
not in almost all states, 16 the problem of unemployment is 
doubly serious. 

8. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 63 Stat. 918 as amended; 
29 U.S.C. 213, amended by Public Laws 89-601, 80 Stat. 830, 
as enacted Sept. 23, 1966. See generally. The Agri cultural 
Minimum Wage : Coverage and Impact , Farm Labor Developments, 
U.S. Dept. of Labor, May 1968, p. 11. Only 390,000 of the 
1.4 million farmworkers are presently covered. Supra note 

5 at 25. 

9. Supra note 5, at 27. 

10. Id. 

11. Id. at 28. 

12. See generally. The Annual Worker Plan in 1966 , Farm Labor 
Developments, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Farm Labor Develonments , 
U.S. Dept. of Labor, May 1968, pp. 49-51. 

13. For an example of an adequate system, see supra note 3 at 



Not only is unemployment in agriculture about 
twice the annual average in non-agricultural 
industries, but the monthly employment rate 
also fluctuates sharply .... As a matter 
of fact the situation is a good deal worse 
than the figures on unemployment suggest. 
Official statistics count a rural resident as 
employed if he works part-time, or a few days 
a month. The truth, of course, is that he is 
often underemployed, and almost as badly off 
as if totally unemployed. We have evidence 
that underemployment is widespread in rural 
areas, and as acute a problem as unemployment. 


Unemployment insurance is not the only aspect of em- 
ployment protections from which the Florida agricultural worker 
is excluded. In the Workmen's Compensation statutes, the 
term "employment" is specifically defined so as not to include 
agricultural labor. ^^ Legislation limiting hours of work of 
minors and setting up general regulations for governing child 
labor do not apply to farm work.^^ The regulating agency on 
child labor problems, the Florida Industrial Commission concerns 
itself about the employment of children in alligator wrestling 
and transporting of radio-active materials, but disregards the 
many more children who perform difficult and often dangerous 
labor in the fields. The Florida Child Labor Statutes do not 
even reflect the minimal standards found in the federal Fair 
Labor Standards Act.^^ Of course, the federal standards for 
minors employed in agriculture govern when conflict exists. 


14. The average migratory farmworker was only employed 82 days 
in farmwork in 1965 (the latest date for which statistics 
are available). Supra note 5 at 28. 

15. F.S.A. § 443.03 (5) (g) (1) (a-d) : The term employment shall 
not include agricultural labor. 

16. Only in Hawaii are farm workers expressly covered by a state 
unemployment compensation program. Supra note 5 at 52. 

17. Supra note 3 at 25. 

18. F.S.A. § 440.02(1) (c) (3) . 

19. F.S.A. § 450.081, which provides that children under 16 shall 
not be employed before 6:30 A.M. or after 8:00 P.M., expres- 
sly exempts farmwork from regulation. 

20. Chapter 450 (Child Labor) of Florida Statutes begins with 
§ 450.011 which states that except for §450 . 061 (hazardous 
occupations) and §450.111 (Employment Certificates), no pro- 
visions of the chapter will apply to minors working on 
their families' farms when school is in session and, except 



The Florida laws not only exempt agricultural workers 
from protections on the job, but create special hardships through 
other provisions. For instance, an additional monetary burden 
is imposed by the State through the definition of "non-resident 
motorists" for purposes of motor vehicle registration 23 ^^d 
drivers' licenses. ^^ Because the exemptions from registration 
and purchase of a driver's license run only to non-residents 
who are not employed in the State and whose children do not 
attend Florida public schools , the migratory farmworker must buy 
duplicate plates and pass additional tests because of his short- 
term employment in the State. This is particularly unfair when 
one realizes that the migratory worker is a "resident" for pur- 
poses of paying license fees to Florida and a "non-resident" 
when applying for welfare funds from Florida. ^^ 

As another example, of government-made difficulties, 
Florida Statutes §205.331, which is concerned with "emigrant 
or labor agents," provides for the payment of $1,500.00 for a 
license to recruit any workers for out of state work. Such a 
license must be purchased in each county in which recruitment 
is done. This statute effectively eliminates private legal 
competition for the labor force by crew leaders and most indi- 
vidual farmers. Thus, the average crew leader, for whom such 
an amount is prohibitive, must either recruit v/orkers surreoti- 
tiously and illegally or hope that he will be able to pick up 
a crew on the way to the next harvest. The exhorbitant licens- 
ing requirement also tends to defeat the purposes of the efforts 
of the national Bureau of Employment Security and the Florida 
State Employment Service. Thus, fewer farmworkers are recruited 
through "legal" channels which give the protection of Depart- 
ment of Labor regulations. 

Recruitment is a complex area of the agricultural 
v.'orker's life. He may make his job contact through: (a) a 
stable crew/crev; leader situation, (b) a constantly changing 

for 450.061, will not apply to farm --.'ork outside of school 

21. "Best estimates indicate that there are about 800,000 paid 
farmworkers under 16. The group com.prises about one- 
fourth of the total farmwork force." supra note 5 at 32. 

22. For a concise discussion of the federal requirements, see 
"Agriculture and the Child Labor Requirements under the 
Fair Labor Standards Act," U.S. Dept. of Labor, Child 
Labor Bulletin No. 102, January, 1968. 

23. F.S.A. S§ 320.37-320.38. 

24. F.S.A. § 322.04(3), (4), (5). 

25. See "Welfare" infra note 1 and accompanying text. 



"day haul" basis, (c) a direct solicitation from the farmer, 

(d) the Farm Labor Placement Service. ^^ Many workers prefer to 
work with a crew so that the responsibility for finding the job 
passes to the crew leader. Others enjoy the free choice of the 
"day haul" system where the committment involves nothing beyond 
that one day's labor. In areas where most of the labor force 
is local, it is common to find grower/worker relationships with- 
out the middleman. However, during the harvest peak, when a 
much larger work force is necessary even the farmers who do their 
own recruitment the remainder of the year may rely on a crew 
leader or the Placement Service to mobilize a large group of 
workers for a short period of time. 

The role of the Farm Labor Placement Service^" is not 
limited to the recruitment of workers for harvest. It administers 

26. Some crops tend to create a farmer/worker relationship. For 
example, approximately 40% of Florida's citrus pickers have 
worked for the same grower year after year or are recruited 
by the grower's foreman. A Survey of Florida Citrus Harvest 
Workers ^ 1966-67 , Farm Labor Developments, U.S. Dept. of 
Labor, August 1968, pp. 24-36 at 25. 

