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

AMHERST COLLEGE 



lU'-t- j 



iBiiiiiiiiiiii EASONAL FARMWORKER 

POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGRATORY LABOR 



OP THE 



COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIKST CONGRESS 

FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS 
ON 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? 



JULY 21, 1970 



PART 8-B 



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




MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGRATORY LABOR 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIRST CONGRESS 

FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS 
ON 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? 



JULY 21, 1970 



PART 8-B 



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




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
36-513 WASHINGTON : 1971 



COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

KALPH YARBOROUGH, Texas, Chairman 
JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia JACOB K. JAVITS, New York 

HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, Jr., New Jersey WINSTON L. PROUTY, Vermont 
CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island PETER H. DOMINICK, Colorado 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts) GEORGE MURPHY, California 

GAYLORD NELSON, Wisconsin RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota WILLIAM B. SAXBE, Ohio 

THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 

ALAN CRANSTON, California 
HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa 

Robert O. Harris, Staff Director 

John S. Forsythe. General Counsel 

Roy H. Millenson, Minority Staff Director 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 



Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 

WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota, Chairman 
HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, Jr., New Jersey WILLIAM B. SAXBE, Ohio 
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 

ALAN CRANSTON, California RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 

BoREN Chertkov, Counsel 

Herbert N. Jasper, Professional Staff Member 

EiJ^ENE Mittelman, Minority Counsel 

(H) 



Format of Hearings on Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker 

powerlessness 

The Subcommittee on Migratory Labor conducted public hearings 
in Washington, 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 : AVho are the Migrants? June 9 and 10, 1969. 

Part 2 : The Migrant Subculture July 28, 1969. 

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, 1969'. 

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

Part 5-A : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 21, 1969. 

Part 5-B : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 22, 1969. 

Part 6-A : Pesticides and the Farmworker Aug. 1, 1969. 

Part 6-B : Pesticides and the Farmworker Sept. 29, 1969. 

Part 6-C : Pestic-ides and the Farmworker... Sept. 30, 1969. 

Part 7-A : Manpower and Economic Problems April 14, 1970. 

Part 7-B : Manpower and Economic Problems April 15, 1970. 

Part 8-A : Who Is Responsible? July 20, 1970. 

Part 8-B : Who Is Responsible? July 21, 1970. 

Part 8-0 : Who Is Responsible? July 24, 1970. 



(Ill) 



CONTENTS 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES 

Tuesday, July 21, 1970 

Dunwell, Roger McClure, lawyer, Rio Grande Valley, Tex., representing Page 

United Farm Workers Organizing Committee 5394 

Fernandez, Efrain, the Rio Grande Valley, Tex 5445 

Segor, Joseph C, executive director. Migrant Services Foundation, Inc., 

Miami, Fla 5456 

Juarez, Rudolpho, migrant farmworker, Florida 5479 

Moore, Philip, staff counsel, project on corporate responsibility, Washing- 
ton, D.C 5499 

Cochran, Clay, executive director. Rural Housing Alliance, Washington, 

D.C 5521 

STATEMENTS 

Chisholm, Hon. Shirley, a Representative in Congress from the State of 

New York, prepared statement 5389 

Cochran, Clay, executive director. Rural Housing Alliance, Washington, 

D.C 5521 

Prepared statement 5522 

Dunwell, Roger McClure, lawyer, Rio Grande Valley, Tex., representing 

United Farm Workers Organizing Committee 5394 

Prepared statement 5401 

Supplemental statement, with exhibits A-J 5406 

Fernandez, Efrain, the Rio Grande Valley, Tex 5445 

Juarez, Rudolpho, migrant farmworker, Florida 5479 

Moore, Philip, staff counsel, project on corporate responsibility, Washing- 
ton, D.C 5499 

Prepared statement, with appendixes 5508 

Segor, Joseph C, executive director, Migrant Services Foundation, Inc., 

Miami, Fla 5456 

Prepared statement 5494 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Articles, publications, etc.: 

"Bax Vows Housing Help," by the Associated Press 5589 

"Collier Courthouse Picketed — Migrants Ask More Aid," from the 

Miami Herald, April 10, 1970 5476 

"Commissioners Hear Report on Hunger Tour," from the Belle Glade, 

April 14, 1970 5477 

"Community Organizes: Migrants Begin Struggle," by Ed Domaingue, 

from the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 16, 1970 5577 

"Crop Damage Relief — Farmers Await Word on Loans," from the 

Miami Herald, April 1, 1970 5472 

Cuban Nurse Aids Migrants 5575 

"Damage to Crops Critical, Aid Asked," from the Miami Herald, 

March 31, 1970 5472 

"Declare Disaster in Seven Counties, Kirk Asks U.S.," from the 

Miami Herald, April 2, 1970 5474 

(V) 



VI 

Articles, publications, etc. — Continued 

"Deletions Made In TV Show," special to the Ledger from the New PagB 

York Times 5590 

"Disaster for Migrants, Too." from the Miami News, April 13, 1970. _ 5476 
"Farmers Face Lack of Help," from the Palm Beach Post, May 6. 

1970 .._.' 5479 

"Farmers Home Administration and Farm-Labor Housing: Missing 
the Mark," bj^ Jim Hightower, associate director of program de- 
velopment, Rural Housing Alliance 5814 

"Fear, Mistrust Greet the Law," from the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., 

July 13, 1970 5563 

"Hunger, Lack of Jobs Stalk Florida's Migrant Pickers," from the 

Miami News, April 10, 1970 5475 

"Migrants: An Invisible Army of 25,000 Languishes in Poverty in 
Polk," by Ed Domaingue, from the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 

13, 1970 '.._._ 5559 

"Migrants Ask Kirk for Help," from the Miami News, April 15, 1970_ 5478 

Migrants: How To Escape Trap 5569 

"Migrant Leaders Given Letter on Labor Conditions," from the 

Belle Glade, April 14, 1970 5478 

Migrant Services Foundation, Inc., report to the board of directors, 

by the executive director, Joseph C. Segor 5465 

"Migrant Storm Exposure 'Bias' Claims Disputed," by Ed Domaingue, 

staff writer, from the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 18, 1970 5587 

"Migrant's Legal Aides Charge State Fails the Jobless," from the 

Palm Beach Post, April 3, 1970 5474 

"Nine Florida Counties Seek Disaster Aid," from the Miami Herald, 

March 28, 1970 5471 

"Pieces and Scraps — Farm Labor Housing in the United States," 

by Lee P. Reno 5652 

Report of the Miami Herald staff writer J. K. de Groot on the migrant 
of south Florida: 

"A Migrant's Life— Like They Told Him: Your Lot's Hard 
and You Got To Bear the Load," from the Miami Herald, 

August 21, 1970 5554 

"Can't Improve Lot, Migrants Believe," from the Miami Herald, 

August 18, 1970 5545 

"Housing for Many Migrant Workers May Worsen Before It 

Gets Better," from the Miami Herald, August 19, 1970 5548 

"Most of the Migrants Call Florida Home," from the Miami 

Herald, August 16, 1970 5538 

"Oldtimer Versus Migrant — Cultures Clash on the Land," from 

the Miami Herald, August 17, 1970 5541 

"State Shifts Migrant Mess to Washington," from the Miami 

Herald, August 20, 1970 5551 

"Report of the Migrant Labor Task Force of the State Human Rights 
Advisory Council," by Herbert L. Amerson, council chairman, and 

William Galbreath, task force chairman 5628 

"Solutions to Problem Available," by Ed Domaingue 5583 

"Some Days You Work and Eat — Some Days You Don't," by Ed 

Domaingue, from the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 14, 1970 5564 

"Summary of Harvesting Conditions in Southern, Central, and 
Northern Florida," from the Farm Labor Bulletin, Florida State 

Employment Service, April 2, 1970 5473 

"TV Show Criticism — A Repeat," by Hubert Mizell, from the Ledger, 

Lakeland, Fla., July 17, 1970 5582 

"'Ten Years Go Past But Little Changes," by Ed Domaingue, from 

the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 15, 1970 5570 

Time To Face Responsibility 5576 

"The Excepted People — The Migrant Workers in Washington 
State," by Dr. Tom J. Chambers, Jr., Washington State Council of 

Churches, Seattle, Wash 5591 

"The Migrant Stream in Polk" 5563 

Communications to: 

Holland, Hon. Spessard L., a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, 
Old Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., from George F. 
Sorn, manager, labor division, Florida Fruit and Vegetable As- 
sociation, August 31, 1970 (with attachment) 5538 



VII 

Communications to — Contintied 

Mondale, Hon. Walter F., A U.S. Senator from the State of Minnesota, 
from: 

Holland, Hon. Spessard L., a U.S. Senator from the State of 

Florida, Committee on Appropriations, Washington, D.C., ^^Be 

September 2, 1970 5537 

Orendain, Antonio, United Farm Workers, Organizing Com- 
mittee/ AFL-CIO , Texas Branch, McAllen, Tex., July 15, 1970_ 5448 
Sanchez, R. P. (Bob), attorney and counselor at law, McAllen, 

Tex., July 22, 1970 5650 

Shultz, George P., Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, 

Washington, D.C., June 26, 1970 (with enclosure) 5828 

Wragg, Otis O. Ill, managing editor, the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., 

July 18, 1970 5558 

Questions posed by the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor to the 
Department of Labor concerning migrant and seasonal farmworker 
housing and answers subsequently submitted 5829 



MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 

(Who Is Responsible?) 



TUESDAY, JULY 21, 1970 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor of the 
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 

Washington, B.C. 

The subcommittee met at 9 : 30 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 318, 
Old Senate OfHce Building, Senator Walter F. Mondale (chairman 
of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Mondale (presiding), Saxbe and Schweiker. 

Committee staff members present : Boren Chertkov, counsel. 

Senator Mondale. The subcommittee will come to order. 

Today, we begin the 2d of the 3 days of hearings in which we are 
making inquiry into the misery and powerlessness of migratory 
farmworkers, and who might be responsible. 

Yesterday, we heard a team of doctors, with emphasis on conditions 
of farmworker health, nutrition, and housing. 

This morning, we will attempt to determine why Federal programs 
do not reach this population, who is blocking the progress and per- 
petuating the misery at the local level. We will also hear from a wit- 
ness representing the Project for Corporate Responsibility. All of this 
is designed to seek answers to the incredible plight and misery which 
has continued over the decades, despite all efforts to the contrary. 

I would like to add at this point that Congresswoman Shirley 
Chisholm has requested an opportunity to testify before the subcom- 
mittee. I am honored that she has an interest in our study, and it stands 
as a tribute to her concern for all oppressed people. In a most eloquent 
statement she pinpoints the responsibility of all Senators and all Con- 
gressmen to the migrant, noting that they are otherwise politically 
powerless and without representation. 

Because of schedule complications, Mrs. Chisholm cannot be with 
us. But, without objection, I would like to order her statement printed 
in the record, as though read. 

(The prepared statement of Congresswoman Chisholm follows:) 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, A REPRE- 
SENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK 

Mr. Chairman. I would like to take this opportunity to commend 
you. Senator Mondale, as well as the other members of this subcom- 

(5389) 



5390 

mittee for the laudable efforts you have made in focusing public atten- 
tion upon the problems of migrant farmworkers. That intolerable con- 
ditions persist is not due to a lack of effort on your part. Rather, it is 
due partially to a lack of more legislators who are as knowledgeable 
and concerned as this small group here today. 

I speak to you not as a migrant worker or even as one who has a 
great deal of expertise in the area of migrant problems. I speak rather, 
as one who is concerned and as one who is committed to the struggle 
of oppressed people everywhere to gain a fair share in the benefits of 
American society. I come, too, because I feel a personal responsibility 
to those who have no representation in our Government. All Members 
of Congress, regardless of their geographic location within the coun- 
try, have a moral obligation to represent migrant workers. I say this 
because the very definition of migrancy excludes migrants from many 
of our traditional political processes. The high degree of mobility 
necessitated by the seasonal nature of harvesting usually makes voting 
impossible. Migrants therefore, because they cannot vote and because 
they are obligated to travel, are not really in anyone's district. They 
are not really in anyone's State. They are found in all our districts and 
in all our States and we must be cognizant of this if migrant workers 
are to receive the adequate representation they deserve. 

I am not needed, as a resident from Brooklyn, to describe the in- 
human conditions under which migrant workers are forced to live. 
I have seen the testimony previously presented before this subcom- 
mittee and know that I could add little in terms of description. You 
have heard all of this information for years ; you know the problems. 
You have heard the transparent excuses from avaricious businessmen 
who perpetuate human suffering by continuing their brutal exploita- 
tion of workers. You have heard the solutions which have been offered. 
You have heard all of these things and you have expressed genuine 
concern. For that I commend you. But this concern, no matter how 
genuine, doesn't feed hungry people, nor does it adequately clothe 
them. Concern doesn't send children from the fields into the classrooms 
for help in restoring human dignity. The concern exists but the prob- 
lems persist. What is needed, it seems, is not more testimony ; nor more 
excuses from growers. What is needed rather, is a positive program 
of action which insures a decent life for those who are forced to work 
as migrants. I believe, in conjunction with the United Farm Workers, 
that the key to that insurance is unionization. My testimony, therefore, 
focuses on the need for organizational efforts within the farm-labor 
community and the barriers that this unionization faces. 

THE NEED TO UNIONIZE 

One of the most graphic ways of illustrating the need for unioniza- 
tion is to examine the differential between the average wages earned 
in industry and the average wages earned by farmworkers who have 
yet to unionize. Frequently, those in industry earn twice as much per 
hour, in addition to fringe benefits, for doing work which takes little 
skill and is less physically exhausting. Furthermore, the differential is 
increasing. In 1948, the average California farmworker earned 62 per- 
cent of the hourly wage of his counterpart in manufacturing. In 1965, 
the average farmworker's earnings had slipped to 46 percent of the 
wages earned by the average worker in manufacturing. 



5391 

Collaborating evidence for the need to unionize can be clearly seen 
by comparing wages and working conditions before the formation of 
UFWOC with the conditions resulting from the recently signed union 
contracts. The statistics sometimes vary, but they all tell the same story. 
Before union contracts, workers earned about $1.33 per hour. The Cali- 
fornia union contracts call for $1.80 per hour plus 20 cents per box of 
grapes. Before UFWOC there was no provision for elderly migrants 
who are without pensions. The new union contracts provide an eco- 
nomic development fund to help care for these people. Before the 
union there were no paid vacations, no acceptable grievance proce- 
dures, no standards for safe and tolerable working conditions, no 
guarantees of decent health facilities, few safety requirements, and 
no help in covering prohibitive medical expenses. Many of the union 
contracts provide all of these minimal serA^ces. 

Statistics show that overall farm production is increasing while the 
number of farmworkers is decreasing. In 1968, for example, agricul- 
tural production more than doubled the 1950 output, yet only about 
half as many workers were used to produce it. This is due primarily 
to increased mechanization. Some have pointed to these statistics and 
used them as a justification for discouraging unionization within the 
farm industry. "Why should you waste your time forming unions? 
There won't be any jobs left pretty soon. Machines will be doing it 
better and faster. You should spend your time learning a new trade." 
Yet precisely the opposite is true. An increased reliance on automa- 
tion makes unionization both easier and more essential. Easier, because 
mechanization tends to structure the labor market thus facilitating 
organizational activity and more essential because those workers dis- 
placed deserve a share in the jobs created by automation, a share which 
can only be gained by a strong union. Someone will have to mn the 
machines which replace handworkers. The union is necessary to insure 
that those who have spent their lives in farm labor will be given first 
choice at the new, high-paying mechanized jobs. The union must be 
present to prevent inexperienced Anglos from taking all of the good 
jobs from the Chicanos and blacks who have worked their entire lives 
in the fields. The union is also necessary as a means of retraining those 
workers who are displaced and who are unable to find farm-related 
work. 

The UFWOC contracts recently signed with the California growers 
provide that the employers contribute 2 cents per box of grapes to 
an economic development fund which would be partially used to re- 
train workers displaced by automation. Without unionization those 
cut off by automation would be left to fend for themselves in a world 
which is completely alien to their previous way of life. Hopefully then, 
unionization will protect the worker as the fann industry becomes 
increasingly dependent on machines. If the union exists and is suc- 
cessful in placing its workers in the high-paying jobs created by 
automation, then those that will be displaced will be the wives and 
children of those receiving the new jobs. It is these people Avho should 
be displaced because they will no longer be economically dependent 
on family stoop labor. 

A less conspicuous, yet perhaps equally important, reason for unioni- 
zation is that the struggle to organize is a process by which migrant 
workers benefit — not only from the resultant union but from the pro- 



5392 

cess of organization. The struggle, in itself, is beneficial in two ways. 
First, it tends to focus attention upon the problems of migrant work- 
ers. Second, and more importantly, the fight of oppressed people to 
liberate themselves from the bonds of economic exploitation increases 
one's self-respect and aifirms one's humanity. You cannot be set free. 
You must set yourself free. Unionization can play an important role 
in that necessary struggle. 

Unionization can further be seen as the best solution to the problems 
of farmworkers if one examines the alternative courses of action. One 
response would be to do nothing and hence depend upon the good 
nature of the growers. Farmworkers know too much about the good- 
natured growers to do this. Another way of attacking migrant prob- 
lems would be to depend solely on legislative initiative from Congress. 
Historically speaking however, this would be unwise, all too often 
farmworkers have watched helplessly as their chance for a decent life 
was compromised away in the name of "idealistic pragmatism," Thus 
unionization is the only alternative which is both viable and effective 
and which includes the workers themselves as the most important re- 
source in the struggle. 

Realizing then, that unionization is essential if migrant workers are 
to share equitably in the benefits of American society, one must then 
examine the barriers which exist to organizational activity. They are 
by no means obstacles which are easily overcome ; however, neither are 
they insurmountable. 

BARRIERS TO UNIONIZATION 

The growers 

Perhaps the most obvious barrier to unionization is the steadfast 
obstinancy of the growers themselves. They have constantly refused to 
meet with workers to discuss even the most reasonable and mutually 
beneficial agreements. Those that have met have done so reluctantly 
and primarily because the economic sanctions employed eventually be- 
came effective enough to damage their all-important margin of profit. 
Not having had previous experience with unions, the growers are 
fearful and thus unable to see the benefits unionization has for them. 
Specifically, they have failed to take note of recently signed union 
contracts which prohibit consumer boycotts, lockouts, and strikes dur- 
ing the harvest season. These are the things to which the growers are 
now so susceptible and it is these things which tend to hurt the farm- 
ing industry. If unionization is necessary and if the growers refuse 
to voluntarily cooperate, then economic sanctions will be employed 
even though they may have a short-term crippling effect on the econ- 
om}' of farming. The workers will do what is necessary to insure them- 
selves a just wage and decent living conditions. It is up to the growers 
to decide whether or not they will cooperate and thus help their own 
industry. 

The nature of niigrancy 

The most highly publicized obstacle to unionization is the nature of 
migrant farmwork itself. It is seasonal and thus creates a high degree 
of mobility. The workers seldom are in one place long enough to facili- 
tate organization. This constant mobility coupled with a short job 
tenure tend to destroy the community of interest which draws workers 



5393 

toward unionization. There is, furthermore, an oversupply of labor 
in migrant farm work which decreases the chances for successful strikes 
and makes organizational activity more difficult. Potential scab labor 
abounds. Often the growers use techniques reminescent of Steinbeck's 
"Grapes of Wrath" ni order to encourage an oversupply of labor. The 
annual worker plan, which is financed by the Farm Labor and Rural 
Manpower Service and has as its ostensible purpose increased efficiency 
in matching capable workers with available jobs, is used frequently 
by growers as a means to overrecruit. 

The absence and abuse of litigation 

A third major barrier to successful unionization is the absence of 
even minimal legislation to protect and encourage farm unions. You 
are all aware, I know, of the exclusion of farm labor from the provi- 
sions of the National Labor Relations Act and of similar exclusions 
throughout the history of the labor movement in America. There is 
currently no legally sanctioned right to organize or principal of major- 
ity rule for the selection of employee bargaining representatives. Sim- 
ilarly, there are no uniform prohibitions against unfair labor practices. 
This lack of legislative safeguards has prevented the establishment of 
a tradition of collective bargaining and reasoned negotiations — a tra- 
dition which has been very beneficial to other unionized industries, 
of those few laws that do exist, most are either poorly and inequitably 
enforced or for some reason are not applicable to migrant farmwork- 
ers. Examples of this are too numerous to mention. The enforcement 
of immigration standards and child labor regulations can only be 
called shoddy at best, similarly, the few and pitifully inadequate mini- 
mum wage laws that do exist mean little when the government looks 
the other way while blatant violations occur. Other legislation has 
subtly excluded farmworkers. Social security for instance, is rarely 
available to migrants because the nature of their work makes it difficult 
to determine employer-employee relationships, and because of the cor- 
ruption which is associated with the deduction of social security taxes 
by some employers and crew leaders. Furthermore, in most States, 
residency requirements usually eliminate migrants from the food stamp 
program, w^elfare assistance, and existing health services, leaving work- 
ers to care for themselves out of their meager earnings. 

The Workers 

A decidedly less difficult barrier to overcome, yet in some instances 
a very real one, is the workers themselves. In many cases the workers' 
only experience with unions has been the exploitative grower-con- 
trolled unions or those set up by avaricious labor contractors. These 
experiences have left a deep-seated cynicism toward organizational 
activities. In some situations there have also been certain cultural 
blocks to successful unionization. Occasionally the concept of La Raza 
has been perceived by Chicano workers as antithetical to unioniza- 
tion. In other cases however. La Raza has been a positive force and 
advantageous to union organizers. There are also thousands of 
"casual workers" among the farm labor population — those who work 
on farms on a part-time basis. Often they are not as interested in 
union activity because their standard of living is not solely dependent 
upon farm-labor working conditions. The effects of this occasional 
cynicism and apathy are minimal. They become even less important 



5394 

because of the tremendous efforts of the UFWOC who have shown 
workers that their union is different, that the powers can be beaten, 
and that their greatest resource is the workers themselves. 

Raciwi 

Not the least of the barriers faced in the struggle to unionize is 
the institutional and individual racism which pervades American 
society at all levels. To overlook people's aversion to, and hatred of, 
differences in others is to overlook one of the most important dynamics 
operating in any social situation — it is to overlook the racist cancer 
which continuously erodes the principles upon which this country 
was founded, the fact that the eastern migrant stream is predomi- 
nantly black is no accident. The fact the migrants of the western 
stream are almost exclusively Chicano is no accident either. Both 
are manifestations of institutional racism. Blacks and Chicanos are 
disproportionately represented among migrant workers primarily be- 
cause American society is fundamentally racist — because migrancy 
is the worst kind of work and hence the only kind available to many 
people of color. 

People who are forced to travel as migrants are seen in the com- 
munities in which they work as "different" — ^the commonly accepted 
euphemism for dirty, diseased, immoral, and generally unwanted. 
As harvest time approaches, farmers and other members of the "com- 
munity" anxiously await the arrival of their migrants, as harvest 
closes, they await, with equal anxiety, their departure. Psychologists, 
and sociologists, most notably Gunnar Myrdal and Kenneth Clark, 
have written detailed studies about the effects of this kind of discri- 
mination on the people who are its victims. Certainly this psychologi- 
cal impact is one more barrier to successful unionization of migrant 
workers. 

Caesar Chavez has spoken about another kind of racism — a subtle 
form but one that greatly hinders the development of farm unions. 
He has perceived that somehow the growers are surprised that their 
workers are not happy. Somehow the corporate farmers don't like 
the idea of negotiating with "dumb Mexicans." What they are finding 
out is that their facist stereotypes are false, that Chicanos are not lazy 
and dumb and satisfied, but rather, intelligent and militant about 
obtaining a just share of the benefits of American society. What these 
growers have found out and what all of America needs to find out is 
that social revolution is not coming — it is here. 

Senator Mondale. Our first witnesses this morning are Mr. Efrain 
Fernandez and Mr. Roger Dunwell, from the Rio Grande Valley of 
Texas. 

Senator Yarborough will be here shortly. He asked that his best 
Welshes be extended. 

You may proceed. 

STATEMENT OF ROGER McCLURE DUNWELL, LAWYER, RIO 
GRANDE VALLEY, TEX., REPRESENTING UNITED FARM WORK- 
ERS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE 

Mr. Dunwell. Senator Mondale, honorable members of the sub- 
committee : 



5395 

My name is Roger McClure Dunwell. I am a member of the bar of 
the State of New York. 

For the last 11 months, I have been working with the United Farm 
Workers Organizing Committee and Colonias del Valle, Inc. in the 
Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, particularly in Hidalgo County. 

The testimony I have been asked to present comes from our expe- 
riences in the valley. 

My testimony takes two forms. First, I am submitting a prepared 
statement which totals about 80 pages. Because of its length, I prefer 
not to read the statement in its entirety. I propose, instead, to empha- 
size those portions of the statement which the Texas branch of the 
United Farm Workers Organizing Committee feels most important. 

You heard yesterday in chastening detail, of the disease a group of 
visiting doctors found in Hidalgo County, Tex. The stoiy they told, as 
poignant, as tragic as it was, could scarcely have taken any of us by 
surprise. We know, have known for years and decades, that such 
disease exists. The simple truth is, as you said yesterday. Senator 
Mondale, that those who care have not had the power to make 
any difference. 

A doctor said to you yesterday that only you could help. I am not 
convinced that this is true. We need the assistance and support of 
Government officials now more than ever, and know that we can count 
on honest men, like yourselves, to stand by our side. 

We also know now that success will only come from the efforts of the 
farmworkers themselves. Only a strong, brave, and independent orga- 
nization of farmworkers can forge the very basic changes that must 
come about. There is no more eloquent example of the truth of this 
than the increasingly successful struggle of the United Fann Workers 
Organizing Committee. They must succeed. They will succeed. 

THE POLITICS OF EXPLOITATION 

If we look at the problem of poor health in isolation, we would be 
forced to conclude that disease persists for a lack of sufficiently funded 
intelligent programs and personnel. To do so would be a mistake, for 
although such conclusions may inevitably follow from yesterday's 
testimony, we have only been talking about disease. We haven't de- 
tailed the lack of housing, food, clothing, sanitation and education 
upon which a healthy and productive life must be based. 

We could hold hearings on any one of these areas, concluding in 
each that new or better governmental programs will do the trick, 
lliquestionably, they would help in varying degrees, but the one factor 
underlying each deprivation, underlying, too, what is gloriously re- 
ferred to as the American way of life, is money in a man's pocket. 
Until the farmworkers earn a decent wage, no fundamental changes 
will be seen. 

Food is big business. Though the small farmer is being caught, like 
the farniwoi-kei-, by the growth of agribusiness, many people are mak- 
ing a lot of money by producing food. Food is such big business that 
even the most naive must be forced to ask himself, "If agribusiness 
is so profitable, why hasn't the farmworker prospered with the big 
growers?'' 

Quite obviously, he could have. He hasn't because the large growers 
have decided that they would rather live in imperial luxury, sur- 



5396 

rounded by want, than give their employees a fair wage. x\lso apparent 
is that far from seeking to help the farmworker in his efforts to right 
the imbalance, Federal, State, and local government has consistently 
abetted and encouraged the large growers. 

Consider the variety of State and Federal laws which exclude or 
discriminate against the farmworker. He was excluded from the Wag- 
ner Act. He is given a considerable lower wage under Federal and 
Texas minimum wage laws. 

Despite the alarming accident rate, he is excluded from workmen's 
compensation, forced to rely on archaic, employer- weighted tort law. 
He isn't entitled to unemployment compensation if laid off from field 
work. 

To qualify for coverage under any social security program, he must 
earn twice as much per quarter. (Compounding the problem, some 
growers will not send in social security deductions.) As far as the 
Social Security Administration is concerned, a farmworker who 
reaches retirement age, his body gnarled from farm work, may never 
have earned a dollar in his life. 

The catalog could go on. Rather than explore each example in de- 
tail, I should prefer to concentrate on Texas' occupational health and 
safety laws. 

The most basic protections do not exist. The Texas Occupational 
Safety Act, which should and could be developed to provide safety 
standards for the transportation of migrants, for field sanitation, for 
drinking water, for protective devices for pesticide applicators, lies 
virtually dormant. There is no incentive to protect the farmworker, 
since it is solely upon him that the burden of accidents falls. 

Then there is the border. Wetbacks and persons holding resident 
cards (who really reside in Mexico), commute daily into Hidalgo dur- 
ing the winter, and fill the crewleader's trucks going north in the 
summer. Growers encourage the permeable border, for the Mexicans 
will work for much less, since they cannot complain if they are paid 
below the minimum wage. Labor contractors know this and set up re- 
cruiting stations and shapeup stations at the bridge. 

When work becomes very scarce, even American citizens, living in 
Hidalgo County, will go to the shapeup station attempting to pass as a 
resident of Mexico. 

The border is doubly satisfactory to the growers, for while it con- 
tributes enormously to the already swollen labor market, it also forces 
the American Chicano to see his Mexican brother as the source of his 
problem. There is only so much work ; the work must be fairly paid, 
no matter who does it. 