27. "The Office of Farm Labor Service of the Bureau of Employ- 
ment Security is a part of the Manpower Administration of 
the U.S. Dept. of Labor." Supra note 2 at front cover. 

28. The addresses of the Farm Labor Placement Offices in the 
MLS six-county area are: 


East Palm Beach) 

Glades ) 
Hendry ) 
W. Palm Beach) 

Desoto ) 
Lee ) 
Collier ) 
Dade ) 

State Rd 7, P. 0. Box 1989 
Delray Beach, Florida 
Tom Easter ling, Mgr. 
300 S.W. 16th Street 
Belle Glade, Florida 
J. W. Mosley, Mgr. 

New Market Road 
Immokalee, Florida 
Paul Goldman, Mgr. 

Federal Highway, U.S. #1 
P.O. Box 264 
Princeton, Florida 

The Southern Regional Office is; 

Bureau of Employment Security 

Route 631 

1371 Peachtree Street, N.E. 

Atlanta, Georgia 30309 

V.A. Milton, Regional Director 



2 9 

the Annual Worker Plan, a poorly executed effort but it does 

at least attempt to schedule successive work opportunities for 
migrants. At present, it is about the only federally-funded-^'^ 
agency theoretically concerned with upholding standards of em- 
ployment conditions through limiting the use of its interstate 
placement service to growers who have met the Secretary of Labor' 
wage, housing and transportation regulations. 

Even after the recruitment process, the farm worker must 
somehow get to his job. If employment is local he will either 
provide his own transportation, ride with his crew, or wait at 
a designated pick-up corner to be "hauled" to the fields in 
buses. To the out-of-state worker, the trip to the job site is 
unpleasant, at best, and often truly dangerous. Those who drive 
their own vehicles are left to chance. Those traveling with 
crews, usually suffer marathon rides, in over-crowded, anti- 
quated school buses, slat-sided vegetable trucks, or stuffy, 
enclosed truck trailers. If non-family workers are transported 
more than 75 miles across at least one state line in a vehicle 
other than a passenger automobile or station wagon, those pro- 
viding the transportation are regulated by the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission. ^2 ipj-^g regulations deal with the qualifica- 
tions of the driver, maximum mileage and hours without rest and 
meal stops, and the condition of the vehicle. Unfortunately, 
enforcement mechanism for these regulations is virtually non- 
existent. Florida, too, has legislated--and failed to enforce- 
a Carriers of Migrant Farm Workers Act.-*-^ 

29. Supra notes 12, 13 and accompanying text. 

30. Supra note 5 at 50; supra note 3 at 25-32. 

31. The lack of success of this effort is poignantly illustrated 
in the plight of the crew in the MLS case, Gomez v. Florida 
S tate Ernployment Service , 

32. § 198 et seq. of the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations of the 
Interstate Commerce Commission. See "To Crew Leaders , 
Drivers , and Owners of Motor Vehicles Transporting Migratory 
Farm Workers," Interstate Commerce Commission 1963. 

33. F.S.A. §§ 3.17.9931-33. Interview of State Highway Patrol 
Officials by MLS staff illustrates a complete lack of know- 
ledge of the statute's existence. Once briefed by the 
staff of its contents, they felt the enforcement was pro- 
bably intended by the Highway Patrol, but were unaware of 
any arrest ever made to enforce it. 



The ICC transportation regulations might be rendered 
more effective by the realization of the nromise of the Farm 
Labor Contractor Registration Act which was passed with the 
idea of having an effective means of tracing and regulating crew 
leaders.-^'' Registration is dependent upon, among other things, 
the coveraae of vehicles used to transport migrant workers by 
public liability insurance. ^^ So far, the Act's impact has 
been considerably less significant than might be anticipated. 
In 1967, the field staff of the Department of Labor's section 
concerned with implementing the act was limited to five pro- 
fessional employees for the entire country. ^° Yet, even with 
such restrictions, 2.141 crew leaders were successfully 


registered in 1967.-'' 

Crew leader registration may eventually be the key to 
combating another occupational hazard of farm work — the "Myth" 
of Social Security coverage. 38 Although statistics are notably 
lacking as to the number of South Florida seasonal farm workers 
receiving Social Security, the MLS field experience tends to 
suggest a near absence of practical coverage. 3-- This situation 
is the result of several factors, not the least of which is the 
workers' reluctance to work on farms or with crew leaders who 
"take the pennies." This feeling on the part of the workers 
has probably developed because of grouo exoerience with crew 
leaders and farmers v.'ho take deductions and then fail to send 
the monies to the proper authorities. Such evasion on the oart 
of those making deductions can be either maliciously motivated 
or the result of confusion as to those covered and those resoon- 
siblo. Often the matter will boil down to: 'Who is the Employer? 
Under present provisions, the crev^7 leader is genera I ly the 
employer of crew workers he furnishes un less there is a written 

34. Pub. L. 88-582 (1964, 7 U.S.C. § 2044. 

35. Id. 

36. Supra note 5 at 36. 

37. Id. 

38. Social Security Amendments of 1956, ch . 836, Sec. 105, 70 
Stat. 828, 42 U.S.C. 409 (1958). Coverage is presently 
limited by the $150 from one employer in a year or 20 days 
paid on a tine basis during the year rule. See "Agviaultural 
Emvloyer's Social Security Tax Guide," U.S. Treasury Deot. , 
I.R.p". Pub. No. 51 (196 7)". 

39. MLS clients who receive Social Security benefits are few: 
Belle Glade - 2; Delray Beach - 19; Princeton - 5; 
Fort Myers - 37. Although not all our clients v?ould be 
eligible for benefits, the number of recipients out of 

in excess of 2500 clients seen is remarkably low. 



aqreement between the farmer and the crew leader, statinq that 
the crew leader is the farmer's emplovee. '^'^ However, the problem 
is further muddied by a twist — " either the farmer or the arew 
leader may be the employer if (t)here is no written agreement 
and the farmer or his agent pays the workers . In this situation, 
who ever has the final right to control the crew members in the 
performance of their work is the employer. "^ The Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public 
Welfare has suggested that the law be modified so that the respon- 
sibility for withholdina employees' tax and^reporting waaes be 
placed on the actual employer, the farmer. 


Farm workers are not only excluded from social and labor 
protections, but also--perhaps because of their lack of organiza- 
tion--must occasionally compete with foreign workers for jobs. 
Florida was the nation's largest emplover of foreian aaricultural 
labor in 1967. -^ In fact, the combined total of foreian workers 
in the rest of the states barely enuals one-third of the number- 
employed in Florida.'''' Thirty nine thousand and eicrht hundred^^ 
man-hours of British West Indians^^ employed in the sugar cane 
industry in Florida were logged in 1968. All of these workers, 
indeed all foreign workers in any occupation, enter the country 
under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Public Law 414.^' The 
importation of foreign v/orkers is supervised by the United States 
Department of Labor so that no adverse effect on the waqes of 
domestic labor occurs. 48 Furthermore, the waaes of sugar cane 
workers are set each year under the provisions of the Suaar Act 
of 1948.''^ The federally established minimum wage for the 1967-68 
harvest was $1.45 an hour,^'^ considerably higher than the $1.00 
and, later, $1.15 minimums for domestic agricultural workers. ^1 
Since sugar is a very highly reaulated industry and each of the 
suaar growers participates in the substantial benefits of the Sugar 
Act,^^ the higher minimum wage may be understandable on a strange 
formula in which the Federal subsidies actually subsidize waaes. 

40 . See Social Security Information for Crew Leaders and Farmers, 
U.S. Treasury Dept., I.R.S., Pub. No. 365 (1967) 3. 

41. Supra note 5 at 55. 

42. Supra note 5 at 55. 

43. Supra note 5 at 13. 

44. Id. 

45. Id. 

46. For an excellent study of the BWi ' s role in Florida agri- 
culture. See Kramer, The Off shores ^ 1966. 

47. 66 Stat. 166 (1952), as amended, 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1503 

48. 20 C.F.R. , § 602.10, et seq. 

49. The Sugar Act of 19S7, 7 U.S.C. § 1100, et seq. 

50. 7 C.F.R. , § 863.19(a) (1) (i) (b) . 

51. Fair Labor Standards Amendment (1966), 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(5). 

52. Supra note 6. 


Migrant Legal Services initially had little contact with 
the BWI ' s , but as a result of a single case, the Program's involve- 
ment has become considerable. The case^ Cole v. Heidtnan ,^-^ has 
led M.L.S. attorneys through the intracies of Labor Department 
regulations to a hearing by the State Department on the immunity 
from suit of the British West Indies Central Labour Organisation, 
the government contracting and recruitina agent. 

The British West Indians burn the sugar cane fields 
in pre-harvest and wield the machetes that, even in this age of 
mechanization, cut almost all the cane in Florida. This work is 
probably the dirtiest, hardest, and most dangerous agricultural 
work in the country. ^^ However, almost all work of the seasonal 
farm laborer is repetitious, exhaustina and hot. In South Florida 
it frequently seems to be impossibly hot. Male workers wear 
dirty-grey sweat bands around their foreheads to keen the moisture 
from flowing into their eyes. Negroes who have straightened their 
hair have bright handkerchiefs wrapped tightly around the hair to 
protect the"process" . Big, floppy hats dot the Mexican-Ameriaan 
crews. The majority of the work must be done durina the heat of 
•the day — and stoop labor, hoeing, or cane cutting is sweatv work 
under the coolest conditions. Although water^^ for drinkina and 
washing is supposed to be provided56 in the field, many M.L.S. 
surveys have found that this requirement is violated.^' Perhaps 
an even more essential violation is the failure to provide toilet 
facilities'^ during the workina day. The dearading effect of this 
upon the worker and the health hazard to both those working in the 
field and the ultimate consumer of the produce is obvious. Other 
conditions which would shock the urban worker include lack of fre- 
quent rest periods and food which is often either unavailable or 
only for purchase at enormously marked-uo prices by the crew leader. 

ST. 68-24S-Civ-TC ^S.D. Fla. February 29, 1968). The suit essen- 
tially raises questions about the unconstitutional deprivation 
of civil rights of Jamaican sugar cane workers durina a peaceful 
labor dispute and about the subsequent illegal arrest, imprison- 
ment and blacklisting of the workers. The suit also raises 
important questions about the systematic deprivation of wages 
due to the men under federal reaulations. 

54. Supra note 46 at 46. 

55. Fla. Administrative Code, Sanitary Code for Buildings Serving 
the Public and Places of Employment ,ChaptBr 170C-R.13. 

56. Those establishments subject to regulation are defined as: 

"(I) Places of Employment - Every person, firm or 
corporation employing one or more persons must pro- 
vide adequate sanitary facilities for such employee 
or employees; and when ten (10) or more persons are 
employed at the same establishment then equal facil- 
ities shall be provided for each sex. 

* * *" Id. at 170C-8.03. 

57. From information supplied by M.L.S. investigators. 

58. Supra note 55 at 170C-8.04, et seq. 



To the observer, it seems that the heat would be more 
nearly bearable if the rhythm of picking was not of such unbroken 
monotony. Since many field workers begin pickina when they are 
children, the sameness of the work makes it possible for a degree 
of expertise to develop. Some workers choose certain crops and 
only pick tomatoes or celery. j.Qthers switch constantly. Those 
persons who work on a day haul basis, i.e., early morning hiring 
in a town followed by a bus-trip to the fields, have little decision 
as to the particular crop and are usually the less dependable, 
slower workers. These men are simply paid at the end of the day 
and go through the whole hiring procedure again the next time they 
want to work. Most Mexiaan-Americans prefer the arew system where 
a man can be paid by the week if he desires. The prevailing prac- 
tice IS still, however, daily pay by the crew leader based on his 
memory of the day's picking. Any debts or deductions are taken 
before the money goes to the worker. 

The wage is usually figured on a piece-rate; that is, 
so much per bushel, crate or pound. By federal law, tbis piece- 
rate wage must equal the federal minimum hourly wage. When one 
realizes the method of computing the hours, it is obvious that the 
piece-rate-, although low, will almost always equal the hourly figure, 
The worker is not paid for time spent going to and from the field, "^ 
time spent waiting for the crop to be ready, time spent eating, 
time when no work is available or no new row assignment has been 
made, time when it is raining, or time when the crop-dusters spray 
the plants. 

All of these determinations can be sources of employment 
problems, but they are invariably settled by the crew leader or 
farmer's representative and never make it to a lawyer's office. 
If decisions regarding wages or hours seem unfair, the worker can 
change to another crew leader, another farmer. This is of little 
avail as long as there is practically no competition for workers -- 

ST; See generally The Day Haul, U.S. Dept. of Labor, 1967. 