Tlie growers have been successful until recently in playing off 
brother against brother to drive wages down because there is no pen- 
alty for using illegal labor. (Tony Orendain has suggested that if 
growers were fined $1,000 for every illegal laborer found in their fields, 
the use of illegals would quickly end.) 

That the grower-incited internecine suspicion is not what it once 
was is due to no change in the border, or in the competition, but rather 
the growing awareness among Mexicans and Mexican Americans that 
they have a common interest in fair wages. 

Well-meaning Government officials have tried to help. HEW staff 
members came to the valley in a series of visits designed to develop 



5397 

comprehensive health planning. The visits came to naught. On the 
other hand, other officials clearly don't care. 

At a recent meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development 
Council, 25 people attended. There was an active discussion for 1 hour 
on an emergency road service grant, plus a pitch from a Motorola 
salesman selling communication equipment. Then there was a 20- 
minute discussion of health care. 

Free clinics in McAllen and Weslaco were proposed. The Weslaco 
hospital administration said they didn't want the clinic, unless it could 
be guaranteed that there would be no cost to the hospital. 

Meanwhile, incredible crop subsidies pour into the valley; $16 
million annually, $8 million into Hidalgo alone. One wonders who is 
really driving the welfare Cadillac. None of the $8 million is going to 
farmworkers as wages. If the growers' subsidies had instead been di- 
rected to the farmworker in the form of a health insurance program, 
100,000 persons could have received $80 apiece, and we w^ouldn't be here 
today discussing health. 

The men and women who have consolidated great fortunes in the 
valley have been able to do so because of a variety of factors. Some I 
have touched on — the border surplus labor dynamic which has made 
labor a forced subsidy, strong lobbies emasculating legislation which 
would have treated fann labor like any other kind of labor. Heavy 
rural representation in Congress was equally central. 

Only a sophisticated, detailed history of the growth of Hidalgo 
County would fully explain how the exploiters built their fortunes. 
For present purposes, it is enough to remember that it was done in a 
relatively short time, mostly since the 1920's and the development of 
the grower-dominated Government funded irrigation districts which 
made possible intensive use of land. Armies of cheap Mexican labor 
were encouraged to come and work the fields. Cheap labor and in- 
expensive land fostered two other developments — the real estate specu- 
lation, in which the Bentsen family has figured prominently, and 
winter tourism. 

I have often referred to growers as exploiters, but I have used the 
word loosely and, perhaps, inaccurately. The exploiters are not the 
maiority of the growers. The number of farm units in each of the four 
valley counties is diminishing. The small grower is caught in a squeeze. 
Little profit accrues in a small growing operation, particularly in the 
crops grown in the valley. 

Packing sheds, shippers, and marketers receive the greater part of 
the return on the produce. Increasingly successful are the growers who 
also have packing and marketing facilities, like the Schuster family. 
Parenthetically, Frank Schuster received $77,244 in subsidies during 
1969. Carl Schuster i-eceived $65,151. (Mrs. Carl Schuster remarked to 
an interviewer that welfare was destroying the initiative of the poor 
to work, and that the poor were unwilling to work when welfare is 
available.) 

Shary Land Farm, recipient of one of the largest USDA subsidies 
($125,000 in 1967; $115,000 in 1968), has its own shipping interest. 
Former Governor Alan Shivers married into this family. Marialice 
Shivers, with the same address as Shary Farm, is recorded for 1968 as 
receiving $26,000 in ASCS payments. 

Another successful grower, packer, and marketer is Griffin and 
Brand. Griffin and Brand, a nationwide corporation with scAcral sub- 

36-513 O — 71— pt. 8B — —2 



5398 

sidiaries, is a salient example of a burgeoning trend to grow in Mexico, 
pack and ship from the United States. 

Attracted by cheap land and even cheaper labor, the agribusinesses 
like Griffin and Brand are deserting the labor force they once induced 
into the country. The movement to Mexico is substantial enough to 
worry even the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association which, like 
California growing concerns, has heretofore managed to compete suc- 
cessfully with south Texas due to higher efficiency and superior trans- 
portation facilities. 

Nevertheless, agribusinesses such as Griffin and Brand, Elmore and 
Stahl, John B. Hardwick, Louisiana Strawberry and Vegetable Co., 
and Rio Farms, continue to keep substantial land holdings in the val- 
ley. They anticipate the demise of their smaller competitors, and con- 
tinue to exploit the workers. 

An interesting example of the lengths that even an operation as large 
as Griffin and Brand may go to gouge their employees occurred last 
fall. Workers were picking peppers for G. & B. at 30 cents a basket. 
At about 11 a.m., the field man came in and dropped the price to 25 
cents, retroactive. Three workers came to us to complain. 

We called the Department of Labor in McAllen, and were referred 
to the Harlingen office. The Department of Labor pointed out that it 
was Friday, and that nothing could be done until Monday. But on 
Monday the investigators had a meeting upstate and would be tied 
up for a week or more. We called the Houston office of the Department 
of Labor. Two hours later, Harlingen called back and announced 
that investigators were coming over because they had received authori- 
zation for overtime. 

A packing shed ran afoul of the Department of Labor last year for 
the same type of minimum wage violation. The Department of Labor 
found that the company owed its workei*s approximately $10,000. On 
information, most of the money is still in the bank because the shed did 
not have to mail out the checks to the workers affected. Each worker 
must ask for his own check. Many did not even know that the Depart- 
ment of Labor had found the violation. 

The kind of statement made by Mrs. Schuster, that growers cannot 
find labor in the valley any more, is interesting in the context of the 
exodus to Mexico. Increasingly, labor is used in very high concentra- 
tions, often in conjunction with machinery, but for very short periods 
of time. 

A typical harvesting operation on, say, a 40-acre field, may involve 
six or eight large trucks full of workers, perhaps over 100. They will 
harvest the field in short order, each worker earning $3, maybe $4. 
Then the work is finished. The produce is hauled to the sheds, and there 
is no more work for the harvesters. The trucker takes a cut from the 
worker's pay, and he is left with almost nothing to show for his work. 

Despite Mrs. Schuster's complaint, I had never seen a day go by 
when there weren't workers available at the bridge, or in the shape-up 
stands in town. 

The low utilization of labor and low wages also raise interesting 
questions about the labor cost to the grower and the consumer. A grower 
sjDends about 0.4 to 0.8 cent per pound to pick tomatoes, including a 
margin for waste. Repackaging flats adds slightly over 1 cent, for a 
total labor input of 1.9 cents per pound. Sold in local markets for 29 
cents a pound, labor accounts for only 7 percent of retail cost. 



5399 

A 25-cent head of lettuce costs 2.2 cents to pick and pack ; a 1-pound 
bag of carrots, selling for 19 cents a pound, costs only 1.2 cents to pick 
and pack. 

Higher wage scales would hardly be a disaster to anyone. Tripling 
wages Avould result in only a 2.5-cent increase in the market cost of 
carrots, assuming that agribusinesses tried to pass on the whole cost 
to the market. If all growers, packers and shippers were forced to 
pay the tripled wage, none would suffer a competitive disadvantage. 

i am not suggesting that merely tripling current wage scales would 
be fair, but that there is no general public interest in denying the 
worker a fair wage. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the poor and 
the middle-income consumer have interests which dictate a friendly 
alliance. 

A successful organizing effort among farmworkers would substan- 
tially reduce the need for Government programs that may cost a lot, 
but offer little. By supporting the farmworker, the consumer is avoid- 
ing the waste of his income. 

No analysis of the valley power structure would be complete with- 
out a reference to the Bentsen family. 

The elder Lloyd Bentsen came to the valley from Minnesota in the 
1920's and built an extensive land business. In the intervening years, 
the family diversified its holdings and interests. It owns now a drug- 
store chain. Medico, banks, real estate companies, and even an agri- 
chemical business affiliated with ITnion Carbide. The family still owns 
extensive citrus acreage, but its primaiy influence is in the capital mar- 
ket, where, with the Xewhouses, it dominates the valley. 

Although a Chicano-oriented bank would undoubtedly be a success, 
local Chicano businessmen have been frustrated in their attempts to 
organize such a venture by the Bensen-Newhouse hegemony. One mem- 
ber of the Bentsen family sits on both the McAllen School Board and 
the board of the hospital. (Othal Brand, of Griffin & Brand, sits 
with Calvin Bentsen on the school board. Both are especially reac- 
tionary. ) 

Though less so today, the town of Mission has long been a kind of 
Bentsen patrimony, ruled by the Bentsens for the privileged Anglo 
minoritv. 

The Benstens, the Schusters, the Griffins, and the Brands are but a 
few striking examples of Anglo domination in the valley. Four hun- 
dred and ninety-five persons or corporations received subsidies in 
excess of $5,000 in 1967 ; 466 in 1968— less than 10 percent of the 
recipients had Spanish surnames. 

In 1969, there were 80 payees receiving in excess of $25,000. Only 
one had a Spanish surname, Guerra Bros. One expects to see even 
larger operations emerge. Tenneco, for example, has agricultural acre- 
age in the valley. 

Worse than ithe large subsidies is the attitude of the elite toward 
their serfs. The most charitable point of view is that the Chicano's 
lot is attributable to ignorance. Educate people and they will know 
that they should wash their hands before preparing food, that they 
should drink fresh water. 

Such arguments are ridiculous. Most people know they should wash 
their hands, but there is no clean water to wash with, because the 
sewage systems foul the already brackish well water. Most colonias, 



5400 

and many houses in cities, don't even have any water. Sewage systems 
are expensive to build ; water beyond the reach of all but a few. 

One colonia pays taxes on a bond issue for a water system that runs 
near their boundary. They will be paying 34 more yeare. They can't 
drink a drop of it, can't even use it to w^ater their gardens, because the 
water is only for the irrigation of large farms. 

Many colonias have been waiting for years for the FHA to approve 
loans for water systems. One colonia, Colonia Nueva, has sought for 
3 years to get water. An Anglo real estate dealer sold the people the 
land without any water rights. The well wat«r is undrinkable, and 
the people have to truck in water from nearby Donna. After a long 
struggle to get temporally water rights, the Colonia sought to join a 
local water corporation. Mid-Valley, which would have applied for a 
loan, constructeid, and administered the system. 

Mid- Valley refused to let them join because their allotment was only 
temporary, not permanent, though there was virtually no chance that 
the allotment would have been lost. Now the Colonia is going ahead on 
their own. If they are lucky, FHA will approve their loan, and they 
will have water to drink. (In the meantime, they are dry. We recently 
had a 3-day rainstonn which flooded many areas. A few residents of 
the Colonia had built cisterns. Not a drop from the deluge fell on 
Colonia Nueva.) 

The frustrations in dealing with the Anglo power structure repli- 
cate the frustrations of the sick migrant seeking a government service 
which would help him. At times, he is met with a smile, always with a 

"No';. 

Still, the valley has its ironies. 

A Catholic priest was visited early this year by representatives of 
one of the members of the hospital board. The board member was 
thinking of starting his own hospital, and wanted a few nuns around 
to give it aura. The hospital was to be a first-class establishment calcu- 
lated to take the most affluent clientele away from McAllen General. 
Irony, however, is infrequent. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Numerous recommendations have been offered for easing the crisis 
in health. One such recommendation comes from the committee formed 
at the suggestion of the medical society and meeting under the direc- 
tion of Dr. Copenhaver, director of the county health department. 

The plan, estimated to cost $1 million annually, would seek, in Dr. 
Love's words, to fill "a gap in delivery of health care to certain eco- 
nomicallv depressed segments of our population." (Corpus Christi 
Caller, June 11, 1970.) Information and referral centei*s would be set 
up, a^ong with outpatient clinics in Weslaco, Edinburg, and McAllen. 

I thing Dr. Love would acknowledge that even with a $1 million 
annual budget, we will not have a comprehensive health service for 
all the county's pooi-. If, as is proposed, 12,000 persons will be treated 
annually, service will still fall far short of county needs. Serious cases 
will need hospitalization, apparently not a part of the committee's 
plan. More important, health will continue to deteriorate as long as 
water, sewage, and food remain problems. 

I have continually stressed what the Texas branch of the union feels 
will contribute most to good health — fair wages. We do not want new 



5401 

l)i'o^ranis which create complacent, tenure-oriented bureaucracies, and 
don't deliver. We want no new leg:islation, unless it is designed and is 
l)assed to support the fai-mworker in his struggle to gain a fair wage. 
We do not want legislation which purports to help, but really traps 
the workers in a maze of restrictions which would vitiate the farm 
movement. 

The Government and the American people can help, and should. The 
American people pay for a dual system of welfare ; the agribusinesses 
wax fat on subsidies, expensive public welfare systems fail to meet 
the needs of the poor. We appeal to our fellow citizens to consider 
that by supporting the union they will be helping: themselves. The 
Hidalgo farmworker who lavishes our tables with food and the con- 
sumer in New Jersey, in Minnesota, in California, Iowa, or Massa- 
chusetts, have a real stake in each other's health and well-being. The 
consumer boycott of grapes is a positive start. It must continue and 
grow until every farmworker has the rights most of us take for 
granted. 

Donne wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself." The plight 
of the farmworker diminishes us all. Let us join together and support 
him, like the part of us he is. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you, Mr. Dunwell, for an excellent state- 
ment. 

I will turn now to Mr. Fernandez. 

After hearing from both, we will open up the discussion for ques- 
tions. 

Mr. Dunwell. Thank you, Senator Mondale. For reasons of time, 
I have presented orally only a summary of my full statement. I would 
like to submit for the record my entire statement. 

Senator Moxdale. Without objection, I order printed at this point 
in the I'ecoid your full statement. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Dunwell follows:) 

Prepared Statement of Roger McClure Dunwell, Member, Bar of the State 

OF New York 

Senator Mondale, honorable members of the Subcommittee : 

My name is Roger McClure Dunwell, I am a member of the Bar of the State of 
New York. For the last almost eleven months I have been working with the United 
Farm Workers Organizing Committee and Colonias del Valle, Inc. in the Lower 
Rio Grande Valley of Texas, particularly in Hidalgo County. 

The testimonv I have been asked to present comes from our experiences in the 
Valley. 

My testimony takes two forms. First, I am submitting a prepared statement 
which totals about 80 pages. Because of its length, I prefer not to read the state- 
ment in its entirety. I propose, instead, to emphasize those portions of the state- 
ment which the Texas branch of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee 
feels most important. 

You heard yesterday in chastening detail, of the disease a group of visiting doc- 
tors found in Hidalgo County, Texas. The story they told, as poignant, as tragic 
as it was. could scarcely have taken any of us by surprise. We know, have known 
for years and decades, that such disease exists. The simple trutli is, as you said 
yesterday, Senator Mondale, that those who care have not had the power to make 
any difference. 

A doctor said to you yesterday that only you could help. I am not convinced 
that this is true. We need the assistance and support of government officials now 
more than ever, and know that we can count on honest men, like yourselves, to 
stand by our side. We also know now that success will only come from the efforts 
of the farmworkers themselves. Only a strong, brave and independent organiza- 
tion of farmworkers can forge the very basic changes that must come about. 



5402 

There is no more eloquent example of the truth of this than the increasingly suc- 
cessful struggle of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. They must 
succeed. They will succeed. 

THE POLITICS OF EXPLOITATION 

If we look at the problem of poor health in isolation, we would be forced to 
conclude that disease persists for a lack of suflBciently funded intelligent programs 
and personnel. To do so would be a mistake, for although such conclusions may 
inevitably follow from yesterday's testimony, we have only been talking about 
disease. We haven't detailed the lack of housing, food, clothing, sanitation and 
education upon which a healthy and productive life must be based. 

We could hold hearings on any one of these areas, concluding in each that new 
or better governmental programs will do the trick. Unquestionably they would 
help in varying degrees, but the one factor underlying each deprivation, under- 
lying, too, what is gloriously referred to as the American Way of Life, is money in 
a man's pocket. Until the farmworkers earn a decent wage, no fundamental 
changes will be seen. 

Food is big business. Though the small farmer is being caught, like the farm- 
worker, by the growth of agribusiness, many people are making a lot of money 
by producing food. Food is such big business that even the most naive must be 
forced to ask himself, "If agribusiness is so profitable, why hasn't the farmworker 
prospered with the big growers?" 

Quite obviously, he could have. He hasn't because the large growers have de- 
cided that they would rather live in imperial luxury, surrounded by want, than 
give their employees a fair wage. Also apparent is that far from seeking to help 
the farmworker in his efforts to right the imbalance, federal, state, and local 
government has consistently abetted and encouraged the large growers. 

Consider the variety of state and federal laws which exclude or discriminate 
against the farmworker. He was excluded from the Wagner Act. He is given a 
considerably lower wage under federal and Texas minimum wage laws. Despite 
the alarming accident rate, he is excluded from workmen's compensation, forced 
to rely on archaic, employer-weighted tort law. He isn't entitled to unemploy- 
ment compensation if laid off from field work. To qualify for coverage under 
any Social Security program he must earn twice as much per quarter. (Com- 
pounding the problem, some growers will not send in Social Security deductions. ) 
As far as the Social Security Administration is concerned, a farmworker who 
reaches retirement age, his body gnarled from farm work, may never have 
earned a dollar in his life. 

The catalogue could go on. Rather than explore each example in detail, I 
should prefer to concentrate on Texas' occupational health and safety laws. 

The most basic protections do not exist. The Texas Occupational Safety Act, 
which should and could be developed to provide safety standards for the trans- 
portation of migrants, for field sanitation, for drinking water, for protective 
devices for i^esticide applicators, lies virtually dormant. There is no incentive 
to protect the farmworker, since it is solely upon him that the burden of accidents 
falls. 

Then there is the border. Wetbacks and persons holding resident cards, (who 
really reside in Mexico), commute daily into Hidalgo during the winter, and fill 
the crew leader's trucks going North in the summer. Growers encourage the 
permeable border, for the Mexicans will work for much less, since they cannot 
complain if they are paid below the minimum wage. Labor contractors know 
this and set up recruiting stations and shape-up stations at the bridge. When 
work becomes very scarce even American citizens, living in Hidalgo County, will 
go to the shai)e-up station attempting to pass as a resident of Mexico. The border 
is doubly satisfactory to the growers, for while it contributes enormously to the 
already swollen labor market, it also forces the American Chicano to see his 
Mexican brother as the source of his problem. There is only so much work ; the 
work must be fairly paid no matter who does it. The growers have been success- 
ful until recently in playing off brother against brother to drive wages down be- 
cause there is no penalty for using illegal labor. (Tony Orendain has sug- 
gested that if growers were fined .$1(XX) for every illegal laborer found in their 
fields, the use of illegals would quickly end.) That the grower-incited inter- 
necine suspicion is not what it once was, is due to no change in the border, or 
in the competition, but rather the growing awareness among Mexicans and 
Mexican-Americans that they have a common interest in fair wages. 



5403 

Well-meaning government oflBcials have tried to help. HEW staff members 
came to the Valley in a series of visits designed to develop comprehensive health 
planning. The visits came to naught. On the other hand, other oflBcials clearly 
don't care. At a recent meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development 
Council twenty-five people attended. There was an active discussion for one 
hour on an emergency road service grant, plus a pitch from a Motorola salesman 
selling communication equipment. Then there was a twenty minute discussion 
of health care. Free clinics in McAUen and Weslaco were proposed. The Weslaco 
liospital administration said they didn't want the clinic, imless it could be 
guaranteed that there would be no cost to the hospital. 

Meanwhile incredible crop sxibsidies pour into the Valley ; $16 million annually, 
$8 million into Hidalgo alone. One wonders who is really driving the welfare 
Cadillac. None of the $8 million is going to farmworkers as wages. If the 
growers subsidies had instead been directed to the farmworker in the form of 
a health insurance program, 100,000 persons could have received $80.00 a piece, 
and we wouldn't be here today discussing health. 

The men and women who have consolidated great fortune in the Valley have 
been able to do so because of a variety of factors. Some I have touched on — the 
border surplus labor dynamic which has made labor a forced subsidy, strong 
lobbies emasculating legislation which would have treated farm labor like any 
other kind of labor. Heavy rural representation in Congress was equally central. 

Only a sophisticated, a detailed history of the growth of Hidalgo County 
would fully explain how the exploiters built their fortunes. For present purposes 
it is enough to remember that it was done in a relatively short time, mostly 
since the 1920's and the development of the grower-dominated government funded 
irrigation districts which made jKtssible intensive use of land. Armies of cheap 
Mexican Labor were encouraged to come and work the fields. Cheap labor and 
Inexpensive land fostered two other developments — the real estate speculation, 
in which the Bentsen family has figured prominently, and winter tourism. 

I have often referred to growers as exploiters, but I have used the word loosely, 
and i^erhaps inaccurately. Tlie exploiters are not the majority of the growers. 
The number of farm units in each of the four Valley counties is diminishing. The 
small grower is caught in a squeeze. Little profit accrues in a small growing 
operation, particularly in the crops grown in the Valley. Packing sheds, shippers 
and marketers receive the greater part of the return on the produce. Increasingly 
successful are the growers who al.so have packing and marketing facilities, like 
the Schuster family. Parenthetically, Frank Schuster received $77,244 in sub- 
.sidies during 1969. Carl Schuster received $65,151. (Mrs. Carl Schuster remarked 
to an inten'iewer that welfare was de.stroying the initiative of the i>oor to work, 
and that the poor were unwilling to work when welfare is available.) 

Shary Land Farm, reicpient of one of the largest USDA subsidies ($125,000 in 
1967, $115,(X)0 in 1968) has its own shipping interest. Former Governor Alan 
Shivers married into this family. Marialice Shivers, with the same address at 
Shary Farm, is recorded for 1968 as receiving $26.(XX) in ASCS payments. 

Another succe.sisful grower, packer and market.er is GriflBn and Brand. GriflSn 
and Brand, a nationwide eoriwration with several subsidiaries, is a salient ex- 
ample of a burgeoning trend to grow in Mexico, pack and ship from the United 
States. Attracted by cheap land and even cheaper labor the agribusinesses like 
GriflSn and Brand are deserting the labor force they once induced into the coun- 
try. The movement to Mexico is substantial enough to worry even the Florida 
Fruit and Vegetai)le Association which, like California growing concerns, has 
heretofore managed to compete succe.ssfully with South Texas due to higher 
eflSciency and superior transportation facilities. 

Nevertheless, agribusinesses such as GriflSn and Bland, Elmore and Stahl, 
John B. Hardwick, Louisiana Strawberry and Vegetiible Company, and Rio 
Farms continue to keep subsitantial land holdings in the Valley. They anticipate 
the demi.se of their smaller comi)etitoTS, and continue to exploit the workers. 

An interesting example of the lengths that even an operation as large as Griffin 
and Brand may go to gouge their employees occurred last Fall. Workers were 
picking i^eppers for G & B at 30(* a basket. At about 11 A.M. the field man came 
in and dropi^ed the price to 25^*, retroactive. Three workers came to us to com- 
plain. We called the Department of Labor in McAllen, and were referred to the 
Harlingen oflice. The Department of Labor ix)inted out that it was Friday, and 
that nothing could be done until Monday. But on Monday the investigators had a 
meeting upstate and would be tied up for a week or more. We called the Houston 
ofiice of the Department of Labor. Two hours later Harlingen called back and 



5404 

announced that investigators were coming over because they had received 
authorization for overtime. 

A packing shed ran afoul of the Department of Labor last year for the same 
type of minimum wage violation. The Department of Labor found that the com- 
pany owed its workers approximately $10,000. On information, most of this 
money is still in the bank because the shed did not have to mail out the checks to 
the workers affected. Each worker must ask for his own check. Many did not 
even know that the Department of Labor had found the violation. 

The kind of statement made by Mrs. Schuster, that growers cannot find labor 
in the Valley any more, is interesting in the context of the exodus to Mexico. 
Increasingly, labor is used in very high concentrations, often in conjunction with 
machinery, but for very short periods of time. A typical harvesting operation on, 
say, a forty-acre field, may involve six or eight large trucks full of workers, per- 
haps over a hundred. They will harvest the field in short order, each worker earn- 
ing three, maybe four dollars. Then the work is finished. The produce is hauled 
to the sheds, and there is no more work for the harvesters. The trucker takes a 
cut from the worker's pay, and he is left with almost nothing to show for his 
work. Despite Mrs. Schuster's complaint, I have never seen a day go by when 
there weren't workers available at the bridge, or in the shape-up stands in town. 

The low utilization of labor and low wages also raise interesting questions 
about the labor cost to the grower and the consumer. A grower spends about .4 to 
.8 cents per pound to pick tomatoes, including a margin for waste. Repacking 
fiats adds slightly over 1 cent, for a total labor input of 1.9 cents per pound. 
Sold in local markets for 29 cents a pound, labor accounts for only 1% of the 
retail cost. A twenty-five cent head of lettuce costs 2.2 cents to pick and pack, a 
one pound bag of carrots, selling for 19 cents a pound, costs only 1.2 cents to 
pick and pack. Higher wage scales would hardly be a disaster to anyone. Trip- 
ling wages would result in only a 2.5 cent increase in the market cost of carrots, 
assuming that agribusiness tried to pass on the whole cost to the market. If 
all growers, packers and shippers were forced to pay the tripled wage, none would 
suffer a competitive disadvantage. I am not suggesting that merely tripling cur- 
rent wage scales would be fair, but that there is no general public interest in 
denying the worker a fair wage. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the poor 
and the middle-income consumer have interests which dictate a friendly alliance. 
A successful organizing effort among farmworkers would substantially reduce 
the need for government programs that may cost a lot, but offer little. By sup- 
porting the farmworker, the consumer is avoiding the waste of his income. 

No analysis of the "Valley power structure would be complete without a refer- 
ence to the Bentsen family. Tlie elder Lloyd Bentsen came to the valley from 
Minnesota in the 1920's and built an extensive land business. In the intervening 
years the family diversified its holdings and interests. It now owns a drug store 
chain, Medico, banks, real estate companies, and even an agri-chemical business 
aflSliated with Union Carbide. The family still owns extensive citrus acreage, but 
its primary infiuence is in the capital market where, with the Newhouses, it 
dominates the Valley. Although a Chicano-oriented bank would undoubtedly be a 
success,, local Chicano businessmen have been frustrated in their attempts to 
organize such a venture by the Bentsen-Newhouse hegemony. One member of 
the Bentsen family sits on both the McAllen school board and the board of the 
hospital. (Othal Brand, of BriflSn and Brand, sits with Bentsen on the school 
board. Both are especially reactionary.) Though less so today, the town of Mis- 
sion has long been a kind of Bentsen patrimony, ruled by the Bentsens for the 
privileged Anglo minority. 

The Bentsens, the Schusters, the Griffins and the Brands are but a few striking 
examples of Anglo domination in the Valley. 495 persons or corporations re- 
ceived subsidies in excess of $5000 in 1967, 466 in 1968— less than 10% of the 
recipients had Spanish surnames. In 1969 there were eighty payees receiving 
in excess of $25,000. Only one had a Spanish surname, Guerra Brothers. One ex- 
pects to see even larger operations emerge. Tenneco, for example, has agricul- 
tural acreage in the Valley. 

Worse than the large subsidies is the attitude of the elite towards their serfs. 
The most charitable point of view is that the Chicano's lot is attributable to 
ignorance. 

Educate people and they will know that they should wash their hands before 
preparing food, that they should drink fresh water. Such arguments are ridicu- 
lous. Most people know they should wash their hands, but there is no clean water 
to wash with, because the sewage systems foul the already brackish well water. 



5405 

Most colonias, and many houses in cities, don't even have any water. Sewage sys- 
tems are expensive to build ; water beyond the reach of all but a few. One colonia 
pays taxes on a bond issue for a water system that runs near their boundary. 
They will be paying thirty-four more years. They can't drink a drop of it, can't 
even use it to water their gardens, because the water is only for the irrigation of 
large farms. Many colonias have been waiting for years for the F.H.A. to approve 
loans for water systems. One colonia, Colonia Nueva, has sought for three years 
to get water. An anglo real estate dealer sold the people the land without any 
water rights. The well water is undrinkable, and the people have to truck in water 
from nearby Donna. After a long struggle to get temporary water rights, the 
Colonia sought to join a local water corporation, Mid-Valley, which would have 
applied for a loan, constructed, and administered the system. Mid-Valley refused 
to let them join because their allotment was only temporary, not permanent, 
though there was virtually no chance that the allotment would have been lost. 
Now the colonia is going ahead on their own. If they are lucky F.H.A. will 
approve their loan, and they will have water to drink. ( In the meantime, they are 
dry. We recently had a three-day rainstorm which flooded many areas. A few 
residents of the colonia had built cisterns. Not a drop from the deluge fell on 
Colonia Nueva.) 

The frustrations in dealing with the Anglo power structure replicate the frus- 
trations of the sick migrant seeking a government service which would help him. 
At times he is met with a smile, always with a "No." 

Still, the Valley has its ironies. A Catholic priest was visited early this year by 
representatives of one of the members of the hospital board. The board member 
was thinking of starting his own hospital, and wanted a few nuns around to give 
it aura. The hospital was to be a first class establishment calculated to take the 
most affluent clientele away from McAllen Gfeneral. Irony, however, is infrequent. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Numerous recommendations have been offered for easing the crisis in health. 
One such recommendation comes from the committee formed at the suggestion of 
the medical society and meeting under the direction of Dr. Copenhaver, Director 
of the County Health Department. The plan, estimated to cost $1 million annually, 
would seek, in Dr. Love's words, to fill "a gap in delivery of health care to certain 
economically depressed segments of our population." [Corpus Christi Caller, 
June 11, 1970). Information and referral centers would be set up, along with 
out-patient clinics in Weslaco, Edinburg and McAllen. 