60. Other methods of payment included daily tickets, weekly punch 
cards and flat hour, day, or week rates. 

61. Fair Labor Standards Aat, 29 U.S.C. 213, et seq. 

62. This travel time averages one to two hours in Lee and Collier 
County and probably is as high in Dade. Thus, the man who 
lives in an on-farm labor camp starts far ahead of the city 
dweller who rides to the fields. 

63. E.G., tomatoes cannot be picked while still wet from dew. 
This means unpaid-time sitting, vraiting for the dew to dry. 

64. Indicative of basic hostility, Rudolfo Juarez, M.L.S. investi- 
gator, notes that when workers are paid by the farmer, the 
man distributing the money is usually not alone and seldom 
ever unarmed, although this may merely be a precaution against 
robbery . 



all farms pay about the same, and enforce about the same condi- 
tions. However, the Department of Labor anticipates a change in 
this situation: 

Tn coming years, the migrant work force 
is likely to be smaller, more highly 
skilled, and better paid. During the 
recent economic expansion, workers have 
been dropping out of the migratory stream 
to take better paying jobs in industry . 
Other migrants are making efforts to 
educate their children to qualify for non- 
farm jobs. As the supply of migrants 
dwindles and farm wages rise, farmers will 
be induced to mechanize or find other ways 
to use' migrants more efficiently. 

. . . /The farmer -employer/ might decide 
that, as competition for workers increases , 
housing will become more significant as a bar- 
gaining point and that he should, therefore, 
be prepared to make a larger investment than 
would otherwise be feasible . On the other 
hand, he might decide that it would be more 
desirable for him to increase wage rates or 
provide rental allowances .... 

65. Workers say wages are better up North, but that the higher cost 
of living makes things about the same . 

66. Housing for Migrant Farmworkers , Farm Labor Developments, U.S. 
Dept. of Labor, October 1968, 18-19. 






In most instances it is strikingly clear when you 
are in a neighborhood where farm laborers reside because that 
is where the paved roads end. In the summer the ditches next 
to the road are constantly filled with water and the water is 
never still because of the mosquitos constantly darting about 
on the surface. During the winter (the dry period) the ditches 
are dusty as are the yards. In the rainy season the water does 
not end at the ditches but stands in stagnant pools surrounding 
each of the homes. Old cars with broken windows, tin cans, 
rags, and an abundance of trash and garbage stand in the stag- 
nant pools of water and sometimes on dry land and give the 
appearance of a vacated battlefield. 

There is the constant presence of many children darting 
in and out of the broken glass and bottles and playing in the 
stagnant puddles and using the broken down cars for trapezes, 
jungle j ims , swings, and any other imaginary object that their 
limited experience would allow them to conjure up. 

An overwhelming impression after visiting any of the 
houses is that they are in constant need of repair. Front doors 
are hung improperly or broken. Porches are on the ground or non- 
existent. Windows are half out of their encasements. The roofs 
are a sea of patchwork and old shingles or in some cases are 
made of tin. 

During the heavy rainy periods water leaks into the 
house through breaches in the walls or through improperly con- 
structed windows. Everything smells of mildew. It is impossible 
to keep a house clean because the children track in mud from the 
outside and it mixes with the water on the inside resulting in 
filth. No matter how diligently the residents attempt to main- 
tain cleanliness it is impossible to fight the elements which 
cannot be kept out of shoddy houses in disrepair. 

Upon entering each of the homes the same smell greets 
you. It is a mixture of odors from backed up toilets and tubs. 
A slight, faint odor of urine and an overwhelming pallor of 
gloom and deprivation prevail. When indoor toilets are present, 
they frequently are in disrepair or will not flush properly 



during rainy periods- During those periods when the toilet is 
stopped up, the bath tub is also unusable, making it impossible 
to observe the basic rudiments of health and well being. 

When septic tanks overflow the waste bubbles up and 
fills the yard with a rancid smell. Landlords are called but 
they do not react. The stock answer is that when the dry 
weather comes the septic tank will work perfectly. In many 
cases the septic tanks were imperfectly constructed and placed 
in such a manner so that they are higher than the toilets them- 
selves. There are also cases where the pipes from the toilets 
to the septic tanks were too small to carry the waste products. 
The natural result of these problems is no drainage and toilets 
that do not function. 

If water is taken from the wells the water smells bad, 
tastes bad, and often is not potable. When local health depart- 
ments are called they usually find no problem with the water. 
Yet when surveys are taken by the residents and sent to the health 
department with samples, frequently the water comes back labeled 
"non-usuable for human consumption." As a result, on many tables, 
there are water buckets or water jars from water that has been 
hauled from inside nearby cities. 

The lighting fixtures, when they are present, consist 
of a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling by an electric 
wire. The wire is exposed as it runs from the bulb to the ceil- 
ing and across the ceiling to the next room and finally to the 
outside electrical connection. Many residents complain that when 
they touch the outlet or attempt to change a bulb they are rudely 
startled by a shock from the exposed wiring. This is especially 
prevalent on rainy days. 

In the heat of a summer's day all the windows in every 
home are open and usually there are no screens to prohibit flies, 
mosquitos and other pests from having free access to the houses. 
But there is a choice of suffocating from the ever present heat 
or being bothered by the smaller but no less annoying insects. 
All choose to fight the insects and not the heat. 

The greatest haven for pests and bugs is under the 
kitchen sinks. When the doors of the cabinets have been opened 
to expose the rusted and leaky pipes, hundreds and thousands of 
small bugs and rodents scurry away from the light of day and from 
the eyes of the onlooker. It is not a pretty sight. The resi- 
dents complain frequently of the rats -- rats which are a natural 
result of garbage in the yards, bad plumbing, and poor construction. 



The residents complain to the various local officials 
about the lack of mosquito control. The officials always promise 
to spray the next day. More often than not the mosquito control 
unit is never seen. 

Many persons renting from landlords pay an extra dollar 
a week for garbage collection services. In rural areas as a rule 
counties do not provide garbage service. It is the rare landlord 
who conscientiously collects the garbage on a weekly basis. As 
a result garbage overflows in cans, and dogs and children strew 
the garbage from one end of the yard to the other. Ditches are 
filled with debris and decaying food and other remnants of human 
waste. The landlord's answer to the problem is that the people 
are inherently dirty. But he doesn't provide garbage cans and 
he doesn't provide garbage service for which the tenants are 

The foregoing, based on observations of MLS staff mem- 
bers, describes many of the everyday housing nuisances and out- 
right dangers encountered by the low-income families of sea- farm workers in southern Florida. It represents a bleak 
picture and one that is most difficult to remedy for people with- 
out the financial means or bargaining position to demand or rent, 
much less buy, better housing. They have no alternative even 
if they could afford it. 

For what was described above and what you see in the 
accompanying photographs, a worker is forced to pay between $6.00 
to $12.00 a week, without benefit of a lease agreement. Often 
the most deplorable shack rents for the highest price simply be- 
cause the season is on and there are no other quarters of any 
kind available, even at great distances from the farms. Even 
in the isolated instance where suitable rural housing is vacant 
for occupancy, the migrant laborer is turned away because he 
does not meet the landlord's criteria of a suitable tenant. In 
other words, he is black, Mexican, or cannot demonstrate financial 
ability with a steady income. -'- 

It is revealing to figure the cost per square footage that 
seasonal farmworkers are forced to pay as compared to the 
square footage cost paid by middle-income residents in the 
same locality. In Fort Myers, a typical 2-bedroom house 
rented for $10.50 per week consists of 450 sq.ft. of living 
space. This amounts to a payment of $1.26 per square foot 
per year. Two miles away, an MLS attorney is renting a 2- 
bedroom air-conditioned house situated on a quarter acre of 
land, with living space of 1200 sq.ft. and pays the equivalent 


36-513 O - 70 - pt. 4A - 18 


Thus, the first hurdle to be mounted by the migrant 
worker is to locate some sort of shelter for his family, and 
he takes whatever he finds. Once settled and confronted with 
these unlivable conditions, there are legal means and pressures 
he can exert to correct certain of these nuisances. However, 
none of these measures are without concurrent risks to the tenants, 
such as eviction, or more improbably condemnation, which would 
have the same effect. There is some plausibility to the argument 
that some shelter, albeit abominable, is better than nothing at 

That is not to say the problems are insoluble or too 
complex for people of limited education to grapple with. Housing 
is too basic a need not to merit the effort. With proper guidance 
and legal support, there are four general avenues of approach open 
to low-income families who are now forced to live in deplorable 
housing: 1) persuasion and negotiation; 2) enforcement of housing 
codes where in effect, or enforcement of Florida nuisance laws 
where no housing codes exist; 3) lobbying with local authorities 
to enact stringent countywide housing regulations; and 4) bring- 
ing new housing into the area under various federal programs. 

The first attack through persuasion or moral inducement 
is both uncertain and incomplete, unless the landlord involved is 
genuinely concerned with more than collecting his rents. One 
group of exasperated tenants in the Negro section of Boca Raton, 
under advisement from MLS attorneys, were successful in threaten- 
ing the landlord with rent strike if needed repairs were not 
made. The efforts of the residents' association prodded the land- 
lord into action with more promises than repairs forthcoming. But 
progress has begun on new roofs, painting, and installation of 
new plumbing facilities in some of the apartments. Perhaps most 
importantly, the residents themselves realized they could get 
something accomplished, and with the expectation that repairs 
would be made, they have cooperated in a clean-up day making the 
entire project more attractive. 

The essential ingredient in obtaining compliance with 
housing codes and regulations, where they exist, seems to be the 
number of tenants who are willing to make their complaints known. 
Only if the landlord or realtor managing the property are faced 
with action as drastic as a rent strike will the immediate com- 
plaints be satisfied. Individual calls of distress for faulty 
plumbing, electricity or garbage collection, are most often un- 

of $1 . 10 "per square foot per year. A similar comparison was 
made between a typical 1-bedroom labor camp dwelling in Dade 
County and one of the attorney's homes nearby. For total square 
footage of 329, the farmworker pays $12.00 per week, or $1.89 
per square foot per year while the attorney, living in con- 
siderably more comfortable and sanitary quarters, pays $1.64 
per square foot per year. For this he receives lawn maintenance 
and use of two air conditioners and a washina machine. 



heeded. Likewise, bringing violations in the local housing or 
health regulations to the attention of the department officials 
responsible for their enforcement are to no avail because their 
sanctions and authority are ineffective to deal with the overall 
problem of a housing shortage. 

Most rural housing is not covered by housing codes 
or regulations, because only the cities have jurisdiction over 
housing authorities . 3 Housing occupied by farm workers is lo- 
cated in unincorporated towns and outlying areas of the county. 
Residents should attempt to persuade the local county commissioners 
to enact housing codes and regulations, both to give guide lines 
to builders and to protect tenants' rights. The larger the group 
of irate tenants, the more effective will be their lobbying 
measures on the commissioners to enforce stringent requirements. 
This legislative process is obviously not an immediate palliative. 

One of the complicating factors in the enforcement 
of housing, building or health codes and regulations is the 
undefined (and often overlapping) jurisdiction of the various 
authorities charged with their enforcement. In addition to 
local city or county housing authorities, the Hotel and Restaurant 
Commission and the State Board of Health operate statewide. 

The Hotel and Restaurant Commission requires all 
"public lodging establishments'"* to be licensed and has the power 
to aarry out and execute all the provisions of this chapter and 
all other laws now in force or which may hereafter be enacted 
relating to the inspection or regulation of public lodging and 
public food service establishments for the purpose of safeguarding 
the public health, safety and welfare . This implies that not only 
can the Commission promulgate and enforce its own regulations. 

2. The housing shortage is so acute that substandard housing 
cannot be condemned simply because there is no other place 
for persons thereby displaced to move. The Fort Myers Housing 
Authority (Lee County) which manages three projects serving 
low-income persons has a waiting list for each that could 
easily fill 10 more such projects. 

3. F.S.A. §421.04. 

4. F.S.A. §509.241. This definition includes: "All buildings, 
groups of buildings, or other structures kept, used, main- 
tained, advertised as, or held out to the public to be places 
where sleeping or housekeeping accommodations are supplied for 
pay to transient or permanent guests or tenants, and apartments, 
except as hereinafter exempted, are defined and shall be li- 
censed as public lodging establishments..." 



but those of the state or local health departments as well 
when pertaining to public lodging establishments. The sanc- 
tions available to the Commission appear to be limited to sus- 
pension or revocation of a license once granted. 5 

The State Board of Health likewise issues licenses 
for migrant labor camps, which are defined in more restrictive 
terms than public lodging establishments . ° The only difference 
in terms of the jurisdiction of the Hotel and Restaurant Com- 
mission and the State Board of Health as regards migrant housing 
is the requirement of 15 or more persons for the Health Depart- 
ment to step in, and the further fact that the Health Department 
can act whether rent is paid or not, whereas the Commission is 
restricted to accommodations for pay. The State Board of Health 
has promulgated very explicit sanitary regulations and has the 
power to enforce them by withholding or revoking a license as 
well as invoking criminal sanctions. 