I think Dr. Love would acknowledge that even with a $1 million annual 
budget, we will not have a comprehensive health service for all the county's 
poor. If, as is proposed, 12,000 persons will be treated annually, service will still 
fall far short of county needs. Serious eases will need hospitalization, apparently 
not a part of the committee's plan. More important, health will continue to 
deteriorate as long as water, sewage and food remain problems. 

I have continually stressed what the Texas branch of the Union feels will con- 
tribute mo.st to good health — 'fair wages. We do not want new programs which 
create complacent, tenure-oriented bureaucracies, and don't deliver. We want no 
new legislation, unless it is designed and is passed to support the farmworker in 
his struggle to gain a fair wage. We do not want legislation which purports to 
help, but really traps the workers in a maze of restrictions which would vitiate 
the farm movement. 

The government and the American can help, and should. The American people 
pay for a dual system of welfare; the agribusinesses wax fat on subsidies, ex- 
pensive public welfare systems fail to meet the needs of the poor. We appeal to 
our fellow citizens to consider that by supporting the Union they will be helping 
themselves. The Hidalgo farmworker who lavishes our tables ^^^th food and the 
consumer in New Jersey, in Minnesota, in California, Iowa, or Massachusetts, 
have a real .stake in each other's health and Avell-being. The consumer boycott of 
grapes is a ix)sitive start. It must continue and grow until every farmAvorker ha.«i 
the rights most of us take for granted. 

Donne wrote, "No man is an i.sland, entire of itself." The plight of the farm- 
worker diminishes us all. Ivet us join together and support him, like the part of 
us he is. 

! VIVA LA CAUSA ! 



5406 

SUPPLEMENTAI, STATEMENT OF ROGER McClURE DUNWELL, MEMBER, BAR OF THE 

State of New York 
introduction 

My name is Roger McClure Dunwell. I am a member of the Bar of the State of 
New York. For the last almost eleven months I have been working with the United 
Farm Workers Organizing Committee and Colonias del Valle, Inc. in the lower 
Rio Grande Valley of Texas, particularly in Hidalgo County. 

The testimony I have been asked to present comes from our experiences in 
the Valley. Much of what follows is dry figures, descriptions of labyrinthian gov- 
ernmental attempts to deal with poverty, disease, or exploitation and their conse- 
quent failures. Implicit in the numbers, the programs, the explanations, the 
shameful history of private and public neglect is something, someone, very 
human, a tiny baby already crippled for life from polio, a young boy going blind, 
a worker poisoned by pesticides, an old man twisted with arthritis for whom no 
welfare program exists. The story is more than one of human disease, it is 
fundamentally one of a diseased society, which has grown by devouring the spirit 
and health of the Chicano, and given nothing in return. 

My testimony, is a product of the efforts of many people ; my colleagues at the 
United Farm Workers, Colonias del Valle, and the National Farm Workers Serv- 
ice Center, the staff of ! Ya Mero !, a local Spanish-language newspaper, and Mr. 
David Leonard, of the Field Foundation, whose assistance in research and 
preparation were invaluable. I need hardly add that any errors or omissions are 
entirely my own. 

PROFILE OF HIDALGO COUNTY AND THE FARMWORKER POPULATION 

Hidalgo County lies in the southernmost reaches of the continental United 
States, across the Rio Grande from Mexico. Travelling along the rectilinear farm 
roads south towards the river, one sees the great expanses of cattle ranches, 
among them a portion of the King Ranch, giving way to the softer, seemingly 
more yielding semi-tropical farming and citrus lands on which the majority of the 
farmworkers are employed. To the West, towards Starr County, rolling desert 
terrain appears, where the moist Gulf easterlies have become dry and scalding 
like the breath from a blast furnace. 

With its climate, which, except for a few chilly months in winter, is stiflingly 
hot, one would expect that Hidalgo County would be a sleepy, though prosperous 
county (for there is oil, in addition to the rich soil). In fact, the county can boast 
oif few who are truly prosperous. The majority of the population lives in abject 
poverty. As for sleep, the county has never been quiet. Once the scene of bloody 
bor.der wars, and genocidal massacres of Mexicans, it is now the battlefield in a 
struggle between the few who have and the many who have not. In 1967 Texas 
Rangers poured into Hidalgo and Starr counties to crush a strike of melon 
pickers. Today those workers, and thousands like them, are organizing again, 
and waiting. 

Hidalgo County has about 200,000 residents, (the exact number is currently a 
subject of some dispute between local mayors and the Bureau of the Census). 
Approximately 30% of the population is "Anglo", that is, of any extraction but 
Mexican or black. The attitudes of this distinct minority are faithfully reflected 
in McAllen's Monitor, one of several Valley dailies owned by R. C. Holies of Santa 
Ana, California, whose Freedom editorials promote the doctrine that solely by 
self -responsibility is any good produced and, accordingly, that not only all wel- 
fare measures, but even public education and taxation are corrupting. Great 
wealth, as a correlary, should be a virtue. 

Belying the county's poverty, Hidalgo had Texas' largest crop income in 1960, 
close to $51 million. About 100,000 acres of vegetables are harvested annually, 
with 65,000 acres in citrus, and 135,000 in cotton (1964-1965 Texas Almanac). 
Nearly all the large farms are owned by Anglos. [See Appendix A] 

It is the Ohicanovs, numbering over 130,000, Who work the fields and pick the 
crops. Living in small colonias, unincorporated settlements which usually have 
nio drinking water, never have isewage systems, in many instances no electricity 
or telephones, or living in the urban barrios, they are desperately poor. 54% of 
Spanish-surname families have incomes less than $3000. according to a s^tudy 
made at Texas A&M in October, 1965. A study made at Texas A&M a year later 
revealed that half the Spandsh-sumame families had incomes under $2000 per 
year. [See Appendix B for comi>arative figures from O.E.O.] 



5407 

The median family inlcome for Spanish-'sumame per'sonis in tlie McAllen area, 
which is relatively developed, was $2027, (less than half of the U.S. or Texas 
populations), according to the 1960 census, and there is little reason to suspect 
that figure has risen 'significadtly. Median sdhool years completed were 3.3., 
compared with 10.6 nationally and 10.4 for Texas. 'Standard Metropolitan iStatis- 
tieal Area figures rank three Hidalgo cities, McAllen, Pharr and the county seat, 
Bdinhurg, as among those with the lowest income in the nation. 

Hidalgo lianks first in tlie nation in the number of resident migrants, estimated 
to be about 37,500. Adjacent counties, Wallacy, 'Starr and Cameron, contain about 
50,000 moi-e. I recall looking at a Depairtment of Labor map showing patterns of 
migration. Lines of migration like saplings rose from California and Florida. 
Out of South Texas grew a liuge tree, stretcliing its limbs into virtually every 
major agricultural area in the United States. The migrants may begin leaving 
the Valley as early as Aprtil depending on the work available. By late June, all 
have left for the North. They will return to their homes from September to 
November, after the harvests. If they are lucky, work will be available in the 
citrus groves, or in itruck crops — predominantly cabbages, onions, carrots. Later, 
in the Spring, there is a short, intense harvest of melons and tomatoes. But for 
many, there is no work. Long lines form outside employment commission oflSces, 
and the shape-up sitabions at the bridge. Unemployment in all occupations reaches 
6.8% during November ; it never falls much below 6% in any month. It is diffi- 
cult to ascertain what the unemployment in agriculture may be at any given 
time. An official at the Texas Elmploymenlt Commission told me that it might be 
as high as 10% in December. Actually, the number of persons unable to find full- 
time employment in agriculture during the winter is probably much higher than 
ten percent. 

The oversupply of farm labor, the reasons for which are discussed more fully 
below, have resulted in a disastrously low wage scale. A dish washer in a cafe 
complained to me once that he had been cheated. His employer owed him $15 for 
working a fifty hour week. The dish washer had received only $12. Cas station 
attendants may earn well under $l/hour. The average hourly wage in agri- 
culture, despite the federal minimum wage of $1.30, and the new Texas minimum 
wage pegged twenty cents below (and which does not yet cover piece work), 
amounts to 98^/hour. The farm worker may earn as little as $922 for eighty-five 
days of employment during the year. 

The migrant's life expectancy is an unsurprising forty-nine years. Infant mor- 
tality is 125% above the national rate, as is maternal mortality. Influenza and 
pneumonia are 200% above the national rate, tuberculosis and other infectious 
diseases 250%. Accidents are 300% above the national rate. 

In a sense, wage data and disease and accident figures tell the whole story. A 
handful of people are extremely wealthy, the majority paupers. It is the few who 
are wealthy who employ the poor. The wealth is simply not being distributed 
fairly. Concomitantly, the exploited fall victims to the age-old negative feedback 
system of poverty. Without money, you cannot buy sufficient food, ca-nnot get 
drinking water, cannot build sewages systems, cannot see a doctor for checkups. 
Illness and accidents follow inevitably. One has no money to see a doctor, disease 
becomes chronic, the body dies. 

A variety of governmental programs, federal, state, county and municipal, have 
been devised to meet the needs of the poor. The doctors have already told in 
chastening detail of their failure. A review of the programs themselves, and of 
the economic and political milieu in which they operate, explains why. 

GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSES TO THE CRISIS IN HEALTH 

At first, the variety of health services available through governmental agencies 
would seem paradoxical ; demonstrably egregious health conditions exist in a 
county which is serviced by Social Security, federal-state categorical assistance 
and Medicaid, county-state programs, a Migrant Health program, an OEO emer- 
gency food and health program, a county welfare program, and city hospitals. Be- 
cause the Social Security programs are uniquely standard in the operation and 
eligibility, it is the remaining programs which I would like to review. Social 
Security will be discussed later, in an analysis of legislation and public respon- 
sibility. 

The Texas State Department of Public Welfare is directed in the county by Mr. 
James Covey. If a person in need turns here for help lie will encounter a pleasant, 
concerned and knowledgeable staff. If his situation happens to fit within the three 
protective services, children, adoption studies or assistance, he may receive aid. 



5408 

But in Texas aid is limited to four categories : old age, aid to the blind, aid to the 
permanently and totally disabled, or aid to families with dependent children. 
There is no general assistance, as in California. Also in Texas welfare payments 
are limited by the constitution to a ceiling. Even if the four categories are broadly 
construed, the percentage of the Valley poor who are eligible is very small. Many 
otherwise eligible indigents are resident aliens, who, though they may have lived 
in the Valley for many years, are still ineligible for lack of citizenship, the re- 
quirements for which include a working knowledge of English. Citizens children 
are eligible for AFDC, and certain aliens may receive OAA. The poor with few 
exceptions are excluded. In 1968, only 5225 children in 1607 families received 
AFDC ; 4715 elderly persons received OAA : 98 received Aid to the Blind ; 276 
received APTD. Many more children need AFDC, but are barred by statutory re- 
quirements. Because relatively few elderly are eligible for Social Security retire- 
ment benefits, OAA, the obvious alternative, should similarly be much expanded. 
APTD represents only a fraction of the thousands of persons who are disabled, 
but barrpd by rigid statutory requirements or lack of citizenship. 

Mr. Covy has privately deplored the state system of welfare, but snys he is 
obliged to administer it the way the people of the state directed through their 
elected representatives. The county has seven branch ofiices located in the main 
cities ; if people call in a social worker will be sent out. But Mr. Covey complained 
that because the salaries are low ($5100-8000), his agency has great difficulty in 
retaining social workers, many of whom move into teaching positions because the 
salary is better and extensive travelling not required. Hidalgo County has sixty- 
five positions, but twenty-eight vacancies. He defended women on AFDC as 
responsible. The average tenure is eighteen months. Most have good credit rat- 
ings. When asked what he deemed to be the most critical problem in the county, 
he replied : "Lack of continuous, stable employment, due to lack of industry. 
Money gives status and power. You cannot cover the waterfront with categorical 
assistance." 

For those eligible, Medicaid is clearly a valuable medical resource. Unfor- 
tunately, it can take more than a month to receive a Medicaid card. I visited a 
man who had just lost a leg in a field accident. He had been waiting almost two 
months to be medically certified by the state for AFDC, and would have waited 
much longer for certification and a card. Our ofiice called the state oflice in Austin. 
They had mi. solaced his file. 

Dr. John Copenhaver administers and directs the County Health Department. 
(An organization chart of the County Health Department is included as Appen- 
dix C.) His office coordinates a variety of preventative, curative and diagnostic 
services, including city clinics. His oflace also administers migrant health funds. 

An interviewer found him to be : 

"An elderly, personable gentleman, near retirement who spelled out in con- 
siderable detail the county's acute health needs. He made no effort to conceal the 
serious deficiencies in all the programs. In every instance the immediate cause 
was lack of funds to make the programs more than token ; but the underlying 
cause, he stated very bluntly, was the local political situation where those in 
office reflect the dominant economic interests. To public officials, the County 
Commissioners and the judge, health is a very low priority. The county hospital 
was closed down because 'it lost money.' 'The worst problem here is the doctors 
and the medical association. The state will not approve programs until the County 
Medical Association pushes for it.' Every program needs more funding, more per- 
sonnel. 'But human needs are subordinate to political and economic interests.' 'I 
do not know how to obtain more money. You need a professional advocate.' 'What 
we need most in the valley is population control. Next, seeing to it that the really 
sick receive treatment. We need a clinic for the poor.' 

"Migrant Health funds for the county were $185,000 for fiscal '69. $139,000 is 
added as local matching funds. But this figure is obtained by adding local sal- 
aries and operating outlays, and so does not represent additional appropriations 
by the state or county. The money is spent primarily for hospitalization for 
migrants, then outpatient fee for service, since the latter is deemed the most 
important. The Health Department has 3 Sanitarians whose job it is to give 
people advice on sanitary procedures, water supply, housing, rodent control. But 
they are grossly overburdened and 'don't get below the surface.' There is one 
health educator for three counties. 'The non-migrant farmworker is out of luck 
here, he receives no aid until near starvation. The only salvation is to train these 
people for industry and to have fewer children.' Dr. Copenhaver is aware of many 
pressing needs, but feels oflScials do not understand public health needs. Health 



5400 

gives the County Commissioners less trouble and so receives less money. Only 
emergency situations get attention.' " 

Lack of money and support from county officials is not, however, the whole 
story. It is true the 1970 county appropriation is only $170,881, and that the 
depai-'tment asked $18,000 more, that exi^enditures run only slightly above county 
expenditures for their jail and correctional facilities. It is also true that there 
is a real failure within the department itself. Though Dr. Copenhaver is by no 
means solely responsible for County Health's failure, a statement he recently 
made is instructive. 

Hidalgo County has been suffering a polio epidemic. Fourteen children have 
been struck by the disease, all but one under the age of two. Three have died. 
Commenting on the epidemic, Coi^enhaver said : 

" 'Polio is still around because of apathy . . . / don't think financial status has 
anything to do ivith polio', except for the lack of money to i>ay for regular visits 
to a pediatrician. . . 'The sanitary conditions or closeness of individuals might 
be involved.' " Valley Morning Star, July 12, 1970, attached as Appendix D. 
(emphasis added) 

Equally unsettling examples of the attitude prevailing in the department, and 
the failure of initiative come to mind. Until an N.B.C. film crew came to docu- 
ment the Field survey team's work in the Weslaco labor camp, which is op- 
erated by the county, there had been no visits by a public health nurse. Fol- 
lowing the attending publicity on the evening news, a nurse made an appearance. 
In passing, I should mention that conditions in that labor camp, though not 
the worst in the county, are terrible. There is no interior plumbing. Drinking 
water comes from public spigots sometimes over one hundred feet away. Com- 
munal toilets are similarly located. Overcrowding, perhaps what Dr. Copen- 
haver had in mind, and deteriorating "apartments" are the order of the day. 
Some new housing has been added, but it is beyond the reach of most of those 
who have been forced into the migrant camp. 

Another example of the gaps in the county's program is a child wiio came into 
our office covered with sores. He had mis.sed the dermatology clinic by two days, 
and would have to wait twenty-eight days for the next. 

The Department is, of course, oven\x)rked. Mrs. Ruth McDonald, the dedicated 
Director of Public Nursing, commented in an interview : 

"We have seventeen Registered Nurses and eight Licensed Vocational Nurses, 
or twenty-five for this population of nearly 190,000. We do only a skimming job. 
Time and pressure oblige the nurses to make referrals, and that is the end of it. 
Most of our work is with the migrants, but we are out of money for the year by 
March 1st., for drugs and hospitalization. We have a Pre-Natal Clinic, but have 
to limit the number to twelve a week. The doctor spends two hours a week for 
the clinic. We cannot do follow-up because the number needing sernce is so great 
and our staff so limited. The USDA Supplemental Food Program is predicated on 
need, which means a visit by a public health nurse. We have no social workers. 
We try to coordinate our Family Planning with OEO Planned Parenthood, but 
there is inevitable fragmentation." 

Mrs. McDonald's critique, like Dr. Copenhaver's emphasis on a lack of fund- 
ing, is well taken. Still, as examples show, people continue to .slip through the 
interstices of a system which should be coping with their needs. Finally, the 
failure of the County Health Program comes down to a lack of strong leadership 
and only token support by the Court of County Commissioners, which governs 
Hidalgo. 

In examining the County Health Department, a number of references have been 
made to the Migrant Health program. If any program can be singled out as a 
spectacular failure, it is Migrant Health. The program is by definition aimed 
solely at migrants, those who have migrated within the lasit two years.* The 
program's report estimates its target population as high as 45,000. In the year 
beginning June, 1969, Migrant Health served 1817 migrants in family service 
clinics, and through its referral system made fee-for-service arrangements with 
doctors for 3527. Thus, under 15% of the migrant target population was reached 
by Migrant Health. 

Migrant Health began the year with $160,799. By March 24, 1970, the out- 
patient service was discontinued, since the drug budget ($18,000 — ^see budget 
attached as Appendix E) had been overdrawn. Hospitalization (funded at 
$27,767) had been discontinued on March 16, with the intention of transferring 



♦Eflfective March 12, 1970, the act was expanded to cover non-migrant seasonal 
workers. 



5410 

those funds to out-patienit services. Eimpihasi's is to be changed from referrals to 
family clinics. Because iblie Health Department has been unable to find even one 
of the projected two doctors for their out-patient clinics, the program is at a 
virtual standstill. The balance as of July 1, 1970 was down to $37,663.11. To this, 
a new stairt supplement of $230,750.00 has been added, which will give a working 
balance of $268,413.11. The new funds may revitalize the Migrant Health pro- 
gram. We can only hope it •w^ill. 

It is difficult to desccribe the dashed expectations of the migrant community, 
It was hoped, following the Yarborough hearing in Edinburg in November, that 
the added funds would quickly put Migrant Health back on its feet. Although 
the new funds cannot fail to help, the program suffers from real political and 
structural problems. 

First, we have mentioned that the state and local matching funds do not 
in fact match HEW money. The matching funds represent a figure obtained by 
adding salaries, buildings, and other assets. This practice is doubly bad. New 
money is not added, and less services are available for other county needs. 
Texas and Hidalgo County appear not to care. 

In the past, limits have had to be placed on the number of visits per patient, 
and even with the new funding, will undoubtedly have to be continued. As Tony 
Orendain once remarked, "The migrant worker here is allowed only three times 
a year to be isick." Due to these restrictions, families have often sent a child 
to the doctor's office (there are no house visits) and asked for three times the 
amount of medicine prescribed, on the assumption that other children, who are 
also sick, will need the same prescription. 

The confusion that resulted from the discontinuation of Migrant Health's 
major programs has resulted in suspicion and distrust among the migrant com- 
munity. Referrals were made, but no money was available to pay for drugs or 
service. The i>atient knew he was sick, knew what he needed, had been told he 
could get it, and found that in fact he would not be helped. Expectations were 
raised, then dashed. The program appeared doubly fraudulent, because the 
migrant knew the program was federal, and that the government had money. 
From their point of view, to say that the United States has run out of money 
seemed less than candid. I, who had no connection with the program whatever, felt 
embarrassed to try to explain to clients who came asking, "Why?" 

The O.E.O. Emergency Food and Medicine program is a rather small program, 
which provides services only where no other health services are available. The 
program is budgeted, according to Mr. Eliseo Sandoval, its director, at about 
$200,000. About 6000 to 8000 persons come in for services each month, about 3000 
of these seeking medical attention. Because of the limited funding, few of these 
are served. 

O.E.O. officials appear to view their job as one of acculturating a resistant 
Mexican-American population to Anglo attitudes and values. That perspective 
has inevitably clashed with the new Chicano militancy. Whether a much-ex- 
panded program could be effective, under the circumstances, is therefore difficult 
to assess. For the moment, O.E.O. services remain circumscribed. 

Hidalgo provides, through its own welfare office, about $64,000 in hospitaliza- 
tion payments for the indigent. The appropriation for 1970, significantly, is 
$59,000, $5000 less than the amount spent last year. There is also a $10,000 ap- 
propriation for hospitalization of the mentally retarded, $7,661 under the actual 
1968 expenditures, $8056 under the estimated 1969 expenditures. 

The Welfare Department has been the center of a small but growing storm 
of protests aimed, primarily, at the almost cynically negligent attitudes of its 
director, Mr. Tom Wingart, and his staff. Mr. David Leonard, reporting on an in- 
terview with Mr. Wineart, wrote : 

"The director of Hidalgo County Welfare is Mr. Tom Wingart, who had been 
for many years the county sheriff, but when defeated at the polls had been ap- 
pointed by County Judge Richardson to this post. A gaunt, elderly man from East 
Texas farm country, Mr. Wingart grew up in the depression era and remembered 
proudly how he had refused 'handouts' even though he made only $7.00 a week. 
His outlook on the valley poor was conditioned by his past. He administers the 
county commodity as though it was a business. He complained bitterly that it 
cost the county $250,000 a year to administer because of the need to truck 
food from warehouses in Cornus Christi. 'There's nobodv stqrvinsr in this county. 
Anyone who needs food can get it. There's really no problem here in the valley. 
What we don't handle, O.E.O. takes care of.' Since April, 1969, three sub.stations 
had been opened in Pharr, Weslaco and Mission. The four offices are open one 



5411 

day a week ; all are closed Fridays 'for records, reports and Federal auditors.' 
Only since February, 1970 had the program been extended to cover resident 
aliens who could prove residence of five years, though children born in the states 
could receive food. (In April, as a result of the Un.ted Farm Workers Service 
Center lawyers filing suit, the county has eliminated the residency requirement ; 
that is, is now in line with USDA policy.) Since January, I'Jtjy, baoies can re- 
ceive supplementary food, juices, farina, canned milk, when need is certified by 
a county Health Nurse. Mr. Wingart opposes food stamps as too expensive. 'We 
would have to increase the payroll.' By his attitude, experience and training, this 
man is fit for his position only in a county where poverty is held to be the fault of 
the poor and where saving public funds, or their use for "more important' things, 
is the higher priority." 

County Welfare will pay up to $25.00 for the first day of hospitalization, and 
$17.50 for each day thereafter. According to Mr. Wingart, the county is going to 
•stop payments for obstetrics. 

Despite the attitudes of the .staff, which from our experience in bringing the 
county into conformity with USDA commodity regulations, reflect the attitudes 
of their masters, the County Commissioners Court headed by Judge Richardson, 
the hospitalization program could be useful. That the program is not available 
to a much greater extent is due to the Commissioners Court and the local hos- 
pitals. 

As Dr. Copenhaver pointed out, in quotation above, there is no longer a county 
hospital because "it lost money." Hospital facilities are now limited to Edinburg's 
hospital, the Knapp Memorial Hospital in Weslaco, a small hospital in Mission, 
and McAllen's General Hospital, which a visiting doctor described as quite 
spectacular. 

It is. A large, imposing building in downtown McAllen, thanks to Hill-Burton 
aid, it always seems to be adding something new. The care one can receive at the 
hospital is impressive, and by Northern standards, reasonable in price. My 
daughter was delivered in the hospital this Spring, and I have only praise for 
the medical staff. 

For the poor, McAllen hospital presents quite a different picture. Although 
the hospital had an excess of revenues over exiienditures of almost $174,000 last 
year, according to their audit, they are extremely reluctant to take charity pa- 
tients. They claim to do a substantial amount of charity work (see attached 
Hill-Burton correspondence, Appendix F), but as a local doctor has said, it keeps 
such care to a minimum. In our exiierience, the hospital has never simply ad- 
mitted a pateient, even from McAllen proixr, as a charity case. There is thus 
some reason to believe that services claimed as free by the hospital may be simply 
uncoUectable accounts. 

"When one looks at the hospital in more detail, the already disappointing pic- 
ture begins to look frightening, almost nightmari-sh at times. Although a local 
attorney has described the hospital's operating principles as like those of a "used 
car lot," the hospital attempts to coerce the poor in ways w^hich even the most 
unscrupulous car .salesman would fear to use. 

The system works basically as follows : in order to be admitted to the hospital, 
you must pay a deposit, which varies according to the probable treatment, but is 
generally in the neighborhood of $150.00. Unless you are referred by a doctor (and 
the deposit is demanded regardless) you will not be admitted unless you pay, 
or are in need of immediate, drastic treatment. A women in labor will not be 
admitted unless she has either paid her deix)sit, or her bag of waters has broken 
and delivery is imminent, in which case she may be lucky enough to be admitted 
through the emergency room. 

By way of example, a Mrs. H. was pregnant. Her husband visited the hospital 
to arrange for the delivery. Our office, Avhich had helped the family in a number 
of legal matters, was happy to see Mr. H. attempt to get hospital services for his 
wife. The family had long been living in execrable conditions, without even the 
fundamental sanitary facilities. Clearly this was a case where a sanitary trained 
delivery was especially desirable. But the ho.spital wanted too much money as 
deposit. When Mrs. H. entered labor, she had to .seek a midwife for help. The 
delivery was complicated, Mother and baby survived, but Mrs. H. had to pay 
$100 for treatment by untrained, unsupervised and unlicensed midAvife, (Texas 
does not license its midwives.) Thus, for lack of money, Mrs. H. was left to a 
system discouraged by doctors and unsanctioned by law. 



5412 

Had Mrs. H. been admitted, she would have found that getting out was even 
harder. One of our first clients was a man who came to me and complained that 
the clerk at the hospital had told him that he could not take his one-day-old baby 
and his wife out of the hospital until he paid. I rushed to the hospital, where I was 
met by a profusion of denials. Of course Mr. G. could take his wife and baby, but 
first, how was he going to pay? I suggested to the business manager, Mr. 
McKellar, that the hospital might simply send the bill, and Mr. G. would pay as 
he could. Alternatively, a monthly billing arangement might be worked out. Mr. 
McKellar was uninterested. Instead, he wanted to know why I myself wouldn't 
pay, since I was in the charity business, or why Mr. G wouldn't sign a promis- 
sory note. Many poor people, he advised me, were "deadbeats." Perhaps because 
it might never have happened before that somone would come to the assistance of 
a poor patient, Mr. McKellar eventually relented. Mr. G. didn't .sign a note, he 
simply took his wife and child and left. I would be surprised if he can pay the bill 
for a long time, because his family has scarcely enough for food. 

Although Mr. McKellar is quick to deny, indeed expres.ses concern over, reports 
that personnel are telling patients that they cannot leave until their account is 
paid, it does happen. When I took my wife and child out of the hospital (after 
paying) a nurse told me just that : unless I had paid I couldn't take my family 
out. I replied that I hoped she was mistaken. 

Some patients are induced to sign the promissory note. A Mr. P., thirty ^f our 
and married with five children, migrated last in 1968. He has a sixth grade edu- 
cation and an income of $3000, $2400 under the OEO poverty line for a family of 
his size. He receives OEO emergency food. Mr. P. brought his daughter to 
McAllen General Hospital for emergency treatment. The girl was admitted, 
although Mr. P. didn't have the $150 deposit demanded. 

The final bill came to $223.60. As an indigent, Mr. P. was entitled to county wel- 
fare assistance, which would have paid $95.00 towards the account. Welfare was 
willing to help, but Mr. McKellar refused to accept the money. He insisted 
that Mr. P. pay off the balance before the hospital wonld accept the remaining 
$95 from county welfare. 

Mr. P. signed a promissory note, which appears on the following page. The 
annual interest rate is 18%. The practice is to take such a note to a bank, par- 
ticularly the First National Bank of McAllen (controlled by the Bentsen family, 
a member of which sits on the hospital's board). Mr. McKellar informed Mr. P.'s 
attorney, David Hall of our office, that in Mr. P.'s case this would not be done, 
as Mr. P. was too poor to be a good risk for the bank. When ]\Ir. Hall had occa- 
sion to take his own child to the hospital to treat a ease of pneumonia, Mr. 
McKellar asked him to sign such a note for the bank. 

PROMISSOEY NOTE 

January 21,, 1970. 

(City) : McAllen. 

(State) : Texas. 