Local codes vary greatly from the rather stringent 
Dade County metro code to the non-existent Lee County Code. 
In view of the abundance of administrative authorities and the 
dearth of meaningful regulations or effective sanctions, it is 
obvious that housing code enforcement is not an easy route for 
a distraught tenant. 

In the interim, tenants with especially pressing pro- 
blems can seek to legally enforce Florida nuisance laws, or 
other common law remedies. Again the dangers are great that 
the initiation of a legal proceeding will cause the tenant to 
be evicted, but then again the pendency of a legal proceeding 
may coerce the landlord into making necessary repairs. The 
Courts have the power to protect the tenant by putting the pro- 
perty in receivership with an order restraining the landlord 
from interfering with the tenant's occupancy pending outcome 
of the litigation. MLS is currently working with clients in 
testing all of the above methods to achieve the desired result 
of better housing. 

5. F.S.A. Section 509.261. 

6. F.S.A. Section 381.422(1) defines migrant labor camp as: "One 
or more buildings or structures, tents, trailers, or vehicles, 
together with the land appertaining thereto, established, 
operated or used as living quarters for fifteen or more 
seasonal, temporary, or migrant workers whether or not rent 

is paid or reserved in connection with the use or occupancy 
of such premises . . . . " 

7. F.S.A. Sections 381.462, 381.411. 



While part of the housing problem can be met by 
improving the already existing units, the only possible way 
to solve the housing shortage is by a massive program of 
construction. Each of the MLS field offices is working with 
clients, civic and church groups on projects to initiate new 
housing. The first and most advanced such project is for a 
group of clients in the town of Pahokee in Palm Beach County. 
The Glades Citizens Association, Inc. (GCA) , a local Negro 
civic group most of whose members work in agriculture, asked 
the help of MLS attorneys in obtaining new housing. Prior 
to consulting MLS the group had attempted to get a grant from 
OEO for a self-help housing project, but had been unsuccessful. 

At about the same time that GCA was talking to MLS 
about housing, a representative of the Foundation For Coopera- 
tive Housing" (FCH) contacted MLS and informed the staff that 
there was money available under §515 (a) of the Housing Act of 
1949 for Cooperative Housing. Together, FCH and MLS began to 
prepare an application on behalf of GCA for a coop housing 
porject. Without any funds to work with a MLS attorney ob- 
tained an option on a thirty one acre tract of land, obtained 
a resolution from the Pahokee City Commission approving the 
project, worked out water and sewer hookups and, together with 
GCA officers, prepared over 150 individual Farmers Home eligi- 
bility applications. FCH prepared a site plan and put together 
the data necessary for submitting a formal application to Farmers 
Home Administration. The Catholic Archdiocese of Miami was 
added as a co-sponsor. 

The final plan was for a cooperative of 131 individual 
dwelling units plus a recreation center. The houses were to be 
prefabricated of plywood under a process perfected by a Florida 
manufacturer working through a Federal Housing authority ex- 
perimental program. 

Despite the fact that there had been many prior con- 
ferences between MLS, FCH and Farmers Home; when the applica- 
tion was submitted. Farmers Home refused it, stating it was 
not authorized to lend more than $300,000 to any one project. 
Attorneys retained by FCH as well as MLS attorneys rechecked 
the act, finding that there was such a restriction on section 
(b) but not on section (a) under which GCA's application had 
been submitted. Although informed of this finding. Farmers 

A private non-profit group organized for the purpose of 
promoting cooperative housing. Through a subsidrary FCH 
Services, Inc., it provides technical help to those wishing 
to construct such housing. 



Home refused to recede from its position. Rather than engage 
in an administrative battle which might result in a law suit, 
and thereby indefinitely delay the project, it was decided to 
withdraw the application and in its place submit to the Federal 
Housing Authority under S 235 of the Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment Act of 1968. 

The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 orig- 
inally envisioned 26 million new or rehabilitated housing units 
over the next ten years, with 6,000,000 going to low income 
families. The Act's lofty aim is to rid the nation of all sub- 
standard housing. 

Congress was asked to fund each of these two sections 
at $75,000,000 for the first year of operation. Instead it 
slashed its appropriation for each to $25,000,000.-'-" 

A slash in funds such as this will certainly impede 
the progress that this Act was meant to achieve, and its effect 
will be felt in all areas. But, its effect v/ill most likely 
be more injurious in rural areas since the priorities on what 
money has been appropriated has been allocated to socially ex- 
plosive urban ghettos. 

Section 235 applications and projects in rural areas 
will be processed by Farmers Home Administration with the 
technical assistance of the Federal Housing Administration, 
while projects and applications in rural areas under section 
236 will be administered by Federal Housing Administration, 
due to the inherent difficulty of large scale rental projects. 
For like reason cooperative housing projects under § 235 will 
be administered by the Federal Housing Authority. 

9~. P.L. 90-448, Aug. 1, 1968. 

Section 235 will enable families earning from $3,000 
to $7,080 to buy homes for as little as $200 down and monthly 
payments equal to 20 per cent of monthly income. The federal 
government will pay all mortgage cost beyond 1 per cent 
interest, which includes taxes and fire insurance. Families 
can purchase homes at a cost up to $15,000. For example, a 
family earning $3,600 could pay as little as $60 monthly for 
a $12,000 home. 

Section 236, the new rental program, operates in the 
same manner except that tenants will pay 25 per cent of their 
income for rent. The government subsidizes all but 1 per 
cent of mortgage charges. Mortgages may run for 40 years 
under the home ownership and rental programs neither of 
which require community workable programs. 
10. Prentiss Hall, Federal Aids to Financing Report, Bulletin 
#9, November 1, 1968. 



Therefore the urban centered priorities of the Federal 
Housing Administration, will be applied to rural areas casting 
very worthy rural multi-family projects to the back of the line. 

Thus, for example under the present agreement between 
HUD and USDA the Secretary of HUD has made available to the 
Secretary of Agriculture the sum of $2 million in contract 
authority for assistance payments on behalf of lower income 
homeowners who purchase homes under the section 235 (i) program. 

With this lack of money and priorities in mind, con- 
sider the following approach to the housing needs of the rural 

The Fort Myers office of MLS became involved in 
assisting persons who live in an area known as Harlem Heights, 
approximately 12 miles from Fort Myers, Florida, in obtaining 
housing under the new housing act. The location of this com- 
munity is in a particular area of the county which is rural 
in character. 