For value received, undersigned maker (s), jointly and severally, promise to 
pay to the order of McAllen General Ho.spital at the above place Two hundred 
forty-five dollars and ninety -six cents ($245.96) in 25 consecutive monthly pay- 
ments of $10.00, and one of $5.96 each beginning one month from the date hereof 
and thereafter on the same date of each .subsequent month until paid in full. Any 
unpaid balance may be paid, at any time, without penalty and any unearned 
finance charge will be refunds! based on the "Rule of 78's". In the event that 
maker (s) default (s) on any payment, a charge of 5 percent may be asse.s.sed. 

1. Proceeds $223. 60 

2. (Other charges, itemized) 

3. Amount financed (1+2) 

4. Finance charge $22. 36 

5. Total of payments $245. 96 

Annual percentage rate 18 

(Sign) : 



5413 

The hospital claims that if it accepts the county welfare payment on charity 
cases, it runs the risk of noit collecting the balance. The undiminished bill becomes 
a kind of lever in the hands of the hospital to put increased pressure on the 
patient. These payments have long been a bone of contention betAveen the County 
Commis-siioners and tlie hospitial which is of course a city-owned hospital, thougli 
in fact the main hospital of the county. The former are unwilling to pay more 
per diem. The hospital is unwilling to accept the present amount because it falls 
below the $52.19 average per diem exi>enses of the hospital. To my knowledge, no 
one has ever insisted that the 'hospital accept welfare payments in satisfaction of 
the full bill. Further, the hospital does not even seem to take into account 
whether, in an individual case, the welfare payments might approach the actual 
cost of treatment. 

To continue with Mr. P., Mr- McKellar suggested he go and find a job. In fact, 
he said, the construction company woi-king on the new hospital addition was 
having difficulty finding laborers. I checked the next day Avitli the Texas Employ- 
ment Commission, who told me this was simply not true, and that work of any 
kind was hard to find. To conclude Mr. P.'s story, I should point out that legally 
the hospital has no right to demand that a person sign a note. If the account is in 
default, the hospital can simply demand payment, sue if refused, and collect the 
legal interest rate of 6%, which is of course one-third of the interest rate on the 
hospital notes. 

The people are well aware of the peril of becoming entangled with the hospital. 
One woman, a Mrs. D., had scraped up the deposit money for a serious operation. 
Her doctor was anxious to do the operation promptly, but Mrs. D. hesitated, fear- 
ing she would not get out of the hospital imtil she paid in full. She did go for the 
operation, but only after we advised her of her rights, and promised to assist her 
if the hospital tried to coerce her. 

Many people are also afraid of notes, because they represent a commitment on 
i»aper. They fear reprisals through loss of their jobs, welfare, or the possibility 
that if they cannot pay they will never again succeed in getting treatment from 
doctors, or from the hospital. 

The fear of signing is well-founded. Even an open account can be a distinct 
liazard. The hospital will give their accounts to a collection agency, which then 
harasses the patient with dunning notices. Some of the collection practices are 
overtly illegal. 

Mr. P., another Mr. P., owed the hospital $105.16. The hospital gave the account 
to a collection agency (see a copy of a letter from Mr. McKellar to a patient 
advising him of the use of a collection agency. This particular note is another 
case.) 

McAllen General Hospital, 

McAlTen, Tex., March 16, 1970. 

Re Hospital Account for in the amount of $95.60. 

Dear Mr. : In our recent letter we advised you of our method of assign- 
ing accounts to a professional collection agency when our efforts of collection have 
failed. 

If you will please come in to properly settle this account before the twentieth 
of this month, this costly collection process can be avoided. 
Yours very truly, 

H. A. McKeller, 

Credit Manager. 

The account was handed over to the collection agency, the Central Adjustment 
Bureau, Inc., of San Antonio. In late April, Mr. P. received two interesting docu- 
ments. One was something on green pai>er, legal-sized paper. It was titled, in 
block letters, PREPARATORY LISTING FOR CIVIL COURT. 



36-513 O— 71— pt. 8B 3 



5414 



PIEPAPiATO^Y imm FOR CIVIL COURT 



April ;7.197f) 



(OrtiT 



Before the creditor files suit against you, which would show your 
name on the court records as a defendant in an action involving 
non-payment of a debt and having citation issued, we are taking 
this final step to strongly recommend that you mail your check to 
this office immediately. Should funds not be readily available, may 
we suggest that you contact a reputable lending institution to se- 
cure the entire amount to pay this indebtedness. 

Should we not hear from you within 72 hours, it will be presumed 
that you do not have defenses or counterclaims to such a court ac- 
tion and we will be forced to recommend to our client that proceed- 
ings be started at once. 



CE^STRAL ADJUSTf;/lENT BUREAU, INC. 

COLIECTION DIVISION 
1222 N. Main * San Antonio, Toxat * CA 6-1341 



May ^,iq7n 



DETACH HERE — And Enclose With Payment in | 

Our Self Addressed Envelop* TODAY 



To. CENTRAL ADJUSTMENT BUREAU — COllEQION DIVISION 

Gentlemen! 

Please do not recommend suit — I am enclosing J in full. 



/ 



~1 



Sign l-lere 



Your Address 



Phone 



Creditor McAllen Hosp 



Amount ( 105.16 



DO NOT WRITE 
IN THIS SPACE 



D CANCEL 

O RECOMA\END 



D FULL 
D PART 



5415 









n — 




5416 

The document was unsigned, but the name of the collection agency appeared 
on the reply form and on the document itself. The second piece of paper was 
roughly the size of a checli. Labelled "Notice of Draft Intent", it advised Mr. P. 
that "A SIGHT DRAFT AGAINST (HIS) BANK (WOULD) BE ISSUED 
MAY 30, 1970." Again payment was directed to be made to CAB., Inc. Mr. 
Williamson, an attorney in our office, was puzzled by the documents. There is 
no such thing as preparatory listing for civil court, though the document ap- 
peared to be of legal significance. Still, the document, for all its legal demeanor, 
was not signed by an attorney. Similarly, the sight draft was puzzling. How 
could the collection agency issue a "sight draft" on Mr. P.'s bank account even 
had he had one? Mr. Williamson was puzzled enough to refer the matter to the 
Texas State Bar (Committee on Unauthorized Practice. A letter from the Com- 
mittee, included below with the two documents, indicates that there has been 
a probable violation of Texas law. 

A Miss S. has been receiving correspondence from the same outfit. She is not 
as concerned, as she is only two years old. But her father was concerned, and 
came to us with the papers. At the risk of duplication, they too are reproduced 
below. Especially interesting to us as attorneys is a card from C.A.B. which asks 
"Must I call your employer? If so do not call me at CA 2-8065 (signed) Robert 
Youngman." This case came to our office less than three weeks ago. 

Beckmann, Stanaed, Wood & Keene, 

San Antonio, Tex., May 28, 1910. 
24759 — ^State Bar of Texas (Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee). 
Hon. Ted Butleb, 

District Attorney, Bexar County Courthouse, 
San Antonio, Tex. 

Dear Ted : As Chairman of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of 
the State Bar of Texas, I am enclosiing herewith correspondence involving this 
Committee and a complaint received from Mr. Peter D. Williamson of McAllen, 
Texas. 

The complaint against Central Adjustment Bureau, Inc. of 1222 North Main 
Avenue, San Anton.o, Texas, ( CA 6-1341 ) , is obvious when you see the so-called 
"Preparatory Listing for Civil Court" dated April 27, 1970. It is our opinion that 
this character of document is not only an unauthorizied practice of law, but is 
further in violation of Article 438c of the Penal Code of Texas. 

As Mr. Davis Grant, the General Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, points 
out, this is usually handled by the local District Attorney's Office under Article 
438c of the Penal Code and the use of this article of the Penal Code has been very 
effective in curtailing this practice throughout Texas. 

Any assistance you can give us in this respect will be sincerely and deeply 
appreciated. 

I send my best wishes to you, your family and your fine staff. I also take this 
opportTyiity to compliment you on the fine job you are doing as District Attorney 
of our County and extend my besit wishes to you for your new four year term. 

With every cordial best wish, believe me to be 
Sincerely yours, 

John Wood, Jr. 



Central Adjustment Bureau, Inc., 

San Antonio, Tex., March 13, 1970. 
Re McAllen Hospital ; amount 160.71- 

You have chosen to ignore our many requests for payment covering the above 
account and this is our final demand. 

We would have been happy to have arranged a monthly schedule of payments, 
but being unable to obtain your cooperation forces us to pursue this indebtedness 
in a more drastic manner. 



5417 

A copy of this letter has been prepared for forwarding to your employer, in 
the event that you fail to come to our office to make full payment within the 
next five days. 

This method is distasteful to us, however, it has been broug-ht about by your 
negligence. Remember five days. 
Very truly yours, 

J. R. Hall. 



Franz & Franz, 
San Antonio, Tex., April 9, 1970. 
Dear Mrs. : The above account has been transferred to my office for the filing 
of suit. Litigation in the court of comi)etent jurisdiction can oniy be avoided by 
your immediate attention to this matter, and I am not referring to idle con- 
versation. This case has already been placed in my preparatory court listings, and 
suit will be filed against you without further notice if payment is not made 
within 72 hours. 

It has been through your unconcern that this matter has to be handled in 
court. I have instructions from my client, and I am determined to collect this 
account at whatever expense and inconvenience. 

You are doubtless aware that interest, court costs, and attorney fees will be 
added to the present indebtedness at the moment this suit is filed. Every known 
legal process will be used against you as it becomes necessary. 

If you desire to avoid the additional expense and inconvenience of trial you 
may mail full payment to : 1019 Camden St, San Antonio, Texas 78215. 
Your very truly, 

Charles L. Franz, Jr. 



Franz & Franz, 

San Antonio, Tex., June 8, 1970. 
Balance due $160.71. 

Dear Mrs. : The above account has been transferred to my office for the filing 
of suit. Litigation in the court of competent jurisdiction can only be avoided by 
your immediate attention to this matter, and I am not referring to idle conversa- 
tion. This case has already been placed in my preparatory court listings, and suit 
will be filed against you without further notice if payment is not made within 72 
hours. 

It has been through your unconcern that this matter has to be handled in court. 
I have instructions from my client, and I am determined to collect this account 
at whatever expense and inconvenience. 

You are doubtless aware that interest, court costs, and attorney fees will be 
added to the present indebtedness at the moment this suit is filed. Every known 
legal process will be used against you as it becomes necessary. 

If you desire to avoid the additional expense and inconvenience of trial you 
may mail full payment to : 1019 Camden St., San Antonio, Texas 78215. 

Yours very truly, 

Charles L. Franz, Jr. 



Franz & Franz, 
San Antonio, Tex., July 9, 1970. 
Balance due $160.71. 

This claim has been transferred to my office with instructions to liquidate the 
balance within the next five days or file suit in the court of competent jurisdiction. 

It is strongly recommended that you mail your check to this office immediately. 
If funds are not readily available may I suggest that you contact a reputable 
lending institution to secure the entire amount to pay this indebtedness. 

If you desire to avoid the unnecessary cost and inconvenience of litigation you 
will comply with this request. 

Yours very truly, 

Charles L. Franz, Jr. 



5418 



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SUITE 313 
1222 NORTH MAIN 

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78212 

FIRST CLASS 
ADDRESS CORRECTION REOUESTKO 



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5419 

ISim FOE! CIVIL COURT 



T„ij ? iQ7n 






Before the creditor files suit against you, which would show your 
name on the court records as a defendant in an action involving 
non-payment of a debt and having citation issued, we are taking 
this final step to strongly recommend that you mail your check to 
this office immediately. Should funds not be readily available, may 
we suggest that you contact a reputable lending institution to se- 
cure the entire amount to pay this indebtedness. 



Should we not hear from you within 72 hours, it will be presumed 
thct you do not hove defenses or counterclaims to such a court ac- 
tion and we will be forced to recommend to our client that proceed- 
ings be started at once. I 

CEMTKAL ADJUSTfi^EMT Bm^AU, INC. 

COLLECTION DIVISION 
1222 N. Main * San Antonio, Texas * CA 6-1341 



1 July 9. 1970 


■: 


IFinol Ooltl 


1 


DE7ACH HSRE — And Enclose With Payment in 




Our Set; Addressed Envelope TODAY 




To: CENTRAL ADJUSTMENT BUREAU — COLlEaiON DIVISION 




Gentlomen: 


Creditor McAllen Mun Ho 


1 Please do not recommend suit — 1 am enclosina S in full. 




160.71 1 
Amount % | 



Sign Here 



Your Address 



DO t^OT VV^iTE { 
IN THIS SPACS I 

a CANCEL D FUl 

D RECOMAAENO Q PAJ 



5420 

We have reports from two sources, a local doctor and a priest, who informed 
us that, at least until recently, the hospital would demand the i>atient's visa, if 
he was an alien, as collateral for payment. The priesit also told us of the hos- 
pital's practice of demanding that the i>atient sign a blank check, even though 
he had no bank account. The "hot check" would then be given to the district 
attorney if the patient failed to pay. The priest said that late last Fall, the D.A. 
had some seventy-six "hot checks" forwarded by the hospital, but that he was 
unwilling to prosecute, to be a collection agency for the hospital. The hospital 
promised to stop the "hot check" racket at the time of the Yarborough hearings. 
The priest believes it may still be going on. 

There are other examples of harassment : A Mr. R., hospitalized after an 
accident in the fields, was told by someone that he had to leave the hospital 
because his insurance company was not going to pay. A Mrs. L., who went to 
the hospital to make an application for welfare assistance for a child hos- 
pitalized by polio, was told she couldn't make her application there. I checked 
with state welfare, who said she was to make an initial application at the hos- 
pital. When I sent Mrs. L. back to the hospital, the woman at the de?k told 
her she couldn't apply because the child wasn't eligible. I called the hospital, 
reminding them that it wasn't their job to decide eligibility, simply to accept the 
completed application. Reluctantly, the hospital accepted the application. 

I have mentioned the problem with pregnant women. The hoSi)ital policy is so 
notorious that it is common practice for OEO and other service workers to advise 
women to stay away from the hospital until labor is well under way and delivery 
is imminent, tJien to go to the emergency room and hope for the best. 

Finally, and to no one's surprise, the Public Health Department has been unable 
to persuade McAllen General to set up a referral system. 

For the most part I have discussed the institutional structure of health services 
in Hidalgo. Dr. Love, the chairman of the Hidalgo-Starr medical society will 
undoubtedly answer in finer detail than I could your questions respecting the 
attitudes and position of the local doctors. Suffice it to tio^'nt out that there are 
3265 potential patients i)er doctor in Hidalgo, and 7206 per dentist ( Starr has no 
dentists). (See Appendix B for CAP figures extracted f'-om a "Forr Corn'y 
Rural Health Survey" prepared by Louise N. Fischer under Dr. Copenhaver's 
direction). 

Desnite the statistics, a few doctors who already have enormous practices (Dr. 
Casso's office may see from 80-100 patients per day) are doing an outstanding 
job in handling charity cases. More might help were there a system that brought 
concerned doctors into contact Avith poor patients seeking treatment. The city 
clinic system, which could operate to that end, doesn't because according to 
reports local doctors are not taking their turns at the clinic. An additional factor, 
omnipresent in the Valley, is that patients are reluctant to approach doctors for 
fear that they will only add more debts to their already crushing burdens. 

There also seems to be a fundamental conflict in the philosophy of the delivery 
of health services among med'cal personnel. While the doctor's home visit has 
become almost unknown, public health nurses are moving in the opposite direc- 
tion towards greater preventative and outreach service. If coordinated, the 
divergent approaches could become complimentary ; at present, they are counter- 
effective. 

I spoke of the lack of a system for bringing the needy patient and the con- 
cerned doctor together. There is also a lack of a clearinghouse to guide patients to 
the prooer agency. The multiplicity of programs over-lap and are redundint to an 
astonishing degree, yet there are nnny who cannot find heli>— diabetics like Mr. 
R. who cannot find the treatment wh'ch he will need for the rest of his possibly 
abbreviated life, a mother who cnnnot find a Probana formula for her baby aller- 
gic to all other foods. For the poor, minor medical problems become a cris's, an 
emergency, a catastrophe. To be sent from agency to agency and turned down at 
each beciuse you are ineligible, because funds have run out, or because you came 
the wrong diy makes, as one observer has said, for "a world made to the mind 
of Franz Kafka, who alone could make it seem reasonable and normal, if not 
entirely just." 

The system has failed to such a degree that our clinic at the National Farm 
Workers Service Center hns been netting referrals from public agencies. At first 
patients wouVl arrive with a referral slip sis^ned, for eximple. by OEO. After 
calling O.EO. to determine why they were referring patients to us, the referral 
slips hegan to come in blank, unsip-ned. Our cMn'c is sninii. It nmorites on^v thre.? 
days a week, two hours a day, because we must depend on whatever time Dr. 



5421 

Oasso, the 'Service Center physician, can spare from his own practice. With one 
exception, no dther local doctors have offered to help. The clinic is a ten by twenty 
foot space framed by movable partitions. Most of last winter we had no heat. 
During the summer it is chokingly hot. Nevertheless, for many our meager, 
almost ridiculously small clinic is the best and only available medical resource 
in the county and entirely unrelated to any government program. 

THE POLITICS OF EXPLOITATION 

If we look at the problem of poor health in isolation, we would be forced to 
conclude that disease persists for a lack of sufficiently funded intelligent programs 
and personnel. To do so would be a mistake, for although such conclusions may 
inevitably follow from the preceding analysis, we have only been talking about 
disease. We haven't detailed the lack of housing, food, clothing, sanitation and 
education upon which a healthy and productive life must be based. 

We could hold hearings on any one of these areas, concluding in each that new 
or better gove'rnmental programs will do the trick. Unquestionably they would 
help in varying degrees, but the one factor underlying each deprivation, under- 
lying, too, Avhat is gloriously refen-^d to as the American Way of Life, is money 
in a man's pocket. Until the farm Avorkers earns a decent Avage, no fundamental 
changes will be seen. 

Food is big business. Though the small farmer is being caught, like the farm- 
worker, by the growth of agribusiness, many people are making a lot of money by 
pi-'oducing food. Food is such big business that even the most naive must be 
forced to ask himself, "If agribusiness is so profitable, Avhy hasn't the farmworker 
prospered with the big groAA'ersV" 

Quite obviously, he could have. He hasn't because the large growers have de- 
cided that they would rather liA-e in imperial luxury, surrounded by want, than 
give their employees a fair wage. Also apparent is that far from seeking to help 
the farmworker in his efforts to right the imbalance, federal, state and local 
government has consistently abetted and encouraged the large growers. 

Consider the variety of state and federal laws which exclude or discriminate 
against the farmworker. He was excluded from the Wagner Act. He is given a 
considerably lower wage under federal and Texas minimum wage laws. Despite 
the alarming accident rate, he is excluded from workman's compensation, forced 
to rely on archaic, employer-weighted tort law. He isn't entitled to unemployment 
compensation if laid off from field work. To qualify for coverage under any So- 
cial Security program he must earn twice as much per quarter. (Compounding 
the problem, some growers will not send in Social Security deductions. ) As far as 
the Social Security Administration is concerned, a farmworker who reaches re- 
tirement age, his body gnarled from farm work, may never have earned a dollar 
in his life. 

The catalog could go on. Rather than explore each example in detail, I should 
prefer to conclude with Texas' occupational health and safety laws. A memo pre- 
pared bv Kitty Schild, a law student working in our office this summer, is attached 
as Appendix G. The thrust of the memo is that basic protections do not exist. 
The Texas Occupational Safety Act, which should and could be developed to 
provide safety standards for the transportation of migrants, for field sanitation, 
for drinking water, for protective devices for pesticide applicators, lies virtually 
dormant. There is no incentive to protect the fannAvorker, since it is solely upon 
him that the burden of accidents falls. 

Then there is the border. Wetbacks and persons holding resident cards, (who 
reaUy reside in Mexico), commute daily into Hidalgo during the winter, and 
fill the crew-leader's trucks going North in the summer. Growers encourage the 
permeable border, for the Mexicans will work for much less, since they cannot 
complain if they are paid below the minimum wage. Labor contractors know this 
and set up recruiting stations and shape-up stations at the bridge. When work 
becomes very scarce even American citizens, living in Hidalgo, will go to the 
shape-up station attempting to pass as a resident of Mexico. The border is doubly 
satisfactory to the growers, for while it contributes enormously to the already 
swollen labor market, it also forces the American Chicano to see his Mexican 
brother as. the source of his problem. There is only so much Avork ; the work must 
be fairt>' paid no mntter Avho does it. The growers have been successful until 
recently in playing off brother against brother to drive wages down because there 
is no penalty for using illegal labor. (Tony Orendain has suggested that if 
growers were fined $il(X)0 for every illegal laborer found in their fields, the use of 
illegals would quickly end.) That the grower-incited internecine suspicion is not 



5422 

what it once was, is due to no change in the border, or in the competition, but 
rather the growing awareness among Mexicans and Mexican- Americans tliat they 
have a common interest in fair wages. 

"Well-meaning government officials liave tried to help. HEW staff members came 
to the Valley in a series of visits designed to develop comprehensive liealth plan- 
ning. Ray Finney prepared a memorandum of the visits, (they have come to 
naught), which appears as Appendix H. On the other hand, other oflScials clearly 
don't care. At a recent meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development 
Council twenty-five people attended. Tliere was an active discussion for one hour 
on an emergency road service grant, plus a pitch from a Motorola salesman selling 
communication equipment. Then there was a twenty minute discussion of health 
care. Free clinics in McAllen and Weslaco were proposed. The Weslaco hospital 
administration said they didn't want the clinic, unless it could be guaranteed that 
there would be no cost to the hospital. 

Meanwhile incredible crop subsidies pour into the Valley ; $16 million annually, 
$8 million into Hidalgo alone (See Appendix A). One wonders who is really driv- 
ing the welfare Cadillac. None of the $8 million is going to farmworkers as wages. 
If the growers welfare liad instead been directed to the farmworker in the form 
of an insurance program, or direct payments, 100,000 i>ersons could have received 
$80.00 a piece, and we wouldn't be here today discussing health. 

The men and women who have consolidated great fortunes in the Valley have 
been able to do so because of a variety of factors. Some I have already touched 
on — ^the border surplus labor dynamic which has made labor a forced subsidy, 
strong lobbies emasculating legislation which would have treated farm labor 
like any other kind of labor. Heavy rural representation in Congress was equally 
central. 

Only a sophisticated, a detailed history of the growth of Hidalgo County would 
fully explain how the exploiters built their fortunes. For present purposes it is 
enough to remember that it was done in a relatively short time, mostly since the 
1920's and the development of the grower-dominated irrigation districts which 
made possible intensive use of land. Armies of cheap Mexican labor were encour- 
aged to come and work the fields. Cheap labor and inexi>en.sive land fo.stered two 
other developments — the real estate speculation, in which the Bentsen family has 
figured prominently, and winter tour'ism. 

il have often referred to growers as exploiters, but I have used the word loosely, 
and perhaps inaccurately. The exploiters are not the majority of the growers. The 
number of farm units in each of the four Valley counties is diminishing. The 
small grower is caught in a squeeze. Little profit accrues in a small growing 
operation, particularly in the crops grown in the Valley. Packing sheds, shippers 
and marketers receive the greater pant of the return on the produce. Increasingly 
successful are the growers who also have packing and marketing facilities, like 
the Schuster family. Parenthetically, Frank Schuster received $77,244 in subsidies 
during 1969. Carl Schuster received $65,151. (Mrs. Carl Schuster remarked to an 
interviewer that welfiare was desitroying the initiative of the poor to work, and 
that the poor were unwilling to work when welfare is available. ) 

Shary Land Farm, recipient of one of the largest USDA subsidies ($125,000 in 
1967, $115,000 in 19(>8) has its own shipping interest. Former Governor Alan 
Shivers married into this family. Marialice Shivers, with the same address at 
Shary Farm, is recorded for 1968 as receiving $26,000 in ASOS payments. 

Another successful grower, packer and marketer is Griffin and Brand. 
Griffin and Brand, a nationwide corporation with several subsidiairies, is a 
salient example of a burgeoning trend to grow in Mexico, pack and ship from 
the United States. Attracted by cheap land and even cheai>er labor, the agri- 
businesses like Griffin and Brand are deserting the labor force they once induced 
into the country. The movement to Mexico is substantial enough to worry even 
the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association which, like California growing 
concerns, has heretofore managed to compete successfully with South Texas 
due to higher efficiency and superior transportation facilities. 

Nevertheless, agribusinesses such as Griffin and Brand, Louisiana Strawberry 
and Vegetable Company, and Rio Farms continue to keep substantial land hold- 
ings in the Valley. They anticipate the demise of their smaller competitors, and 
continue to exploit the workers. 

An interesting example of the lengtths that even an operation as large as 
Griffin and Brand may go to to gouge their employees occurred last Fall. Workers 
were picking peppers for G&B at SOtj' a basket. At al)Out 11 A.M. the field man 
came in and dropped the price to 25(i', retroactive. Three workers came to us to 
us to complain. We called the Department of Labor in McAllen, and were referred 
to the Harlingen office. The Department of Labor pointed out that it was Friday, 



5423 

and that nothing could be done until Monday. But on Monday the investigators 
had a meeting upstate and would be tied up for a week or more. We called the 
Houston office of the Department of Labor. Two hours later Harlingen called 
back and announced that investigators were coming over because they had 
received authorization for overtime. 

A packing shed ran afoul of the Department of Labor last year for the same 
type of minimum wage violation. The Department of Labor found that the 
comi^any owed its workers approximately $10,000. On information, most of this 
money is still in the bank because the shed did not have to mail out the checks 
to the workers affected. Each worker must ask for his own check. Many did 
not even know that the Dei>artment of Labor had found the violation. 

The kind of statement made by Mrs. Schuster, that growers cannot find labor 
in the Valley any more, is interesting in the context of the exodus to Mexico. 
A number of growers have made the same observation, and it deserves a reply. 
Increasingly, labor is used in very high concentrations, often in conjunction 
with machinery, but for very short iieriods of time. A typical harvesting opera- 
tion on, say, a forty-acre field, may involve six or eight large trucks full of 
workers, perhaps over a hundred. They will harvest the field in short order, 
each worker earning three, maybe four dollars. Then the work is finished. The 
produce is hauled to the sheds, and there is no more work for the harvesters. 
The trucker takes a cut from the worker's iiay, and he is left with almost 
nothing to show for his work. But despite Mrs. Schuster's complaint, I have 
never seen a day go by when there weren't workers available at the bridge, or 
in the shape-up stands in town. 

The low utilization of labor and low wages also raise interesting questions 
about the labor cost to the grower and the consumer. A grower siiends about .4 
to .8 cents per ix)und to pick tomatoes, including a margin for waste. Repacking 
flats adds slightly over 1 cent, for a total labor input of 1.9 cents per pound. 
Sold in local markets for 29 cents a pound, labor accounts for only 7% of the 
retail cost. A twenty-five cent head of lettuce costs 2.2 cents to pick and pack, 
a one pound bag of carrots, selling for 19 cents a ix>und, costs only 1.2 cents 
to pick and pack. Higher wage scales would hardly be a disaster to anyone. 
Tripling wages would result in only a 2.5 cent increase in the market cost of 
carrots, assuming that agribusinesses tried to pass on the whole cost to the 
market. If all growers, i>ackers and shipix^rs were forced to ixiy the tripled 
wage, none would suffer a competitive disadvantage. I am not suggesting that 
merely tripling cui-rent wage scales would be fair, but that there is no general 
public interest in denying the worker a fair wage. Indeed, there is reason to 
believe that the poor and the middle-income consumer have interests which dic- 
tate a friendly alliance. A successful organizing effort among farmworkers 
would substantially reduce the need for government programs that may cost 
a lot, but offer little. By supporting the farmworker, the consumer is avoiding the 
waste of his income. 

No analysis of the Valley power structure would be complete without a refer- 
ence to the Bentsen family. The elder Lloyd Bentsen came to the Valley from 
Minnesota in the 1920's and built an extensive land business. In the intervening 
years the family diversified its holdings and interests. It now owns several 
national drug stores, banks in the county, real estate companies, mortgage and 
loan companies, large insurance companies, and even an agri-chemical business 
aflaiiated with Union Carbide. The family still owns extensive citrus acreage, 
but its primary influence is in the capital market where, with the Newhouses, it 
dominates the Valley. Although a Chicano-oriented bank wouUl undoubtedly 
be a success, local Chicano businessmen have been frustrated in their attempts 
to organize such a venture by the Bentsen-Newhouse hegemony. One member 
of the Bentsen family sits on both the McAllen school board and the board of 
the hospital. (Othal Brand, of Griffin and Brand, sits with Bentsen on the 
school board. Both are especially reactionary.) Tliough less so today, the town 
of Mission has long been a kind of Bentsen patrimony, riiled by the Bentsens for 
the privileged Anglo minority. A partial list of Bentsen holdings appears as 
Appendix I. 

The Bentsens, the Schusters, the Griffins and the Brands are but a few striking 
examples of Anglo domination in the Valley. 495 persons or corporations received 
subsidies in excess of $5000 in 1967, 466 in 1968 — less than 10% of the recipients 
had Spanish surnames., In 1969 the^e were eighty payees receiving in excess of 
$25,000. Only one had a Spanish surname, Guerra Brothers. One exi>ects to see 
even larger operations emerge. Tenneco, for example, has agricultural acreage 
in the Valley. 



5424 

Worse than the large subsidies is the attitude of the elite towards their serfs. 
The most charitable point of view is that the Chicano's lot is atttributable to 
ignorance. Educate people, and they will know that they shou'd wash their hands 
before preparing food, that they should drink fresh water. Such arguments are 
ridiculous. Most people know they should wash their hands, but there is no 
clean water to wash with, because the sewage systems foul the already brackish 
well water. Most colonias, and many houses in cities, don't even have any water. 
Sewage systems are expensive to build ; water beyond the reach of all but a 
few. One colonia pays taxes on a bond issue for a water system that runs near 
their boundary. They will be paying thirty-four more years. They can't drink 
a drop of it, can't even use it to water their gardens, because the water is only 
for the irrigation of large farms. Many colonias have beeen waiting for years 
for the F.H.A. to approve loans for water systems. One colonia, Colonia Nueva, 
has sought for three years to get water. An Anglo real estate dealer sold the 
people the land without any water rights. The well water is undrinkable, and 
the people have to truck in water from nearby Donna. After a long struggle to 
get temporary water rights, the Colonia sought to join a local water corporation, 
Mid- Valley, which would have applied for a loans, constructed, and administered 
the system. Mid-Valley refused to let them join because their allotment was 
only temporary, not permanent, though there was virtually no chance that the 
allotment wou'd have been lost. Now the colonia is going ahead on their own. 
If they are lucky, F.H.A. will approve their loan, and they will have water 
to drink. In the meantime, they are dry. We recently had a three-day rainstorm 
which flooded many areas. A few residents of the colonia had built cisterns. Not 
a drop from the deluge fell on Colonia Nueva. 

The frustrations in dealing with the Anglo power structure replicate the 
frustrations of the sick migrant seeking a government service which would help 
him. At times he is met with a simile, always with a "No." 

Still, the Valley has its ironies. A Catholic priest was visited early this year 
by representatives of one of the members of the hospital board. The board mem- 
ber was thinking of starting his own hospital, and wanted a few nuns around 
to give it aura. The hospital was to be strictly first class, calculated to take the 
most affluent clientele away from McAllen General. Irony, however, is infrequent. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Numerous recommendations have been offered for easing the crisis in health. 
One such recommendation comes from the committee formed at the suggestion 
of the medical society and meeting under Doctor Copenhaver's leadership. Tlie 
plan, estimated to cost .$1 million annually, would .seek, in Dr. Love's woirds, 
to fill "a gap in delivery of health care to certain economically depressed seg- 
ments of our population." (Corpus Christi Caller, June 11, 1970). Informa- 
tion and referral centers would be set up, along with out-patient clinics in 
Weslaco. Edinburg and McAllen. 

I think Dr. Love would acknowledge that even with a $1 million annual 
budget, we will not have a comprehensive health service for all the county's 
poor. If, as is proposed. 12,000 persons will be treated annually, service will 
still fall far short of county needs. Serious cases will need hospitalization, appar- 
ently not a part of the committee's plan. More imnortant. health will continue 
to deteriorate as long as water, sewage and food remain problems. 

I have continually stressed what tlie Texas branch of the Union feels will 
contribute most to good health — fair wages. We do not want new programs 
which create complacent, tenure-oriented bureaucracies, and don't deliver. We 
want no new legislation, unless it is designed and is passed to support the 
farm worker in his struggle to gain a fair wage. AVe do not want legislation 
which purports to help, but really traps the workers in a maze of restrictions 
which would vitiate the farm movement. 

The government and the American can help, and should. The American people 
pay for a dual system of welfare ; the agribusinesses wax fat on subsidies, 
expensive public welfare systems fail to meet the needs of the poor. We appeal 
to our fellow citizens to consider that by supporting the Union they will be 
helping themselves. The Hidalgo farmworker and the consumer in New Jersey, in 
Minnesota, in California, Iowa, or Mas'-achu.setts, have a real stake in each other's 
health and well-being. The consumer boycott of grapes is a positive start. It 
must continue and grow until every farmworker has the rights most of us take 
for granted. 

Donne wrote, "No man is an island, entire of it.self." Tlie plight of the farm- 
worker diminishes us all. Let us join together and support him, like the part of 
us he is. 

Viva la causa. 



APPEOS^DIXES 

EXHIBIT A 
TABLE 1— 4 COUNTIES OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY DATA 



County 


Area 


1967 
population 


Number of 
farms, 1959 


Number of 
farms, 1984 


Total farm 
income, 1967 


Total income, 

all sources, 

1967 


Hidalgi 

Cameron 

Starr 

Willacy 


1,541 
883 

1,207 
595 


182, 192 

151,098 

20, 624 

20, 084 




3,575 

2,338 

559 

637 


2,868 

1,754 

520 

547 


$48,903,880 

32,292,625 

4,951,570 

16, 490, 695 


$224, 242, 000 

209, 738, 000 

16,371,000 

23, 848, 000 


Total.. 


4,326 


373, 998 




7,145 


5,589 


102,638,771 


474, 199, 000 



Source: Texas Almanac, 1968-69. 

TABLE 2.— AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION PROGRAM PAYMENTS OF $5,000 OR MORE IN 

1967 AND 1968 



County 


Number of 

recipie ts, 

1967 


Number of 

Spanisf) 

names of 

these 


Total 
amounts 


Number of 

recipients, 

1968 


Number of 

Spanisfi 

names of 

these 


Total 
amounts 


Hidalgo 

Cameron 


495 
466 


24 

32 

3 

7 


$8. 720, 380 

7,733,118 

517, 857 

3, 198, 000 


466 

402 

19 

207 


33 

28 

5 

5 


$7,654,978 
6,326,346 


Starr... 

Willacy 


21 
226 


489, 324 
2,748,373 


Total 


1,218 


66 


20, 269, 355 


1,094 


71 


17,218,373 



Note: In 1960 68 individuals or companys received $3,400,000 of the total payment to Hidalgo County of $7,654,978. In 
the 4 counties 7 farms received more than $100,000 apiece. Of the total 4-county population of 373,998, 254,766, or more 
than 68 percent, are Spanish-surname people. 



EXHIBIT B 
OEO CAP 5 FORM, SOUTH TEXAS COUNTIES 



Total 



Cameron 
County 



Hidalgo 
County 



Starr 
County 



Willacy 
County 



Total population 372,123 151,098 180,904 20,037 20,084 

Percent population in rural areas 28.6 25.6 28.8 60 17.9 

Total number of families 75,201 31,370 36,431 3,339 4,061 

Families, income less than $3.000 38,924 14,821 19,623 2,384 2,096 

Percent families, income less than $3,000. _ 51.7 47.2 53.8 71.4 51.6 

Families with income less than $1,000 _. 11,225 4,262 5,444 1,005 514 

Families, income $1,000 to $1,999 15.273 5,628 7,785 949 911 

Families, income $2,000 to $2,999 12.396 4,931 6,394 430 671 

Males Hand over in labor force 81,658 31,321 42,627 3,002 4,708 

Percent of such males unemployed 7.1 8.7 5.8 13.8 3.5 

Females Hand over in labor force... 36,363 15,914 18,290 1,348 1,811 

Percent of such females unemployed _. 7.7 7.9 7.3 13.8 .6 

Persons under 21 years of age 178,658 76,709 82,776 8,532 10,641 

Percent under 21 VI//AFDC payments 3.4 2.4 4.6 .06 4.0 

Persons aged 65 years and over 16,566 8,093 6,477 972 1.024 

Percent persons 65 and over, old age assistance 41 24 60 69 31.7 

Percent persons in school (14 and 15) 87.3 88.3 86.8 90.7 80.8 

Percent persons in school (16 and 17) 66.1 69.5 64.1 68.1 57.6 

Number of persons 25 years and older 160,006 65,994 77,971 7,513 8,528 

25 and over, less than 8th grade education 87,280 33.223 45,160 3,809 5,088 

Percent 25 and over, less than 8th grade education 54.7 50.7 57.9 50.7 59.6 

Persons 18 to 25 examined by selective service 2,201 288 1,527 109 277 

Persons rejected by selective service 1.152 158 751 73 170 

Percent persons rejected by selective service 52.3 55 49 75 61.1 

Births per year 10,442 4,523 4,824 675 420 

Deaths per year, infants under 12 months... (200) 179 C) .4 4.2 

All housing units 100,059 42,083 47,711 4,489 5,776 

Housing units substandard 45,667 17,224 23,488 1,567 3,388 

Percent of housing units substandard 45.7 40.9 49.2 35 58.3 

Population with Spanish surname 254.766 96,474 129,092 15,196 13,734 

Percent population with Spanish surname 68.4 64 71.3 76 68.4 



> Not available. 



(5425) 



5426 



Population — Towns 



HIDALGO 

Alamo 4,010 

Cypres 20 

Donna 7,650 

Edcouch 2,805 

Edinburg 19,500 

Elsa 3,847 

Faysville 50 

Hargill 100 

Hidlago 800 

La Blanca 75 

La Joya 110 

La Villa 1,261 

Linn 150 

Los Ebanos 100 

McAllen 38,600 

McCook 100 

Mercedea 11, 143 

Mission 14,281 

Monte Alto 650 

Monte CristO' 60 

Penitas 250 

Pharr 14, 806 

Progreso 185 

Puerto Rico 350 

Relampago 100 

Samfordyce 95 

San Carlos 150 

San Juan 4,550 

Sharyland 350 

Stockholz 50 

Sullivan City 275 

Wellichville 25 

Weslaco 16,550 

Weslaco (North) 1,049 

STAKE 

Ark. City 40 

Delminta 100 

El Sauz 75 

Escobares 250 

Falcon Hts 150 

Fronton , 350 

Garceno 175 

Garciasville 250 

GruUa 1,436 

La Gloria 50 

La Reforma 30 



Los Barreras 

Rio Grande City. 
Roma-Los Saanz. 

Rosita 

Salineno 

San Isidro 

Santa Ana 

Santa Catarina_-- 

Santa Blena 

Sun Oil Camp 

Viboras 

La Union 



Lasara 

Lyford 

Porfirio 

Port Mansfield- 
Raymondville - 

San Perlita 

Sebastian 

Willamar 



WILLACY 



CAMERON 

Bayview 

Bluetown 

Brownsville 

Carriatos 

Combes 

Harlingen 

La Feria 

Laguna He 

Laguna Vista 

Landrum Station 

La Paloma 

Laureles 

Los Fresnos 

Los Indios 

Lozano 

Moistown 

Olmito 

Port Isabel 

Primera 

Rangerville 

Rio Hondo 

San Benito 

Santa Maria 

Santa Rosa 



125. 

6,435 

1,549 

215 

255 

140 

30 

20 

60 

100 

20 

20 



150 

1,554 

40 

525 

10, 200 

348 

500 

40 



268 

100 

52, 800 

25 

510 

41, 100 

3,970 

840 

260 

125 

150 

20 

1,500 

300 

200 

25 

200 

4,000 

1,066 

80 

1.344 

16, 650 

281 

1,572 



Counties 



Cameron 



Hidalgo 



Starr 



Willacy 



Texas 



National 



Population 1 160,000 

Persons per physician 1,684. 2 

Physicians per 100,000 population 59. 3 

Persons per dentist 9,411.7 

Dentists per 100,000 population. 10.6 

Persons per R.N 894. 1 

R.N.'s per 100,000 population 118. 1 

Persons per P.H.N. 16,000 

P.H.N. 's per 100,000 population 6.3 

Persons per sanitarian 40, 000 

Sanitarians per 100.000 popilation .4 

Persons per registered pharmacist 2, 161. 6 

Pharmacists per 100.000 population. . . 46. 3 

Hospital beds per 1,000 2.5 

Median family income (1960)4 $3, 216 



209, 000 


20, 000 


3, 265. 6 


6, 666. 7 


30.6 


15 


7,206.7 


(2) 


13.9 


(2) 


823.2 


2, 857. 1 


119.1 


35.0 


13, 062. 5 


10, 000 


7.6 


10.0 


34, 833. 3 


20, 000 


2.8 


5.0 


2, 518. 07 


1,818.1 


39.7 


55.0 


2.3 


2.1 


$2, 780 


$1,700 



22,000 10,711,743 

4,400.0 _.-_ _ 

22.7 119 1,508 

11,000.0 

9. 1 36 54. 1 

1,571.4 

63.6 173 325 

22,000 6,211 5,376 

4.5 16.1 18.6 

0) 

0) 

5,500.0 

18.2 

1.3 3.8 

$2,902 $5,660 



1 Population used by 4 local health departments. 

2 No dentist. 

3 No sanitarian. 

* U.S. census, 1960. 



5427 



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5428 

EXHIBIT D 

[From Valley Morning Star, July 12, 1970] 
Apathy Still Factor in Battle of Polio 

Weslaco. — Anna Isabel Trevino has full brown eyes that brim with the special 
shine of a 2-year-old. 

And she has that special smile that carries a child through happy or hard times. 

Her grin never really changes. But the times have. And they are bad for the 
tot from Rio Bravo, Tex. 

iShe lies in a bed at Knapp Memorial Hospital in "Weslaco. She does not move 
her arms or legs. She has a fever, a stiff neck and sore muscles and she doesn't 
understand why. 

Anna Isabel has polio. 

The disease that was a houseihold horror until Dr. Jonas Salk and his miracle 
vaccine made it rare in the late 1950s, is making a deadly comeback in the Rio 
Grande Valley of Texas. 

STRIKES VERY YOUNG 

It Strikes the helpless and the innocent. It strikes the very young. 

Pourt^n cases of polio have been reported in Cameron and Hidalgo counties 
which border Mexico. Three children have died so far this summer. 

"Polio is still around because of apathy," said Dr. John R. Gopenhaver, health 
director for the two Texas counties and the man in the eye of the epidemic. 

Most of the 14 polio victims were under one year of age. The oldest was 3. None 
of the children was immunized against the disease. 

"The only way to overcome apathy is to force people to be immunized and to 
reward then^ if they do," Copenhaver said. "For instance, in order to travel or 
goto school or to receive welfare." 

POOR HIT HARDEST 

Polio can strike the rich or the poor. But in the Rio Grande Valley it has 
Qbosen the poor. Federal, state and local health oflScials have started an immu- 
nization campaign, dispensing 54,000 doses of oral polio vaccine in a four-county 
ajea. 

The epidemic prompted state legislators and health oflScials to consider legal 
methods to force parents to have their children immunized. 

"It certainly has been called to my attention," said Gus F. Mutscher, speaker 
of the Texas House of Representatives. "I think the best thing I could do at 
this time is to have a conference with the head of the Texas Education Agency 
and the Health Department." 

Many cities and school boards have required polio immunization. But Dr. J. E. 
Peavy, state health commissioner, said school programs would not help the 
current outbreak. 

"All but one of the children involved are under 2 years of age," Peavy said. 

URGES EARLIER START 

Copenhaver said school programs do not attack the disease early enough in 
children. 

"We can't afford to wait until they are school age," he said. "They should be 
immunized in the first year of birth. It could be made mandatory for a birth 
certificate." 

Anna Isabel Trevino got her birth certificate and was struck down by polio in 
her second summer because she was not immunized. 

The Texas State Health Department now sends to county health departments 
lists of infants born in their areas. County ofl5cials then mail letters to all 
mothers, urging them to have their children inoculated. 

ADDRESS PROBLEM 

"But the address is so frequently wrong. It makes it awfully diflScult," Copen- 
haver said. "We are now recommending that more information be given so 
children can be accurately followed up. 



5429 

"When they come into the clinic, they receive all the immunizations — diptheria, 
whooping cough, tetanus, measles and smallpox — as many as two at one time." 

The treatment is free for those who cannot afford it. 

Despite the free clinics, door-to-door campaigns this summer and warning 
letters, polio continues to pop up, especially among the poor. 

"I don't think the financial status has anything to do with polio" except for 
the lack of money to pay for regular visits to a pediatrician, Copenhaver said. 
"The sanitary conditions or the closeness of individuals might be involved." 

CROWDED LIVING CONDITIONS 

Many Mexican-Americans in the Rio Grande Valley, including thousands of 
migrant farm workers, live crowded together with substandard sanitary 
conditions. 

The upper respiratory virus that causes polio can be inhaled through cough 
droplets from another person or transmitted directly by body filth, found in all 
economic levels, Oopenhaver said. 

He said sur\'eys indicate the large migrant families are immunized better than 
nomnigrant families "because we put more emphasis on our migrant program 
here and there is emphasis up and down the migrant streams." 



EXHIBIT E 

HIDALGO FEDERAL MIGRANT HEALTH 1970 BUDGET, UNOFFICIAL « 



Balance Feb. 
Categories Approved January February 28, 1970 

Salaries 

P^sician fees 

Office supplies 

Drugs -- 

Clinic supplies 

Travel 

Equipment 

Printing _ 

X-rays _ 

Lab 

Hospitalization 

Physician care_ 

Ambulance 

Postage and communication 

Total 

> County medical program given to NFWSC by Dr. Copenhaver, director. January 1 to December 31. 
2 Over. 



$53,716 


$3,782.00 
4, 899. 00 


$4,435.00 
4, 995. 00 


$45,499.00 


19, 000 


9,106.00 


500 





26.59 


473.41 


18, 000 


5,616.61 


13,916.49 


J -1,533.10 


120 








120. 00 


7,896 


479.83 


358.27 


7,057.90 














400 





112.65 


287. 35 


3, 000 


535.00 


463. 50 


2, 001. 50 


3, 000 


563.00 


750. 50 


1,686.50 


27,767 








27, 767. 00 


26, 000 


300.00 


40.00 


25, 660. 00 


1, 000 








1, 000. 00 


400 








400. 00 


160, 799 


16,175.44 


25,098.00 


119,525.00 



EXHIBIT F 

United Farm Workers Organizing Committee AFLr-CIO, 

Mc Allen, Tex., April 11, 1910. 
Dr. J. E. Peavy, 
Commissioner of Health, Austin, Tex. 

Dear Sir : The "Monitor," a local newspaper, reported on Tuesday, April 7 
that the McAUen General Hospital is applying for additional Hill-Burton funds 
for the construction of more patient's rooms. 

We support, without reservation, the need for additional funds. We would ask. 
however, that in processing the McAUen application, state and federal oflQcials 
scrutinize with great care McAUen's assurances that it will provide a reasonable 
volume of services to persons unable to pay for them, assurances required by 
the Act and supporting regulations. 

A recent medical survey conducted in this area of the Rio Grande Valley 
showed an alarming lack of medical services for the poor. There is no question 
but that our hospitals, McAllen General included, must be vastly expanded to 
handle the critical medical problems we know exist. Unhappily, we are not 
convinced that McAllen General' takes seriously its obligation to serve the poor, 
as it serves the rich. The hospital has received Hill-Burton funds in the past and 
will, we hope, receive more at this timf;; but testimony at a senate Subcommittee 
hearing in Edinburg last Fall afid .our own experience show that the hospital 
is turning away ingi^iy of those who cannot .'afford -entrance deposits and harass- 
ing the indigent for payments. 

- S6-513 0-r-71.-r-pt.8B -4 



5430 

Under the circumstances, we would ask that the mandatory assurances be 
spelled out in great detail and made easily available to the public. Among other 
questions we would ask are : What percentage of indigents applying for admis- 
sion and treatment have been admitted as charity patients? How many have 
been turned away? What percentage of the proposed rooms will be available 
to those unable to pay? Will the hospital treat such patients as true charity 
patients, or will it continue its apparent policy of hari*assing the medically in- 
digent? Will other services of the hospital be made available to indigents on 
an expanded basis? 

I wish to make it perfectly clear once again that we do not oppose an addi- 
tional grant of Hill-Burton funds ; we support such a grant. Our concern is that 
the spirit and the letter of the Act, that the poor have a right to share in 
federally assisted medical programs, be met. The hospital, by its own admission, 
is in good financial shape. McAllen General can and should, comply with the 
responsibilities that go with Hill-Burton funds. 

Thousands of the Valley's poor are suffering from critical medical problems, 
some of which have gone beyond the point of cure only because they were too 
poor to get the treatment they know they need. Hill-Burton dollars will make 
no difference to the destitute, waiting in their agony, until and unless Texas and 
the United States government stand behind and guarantee the promises Con- 
gress made to the poor when they passed Hill-Burton. 
Very truly yours, 

Antonio Orendain. 

Texas State Department op Health, 

Austin, Tex., April 16, 1910. 
Mr. Antonio Orendain, 

United Farm Workers Organizing Committee AFL-CIO, 
McAllen, Tex. 

Dear Mr. Orendain : I appreciate very much your letter to me, dated April 11, 
1970, expressing your interest in and approval of a Hill-Burton grant to the 
McAllen General Hospital. We regret very much that we did not have sufficient 
funds to make an allocation to this project. We realize that this facility is badly 
needed in the area and perhaps, if the hospital reapplies next year, we might 
receive a larger sum under the Hill-Burton program and be in a position to make 
allocations to a larger number of hospitals than we were able to this year. 
Very truly yours, 

J. E. Peavy, M.D., 
Commissioner of Health. 

Department op Health, Education, and Welfare, 

Public Health Service, 
Health Services and Mental Health Administration, 

Rockvillc, Md., June 2, 1970. 
Mr. Antonio Orendain, 

United Farm Workers Organising Committee AFL-CIO, Texas Branch, 
McAllen, Tex. 

Dear Mr. Orendain : This is in further reply to your letter of April 11, 1970, 
to Dr. Harold Graning, with reference to the McAllen General Hospital's request 
for Hill-Burton funds and your questions pertaining to assurances for service 
to persons unable to pay. 

We have received a report on the matter, through our Dallas Regional Office, 
from the State Department of Health, the administering authority for the Hill- 
Burton program in Texas. We are advised that due to the limited funds allotted 
to the State of Texas, the State agency was not able to make an allocation to the 
McAllen General Hospital, and therefore the assurance pertaining to patients 
unable to pay for services does not apply in this instance. 

With reference to your questions concerning the admission of indigent patients, 
we have been advised that the McAllen General Hospital from October 1, 1969, 
through April 30, 1970, furnished 348 patients (9 percent of the admitted pa- 
tients) with services amounting to $73,914 (5 percent of the gross patient 
revenue), and the hospital's estimate is that it will furnish over $100,000 in free 
service to local citizens before the current hospital fiscal year is ended. 
Sincerely yours, 

Ted L. Bechtel, 
Director, Office of State Plans. 



5431 

June 24, 1970. 
Mr. Ted L. Bechtel 
Director, Office of State Plans, 

Deparitment of Healtih, Education, and Welfare, 
Public Health Service, 

Health Services and Mental Health Administration, 
Roekville. Md. 
Dear iSib: Thank you for your interesting letter. It is reassuring to hear that 
McAllen Hospital may be offering charitable services to local citizens. At the 
risk of sounding skeptical, I should like to ask if you know, or can find out, 
whether the "free ser\ace" is indeed free, or represents indigent patients who 
have been harassed for payments, but who have no money. 

lOur experience with the hospital has revealed a number of instances of patient 
harassment, and no instances of true charity. I would be ready to applaud the 
hospital for charity work, if I were sure that it is providing it. You will imder- 
stand my hesitancy in accepting ithe hospital's figures until sudh time as we 
can be sure they represent real charity. 
Very truly yours, 

Antonio Oeendain. 



EXHIBIT G 
Texas Provisions for Health of Farm Workers and Packers 

(By Kitty Schild) 

Texas safety and health statutes, or the lack of them, contribute direcftly to 
poor farmworker health. Huge gaps exist in legislation, the few laws existing 
are unenforced. The basic statute involved is the Occupational Safety Act, 
V.A.CJS. Aft. 5182 a. It applies to all employers (defined as anyone in control 
of any employment, place of employment, or employees, with the exception of 
domestic help or those employed on carriers regulated iby the IOC.) It merely 
requires that such employers must maintain a reasonably safe and healthy place 
to work. They must use any processes or devices, including methods of sanitation 
and hygiene, as are reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, and safety 
of itheir employees. 

However, any more si>ecific rules or regulations must come from the Occupa- 
tion Safety Board, comix)sed of the Commissioners of Labor Statistics and 
Health and a public member appointed hy the governor. The Board may also 
exempt any individual or group from any of its rules or regulations. The Board 
has not yet promulgated rules covering agricultural workers, and probably will 
not for several years, if ever. 

Besides this very general statute, there are a series of statutes that apply to 
any factory, mill, workshop, mei-cantile estaWis^hmenit, laundry, or other estab- 
lishment which employs females. These would apply to packing sheds and prob- 
ably agricultural work, though this latter is not listed and would have to be 
considered as "other establishments." (On an earlier statute. Art. 5172a, con- 
cerning hours for female emi)loyees, those involved in the "first processing" or 
in canning or packing fruits or vegetables were specifically exempted, so one 
could argue that since they weren't so exempted in these articles, they were 
meant to be included. ) 

These statutes provide that such establishments should take adequate meas- 
ures for maintaining a reasonable, and if possible, equable, temi^erature, con- 
sistent with the reasonable requirement of the manufacturing process. There 
shall also be no gas or eftiuvia from sewers, drains, privies, etc., and iX)isonous 
or noxious gases and dust must be removed as far as practicable. V.A.C.S. Art. 
5(174. Floors shall be cleaned at least once a day and if the manufacturing process 
wets the floor, there should be adequate drainage and grates or dry standing 
room where practicable. V.A.C.S. Art. 517.5. Exits should o^ien outwards and be 
easy and quick to open. Handrails and adequate lighting must be provided for 
any stairs. V.A.C.S. Art. 517G. As can be seen by reading the above statutes, a 
specific rule will be set and then watered down with such phrases as "as far as 
practicable" or "consistent with the reasonable requirements of the manu- 
facturing process." 

The only statute without such provisions (and one which also applies to male 
employees) is Art. 5177 which requires toilets in proportion of one to twenty 
female employees, and one to twenty-five male employees. There must be separate 



5432 

toilets for males and females, and they must be constructed in an approved man- 
ner and properly enclosed. They must be kept clean and sanitary, disinfected and 
ventilated at all times and lighted during working hours. 

All the above statutes (Arts. 517a-5178) are to be enforced by the Commis- 
sioner of Labor Statistics. 

Strikingly absent are provisions protecting laborers in transit to and from 
the fields. As many as twenty migrants — men, women, and children — may be 
loaded into the open, unprotected cargo space of a flatbed truck. There are no 
seats, overhead protection, or safety belts. With this lack of protection, an 
otherwise minor accident can turn into a major tragedy. 

Also lacking, as yet, are provisions for water and toilets in the field. Failing 
basic sanitation and comfort standards, the workers cannot be blamed for 
excreting in the fields. Some of the more modest, particularly women, have suf- 
fered kidney and bladder disorders from long hours of working without urinating. 



EXHIBIT H 

Visits by Federal Officials to the Lower Rio Grande Valley the Past 

18 Months 

It should be noted that there have been a steady stream of federal and state 
officials coming through the Valley this past 18 months. They have held meetings, 
promising things, then vanishing, and nothing happened. Basically there is no 
follow-up. 

The following is a list of visits by Federal officials to the Farm worker groups 
in the Valley over the past 18 months. 

VISITS 

Anril 1969.— Dr. Bud Shenkin, USPHS. Wash. D.C. and Dr. Tom Newman 
USPHS Dallas Regional office. They discussed with Colonias del Valle the 
possibility of a health grant. Either a clinic or a community health aide program 
that could refer people to existing facilities. 

August 1969. — Colonias people wanted a clinic to deliver services and there- 
fore during July and August a survey was done to develop a clinic serving 12 
rural colonias and a research project to develop a comprehensive plan for the 
whole Valley. (4 counties). Aides would do no good because there were no 
services available to refer to. 

September 1969. — A 12 colonia survey was done and a proposal submitted to 
USPHS for a clinic and planning grant. This proposal was supported by the 
Farm Workers Service Center. 

October 1969. — Tlie submitted proposal was reviewed by the USPHS, con- 
sumer review committee, and action was postponed until Jan. 1970. 

November 1969. — Discuussion of health problems with Miss Helen Johnson 
of USPHS Migrant Health branch. No real results could be seen due to no funds 
available to Migrant Health branch. 

Hearings on Migrant Health by Senator Yarborough's Committee in Edin- 
burg. Much effort was made to develop good and true testimony. There was 
much distrust of the value of these hearings especially on the part of the young 
migrant people, because these hearings had been held before and no real ad- 
vantage or gain to the poor. 

In Feb. of 1970 more money was allocated but this did no real good because 
the majority of the funds did not go to Texas. Also most of the money went to 
support clinics. To most of us, migrant clinics are like Bingo if you live near 
one, you win until the money runs out. If you don't live near one you loose. The 
money never goes directly to the farm workers either via stamps or insurance, 
so he has to accept what over he can get after the health Bureaucrats, Adminis- 
trators, and Health providers have taken their cent. 

December 10, 1969. — Farm Workers Clinic opens. 

December 1969.— Glenn Bell, and Bob Winston of the Dallas Regional Office 
plus Bud Shenkin of USPHS in D.C. came by to discuss the October proposal, 
plus the newly opened Farm Workers Clinic staffed voluntarily by 1 local doctor 
and several nurses. 