The community is surrounded by various farms who 
employ many persons in the area. ■'■■'• 

Best estimates of long time residents indicate that 
the first persons to inhabit this area (Heights) were Negro 
farm laborers. This was approximately 1935. 

After the second World War a physician in Fort Myers 
constructed approximately 125 rental units in Heights. -"-^ Other 
housing was similarly constructed and taverns, stores, churches, 
and an elementary school followed. 

Within the last year a significant portion of the 
residents began to attempt to improve the community's physical 


11. 70% of the full-time employed persons who were surveyed 
listed farming as an occupation. The remainder of those 
interviewed are employed in construction, restaurants, 
motels, domestic labor, yard work, trucking, and custodial 
positions. The 70% finding remains constant within the 
separate categories of males and females. See Survey of 
Housing Needs -- Harlem Heights, prepared by MLS (unpublished). 

12. The greatest portion of these units are still standing. They 
are of wooden frame construction. The Survey of Housing Needs, 
Supra, indicated that all of these units were' substandard or 
dilapidated. For instance it was indicated that 30% of the 
roofs leaked. (These percentages includes housing other than 
the rental housing) . 71% had no hot running water. Over one 
half had no indoor toilets. 52% complained of a severe lack 

of space in the home. Nearly 90% have yard drainage problems. 
48% are plagued by deficient windows, screens, or doors; 86% 
were not 'provided with heat -- and 9 2% are vermin infested. 

13. A day care center was incorporated and is in operation. 18 
families are presently constructing or have built single family 



The greatest need identified by the association was 
that of low cost, decent housing for all of the residents. The 
physician who owned the greater portion of the housing in the 
area passed away. The estate incurred a massive federal tax 
liability and is attempting to sell the property. In addition, 
the housing was cited as being in violation of the sanitation 
regulations of the State Hotel and Restaurant Commission. 

All of these factors combined to create a critical 
and immediate need for housing in the area.-'-'' 

Initially MLS worked closely with the Improvement 
Association and the local NAACP office in presenting to the re- 
sidents various alternative solutions. This included a review of 
programs financed by Farmers Home Administration, Self-Help 
Housing, and the Housing Act of 1968. Similarly a housing com- 
mittee v7as established by the Improvement ^ssociation to visit 
various builders to discuss construction techniques, costs, and 
other pertinent factors. Also, the committee, i<'ith the aid of 
many persons, began to search for a suitable site for the pro- 
posed project. 

The most important single ingredient of this pre- 
liminary work was to find an indigenous, experienced non-pro- 
fit sponsor. After contacting many church, civic, and related 
groups MLS attorneys met with reoresentatives of the Presbyterian 
Social Ministery (PSM) , an arm of the United Presbyterian Church, 
in St. Petersburg. This gioup has achieved great success in the 
Tampa Bay Area, as well as in Fort Myers, in developing com- 
munities for lov;-income elderly persons and minority groups. 

Representatives of PSM met v/ith the Improvement As- 
sociation and many residents of the Heights area subsequent to 
their initial contact with MLS Attorneys. PSM was impressed 

dv;ellings under the federally funded Self-Ilelf Housing 
Program. The Heights Improvement Association was in- 
corporated and began to attack the problem of (a) com- 
munity recreational facilities, (b) soeed limits within 
the community, (c) provide for the construction of side 
v/alks on the main road, (d) the establishment of a vol- 
unteer fire department, and (e) obtaining a lighting dis- 
trict . 
14. The Survey of Housing Needs, supra, indicates that over 75% 

of the heads of households v\rere interested in moving into new 
housing as it was made available. 



by the community spirit and stability of the group as well as 
the need for housing. PSM has agreed to serve as the non-pro- 
fit sponsor. 

All concerned agreed to attempt to obtain financing 
under the below-market interest rate provisions of either sections 
235 or 236 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. 
There is some question as to whether Farmers Home Administration 
or the Federal Housing Authority will handle rural projects 
under particular subsections of sections 235 and 236. To some 
degree this will dictate the section of the Act under which the 
application for funding will be filed. 

Meetings were held with the Federal Housing Authority 
in Coral Gables, Florida, and the Farmers Home Administration in 
Fort Myers. The purpose of these meetings was to establish 
which agency will retain jurisdiction over the proposed venture. 

Once the agency relationships are established further 
action can be taken regarding applications for financing, land 
sites, type of construction needed, and other problems. 

Other possibilities for rural home ownership exist 
in the Self-help Housing Program. Self-help Housing is spe- 
cifically designed to help those families who do not have 
enough income to build modest homes by customary methods, to 
work together by using their own construction labor, and to 
help each other build homes of their own. When as many as 
seven families make application for authorization to build a 
home and they are approved by the FHA , work can be started on 
the homes through the total work effort of the group of seven 
or more families. The Southwest Florida Self-help Housing 
Corporation, located in Fort Myers, has lots available for 
families meeting the following requirements: those living 
in a rural community who have worked in agriculture for the 
past three years (earning 50% of their income in agriculture) , 
who have a reasonably good credit record.-'-^ 

A detailed commentary on the numerous sections of 
the new 1968 housing laws, or the previously existing federal 
assistance programs, could in itself fill many volumes. All 
that is attempted to be shown here is that such programs do 
exist for rural areas suffering from housing shortages. They 
can be utilized to the farm workers' advantage only through 
concerted group efforts and determination, with proper guid- 
ance as to the most appropriate program for their income and 
needs . 

15. According to the latest figures available, 200 self-help 
houses have already been constructed or are in the process 
of construction as of December 1, 1968. 




The topic of private housing for seasonal farm workers 
was purposely discussed first to counteract the general assump- 
tion that all workers live in labor camps. As to how many ag- 
ricultural workers live in the "labor camp" situation, one can 
only hazard an educated guess. 