It should be noted that on each of these trips the Federal people promised 
support and assistance in whatever we wanted. They told us, they were for us 
and would help in every way. It was only much later that we found out, they 
were saying these same things to the doctors, pharmacists, and county health 
workers and other community groups. 



5433 

Feiruiry 1970. — Another meeting was held with representatives from USPHS. 
This time in D.C. with people from the D.C. oflBce. Again promises of assistance 

March 1970.— Mv. Glen Bell and Dr. Tom Newonan of USPHS Dallas came to 
the Valley to aslc for proposals for the new Migrant Money (Yarborough's 
money). They were selling clinics as "the thing D.C. USPHS wanted to fund". 
The farm workers asked for Health Stamps (a food stamp, insurance type pro- 
gram). We did not find out until later (June 5), but the pharmacists asked Bell 
and Co. for a Medical insurance program and the doctors were split some want- 
ing fee for service insurance and some wanting a government run welfare clinic 
attached to hosuMtials. The last of these choices gained favor with the government 
people and was funded in June. It is interesting to note that the majority of 
those involved (Farm workers, pharmacists, and doctors) wanted almost the 
same thing. 

Following Bell and Newman's visit a proposal for 3.2 million to cover farm 
workers specifically in the four counties and generally in the mid western states 
was submitted to USPHS. Except for one phone call from Dallas, this proposal 
was completely ignored. In June we learned that the Medical Society Clinic was 
to be funded. The amount of $230,750 was allocated to Hidalgo Co. (our cut of 
the $7,000,0(X) Yarborough appropriation for Migrant Health, the benefits of the 
Nov. hearings). The interesting thing, is that this money is to be spent and super- 
vised by a .small committee made up of ^Medical Society and government people. 
The ideas and proposal which the farm worker groups submitted was never taken 
even as far as the national review committee. Another tragedy is that the money 
presently is not being spent because the doctors and government people can't 
find a $30,0(X) doctor to staff their own brain child. The farm worker groups had 
asked first for a Health Stamp or insurance type plan that spread the poverty 
medicine practice around. One reason being this would avoid the direct recruit- 
ment of one doctor for a government tyi>e charity clinic and possibly attract 
more private practitioners. 

The best lesson that can be learned by all of this, the Yarborough hearings in- 
cluded, is that the people should never expect much from the government. 
There are too many obstacles between the Halls of Congress and the rural areas, 
such as the Valley. The fight for individual rights, for better pay and better public 
services has to be carried on at the local level. All we can hope is that the majority 
of the American people and the Congress will help us by being aware of the plight 
of the rural poor and stop helping the agri-business men and the entrenched 
government agency people. 

As long as the agri-business men receive a double subsidy first via direct crop 
support or said bank payments and second via subsidized labor (Health projects, 
food commodity distribution, private charity to impoverished workers) it will be 
impossible to make economic and social progress in rural areas. The poor have 
no choice but to migrate to the urban centers. In most cases this migration only 
adds to frustration, despair and unrest. 



EXHIBIT I 

Bentsen Family Holdings (Non-Land) 
bentsen companies 

Bentsen Development Company-Real Estate-Investments: holdings include 
about 200 acres of farmland ; unirrigated land used for niilo, irrigated land all 
citrus. 

Bentsen Groves Corporation — land holding corp. 

Bentsen \yhittenger Oil : Calvin R. Bentsen, President. 

Tip O' Tex Realty Company : owned by Elmer C. Bentsen and Bentsen De- 
velopment Company in partnership composed of Lloyd M. Sr. and Elmer C. Devel. 

Dixie Mortgage Loan Co. : owned by Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., President of the 
company is Dan Winn (2022 N. 10th, McAllen), who is Secretary and a director of 
Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance (a Bentsen Company), and President of Medico 
Drug Stores. The company also owns a lot of land. 

Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance : formed out of a merger of Lincoln Liberty 
Life Insurance, of Omaha, and the Bentsen owned Consolidated American Life 
Insurance. 



5434 

Mid-American Investment Company : organized by Elmer Bentsen and Dixie 
Mortgage Loan. 

Tide Products, Inc. : Don L. Bentsen, President. Subdivision of Union Carbide. 
Liquid & Dry fertilizers, insecticides, agricultural chemicals. 

MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY 

Lloyd Bentsen, Sr. : Partner in Bentsen Development Co., Chairman of Board 
of First National Bank of McAllen ; Chairman of Board of Jefferson Savings and 
Loan of Texas; Director of Lincoln Liberty Life Ins., largest stockholder; Presi- 
dent of First National Bank of Mission ; Owns Dixie Mortgage and Loan ; 
Board Member of Frst National Bank of Mission, McAllen, Edinburg, Raymond- 
ville, and Security State Bank of Pharr. 

Lloyd Bentsen, Jr. : Partner in Bentsen Development Company ; Chairman of 
the Board and Director of Liberty Life Insurance ; President of Lincoln Con- 
solidated ; Director of Continental Oil Company ; Director of Bank of Southwest 
National Association (Houston) ; was a Director of Trunkline Gas Company 
before campaign ; Director of Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. before campaign. 

Donald Bentsen : Director of Sommers Drug Stores Co., 3130 E. Houston, San 
Antonio; President of Tide, San Antonio; President of Tide Products, Inc. (Div. 
of Union Carbide) ; President Investors Syndicate; Secretary of Jefferson Sav- 
ings and Loan Association of Texas. 

Elmer Bentsen : President of First National Bank of McAllen. 

Calvin R. Bentsen : President Bentsen-Whittengen Oil Company ; Member 
McAllen Hospital Board, McAllen School Board. 



EXHIBIT J 

[From the Texas Observer, Apr. 3, 1970] 
The Senate Contest — Lloyd Bentsen's Fortune 

Austin. — When Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., retired from the U.S. Congress at the 
age of 33, he explained that he was leaving politics because he wanted "to 
establish financial independence" for himself and his family. Seventeen years 
later, his business interests include banking, insurance, farming, oil, gas, and 
defense contracting. He may or may not be independent, but he certainly is 
wealthy. 

Many Tej^ans are under the impression that Bentsen, Senator Yarborough's 
Democratic opponent, has always been rich. "Well, that's not true," he quietly 
told the Observer during a telephone interview. That was all he offered on his 
early financial status. One hears estimates that he is worth as much as $20 
million, but the candidate is reticent about his wealth. He says he will make 
public his financial statement when he is elected, and not before. "I assume the 
reason we want to give financial statements is to show what a man's worth is 
when he is elected and what his financial losses and gains are when he gets 
out," Bentsen said, as a means of explaining why he sees no reason to reveal 
his net worth during his candidacy. 

Bentsen is the son of a millionaire. His father, Lloyd Senior, made a fortune 
selling land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. When Lloyd Junior abandoned 
politics to launch a career in business, "Big Lloyd," as his father is known around 
the hometown of McAllen, most assuredly provided some ballast for the venture. 

Today Bentsen is president of Lincoln Consolidated, a holding company with 
ofiices in Houston. His father is chairman of the board. The company was 
foruied in 1967 as a parent for Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Company ; Funds, 
Inc., (which manages five mutual funds) ; Compensation Programs ("specializing 
in deferred compensation planning and administration," according to Standard 
& Poor's exchange stock report) ; and Benjamin Franklin Savings Association. 
Ben Franklin, a Texas concern with $58.7 million in total assets and $53.9 mil- 
lion in total savings, was purchased by Lincoln Consolidated in June of 1969. In 
mid-1969, Lincoln Consolidated reported a total income of $1,482,848 and $765,982 
in net income. According to Standard and Poor's Lincoln Consolidated paid 
$32,000 in federal income tax in 1969, and no income tax in 1968. Bentsen told 
the Observer that the company paid "substantially" more in income tax in 1969 
but that he did not have the records handy. 



5435 

Lincoln Liberty Life is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebr. It writes a variety of 
ordinary life insurance on a non-participating basis plus accident and health 
insurance and group life insurance. Bentsen, bis father, and four other Bentsens 
are on Lincoln Liberty's board of directors. In 1969, the company's total assets 
were $75,617,295.63. Its net gain for the year was $444,293.49. 

The insurance company is a prime example of the type of bank holding com- 
pany that Texas Congressman Wright Patman has been working to bring under 
more stringent federal control. According to Lincoln Liberty's anniial report for 
1969, the company owns stock in the following Texas banks : 

First National Bank of Edinburg— 1,498 shares worth $112,353.60. 
First National Bank of McAllen— 16,601 shares worth $222,184.48. 
First National Bank of iMis.sion— 4,560 s^hares worth $110,345.15. 
Security State Bank of Pharr — 5,750 shares worth $68,717. 
Texas City National Bank— 2,310 shares worth $69,300. 

In July of 1967, the House Banking and Banking Committee issued a report 
on control of commercial i)anks and interlocks among financial in.sititutions. The 
report cites as its most interesting ca.se "Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Co. of 
Houston, which has between 15.1% and 41.28% of the shares in each of .sax 
Texas banks. All of these banks except Texas City National Bank are in the same 
geographic airea known as the Lower Rio G-rande Valley. ... It is interesting 
to note that this insurance company has in all except one case kept its percentage 
of bank stock holdings in these banks below 25%, thus avoiding the necessity of 
subjecting itself to regulation under the Bank Holding Company Act. How close 
Lincoln Life has become to a regular bank holding company is seen in that if 
it owned just one more share of First National Bank of Bdinburg, it would come 
under the Bank Holding Company Act. If it bad one more share, it would be 
required to dive.st itself of the bank ot the insurance company operation." 

At the time of the report, the company had 24.9% of Edinburg bank stock 
and 41.28% of the stock of the Firsit National Bank of Raymondville. The 
Raymondville stock may have been sold during 1969. 

iThe UJS. House recently pa.Svsed Congressman Patman's revi.sed One Bank Hold- 
ing Company Bill, and it is awaiting a hearing in the 'Senate Committee on 
Banking and Currency. If the measure pa.sses, Lincoln Liberty Life may be 
required to get out of tlie banking or the insitrance business. The new bill allows 
the Federal Reserve Board to break up bank holding companies when it can 
establish that a company controls a bank, even if it owns le.ss than 25% of the 
stock. 

Jake I^ewis of the House Banks and Banking Committee told the Observer that, 
if the Patman bill passes the Senate, the interlocking directorates among the 
Rio Grande Valley banks, Lincoln Liberty Life, and Lincoln Consolidated could 
lead the Federal Reserve Bank to conclude that the Bentsens do indeed control 
the banks. The boards of directors of the banks, tlie insurance company, and the 
parent company are saturated with Bentsens. According to the Texas Banking 
Rcdbook, Lloyd M. Bentsen (it does not. say whether it is junior or senior, but 
is presumably senior) belongs to the boards of five A^alley bank.s — ^the first 
national ])anks of Raymondville, Alission, McAllen, and Edinburg, and the 
Security State Bank of Pharr. Both Lloyd Senior and Lloyd Junior are on the 
boards of directors of Lincoln Consolidated and Lincoln Liberty Life. 

Elmer Bentsen, a brother of Lloyd Senior, is on the boards of three of the 
Valley banks in which Lincoln Liberty has stock, and he also is on the boards 
of Lincoln Liberty and Lincoln Consolidated. Calvin P. Bentsen, Donald Bentsen, 
and Ted A. Bentsen are Itoard members of both Lincoln Liberty and the McAllen 
bank. And R. Dan Winn is a member of the boards of both Lincoln Liberty 
and the McAllen bank. 

Bentsen told the Observer he will resign from Lincoln Consolidated if he is 
elected. "When I went to Congress before, I withdrew from my law firm and 
never accepted another legal fee again," Bentsen said. "That's the sort of ethics 
I think should l)e displayed when you enter into public office." 

Bentsen also has a financial interest in the U.S. farm subsidy program. 
Althougli the candidate has endorsed a limitation of $20,000 a year in cash 
subsidies to individual farmers for not growing certain crops. Bentsen was one 
of 331 farm owners in 1967 to receive more than $50,000 a year in crop subsidies. 
The government paid him $108,901 that year for reducing crop production on 
his property in Hidalgo County. In 1966. Bentsen received $152,352 in farm 
payments. The 1968 list of farmers in the over $50,000 category does not include 
Bentsen, and the 1969 list is not yet available. 



5436 

The day before Bentsen announced his candidacy, he quietly resigned from 
the boards of directors of Continental Oil, Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co., 
Trunkline Gas Co., Houston's Bank of the Southwest, and Lockheed Aircraft 
Corporation. Bentsen said he sold 1,000 shares of Lockheed stock at the time 
he resigned from the board. "I resigned because I wanted to make a total com- 
mitment to this race," the candidate said. 

Bentsen told the Observer that his resignations leave him free from any 
conflict of interest. Still, he might be expected to be sympathetic to the prob- 
lems of his former companies. His relationship with Lockheed might be par- 
ticularly sticky, since the aircraft company is in considerable trouble over its 
$600 million cost overrun on the military contract for the C-5A jet transport. 
Lockheed, which is this country's leading defense contractor, recently asked the 
Department of Defense for conditional release of more than $500 million in 
contract disputes. Lockheed's financial crisis will not be solved overnight. It is 
bound to be a topic of debate in the Senate next year, and so are crop subsidies, 
bank holding companies, insurance, oil and gas. 



[From the Texas Observer, Apr. 17, 1970] 
A Historical Inquiky Into the Origins of the Bentsen Fortune 

Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Waoo. — There is a tradi- 
tion, adapted here to fit these circumstances, that the vulnerabilities of the 
father should not be visited on the son. With Lloyd Bentsen, Jr., running against 
U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough, this tradition, grounded in simple human 
justice, should be kept foremost in one's mind. 

"You know, my father is not running," Bentsen, Jr. told the Observer in a 
telephone interview from Corpus Christi. He said that events in his father's and 
uncle's business career before 1955 and the fact that the two men are now the 
largest stockholders in the insurance company of which he was president have 
"no relevancy to my candidacy." In a different connection, he remarked, as to his 
father's holdings, "I have no land interests with him. He has his and I have mine." 

The Bentsen fortune originated in the "immigration land business" conducted 
by Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., and his brother Elmer Bentsen in the Rio Grande Valley. 
These men are the candidate's father and uncle. 

Early in the 1950's, this land business was assailed by a raft of civil law- 
suits alleging that the elder Bentsens and others had conspired to defraud buyers 
by selling them dry farm land as irrigated citrus land worth four or five times 
as much as it actually was. One judgment went against the elder Bentsens and 
their associates, another ended in a hung jury and dismissal, and out of court 
there were cash settlements and trade-backs of deeds. The United States Supreme 
Court ruled in yet another of the cases that the Bentsen interests and others 
could properly be sued to ascertain whether they had violated the federal secu- 
rities act. 

Perhaps the most serious blow to Lloyd, Sr., and Elmer Bentsen, as far as the 
public appearance of things goes, came in the midst of the Texas gubernatorial 
campaign of 1954 between Gov. Allan Shivers and Ralph Yarborough. A federal 
judge ordered his clerk to unseal a deposition Shivers had given in connection 
with five of the land fraud cases two years before. The deposition showed that 
Shivers had paid Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., $25,000 for an option to buy some of the 
land that became involved in the suits and then seven months later, just after 
having been elected lieutenant governor, sold it for a $425,000 profit in a transac- 
tion handled by the same Bentsen, Sr. 

Lloyd Bentsen, Sr.'s son, Lloyd, Jr., was not at any point known or alleged 
to have been a participant in his father's and uncle's land transactions or his 
father's deal with Shivers. Lloyd. Jr., had been elected the county judge in 
Hidalgo County in 1946, the year of the $425,000 transaction between his father 
and Shivers in Hidalgo County, but Shivers did not record the instruments at 
the Courthouse. In 1948 the young Bentsen was elected to Congress with the 
copious lubrication of his father's money, but in this he was no different from 
many prominent American politicians of wealth who come to mind. 

However, in 1953 Bentsen, Jr.. introduced a bill to provide for federal fund- 
ing of "non-federal irrigation projects." Waterworks thus built for irrigation 
districts would have been given, under Congressman Bentsen's bill, the "benefits 
[and] privileges under reclamation laws, including repayment provisions." This 



5437 

evidently meant interest-free loans, in effect a federal subsidy. It is unclear, 
and Beiitsen, Jr., left it unclear, whether the most important limitation under 
the federal laws, limiting the distribution of the federally-subsidized water to 
160 acres per landowner, would continue under his plan. His bill specified that 
the local water-users' associations or irrigation districts would operate the water- 
works and would "at all times" own them. This legislation, if passed, evidently 
would have been of substantial potential benefit to the irrigation districts of the 
kind that his father and uncle controlled in the lower Texas Valley. 

In December, 1953, however, Bentsen, Jr., announced that he would not seek 
re-election. When he returned to private life in January, 1955, the Bent.sen family 
fortune change its form and the substance of its concerns. The money flowed out 
of land into insurance. 

Lloyd. Sr., and Elmer Bentsen and their companies owned many valuable 
mortgages on real estate. With about $5 million worth of real estate notes — 
including some on land that had been involved in some of the civil lawsuits — 
and with blocks of their stock in Valley banks, they formed Con.solidated Ameri- 
can Life Insurance Co. of Houston, a new Texas company (hereafter, "Calico"). 
Naturally this made Lloyd, Sr., and Elmer Bentsen principal stockholders of 
Calico, with other Bentsens, including Lloyd. Jr., participants in the owner- 
ship to the extent they had been owners of the land companies. As District Judge 
Reynaldo Garza said later in a tax ruling on the shift-over, the net result was 
that all the assets that had been owned by three of the elder Bentsens' companies 
were then owned by the insurance company, and "Tlie same individuals who 
had owned stock in the transferor corporations now owned the stock of the 
insurance company." 

The Internal Revenue Service ruled that the exchange was taxable because the 
insurance company was in a different business from the land companies, but 
Garza ruled, to the contrary, that there was "a continuity of the business activity" 
from the land enterprises to the insurance company that made the exchange not 
taxable.^ 

From the first, young Lloyd Bent.sen, Jr., was the president of Calico and its 
principal executive oflJcer. In 1958, not having made much business progress, the 
company merged with Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Co. of Lincoln, Neb., and 
thereafter expanded its business at a better rate. 

The company president's father and uncle continued to be the largest stock- 
holders of the merged company. Late in 1964, a 1965 prospectus for the firm 
showed, Bentsen, Sr., owned 17% of the stock and Elmer Bentsen owned 14%. 
According to the prospectus, "Lloyd M. Bentsen [Sr.] and Elmer C. Bentsen may 
be deeme<l parents of the comi>any." Bentsen, Sr., was chairman of the board. 
Lincoln Liberty Life engaged in land transactions with certain of its own of- 
ficers — notably Lloyd, Sr., and Elmer Bentsen. According to the 1965 prospectus : 

"During the past three years the company [Lincoln Liberty] has purchased 
mortgage loans in the ordinary course of its business from Tip O'Tex Realty 
Co., Dixie Mortgage Loan Co., and Bentsen Development Company in the aggre- 
gate principal amount of $601,227 at an average interest rate of 5.9%. Tip O'Tex 
Realty Co. is owned by Mr. Elmer C. Bentsen and Bentsen Development Com- 
pany in a partnership composed of Messrs. Lloyd M. Bentsen [Sr.] and Elmer C. 
Bentsen." 

In addition, it was reported, Lincoln Liberty had made direct mortgage loans 
to Elmer Bentsen and his company aggregating about $100,000 at 6%. The inter- 
est rates, said the prospectus, were comparable to, but not less what the company 
could have obtained "from unafliliated parties." And, it Avas added, Lincoln 
Liberty "intends to continue its practice of doing business with companies con- 
trolled by certain directors, officers, or holders of 10% or more of the voting 
securities" of Lincoln Liberty. 

The 27-story Lincoln Liberty Life Building in downtown Houston, the pros- 
pectus explained, Avas completed in 1962 by Mid- American Investment Co. for the 
insurance company and the Sheraton Hotel, the company headquarters occupying 
floors five through twelve, the hotel the others. Elmer Bentsen and Dixie Mortgage 
Loan Co., owned by Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., and members of his family, organized 
Mid-American in 1959. Said the prospectus, "The persons who controlled Mid- 
American also controlled [Lincoln Liberty] and therefore were able to control 
affiliated transactions." The Lincoln Liberty building was constructed by Mid- 
American at a cost of $15.1 million and was sold to Lincoln Liberty "for $598,660 
in excess of the net book value at the time of sale," the prospectus reported. 



^Donald L. Bentsen, et al. v. Robert L. Phinney, 199 F. Supp. 363 (1961). 



5438 

As president of Calico, Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.'s compensation and emoluments 
started at $20,000 and rose to $26,000 a year. After the merger he received be- 
tween $34,0ioO and $51,000 a year. He was provided valuable stock options (the 
right to buy stock in Lincoln Liberty Life in the future at a pegged price, even 
though the going market price when the option is exercised might have become 
much higher than the pegged price). Such stock options are customary for 
high-up insiders in the corporate world. In 1965, for instance, Bentsen, Jr., had 
the right to buy 35,000 shares of the company's stock for $14.05 a share, although 
the stock had not dropi^ed lower than $20 a share at any time in the preceding 
year.^ 

Bentsen, Jr., has therefore been in business with his father since 1955, and 
their company has had important transactions with Lloyd Jr.'s uncle, Elmer 
Bentsen, who is also a large stockholder in Lincoln Liberty. 

The Bentsen brothers, Lloyd, Sr., and Elmer, came to the Valley about 1920 
from Brookings, S.D., a couple of broke Danes looking for work. At first they 
drove cars on tours through the Valley. Learning the land, they began to sell 
it. By 1930 they had their own ireal estate business. After two more decades they 
were directing the operations of at least a score of corporations. They figured 
in eight Valley banks and had a fortune some Valley people estimated as high 
as forty million dollars.^ 

The brothers' basic business was selling land to people who did not live in the 
Valley. Many of them came from distant places in the northern Midwest. 
Testifying in the consolidated trial of five suits alleging land fraud brought 
against him and others, Bentsen, iSr., said early in 1952 : 

"We have operated in the immigration business on the development basis, and 
in the immigration biisiness we have paid brokerage of 25% on any sales made." 

Garland Smith, the Weslaco attorney who, with his partner Ed Mcllheran, 
filed mosifc of the actions in wlhich land buyers alleged fraud against the Bent.sen 
interests and others, said in his next question that the immigTation land business 
was "bringing people in from outside the Valley to sell them on Valley land." 

Bentsen, Sr., testified, "our volume had started, of course, at practically noth- 
ing, when we started in the immigration business, and our volume increased to 
where that at times we were running as high as a million dollars a month in 
sales." * 

Allan iShivers, the sitate senator from Port Arthur, had married the daughter 
of John Shary, a wealthy Valley landowner who lived near Bentsen in the Valley. 
In November, 1945, Shary died. Shivers, as general manager of the Shary estate, 
began making arrangements to pay off the inheritance taxes on the Shary land 
and other interests. 

Shivers also ran for lieutenant governor in 1946. Nominated in the spring 
primary, he was elected in the November voting. When the facts came out eight 
years later (to the extent they did), this sequence of events suggested a damag- 
ing ix>litical interpretation of his land transactions in 1946. Because of the con- 
text of arrangements for estate taxes, there was another plausible explanation, 
but it was in the nature of this alternative explanation that if it was correct 
Shivers would have been prevented from availing himself of it. 

The Shary estate sold about 16,000 acres, the Jackson Pasture, to a Bentsen 
corporation at about $50 or $60 an acre on March 1, 1946. Shivers said in his 
deposition later that the money just about i>aid all the estate taxes. A sale thus 
timed, and with such a low per^aere price, might naturally affect the valuation, 
for tax purpo.ses, of the rest of the Shary land. 

Mcllheran, questioning iShivers, asked him point-blank if his $425,000 profit 
on a second transaction later the same year was not explained in that he had 
sold Jackson Pastures to Bentsen, Sr., for less than Bentsen was willing to pay 
for it, and "this option contract was his [Bentsen, Sr.'s] method of i>aying you 
back." Shivers replied, "No, of course, that isn't true, Mr. Mcllheran." 

On May 31, 1946, before being nominated lieutenant governor. Senator Shivers 
bought from Bentsen Development Co. for $25,000, payable "on or before one 
year" from the date, an option to buy 13,000 acres of land later commonly known 
as Texan Gardens. 



^Prospectus, Lincoln Liberty Lifo Insurance Co. (offering O.'?2,000 shares of its common 
stock to holders of stock of Gulf-Southwest Capital Corporation under certain circum- 
stances). Feb. 5. 1965. 

* Des Moines Slundnij Register, Ma.v 6, lO.'l. 

* Testimony of Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., in Civil Action 846, federal district court in Corpus 
Christi. 1952. The records in the land fraud cases discussed in this article ys'ere examined 
at the Federal Records Center in Fort Worth. 



5439 

In Dec. 16, 1946, Shivers sold this same option to Texan Realty Co. for $450,000 
in eighteen monthly notes of $25,000 each, payahle through the first year and a 
half of his term as lieutenant governor. Presxmiing his $25,000 cost of the option 
should be deducted, his profit on this transaction was $425,000. 

In his later deposition, he said the second sale was consummated in discus- 
sions with Bentsen, Sr., and the papers were signed in the later's office. Shivers 
denied the transaction was part of any other debt with Bentsen, Sr. The gover- 
nor also said in 1952 that he considered the first half of the transaction the sale 
of an option contract and that he bought the option intending to develop the 
land for re-sale. He sold the option, he said, simply to turn a profit.^ 

The developers of Texan Gardens naturally wanted to get river water to it 
and applied to the Board of Water Engineers for a permit to take water from 
the Rio Grande. Water districts are often best understood as legal instruments 
which work the will of the dominant landholders within their jurisdictions. 
Texan Gardens fell within Hidalgo County water district 16. A public hearing on 
this district's water application was held April 15, 1949, when Shivers was still 
lieutenant governor. There was a flood of protests from existing water districts 
against this application. The simple rule of the river is, if you let someone new 
have water out of it, everybody else who already has a right to do it will have 
less water to share. Shivers became governor on July 11, 1949, with the death 
of Beauford Jester. The permit to district 16, encompassing Texan Gardens and 
other land, was granted on Aug. 3, three weeks later. It was, however, a severely 
hedged permit, in effect authorizing the district to take river water only after 
everybody with a prior claim got theirs. These matters are of record in the old 
files of the board. 

(It is a twist to be noted here as well as at any other point that by the ruling 
by the late Judge James Norvell and his two colleagues on an appellate court in 
the Valley-wide 1956 water suit, this piece of paper has, in the long run, enhanced 
the value of the Texan Gardens acreage, for instance, by roughly four million 
dollars, having been made, by Norvell's ruling, the basis for a first-class water 
right. An appeal is still pending.) 

In June, 1950, there began in earnest the lawsuits alleging that the Bentsen 
interests and others had defrauded buyers by selling them dry farm land, pre- 
pared to resemble much more expensive irrigated citrus land. The test case (rec- 
ords of which fill two cardboard boxes in the Fort Worth federal records center,) 
was Polmateer v. Bentsen, Sr., et al. 

An Iowa couple, Mr. and Mrs. Alvy Polmateer of Shell Rock, filed suit in fed- 
eral court in Brownsville, trying to cancel the contract under which they had 
bought a ten-acre tract in Ramseyer Gardens north of McAllen for $525 an acre. 

They claimed that a land-selling group, Interstate Investment Co. ; Lloyd, Sr., 
and Elmer Bentsen and associated companies and persons ; and Homer Ramseyer, 
who had owned the land, conspired to defraud them. 

They said they were put up free at a clubhouse near McAllen, shown the land, 
and told it was irrigated by water conducted through underground tile, that the 
land would grow citrus trees, that it was in an irrigation district, and that the 
$525 was standard. These representations, they said, were false. 

In irrigated economies, run-off irrigation water, or "drainage water," is car- 
ried off in ditches. It is sometimes re-used, but is saltier than river water and is 
not considered as good for irrigation. The Polmateers said this was the water 
they were shown and which, when it was used on their citrus trees, killed them. 
The land was only worth $90 to $125 an acre, they contended. 

They .said the clubhouse was furnished by the Bentsen group as part of a plan 
to lead them to think Interstate was a reliable, established company when it was 
not. They alleged that the Bentsen group bought and cleared the land in "the 
conspiracy with Ramseyer and the Interstate group to sell it to persons from 
distant places at prices far in excess of its actual value." Corporations em- 
ployed were "dummy corporations," they said. "No sales were made to persons 
residing in the Rio Grande Valley." 

Bentsen, Sr., introduced a letter to him and the Bentsen group from Ramseyer 
saying there was "no obligation or responsibility on you" because of relationships 
between Ramseyer and the Interstate group. But this did not impress attorneys 
for the Polmateers, who argued that "these expert land operators, who have 



5 Deposition, Allan Shivers, Sept. 29, 1952, in Lloyd Behringer and wife v. Lloyd M. 
Bentsen, Sr., et al., C.A. 7.54, and four other cases, S.D. Tex., Brownsville division. This 
historically famous deposition lies in the Behringer case file in the Fort Worth records 
center. 



5440 

reduced their selling practices to a refined art, have been taking advantage of 
strangers." 

A water expert testified that the water available was drainage water with a 
high quantity of toxic salts that prevented it from supporting commercial citrus 
growth. Bentsen, Sr., testified tliat while drainage water is not as good as regular 
river water, it will grow citrus. Explaining a system of collateral, mortgages, 
and notes, he said he was not connected with the retail sale of tracts in Ramseyer 
Gardens. A farm caretaker said he has raised citrus with water from the same 
ditch used for the Polmateers. 

Asked if he owned the clubhouse, Bentsen, Sr., said no. Tip O' Tex Realty Co. 
owned it. There then ensued this "Q and A" between a lawyer and Bentsen, Sr. : 
"Who owns Tip O'Texas Realty Company ?" 
"My brother." 
"Your brother?" 
"Yes, sir." 
And: 

"Now, is it not true that you hold an interest in a two and a half million dollar 
mortgage that that company owes, the Tip O'Texas Realty Company?" 
"That they owe the Bentsen Development Company?" 
"Yes, sir." 
"Yes, sir." 

In sum the Polmateers said they had been had by a conspiracy. The defendants 
vigorously denied the charges. Bentsen, Sr., said the record did not sliow he had 
profited, there was no showing he had an lUterior motive ; indeed, he said, 
everything he had done was "normal, ordinary, everyday business transactions — 
perfectly lawful in character." 

The judge ruled that the Polmateers were entitled to get back somewhat 
over $5,000 they had put in and to the cancellation and rescission (nullification) 
of the transaction. Attorneys for the Bentsens sought to get the judgment limited 
to Interstate, but the judge said it applied to the defendants "jointly and 
severally." But the judge refused the Polmateer lawyers' request for findings 
of fact. This meant that the allegations of Polmateers were not explicitly ratified 
or invalidated ; the Polmateers simply got a judgment for damages from the 
court* 

After this test case, others were filed, the charges following the pattern of 
the Polmateer case. It is said that about fifty in all were filed. There were cases 
in the Valley, Austin, Lubbock, and Amarillo. References to about 20 have been 
foimd in newspapers, and records of most of those have been examined.' No 
point would be served reviewing them here. Be it remembered that Lloyd Bent- 
sen, Jr., was not involved in any of these litigations and tliere was never any 
showing or representation that he participated in his father's or his uncle's land 
transactions. 

This general situation was taking its early, post-Polmateer forms, and a trial 
of five consolidated ca.ses was pending in Corpus Christi, when some of the elder 
Bentsen's friends invited several hundred of South Texas' leading business and 
civic figures to a dinner honoring Lloyd, Sr., and Elmer Bent.sen. The principal 
speaker was Governor Shivers. Photographs of Shivers, the honorees, and Cong. 
Lloyd Bent.sen, Jr., together at the banquet appeared in Valley newspapers. 
Shivers was quoted : 

"Elmer and Lloyd Bentsen we appreciate not because they have accumulated 
wealth — a lot of men have done that ; not because of their social jmsition — lots 
of i>eople have done that. . . . They have accumulated friends. Nothing man 
can do is any greater than to acquire true friend.ship." * 

In the consolidated trial in Corpus Christi, in which nine plaintiffs sought 
$46,877 in damages and recovery of some land, Bentsen, Sr., testified that at no 
time in his career had he been convicted of any land fraud. The jury found 
in these cases that no conspiracy had existed, but hung on the question of 



«Alvi/ Polmateer and icife v. Llovd M. Rentsev, Sr., et ah, C.A. 652. and many associated 
newspaper stories — e.p.. BrownKvUle Herald, Valley Evening Monitor, and Corpus Christi 
Caller-Times, during the months of February. April, and May, 1951. The case attracted 
wide attention for a private suit. The Brownsville Herald on April 15, 1951. carried a five- 
column page one headline, "Court Rules Against Bentsens in Land Fraud," and the decision 
was major front-page news as far north as San Antonio. 

^ See eg C A 752 754 777 742, 7fiR. in the Brownsville division of the Southern 
District, and C.A. 846,' 847, 848, 849, and 850 in the Corpus Christi division (Fort Worth 
rpcorfis CPU tor) 

^Valley Morning Star, Dec. 22, 1951 ; Valley Evening Monitor, Dec. 21, 1951 ; Edinhurg 
Daily Review, Dec. 22, 1951. 



5441 

fraud. Later Federal Judge James AUred dismissed tlie allegations of fraud 
against the Bentsens in these eases.* 

Settlements of some of the other eases were occurring. Terms of such agree- 
ments do not usually become public, but it is rumored in the Valley that in many 
of the settlements, plaintiffs got back not less than half of the cash they had 
put in, along with cancellation of the deals. 

AUred also ruled that in the case of Blackwell vs. Bentsen, Sr., et ah, brought 
under the federal securities act, the federal law was not applicable ; he dismissed 
the case before any consideration on the merits. The Fifth Circuit Court of 
Appeals reversed him, saying the law did apply to the facts as alleged. The U.S. 
Supreme Court declined to go further into the matter, which was interpreted as 
validating the appeals court order that the matter be returned to Allred's court 
and adjudicated further. This telling development at the highest court level oc- 
curred in the spring of 1954. Blackwell and his associated plaintiffs were asking, 
of the Bentsen interests and others, damages totaling $353,332.38." 

The political ramifications of these events cannot have been missed by those 
in the know. When, in October, 1951, Grady Hazlewood, the long-time senator 
from Amarillo, became one of the attorneys in a lawsuit from there alleging 
fraud in land sales by the Bentsen group and others and asking $716,000 in 
damages, and the Amarillo Globe ran a black-caps page-one eight-column head- 
line about it, "Valley Land Swindle Charged," the matter mig'ht still be passed 
off." But in September, 1952, Smith & Mcllheran took Shivers' deposition in con- 
nection with five lawsuits brought by buyers in the Texas Gardens development. 
Their allegations in their suits took the familiar pattern set in the Polmateer 
case, with variations for circumstances. The Shivers deposition records on its 
face that it was taken in connection with these five cases. Although the deposi- 
tion never figured directly in any of the land fraud litigation, presumably there 
was some thought that the $450,000 transaction might have some relevance to 
these plaintiffs' claims." 

Such explosive stuff as the governor's $525,000 profit on an option for which he 
was to pay $25,000 in connection with land that subsequently became involved in 
charges of land fraud — that was not to be kept secret for long. 

Only a month before Shivers gave his deposition in 1952, he had bolted the 
national Democratic ticket against Stevenson and Valley newspapers reported 
that Cong. Lloyd Bentsen, Jr., went along with him, as reported elsewhere in 
this issue. As the intense political feelings engendered by the Shivercrat revolt 
built toward the 1954 elections, stories began circulating about the Shivers 
deposition. 

In his questioning of Shivers, attorney Smith had pursued lines of questioning 
predicated on curiosity whether Shivers knew anything about the methods of 
selling land used by Texan Development Co., had seen to the sufficient enforce- 
ment of the state real estate law. and had had anything to do with the i.ssuing 
of water district 16's 1949 water permit hy the state. In general Shivers' answers 
had parried Smith's questions harmlessly. The rudimentary political implica- 
tion of the deposition abided in the terms of the option transaction, itself, and 
the timing of the issuance of the water permit. 

The deposition, taken in Austin, had been mailed to Allred's court sealed and 
had not been unsealed. J. R. Parten, the wealthy Houston oilman, a leading 
loyalist Democrat, and a Yarborough backer, wanted Yarborough to demand 
publicly that Shivers open the deposition and explain it. 

"Parten knew all about it when we started these discussions, probably in the 
summer of 1953," says Pat Beard, a Waco attorney who, at that time, was a key 
figure in Central Texas pro-Yarborough politics. "Certainly he knew about the 
deposition, he knew every detail of it. Cullen Smith [another Waco attorney] 
knew about it — hell, they took the deposition. It was not a question of what 
was in it. That was well known. The purpose was to fix it so it could be published. 
As long as it was under seal, it was not privileged." 



9 See the Corpus Christi CaUer-Times, February and earl.v March, 1952, and July 2, 1952. 

^"Blackwell et al. v. Bentsen (8r.) et al., 208 Federal Reporter 2d Series 690 (1953) ; 
,S46 US 908, 98 L ed 406 ; 847 US 925, 98 L ed 1078. Of course many newspaper stories 
can be consulted in association with this litlRation. See, e.g.. Valley Evening Monitor, 
June 28, 1951, and Corpus Christi Caller, March 10 and 16, 1954. 

11 Amarillo Globe, Oct. 11. 1951. 

" The five plaintiff groups are styled, on the face of the Shivers deposition, as Lloyd 
Behringer and wife; Harold Hrdlicka, et vx : Charles Landergott, et uxj S. R. Jennings 
and wife ; and Melvin C. Sims and wife. In each case the defendants are styled Lloyd M. 
Bentsen, Sr., et al. The defendants included Texan Development Co. and Texan Realty Co. 



5442 

Cullen Smith had practiced with Smitli and Mclllheran, then liad moved to 
Waco. 

Early in February, 1954, the Valley Evening Monitor ran a story headlined 
"Bentsen Land Suits Involving $70,000 in Damages Settled." The cases were 
the five with which the Shivers deposition was concerned. 

Beard says that he was to be Yarborough's state campaign manager that year, 
but quit when Yarbo rough decided against blasting Shivers publicly on the 
sealed deposition. As Beard recalls, he drafted such a statement for Yarborough, 
but after it had been typed Yarborough asked the secretary who had typed it 
what she thought about it, and she said she didn't think it was very nice, where- 
upon Yarborough tore it up. 

"I told him, 'Well, if you we're going to have so much disagreement on how to 
run the campaign, I'll just quit and go open the thing myself,' " Beard says. He 
continued as Y'^arborough's Central Texas campaign manager. 

Beard's first ploy was an attempt to get the deposition sent to the trust depart- 
ment of a Waco bank for delivery to an unnamed person, namely, himself. Shivers' 
lawyers opposed this and took the bank oflScer's deposition to show Beard's hand 
in it. 

Beard next reasoned that if one of the five plaintiffs would ask the court to 
unseal the deposition and provide a copy of it, there would be no basis for 
refusing the request. "I had to find me a plaintiff to get the thing opened," he 
says. "Cullen Smith assisted me in persuading Mrs. Landergott." Knowing that 
politics was the purjwse, Mrs. Charles Landergott of Cedar Rapidi?, Mich., 
formally asked Judge Allred to give her a copy of the deposition. 

Beard says : 

"The clerk took it to Allred, and he kept it a long time, and he could hear 
Allred just laughin' back there !" 

There then ensued a comic opera of lawyers' motions the like of which Texas 
had not seen since the 1948 Johnson-Stevenson senatorial election contest. 
Formally opposing the opening of the deposition. Shivers' lawyers declared they 
would take Mrs. Landergott's deposition. Lawyers for her replied, well, they 
would take Shit'ers' depos)ition. With that, the law^^ers all agreed there would 
be no further depositions. 

Allred, not wanting to rule on Mrs. Landergott's request, kicked the matter 
over to his colleague on the bench in Houston, Judge "r. M. Kennerly, who, on 
June 24, 1954, abruptly ordered that the deposition be unsealed. 

Yarborough made some political capital out of the deposition. Shivers said, 
"All that the deposition shows is that in 1946 I made some money on a land 
deal. There is nothing wrong with that." 

Parten was a supporter at that time of Lyndon Johnson, as were most of the 
anti-Shiver Democrats. It would be difficult to believe that Johnson did not 
know of the deposition as Shivers considered whether to oppose Senator John- 
son in 1954. Johnson's principal political concern at thalt time, in light of his 
controversial 87-vote election in 1948, was whether Governor Shivers would 
take him on. Shivers did not, bult ran again. Whether or not Bentsen, Jr., had 
meant to run for governor if there was an opening, there was not, and he left 
Congress. 

Bentsen, Jr., told the Observer from Corpus Cristi that he did not intend to 
run for governor in 1954. "I never did give it any consideration. Frankly, I 
felt I wanted to come back and develop my financial independence." 

Shivers was re-elected but he had been weakencKl by the deposition, and when 
the land and insurance scandals broke in his administration in the ensuing year 
and a half, his day in Texas politics was done. Johnson and Yarborough defeated 
him in the 1956 spring conventions. Bentsen, Jr., sided with Johnson, who, with 
John Connally, backed Mrs. Bentsen, Jr., for Democratic national committee- 
woman. But Yarborough backed Mrs. R. D. Randolph of Houston, who was 
chosen. 

The Hidalgo County land records show many of the transfers of Lloyd, Sr., 
and Elmer Bentsen's land interests to Consolidated American Life Insurance 
Co., which the Bentsens formed on Jan. 31, 1955. From the first, they and Lloyd 
Bentf*en, Jr., and other of ithe Bemtsens — Calvin, Donald, later Ted and Kenneth 
Bentsen — were directors in the insurance enterprise. The company's annual 
reports to the Texas Insurance Comsn. indicate, before and after the merger 
with Lincoln Liberty Life, an ordinary story of a slowly growing life insurance 
enterprise, paying little and sometimes no federal income tax, steadily enlarging 
its business gains from operations and investment income. Late in 1963 Bentsen, 



5443 

Jr., considered running against Yarborougli in 1964, but decided not to. In 1968, 
witli tlie appearance of a holding company on tlie scene, Bentsen, Jr. ceased 
being tlie president of Lincoln Liberty Life, continuing in his dominant oflBcial 
role through the holding company. 

This, then, is some of the background to the political and business interrela- 
tionships that have culminated this year in the candidacy of Lloyd Bentsen, Jr., 
against Sen. Ralph Yarborougli in the Democratic primary three weeks hence. 
The father is not the son and the son is not the father, but the subject is per- 
plexing, even so. R.D. 

The Stevenson Question 

McAllen, Harlingen. — Just four days after then-Gov. Allen Shavers an- 
nounced for the first time that, although a Democrat, he would not vote for Adlai 
Stevenson in 1952, a black eight-column headline in the Valley Evening Monitor 
said of tlie Valley's congresisman at that time, Lloyd Bentsen Jr., "Bentsen Won't 
Support Stevenson." The story reported that Congressman Bentsen had said 
he would go along with Shivers in not supporting Stevenson. The next morning 
the Valley Morning Star down in the Valley in Harlingen reported the same thing. 

The Observer asked Bentsen about the position as to Stevenson that was 
attributed to him in the Valley newspapers in 1952. He said it "is not correct" 
and added : 

"I voted for Stevenson and sent a telegram to Sam Rayburn in which I said 
I was going to support Stevenson, and if I recall right the answers of all of us 
[in the Texas delegation] were published." 

In 1956, as reported last issue, Bentsen, Jr., said at the May state Democratic 
convention that he had always voted for Democratic presidential nominees, 
although he had had varying enthusiasms for them. 

The Valley Evening Monitor is the newspaper in Bentsen, Jr.'s home town of 
McAUen. On Aug. 24. 1952, that pai>er reix)rted "Shivers Turns Do\\'n Adlai." 
Shivers had gone to Springfield, 111., and been told by the Democratic presiden- 
tial nominee that he did not support the state's claims on tidelands oil. Shivers 
flew back to Texas the same day and told a press conference he would not vote 
for Stevenson. The papers were filled, the next few days, with reports of a 
growing "Democratic revolt" in Texas again.st Stevenson. Atty. Gen. Price Daniel 
announced that he, too, would oppose Stevenson. 

In this context, naturally, reporters were confronting every prominent Demo- 
cratic oflBcial they could find for comment, and on Aug. 27, Bent.sen, Jr., arrived 
in Edinburg to attend a chamber of commerce meeting and was interviewed. 

The Valley Evening Monitor of Aug. 27, 1952, carried, on the front page, the 
eight-column headline, "Bentsen Won't Support Stevenson." The Observer learned 
this simply by going to the offices of the Monitor in McAllen and consulting the 
microfilmed back issues there. Tlie sub-head said, "Representative Hits Adlai's 
Tidelands Talk." 

Time has caused the type in the story beneath these headlines to blur and 
become difficult to read. Nevertheless, this much can be made out, under an 
Edinburg dateline : 

"Representative Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., of McAllen joined Gov. Allan Shivers 
in a split away from support of Democratic Presidential Candidate Adlai Steven- 
son but said he wouldn't try to tell the rest of the people how to vote. 

"Interviewed by the Monitor as he arrived here to attend a Valley Chamber 
of Commerce . . . meeting . . ., Congressman Bentsen said he would not per- 
sonally support Stevenson because of his stand on the tidelands issue but 'I — " 
(at this point the type becomes unreadable). 

This appears on Microfilm Roll No. 15, Valley Evening Monitor, July 1 to 
August 31. 1952, prepared by Micro Photo, Inc., Cleveland 3, Ohio. 

The next morning, Aug. 28, 1952, the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen fea- 
tured under an eight-column headline. Shivers' speech on the night of Aug. 27 
attacking "more Trumanism," "socialized medicine," and other Democratic pro- 
grams, along with the tidelands position of Adlai Stevenson. Also on the front 
page of this edition, and on the microfilm perfectly readable, was this story, under 
the headline, "Bentsen Breaks With Stevenson" : 

"Edinburg, Aug. 27 — Rep. Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., will go along with Gov. 
Allan Shivers and Atty. Gen. Price Daniel in splitting with Gov. Allan Shivers 
over the tidelands issue, but said he would 'not attempt to tell the rest of the 
people how to vote.' 



5444 

"Bentsen said he could not personally support Stevenson but that 'I have every 
confidence in the voters of Texas to make their own choice. 

" 'I wouldn't be presumptuous enough to try to tell the people of Texas how to 
vote.' 

"Bensten said this morning that lie had seen very little of what Gov. Steven- 
son had said on the tidelands question, but that he was 'anxious to hear the 
report Shivers will make in his report on the talk with the Democratic nominee.' " 



Bentsen Bank Still Dealing With Pro-Yarborough Paper 

Mission, Edinburg. — ^The First National Bank of Mission has continued to 
advertise in the Mission Times despite that newspaper's endorsement of Sen. 
Ralph Yarborough and the re^ported remark by one of the bank's oflScials to the 
paper's editor that if they did so, there might be orders from "higher up" in 
the bank to pull all advertising from the Times. 

Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., fatheir of the senatorial candidate against Yarborough in 
the primary, is president of the bank in question. Bentsen, Sr., and his brother, 
Elmer C. Bentsen, are directors of it. Papers on file in 1966 showed that at that 
point the largest single stock holder in the bank was Lincoln Liberty Life In- 
surance Co., Avhieh held 456 of the bank's 1,122 and '% shares. Bentsen, Jr., is 
president of Lincoln Consolidated, a holding company that controls Lincoln 
Liberty Life. 

James Mathis, publisher of the Edinburg Daily Review and three other Valley 
papers including the weekly Mission Times, said to the Observer that he under- 
stood that a vice-president of the bank made the remark to the editor of the 
Mission paper, Tom Fatheree. It is not represented that it was more than a 
remark, and Mathis says that pressure may not have been intended, but pressure 
was the result because Tom was "shook up." 

Mathis took the decision to challenge the remark as Avell as the removal of 
papers containing the offending editorial from the Fontana Motor Hotel in 
Mission, and his published complaints were amplified by Yarborough. "The 
time has come," the statement from Yarl)orough's campaign headquarters said, 
"when politically eoeentric border barons and financial giants must be prevented 
from using their money clubs against the freedoms of the people." 

Bentsen, Jr., said of the accusation, "They're reaching pretty far." John Mobley, 
Bentsen's state campaign manager, issued a statement that "no one . . . con- 
dones coercion against anyone who supports our opponent, including these two 
newspapers. We have no control over private citizens who might get unhappy 
with a newspaper endorsement." 

The bank's weekly three-column-by-eight-inch ad has continued to run in the 
Mission Times without interruption. 



Bentsen, Jr. : Record Wrong on Farm Payments 

Austin, Washington. — Lloyd Bentsen, Jr., has taken issue with the Obser-ver's 
report that he received more than $100,000 in federal crop subsidies in both 1966 
and 1967 (O&s.. April 3). 

"I received no payments of that size or even approaching it. If the records 
say that I received those kinds of payments, they're wrong," he said. 

The senatorial candidate added that he has received soil bank payments, but 
they were "substantially less" than $20,000 a year— the maximum payment he 
has recommended for individual farmers. Asked if the payments cited in the 
story could have gone to his father, he said that this was pos.sible. 

The Observer rechecked the list of farm subsidies printed in the Congressional 
Record at the requesit of iSen. John Williams of Delaware. In the June 19. 1967 
Record, S 8414, Llovd M. Bentsen, Jr., of Houston is cited as receiving $152,3.52 
in payments for 1966. The Record for May 23, 1968, lists payment of $108,904 to 
Lloyd M. Bentsen, P.O. Box 593 in Mission for 1967. Subsidies for both years 
went for land in Hidalgo County. 

The payment for 1967 could possibly have been to Lloyd Bentsen, iSr., who 
lives in McAllen. 

The Congressional Record, however, says the 1966 payment went to Bentsen 
Junior of Hou.ston. If there has been an error, as the candidate believes, it is on 
the part of Senator Williams or the Department of Agriculture. 



5445 

Response Solicited 

Austin. — Last week, the Observer told Lloyd Bentsen, Sr., in McAllen that 
it was doing an inquiry into how he built his fortune and asked for an inter- 
view with him on the subject. He declined. 

Tlie Observer recognizes that the subject here undertaken, the origins of 
the Bentsen fortune, is many-faceted and difficult to grasp. Regarding it as 
especially important that our work on the topic be fair and correct, we invite 
anyone, including, of course, any of the Bentsens as well as anyone else, to 
advance to us promptly any additions or corrections of information, perspective, 
or interpretation. 

With respect to the forthcoming Democratic primary, we note that our next 
issue will be delivered about a week before the voting, which would be plenty 
of time for any inadvertent errors of fact or fairness in this present report to 
be corrected in the minds of our readers. 

STATEMENT OF EERAIN FERNANDEZ, THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY, 

TEX. 

Mr. Fernandez. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name 
is Efrain Fernandez. I have been working in the Rio Grande Valley 
in Texas for the last 2 years. I have been working with the United 
Farm Workers Organizing Committee, Colonias Del Valle, and the 
]Mexican- American Youth Organization. Before I came to the Valley, 
I worked with MAYO in Kingsville, Tex. 

Hidalgo Comity has about 200,000 residents. Approximately 71 
percent of the population is Mexican- American. 

Hidalgo has Texas largest crop income in 1960, close to $51 million. 

About 100,000 acres of vegetables are harvested annually with 65,000 
acres in citrus, and 135,000 in cotton. 

Fifty-four percent of Spanish-surname families have incomes less 
than $3,000, according to a study made at Texas A. & M. in October 
1965. A study made at Texas A. & M. a year later revealed that half 
the Spanish-surname families had incomes under $2,000 per year. 

The median family income for Spanish-surname persons in the Mc- 
Allen area, which is relatively developed, was $2,027 — less than half 
of the U.S. or Texas populations. 

Median school years completed were 3.3 compared with 10.6 nation- 
ally and 10.4 for Texas. 

Hidalgo ranks first in the Nation in the number of resident mi- 
grants, estimated to be from 37,000 to 45,000. Adjacent counties, 
Wallacy, Starr, and Cameron, contain about 50,000 more. 

Unemployment in all occupations reaches 6.8 percent during No- 
vember. It never falls much below 6 percent any month. It is difficult 
to ascertain what the unemployment in agriculture may be at any 
given time. An official at the Texas Employment Commission told us 
that it might be as high as 10 percent in December. Actually, the 
number of persons unable to find full-time employment in agriculture 
during the winter is probably much higher than 10 percent. 

We are here to testify before the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, 
an average of 85 days of labor. 

Accident rates are 300 percent above the national rate. 

We are heret o testify before the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, 
not because we feel that the outcome will be productive for we have 
learned to put more faith in our own organizational efforts in our local 
communities than in the endless promises of the U.S. Congress. 

36-513 — 71 — pt. 8B 5 



5446 

For, you see, we are movino; in the valley; we are organizing, 
regardless of the fact that these hearings are being held. We are orga- 
nizing while these hearings are going on. 

In looking at the health picture in the valley, I find that there are 
two parts : the physical problems and the psychological. Nutrition is 
one of the most serious physical problems and the doctors' testimony 
yesterday has adequately described it. 

One aspect of the nutrition problem that I would like to describe 
is the distribution of surplus commodities in Hidalgo Coimty. 

The person in charge of the program is Tom Wingert who had 
served as sheriff of Hidalgo County for over a decade. The treatment 
which is given to welfare recipients by Mr. Wingert is more punitive 
and harassing than rehabilitative. For example, Mr. Wingert seems 
to take pleasure in having wives bring their husbands to collect the 
commodities. Their unemployment is the proof he wants but it is 
also a way to humiliate the husband who may be unable to provide 
for his family. Mr. Wingert is still a sheriff, watching to make sure 
that no one steals these luxuries. 

Hungry school children fare no better, for the school lunch pro- 
gram in Pharr-San Juan Alamo reaches only one out of every 100 
needy children. The reason for this is that Mr. Stockstill, the admin- 
istrator in charge of applying for Federal school lunch funds, is 
deliberately negligent in carrying out his responsibilities. 

Where we could have hot lunch and breakfast programs, he has 
either failed to apply for funds or submited unsatisfactory appli- 
cations for funds. 

The area of housing and sanitation, the availability of drinking 
water is a major problem. Babies have been known to die of diarrhea 
from drinking the impure water that is available in the Colonias. In 
many cases, people drink raw water out of the canal which is con- 
taminated water out of the Eio Grande River. We have had dogs die 
from drinking this water, which is filled with garbage, fecal material, 
insecticides, and other pollutants. 

Another serious problem is the presence of water wells within 10 
feet of outdoor latrines. "VVTien the floods come, the wells and latrines 
overflow and the grounds become covered in mud and fecal materials. 
This may be 10 feet away from a house in a barrio. 

Lack of sewers becomes a major problem in many areas. In the city 
of Pharr, there are 10- to 20-block sections which have no sewer lines 
whatsoever. I was startled the other day to find that people were hav- 
ing trouble with their sewers right in the center of the business dis- 
trict. "V\'Tiien the residents confronted the mayor, Mr. Bowe, he refused 
to help them. He said he had no money but he's building a civic center 
for the tourists. 

In a little Colonia, called La Hielera, the sewer problem is com- 
pounded with some deadly complications. Since people do not have 
any sewers, they have many outdoor latrines. When the rains come, 
the Colonia, which is in a deep depression, becomes completely flooded. 
The area then becomes infested with fecal material. This is a whole 
village I am telling you about. 

The added sad part is that the land developer who sold the people 
these lots knew that the area would become flooded when the rains 



5447 

came. Incidentally, the area was under water for 3 months after the 
last hurricane. 

The Mexican- Americans in Hidalgo County have a disproportion- 
ately high accident rate. This is caused by the negligence of manage- 
ment who does not care about putting in safety measures in the pack- 
ing sheds of the fields. Children, for example, have fallen out of trucks 
without guardrails. People get sick in the fields when the planes come 
over and spray insecticides while they work. 

Since we live with these environmental conditions every day, we 
were not surprised what the doctors found. 

The psychological damage to our people comes primarily from the 
complete disregard by Anglos of the bilingual, bicultral phenomena. 
Our children fall behind in school, not because they cannot learn, but 
because the schools do not teach in our language. 

Our people are taught to believe that our cultural heritage is not 
worthy of respect. They are taught to be ashamed. To be in the main- 
stream, they come to think that they must act like the Anglos and the 
Anglos except this of us. One striking example is the fact that the 
CAP board meetings are conducted in English, which many of our 
people cannot understand very well. This is so, even though the ma- 
jority of the board is Mexican- American. This is a psychological 
stigma that hurts the spirit of our people and which we, in the union, 
are trying to correct. 

Who or what is responsible for these conditions? Unquestionablj^, 
a major aspect is a pervasive racism mixed with economic discrimina- 
tion which is used to exploit the people on the poor side of the track. 
The dominant group, which includes most affluent Mexican- Americans, 
uses the old cliches of individualism, the protestant ethic, and patriot- 
ism as the rationale for blaming the poor for their poverty — no matter 
how hard the poor work or no matter how few jobs are available, no 
matter how low the pay. They shift the responsibility to us, when it 
is these people who keep us down. 

Some institutions must be mentioned that perpetuate the status quo. 
The schools are an example. 

First, teachers are prohibited by law from running for office. This 
prevents the most educated Chicanos from assuming political leader- 
ship. School reform is blocked since the superintendent in Pharr, Dean 
Skiles, has conveniently lost records of school dropout statistics. 
Segregation is achieved by busing. An Anglo school may be close to 
a Colonias, but the Chicanos are bused across town to a school which 
has few^ Anglos. Anglos close to the Chicano school are bused to the 
predominantly white schools. 

The power structure remains the same because of a calculated sys- 
tem of rewards and punishments. If you vote right, a traffic ticket will 
be dismissed. If you don't play ball, your rent will go up, or you may 
be evicted, or denied welfare or other benefits. 

The mayor of Pharr, Mr. Bowe, does not announce city council 
meetings. When asked when they are held, he replies, spasmodically. 