"A high proportion (about 55%) of [all hired farm] 
workers ... live in rented or rent-free houses, from 
which moves can be made with relative ease."^° 

"Growers provide most of the housing facilities, 
generally unsuitable."^' 

Considering the scarcity of rural low rent units, 
the logical conclusion is that a significant proportion of 
the migratory labor force and their families are housed in 
grower-owned housing. This assumption is re-enforced by the 
constant assurance of the farmers' organizations that agri- 
culture is unique in that employee housing is supplied by the 
employer. 18 • 

The assumption is fallacious on two counts when 
applied to the six county area of southern Florida. First 
of all, grower provided housing is not supplied rent free 
to the migrants. The prevailing system is to deduct rent 
from the workers' wages, or to carry the amount charged as 
a debt to be paid at intervals or at the end of the season. 
At Camp Happy in Collier County, operated by Naples Fruit and 
Vegetable Co., "Records show room and board to be $15 a week, 
which alumni say was payable whether a worker ate or not at the 
company mess."l" 

Secondly, the percentage of migrant workers living 
in labor camps is far less than the 55% figure estimated nation- 
ally. The following chart has been complied^^ to illustrate 
the often very minimal percentage of migrants housed in labor 

16. Hearings on I'.igrator'ij Labor Legislation (S. 8, S. 195, 
S. 197, S. 198) Part 4 Appendix - Vol. II at 948. 

17. "The Migrant Worker," The National League of Women Voters, 
Facts and Issues, Dec. 1967, p. 7. 

18. See E.g., Hearings, supra at 305, 330, 558, 742, 746, 998. 

19. Samuel Adams, "Migrants Lot Not a Happy One at Camp Happy, 
St. Petersburg Times, April 21, 1968. 

20. From the Fifth Annual Progress Report, Florida Migrant 
Health Project, 1967-1968. 



camps in the six county region served by MLS. It should be 
further pointed out that the percentage has continued to de- 
crease each year in each of these counties, although there has 
been no concurrent reduction in the total number of migrants 
coming into these counties. The chart should be self-explana- 




Broward 2 2 

(4 permitted) 2,790 14,000 17% 

Collier 126 

(99 permitted) 5,053 ■ 16,947 22% 

Dade 2 2 

(same # permitted) 5,760 7,000- 45-41% 


Hendry* 34 

(8 permitted) 1,291 6,200 17% 

(3 permitted) 730 11,950 5% 

Palm Beach 132 

(104 permitted) 19,926 18,416 52% 

TOTALS 349 35,550 75,513 32% 

* Separate figures on Hendry County not available. This includes 
Glades County. 

Thus, only in Palm Beach County does the percentage 
approximate that of the estimated national average. There are 
several explanations for these figures, which can best be out- 
lined by highlighting the 1967-68 county reports from the Divi- 
sion of Sanitation, Florida State Board of Health. Before pre- 
senting the county-by-county breakdown, there are certain uni- 
form practices and procedures regarding certification of labor 
camps in Florida that should be explained. 



It will be noted from the first column of the above 
chart that the total number of labor camps present in each 
county is greater than the number of "permitted" labor camps, 
in each of the six counties except Dade. In other words, cer- 

9 1 

tain camps are operating m contravention of Florida laws. -^ 
The regulation states specifically: 

"170 C-32.04 permit for operation -- before 
any person shall either directly or indi- 
rectly operate a camp he shall make an ap- 
plication for and receive from the board 
(Florida State Board of Health) a valid 
permit for operation of the camp." 

Each prospective camp operator is directed to apply 
for a permit through the local health department at least 15 
days prior to commencement of camp operation. If the county 
health board then finds that the camp conforms or will aonform 
to the minimum standards required by state regulations, a 
permit will be issued. ^^ The regulations do not set forth 
any criteria by which to judge whether a prospective "will 
conform," and this is presumably left to the individual in- 
vestigators . 

By law, an employer must further comply with 
Federal regulations if he wishes to use the facilities of 
the State Employment Security System for the interstate re- 
cruitment of agricultural workers. The U.S. Department of 
Labor requires that before an employer may receive interstate 
agricultural worker recruitment assistance, his housing must 
be inspected for compliance with the regulations by appropriate 
state employment service personnel. However, as a facilitating 
procedure, the State Employment Security Agency may rely upon 
the judgment of other responsible state or local health agencies 
if such state codes are equivalent to the standards set forth 
by the President's Committee on Migratory Labor. ^^ 

21. FSA 381,031 (i) (g) , 381.432; Rules of the State Board of 
Health, the Sanitary Code of Florida, ch . 170C-32. 

22. Rules of the State Board of Health, the Sanitary Code of 
Florida, 170C-32.05. 

23. President's Committee on Migratory Labor (PCML) Aug. 1954- 
Jan. 1964. See Housing Regulations of the U.S. Department 
of Labor, Manpower Administration (1968). 



Of the housing codes now in effect, the 1959 Florida 
code is considered to meet all the standards suggested by the 
President's Committee. 24 Thus, for all practical purposes, 
the Farm Labor Placement Service of Florida (the delegate 
agency of the State Employment Security Department) relies 
on the judgment of the county health departments for the in- 
spection and licensing of labor camps. In view of the fact 
that permits may be issued to labor camp operators who allege 
they "will conform to the regulations," it is regrettable that 
no follow-up inspection procedures have been instituted either 
by the Farm Labor Placement Service or the county health de- 
partment who originally issues the permit on a conditional 
basis . 

In addition to the overall requirement of inspection 
and licensing, each county faces its own problems and difficul- 
ties in upgrading labor camps. Budget limitations throughout 
the six county area impose realistic limitations on the amount 
of work the small sanitation service staffs of the county health 
department can accomplish. These departments are responsible 
for a number of activities besides inspection and licensing; 
such as, the planning and enforcement of all labor camp regu- 
lations, educating camp owners and residents alike on the im- 
portance of good sanitary practices, and providing consultation 
and guidance to growers , health department staff members , per- 
sonnel of other agencies, and others concerned with migrant 
sanitation. The various methods by which these objectives are 
pursued in each county are detailed below: 

Brojard : The sanitation branch of the Broward 
County Migrant Health Program has at- 
tempted during the oast year to up- 
grade labor camp facilities, as well 
as up grade the entire migrant community 
(those areas in which migrants live, vork , 
or natronize) .-' 

Emphasis during the past year has been centered on 
the elimination of shack-type living, with their total re- 
moval at two ca-^-'.ps , and removal of two-thirds of the shacks 
at another. This was accomplished under the condemnation 
programs of the Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach communities. 
While the county has condemnation powers, it has not as yet 
used them. 

24. See Housing for ."ligrant Agricultural Workers, Labor Camp 
Standards, Bulletin 235 (Revised) Nov. 1962. p. 4,7. A 
Chart showing the differences in provisions of the Florida 
Housing Code and the Dept. of Labor Regulations is attached. 

25. This entire section is a synopsis of the Broward County 
Migrant Health Project, Annual Progress Report, Sanitation 
found at pp. 41-46 of the Fifth Annual Report of the Florida 
Migrant Health Project, 1967-1968. 







































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