In the county, the county judge is the chief administrator. His 
name is Milton Richardson. Richardson was a dictator in terms of 
the power he wielded over the county's affairs. He would do such 
things as arrest someone for complaining about surplus commodity 
distributions. He would charge him with contempt of court for fail- 



5448 

ing to give his name. Now he has been defeated and a Chicano will 
take office. Perhaps things will get better. 

Here in Washington, this is only a story. Perhaps you feel bad 
about it. But we don't see much that you can do from here to end this 
local exploitation. We think the solution is in our own efforts to 
organize and gain power over our own affairs. 

We don't want paternalism. We want the right to organize and the 
laws that will support our efforts. 

To us, this is just another hearing. Maybe it is helpful. It can't 
hurt us. How can we be hurt more ? We are the bottom already. If you 
can protect and support our organizing efforts, you would be helping. 
Let's face it. Without that, we are wasting each other's time. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Fernandez, for that very fine 
statement. 

You make the point that whatever may have been true in the past, 
the organization and the people you represent today no longer look 
to Washington for help. 

I gather that underscores the feeling of pessimism about any possible 
Washington response that would improve the lives of the people in 
your area. And also the feeling that Washington aid distracts attention 
from what you regard to be the real efforts that offer hope. Basically, 
that hope lies at the community level, through community and union 
organization. 

Do I understand you correctly ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes; that is essentially what I am trying to say. 

Senator Mondale. At this point I would like to enter into the record 
a personal letter I received this morning from Mr. Tony Orendain, 
who is the Texas director of the United Pannworkers Service Center 
in McAllen, Tex. I know Mr. Orendain personally and respect him as 
one of the great leaders of the nonviolent movement for farmworker 
justice and dignity. I think his letter reiterates an important point 

(The information referred to follows :) 

United Farm Workers, 
Organizing Committee/AFL-jOIO, Texas Branch, 

McAllen, Tex., July 15, 1970. 
Senator Mondale, 
Senate Office Building, 
Washington, B.C. 

Dear Senator : Tiiis letter is being sent in order to explain my true motives 
for not being present at tliese important hearings, although who is to "hear" 
them and what is to be done is hard to tell. 

It was by luck that I was asked to help a group of medical specialisits in the 
study they made in the Valley, in which they found what I have lived for twenty 
years, but due to our very different analyses, because of our differences in edu- 
cation, the interpretations were very different. They were surprised by the find- 
ings, but we wei'e strengthened by them because it represents a victory in our 
fight, a victory of the soul, since we see that we have gained ground, although 
at first sight one doesn't notice it, due to the materialistic world in which we 
must show our accomplishments. The federal government has been converted 
into a modern Don Quixote de la Mancha : it comes, it has hearings, it pronounces 
a sentence, and then it allows someone local, a "compadre" for the growers, to 
administrate the programs. But it has the same result as what happened to the 
shepherd lad who was tied to the tree when Don Quixote came upon him : his 
boss had been beating him for failing to take good care of the flock, and the boss 
promised Don Quixote that he would treat the shepherd better, but as soon as 
Don Quixote left, the boss began to beat him harder than ever. Perhaps the 
comparison is not so good, but the results are the same, since we, the poor, have 



5449 

no way to guiar;intee that our rights will be respected, and the rich can protect 
themselves by the heat of their money. 

Day by day, we see how the poor worker of Texas blames his parents and 
brothers who come from Mexico — because of the influx, they have to migrate 
to the North, to Illinois, California, Colorado, and so on, and the workers of 
these states complain that the Texans undercut their minimum wages. In this 
way, we see that a worker blames another brother for working for the "American 
Way of Life : — free enterprise system — which consists of : anyone wlio w^orks 
cheaper, has the right to live. . . . The problem is that the growers take 
advantage of this "American Way of Life", and make the ones who are hungriest 
work cheaper, or in other words the "free enterprise system" lowers the wage 
so much that it even plays my necessity against the hunger of my parents. In 
the past election, President Nixon lied to the American public and especially to 
the farm workers when he said that the National Labor Relations Board does 
cover every worker in America, and so the xmion should not use an illegal 
method like the grape boycott, and then reinforced his point by eating grapes 
in front of the national TV cameras. He knows that the boycott is not illegal, 
but a real American way to accomplish things ; he is a lawyer by profession 
so he must also know that the N.L.R.B. does not cover the farm worker. Presi- 
dent Nixon also said that it would be a shame to the public to have to freeze 
prices and salaries. But it is not a shame, evidently, to tell farm workers they 
have to live with a minimum wage of $130 an hour or less. Any other new law 
would even be more violated, because of the lack of enforcement. 

The only thing which remains for me to say is to affirm two ways in which 
the modern "Don Quixote" could help us : Since he cannot be everyv.-here to 
keep all the promises or enforce all the laws which he has made to his "Dulcinea 
de Toboso", if he really wants to do something he should leave us to unite our- 
selves, or give us collective bargaining rights. This is similar to what Teddy 
Roosevelt said, "Talk softly and carry a big stick", and the unity of the poor 
is the only stick which they have. The second thing would be to impose a fine of a 
thousand dollars or more on all the employers who give work to the "wetbacks" 
or illegals, and not continue the present method of dealing with illegals, which 
is to jail them for over six months, while the employers just laugh and go on look- 
ing for more wetbacks who are willing to commit the great crime of looking for 
work at the risk of going to prison because of Ins great need. 

In conclusion, then, I must state that we of the Union here in South Texas 
have abandoned hope in the worth of one more hearing in remote Washington. 
There have been too many hearings from which, with all good intentions, no real 
improvements have come to the farm workers. But my faith in our government 
remains firm. When will it allow us to help ourselves by our own collective 
effort — simi)ly by specific legislation to permit us to bargain collectively for con- 
tracts which will guarantee the farm workers a decent wage? All the other 
programs only increase our dependency at the expense of our dignity. I will 
continue to work here at the bottom of the barrel, waiting for the government 
to help us rise upward. 
A^iva la Ciiusa, 

Antonio Orendain. 

Senator Mondale. One of the key tools that you want is coverage 
under the National Labor Relations Act, proposed by Senate bill 8. 
The right of farmworkers to organize in the unions and choose collec- 
tive bargaining agents jnst as most industrial workers generally have 
been permitted in the country for well over 40 years under the National 
Labor Relations Act is presently denied. 

Do I understand that correctly ? 

Mr. Fernandez. That is correct, except we have very prohibitive 
State laws at the time which make it very hard to organize the union 
in the valley. 

Senator Mondale. One point which has plagued us in this effort has 
been the fact that you are so close to the United States-Mexican border, 
I suppose if there were any group in the world that has a difficult time 
organizing, even if you had coverage under the National Labor Rela- 
tions Act, it would be people in your area because, as you know, workers 



5450 

can come in and take jobs of strikers even under the National Labor 
Kelations Act. 

I think if UAW had to organize Ford Motor Co. in McAllen, Tex., 
they would still be trying to organize the plant 35 years later, because 
of the almost unlimited supply of strikebreakers and scabs. I hate to 
call border crossers that because they are so desperately poor and dis- 
advantaged. But, in fact, there are millions of unskilled, impoverished 
Mexican nationals who can, no matter what anybody says, freely cross 
that border when they want to. This is happening every day, and it 
contributes to tragically depressed living and working conditions to 
the detriment of both the United States and Mexico. 

Do you not see the need, in addition to the right of organization 
under Federal legislation, the need to do something about illegal en- 
tries and the unlimited practice of farmworkers and others crossing 
that border? Don't you see that as an essential part of this effort? 

Mr. Fernandez, Yes; I definitely do. I think that the need is in 
keeping the international border situation from being used by the 
power structure in times of strike, especially in times of strike, that 
this situation is used to bring workers across and break the strike. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have any doubt that they are used in that 
way now ? That it in fact happens today ? 

Mr. Fernandez. I have no doubt that that happens. It definitely 
does. The power structure in the valley depends on a very large labor 
supply. The larger it is, the better it is for them. 

Senator Mondale. I think, as a result, that there is a good deal of 
evasion by farmers and growers of the laws that we of the States have 
passed — unemployment insurance, workmen's compensation, social 
security, and others these workers are entitled to are not enforced, and 
there is no way to develop the power to insist on enforcement. 

My impression is that those laws are being widely violated today 
in southern Texas, where there is virtually free passage of foreign 
nationals into the United States. 

Mr. Fernandez. I would prefer to have Mr. Dunwell answer that 
question. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Dunwell, would you like to respond ? 

Mr. Dunwell. I think you are correct. Senator, that there is whole- 
sale evasion of certain of these laws. 

As I said before, of course, unemployment compensation and work- 
men's compensation just don't cover the farmworker. It is a matter 
of discrimination per se, fundamental discrimination. 

You are quite correct on the part of the social security law and 
minimum wage laws which require reporting. 

Senator Mondale. It is my impression that the minimum wage law 
is being widely violated. 

Mr. Dunwell. Yes ; that is correct. 

Another violation that I might mention in terms of an organiza- 
tional violation is at the Texas Employment Commission in the valley. 
There are some concerned people in the employment commission office 
but there have been placed in the valley, and you saw last fall the TEC 
recruiters at the bridge referring people to trucks going north. The 
north is flooded with wetbacks and green carders at this moment. 
TEC is involved in that. 



5451 

TEC is also in its fair hearing procedures very strongly weighted 
against the worker. We had a case where a man was applying for 
unemployment compensation and was turned down by the hearing 
officer because the man had sought the aid of an attorney. What kind 
of decision is that ? It doesn't make any sense. 

Senator Mondale. It is impossible to recreate here the feeling along 
the border in that shapeup period in the early morning. There are flat- 
bottom trucks with no guardrails, that are used to pick up and haul 
these workers, almost like cattle. These young people, many of them 
children, are picked up for a day's work just after crossing the border; 
they risk their lives, really, driving around on open highways in these 
unsafe trucks. 

I spent time talking with some of the kids who had congregated in 
the shapeup area. It is amazing. Some of them had worked a week and 
been paid $2 or $3. They said that a social security deduction was taken 
out of their pay. Sometimes they would take 50 cents out of every dol- 
lor ; no checks, no receipts, no records, nothing. 

It is really the "Grapes of Wrath'' very much today. So, when you 
talk about improvement, I am in no position to believe that there has 
been much, if any. If there has been improvement, it really is not 
significant improvement. 

You talked about the election of a new judge ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Was that in Hidalgo County ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes; it was. 

Senator Mondale. Has this been the result of some of your efforts ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Some of it due to our efforts. A large part of it 
through the union. The union has its own following, very large follow- 
ing, in the valley now. There are some publications which have arisen 
as a result of the union and a radio program which is very sympathetic 
to the union cause. In times when elections come up, these things 
always help. 

Senator Mondale. Do you see any hope in the growing political 
power in many of these communities ? There are many communities in 
which Chicanos are in the majority, are they not? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes ; I do hope very definitely ; as a matter of fact, 
one of the solutions we are seeking right now or one of the methods 
we are seeking to get more political power is the formation of a new 
third party, largely because of the disillusionment with the two major 
political parties of the United States. 

As a matter of fact, to run for county commissioner or county 
judge, one has to pay filing fees upward of $2,000 there in Hidalgo 
Countv. 

Senator Mondale. $2,000? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. That is more than you have to pay to run for 
Senator in Ohio. 

It is more than it is worth. 

In the hands of a creative judge, though, that could be just a small 
downpayment. [Laughter.] 

Do you see some hope of a growing political awareness and activity 
in some of these counties ? 



5452 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes; I do except that because of the low rate of 
education, the low amount of education, it is very difficult and because 
of the fact that the State of Texas does make a deliberate, conscious 
effort to make the ballots as complicated as they can make them, the 
electoral process is difficult. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have annual registraition in Texas ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. The rolls are entirely purged annually. It is the 
only 'State in the union where that is true. You have to go back every 
year to register. 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes; every year, we have to have a registration 
drive. 

Senator JMondale. One point you made which I think may not be 
fully understood by the committee is the way they have personalized 
the welfare program down there. 

In order to get, for example, food stamps or commodity foods, you 
have to go to the local community judge and he signs a slip. If you 
are not a "good Mexican," you do not get the slip ? 

Mr. Fernandez. That is the way they do it ; yes. 

Senator Mondale. So, in many places the welfare system is used as 
a tool for political control ? 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes ; it is. 

Senator Mondale. Would that be an unfair characterization ? 

Mr. Fernandez. No ; it would not. Not only is the welfare surplus 
commodity program used for political leverage but the police depart- 
ments, the issuance of license plates by justices of the peace, the hous- 
ing projects, are especially used in city elections. All sorts of programs 
that should be neutral by law are used for political purposes. 

There seems no way to follow due process in order to prosecute the 
people who are doing this. There seems to be no solution. 

In the city of Pharr, we saw many violations during the absentee 
voting period in the recent city elections. For instance, the absentee 
votes were higher than the amount of votes cast during the election 
day, itself. 

Senator Mondale. Does that happen in Ohio, Senator Saxbe ? 

Senator Saxbb. Could that be because the people who are Mexican- 
Americans move north to work ? 

Mr. Fernandez. No, sir; it would not, because the elections are held 
in April. The migrants really do not begin to leave in strength until 
about May. 

The reason is that the people were prodded in some ways, intimidated 
into voting early, to vote absentee ; I think the main reason being that 
when you vote absentee is is much easier to see how you voted than it 
is when you vote by machine on election day. This is the predominant 
feeling of the community that people do not really vote secretly. 
Senator Saxbe. They voted early rather than go in on election day ? 
Mr. Fernandez. There is even a feeling that some were fictitious 
people. Not only a feeling but we have fomid what I feel to be evi- 
dence that substantiates this : except that we can't do anything about 
it because there is no, shall I say, no way out, no way to solve this. 
Senator Saxbe. Do you recall last year we had the so-called tomato 
war at Laredo along the border when the Department of Agriculture 
tried to shut off the flow of tomatoes because of grower pressure at 
that time, the Florida growers and others ? 



5453 

Now, as we hope we can improve the farmworkers' condition, is 
this going to drive more of this truck produce into Mexico and, if it 
is, how can we combat that ? 

Mr. DuNWELL. On my first trip to the valley, I was in a plane, and 
I talked to Ike Griffui, Jr., whom I didn't Imow at the time. We had 
a delightful chat. He was telling me that Griffin and Brand were al- 
read}'- moving to Mexico, I think it is inevitable that that is g"oing to 
continue. I just don't know what can be done about it. Ultmiately, 
I think what is going to happen is that labor will be organized north 
and south of the border. 

Senator S axbe. Is there any hope of that ? 

Mr. DuNWELL. I think there is. I think if we are successful in 
Texas, in Florida, in California, the very fact that we have unionized 
labor that close to the border is going to work in reverse the process 
we have seen before, where we had large numbers of surplus labor 
south of the border which was working against organizing attempts. 

Yes ; I do. We have a very large labor audience for our radio pro- 
gram in Mexico. It is larger even than our audience in the United 
States. 

Senator Saxbe. If you are capable of organizing and you do have 
a union, one of the things you would require would be that a worker 
get a day's work, is that right, or would you say a half day? 

Mr. Fernandez. Many times it varies. 

Senator Saxbe. I know today they don't get a day's work. They will 
get 2 or 3 hours, maybe, or if it rains, the grower will just haul them 
out and haul them back. 

Will requiring a full days work necessitate changes in growing 
practices ? You talk about a 40-acre field. If you haul two truck loads 
of people out there and harvest for 4 hours, that would be an uneco- 
nomical practice if they had to pay the people for a full day, would 
it not? 

Mr. Fernandez. I am not so sure I understand what you mean. 

Senator Saxbe. Mr. Dunwell talked about the practice where there 
would be a 40-acre field ready for harvesting. They will go and get 
two truckloads of people, haul them out there, and harvest the fields 
in 3 or 4 hours. Then that is all the pay the workers get. 

Now, if they would require the farmers to pay a day's pay, once 
they shaped them up, would that not require a substantial change in 
some of their growing and harvesting practices down there ? 

Mr. Dunwell. I don't think it would. Senator. Obviously you can 
harvest a field a couple of ways. There is only a given quantum of 
work. You can harvest a field in 2 hours with a lot of people, and that 
is the end of it ; or you can harvest a field with a minimum number of 
people and give them a day's work. 

As it stands now, a larger number of people are getting less hours of 
work. Unless the wages are much, much higher than they are now, 
they just can't live that way. It makes no sense to go out into the field ; 
by the time the trucker has taken his cut you have nothing to show. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Schweiker do you have any questions? 

Senator Schweiker. In your statement you refer to the case in the 
field, as I recall, where they lowered the pay rate of the picker 
retroactively. 



5454 

What pretext or what basis or what rationale was used in this par- 
ticular case and does this happen frequently ? Is this an unusual oc- 
currence ? Will you give a little more background to something which 
I think has been unheard of ? 

Mr. DuNWELL. Typical in the valley is the absence of rationale. A 
field man came in and said the wages are 5 cents less per basket that 
you picked this morning. There is no rationale. Nobody feels com- 
pelled to give you the reason. 

Would you refresh my memory as to the second part of your 
question ? 

Senator Schweiker. What rationale was used or what was the en- 
vironment that gave them an excuse to do something like that ? How 
frequently did it occur ? 

Mr. DuNWELL. As I said, there is no rationale. The environment is 
one in which the field man feels utterly confident that he can do this 
sort of thing. Until the United Farm Workers get sufiiciently power- 
ful to begin to protect these people, and we are not as powerful as we 
would like to be, nothing can be done. It just happens and we have no 
redress. 

I cannot tell you whether this particular kind is frequent or not. It 
is just one of the cases that has come in. We have heard of two or 
three others like it but there is a variety of more or less similar kinds 
of things. 

Very often you see people going up North on a written contract. 
They have a piece of paper but they get up there and find that all the 
terms of the contract are meaningless. There are wholesale deductions 
for food, for transportation; the money goes to the trucker. People 
can go up North on seemingly fantastic contracts, some of them writ- 
ten by very, very large canning companies that produce the food you 
buy here in Washington ; big names. 

Senator Schweiker. In the next paragraph of your statement, as I 
recall, you then referred to this violation of the minimum wage. 

I am just curious as to what kind of violation this was. Was this a 
violation of the State law? Was it a violation of any Federal law 
that would apply? What specific law did they violate and how are 
workers protected ? 

Mr. DuNWELL. At the time of that incident I spoke to you about and 
the one last year, there was only the Federal minimum wage law ap- 
plicable in Texas. These people were covered under the piecework 
side. By reducing the wages retroactively they made, in addition to 
breaching the contract, they also pushed the wage below the Federal 
minimum wage. It was only January 1, 1970, that Texas had a mini- 
mum wage law. 

Senator Mondale. Does that apply to farmworkers ? 

Mr. Dunwell. It does. 

Senator Mondale. What is the minimum ? 

Mr. Dtjnwell. The minimum for agricultural workers is $1.10 an 
hour. It is pegged 20 cents below the Federal minimum. As of yet, 
there is no piecework rate in Texas. I am not sure that the majority of 
the fieldworkers are piecework but a substantial amount is. At least 
for the next year, there is no coverage. 



5455 

Senator Mondale. Would it not be fair to say in response to Senator 

Schweiker's question that the environment is one in which the workers 
have no power to protect themselves ? 

It is entirely up to the grower, himself, as to what he wants to do, 
what he wants to pay them, what kinds of sanitary facilities, pesti- 
cide protections, and working conditions he is going to provide in 
the field? 

And the environment is one where there is an unlimited supply of 
workers. I think it is fair to say every morning there are workers who 
can't find work, standing at the border looking for work. 

Mr. Fernandez. It seems like it is really useless to analyze or try 
to cope with the myriad of laws, minimum wage laws, and the Texas 
Employment Commission and the other agencies, Eeally the person 
that has all the information that has all the power, is the grower. 
It becomes futile to try to do something with the existing situation. 

Senator Schweiker. In your testimony, too, you also mention the 
grower subsidies. You cited several growers and their subsidies. 

"Wliat phase of the agricultural subsidy program would cover 
this particular case ? In other words, what crop subsidies were they ? 
We just voted, as you well know, a $20,000 ceiling on subsidies. I think 
all of us here voted for that ceiling. I am just curious under what mech- 
anism of law they are getting subsidies. 

Mr. DuNWELL. Cotton. 

I was reading in the Post on the way over that President Nixon 
agreed $55,000 might be a fairer figure. 

Senator Schweiker. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. I just want to ask one question, Mr. Fernandez. 

You referred to segregation of schools. I am glad you did because I 
have been trying to persuade the Justice Department that, if they are 
really interested in getting rid of segregation, they will find just as 
much official discrimination against the Chicano in Texas and many 
other communities as they will find against the blacks, say, in 
Louisiana. 

Would you agree with that? Would that be an unfair 
characterization ? 

Mr. Fernandez. I will agree that you will find very much discrimi- 
nation against the Mexican- American. I don't think you will find as 
much as you would against Negroes but almost nearly as much, really. 

The fact we do not have any bilingual education and we are further 
hampered by the language problem would put it in the same shape as 
the Negroes, educationwise. 

Senator Mondale. One of the standard techniques in dealing with 
the Spanish-speaking Chicano is to put him in a special education 
class where he is treated as subnormal. This is a very standard and 
recurring phenomenon. He may be very bright, but because he can't 
understand the English language they put him in a special education 
class. That is another way of discrimination. 

Mr. Fernandez. Yes ; it is. The fallacy of that is that many times 
the testing is Anglo-oriented; therefore, the child, if he is brought 
up in a Chicano way, is bound to flunk the test; therefore, he will be 
put in special education. 

The attitude that surrounds these little special education programs 
is that this is the crazy school. Even among teachers, there is the 
attitude. 



5456 

Senator Mondale. Just one final question, Mr. Dunwell. 

You are an attorney and admitted to practice in New York. 

Are you admitted to practice in Texas ? 

Mr. Dunwell. No, Senator, and I don't represent clients individ- 
ually in cases. 

Senator Mondale. Have you practiced at all before the Federal 
bench ? 

Mr. Dunwell. No ; you have to be admitted for a year to do that. 
None of the three attorneys in our office, there are two Texas attorneys, 
has been admitted to the Federal bar, but we have filed two suits with 
cooperating attorneys in the court. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much for your most useful 
testimony. 

Our next witnesses are Mr. Joseph Segor and Rudolf o Juarez. 
"Wlio wishes to begin ? 

STATEMENT OF JOSEPH C. SEGOR, EXECUTIVE BIEECTOR, MIGRANT 
SERVICES FOUNDATION, INC., MIAMI, FLA. 

Mr. Segor. Senator, I will begin. 

Senator Mondale and members of the committee, my name is Joseph 
C. Segor. I am the executive director of the Migrant Services 
Foundation, Inc. 

I am a lawyer and for the past several years have concentrated my 
efforts on the probclms of farmworkers. From May 19G7 to September 
1969, I was the executive director of Florida Rural Legal Services, 
Inc., an OEO-funded legal services program operating in seven south 
Florida counties. 

The Migrant Services Foundation is privately financed and pro- 
vides legal and other services to farmworkers in Florida. We are 
headquartered in Miami, but operate throughout the State. 

My companion is Rudolfo Juarez, executive director of Organized 
Migrants in Community Action, Inc. (OMICA), the largest farm- 
worker organization in Florida. He was born and raised a migrant, 
eventually' becoming a crew leader. 

Recognized the exploitation of migrants by crew leaders as well as 
others, he quit, at great financial sacrifice, to work for several OEO 
rural programs prior to becoming; the operating head of OMICA. 
OMICA maintains a full-time office in Homestead, Dade County, 
Fla., and has cliapters in a number of locations throughout the State. 

I will present a short prepared statement, after whicli we will both 
be happy to answer questions. 

]Mr. Chairman, the newspapers and news programs have been filled 
with accusations by growers, agribusiness organizations, and political 
leaders in our State that the recently aired NBC Migrant White 
Paper produced by Martin Carr and narrated by diet Huntley was 
biased. 

These individuals and organizations were so certain of their posi- 
tion that they made their accusations even before they saw the show. 
Our Governor, whose protests were among the loudest, appeared to 
be trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of bias by declining to 
appear on the program. 



5457 

The dictionary teaches that bias implies unreasoned and unfair dis- 
tortion of judgnient in favor of or against a person or thing. It is 
the thesis of my remarks that the State of Florida, through its govern- 
mental institutions at all levels, as well as its social and economic 
structures, is biased against the f ai'mworkers. 

I would modify the dictionary definition somewliat, however, be- 
cause in my opinion the bias which oppresses farmworkers is in many 
instances not unreasoned, but a deliberate, calculated and purposeful 
attempt to maintain an economic advantage regardless of the cost in 
human misery. 

Also, inextricably connected to the economic motivation is a deep 
and pervasive racism that penneates all of rural and much of urban 
Florida. Present, too, is a hypocritical selfishness that masks itself in 
a philosophy of radical individualism and surfaces as an extreme hos- 
tility to programs, especially Federal programs, intended to aid the 
needy, the helpless and the powerless, particularly when these are 
black, Chicano, or Puerto Rican. xVt the same time, every effort is made 
to obtain Federal largesse which benefits the dominant economic, 
political and social groups. 

The abuse heaped upon NBC was only one minor manifestation of 
the foregoing characteristics. To an3^one familiar with migrants, the 
NBC show understated rather than overstated their problems. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. 'Segor, one of the issues that has arisen is that 
very issue of the NBC documentary. 

Am I correct that efforts were made by certain interests in Florida 
to encourage local television outlets not to carry the documentary in 
that State? 

Mr. Segor. One of our local papers in Miami, I think it was the 
News, carried an article that the Fort Myer station, for instance, was 
not going to carry the show. Ultimately, it did. We don't know what 
pressures may have caused it to change its mind. 

We do know that the show was pre-aired on channel 5 at Palm 
Beach. So far as we know, it was not kept off the air in our State, but 
I think pressures were there. 

Senator Mondale. I also was told that the Grovernor of the State 
of Florida sent a statement to each of those stations insisting that it 
be read following the program. 

Do you know if that is correct ? 

Mr. Segor. I am not sure of that, Senator. 

Senator Mondale. I am also told — as a matter of fact, Mr. Huiitley 
said — ^that the Governor was offered a chance to participate in the 
program but declined to do so. 

Mr. Segor. That is correct. I know that for a fact. 

Senator Mondale. That is not unusual for the Nation's most ex- 
traordinary Governor. 

Mr. Segor. It is unusual for him to miss any opportunity to be on 
a television program. 

[Additional information about the television documentary appears 
in the hearing of July 24, 1970.] 

Senator JNIondale. We were in Collier County where we saw hunger. 
Mr. Juarez testified there, where we saw some of the most abysmal 
human conditions I have ever seen. The Governor came in and told us 
it was none of our business, to get out of there. 



5458 

Mr. Segor. That is rather typical of the activities and the attitudes 
in our State. 

As my prepared statement indicates, there are places in Florida that 
have worse housing conditions, worse conditions of every kind, than 
were shown on that show. In fact, I was present when NBC filmed 
a little place called Jerome, which is far worse than anything they 
finally put on the air. 

The feeling really of oppressiveness that occurs in rural Florida 
among farmworkers is something that even the art of a very good TV 
show cannot fully bring across. It is something that you can only live. 
Of course, I even live it vicarously. I can go back to Miami to my 
middle-class home, but Mr. Juarez, his people, and the blacks, they 
live it all the time. 

The conclusion of the NBC show, I believe, was wrong because it 
concluded that all Americans are responsible. That may be rhetorically 
true but there are men and institutions that are at fault and I believe 
that they should not be allowed to hide in the crowd. 

A specially good example of institutional hostility to farmworkers 
was the State response to their pleas in the spring of this year that 
they be accorded the unemployment benefits provided in the Disaster 
Relief Act of 1969. 

A complete account of this shameful episode is contained in my 
report to the board of directors of the Migrant Services Foundation, 
Inc., a copy of which it attached as an appendix to these remarks. 

Senator Mondale. That will be included in the record at the con- 
clusion of your testimony. 

Mr. Segor. Perhaps the best short summary of what happened is 
contained in a headline from the Fort Myer (Fla.) News-Press of 
April 10, 1970, which read, "Disaster Relief: Farmers Get It, Mi- 
grants Want It." 

Unfortunately, or, more properly, I should say, tragically, they did 
not get it, despite our best efforts and your help in Washington to 
obtain it. 

The motives that lead growers and State officials to combine to 
prevent the migrants from receiving assistance specifically provided 
by the Congress for their benefit must inevitably remain conjectural, 
but the consistently repeated viewpoint that migrants won't work if 
they learn that they can get something for nothing is, no doubt, at 
least part of the answer. 

It is never explained why, if migrants are paid as well as growers 
claim, they would want to continue on a dole providing a maximum of 
$40 a week. Nor why, in other contexts, they would prefer to get com- 
modities, food stamps or welfare assistance, rather than work for the 
bountiful wages claimed to exist. ( See Miami News article of July 17, 
1970.) 

This managerial philosophy of "starve 'em or else they won't work" 
appears to be a rationalization that allows the growers and their allies 
to live with the exploitive system they control. This rationalizing 
process takes another and perhaps more pernicious form in the "let's 
appear to do something for them" syndrome. This takes two primary 
forms. The first involves the making of promises without any attempt 
at delivery. A good example of this was (jovemor Kirk's "action plan," 



5459 

unfolded in the spring of 1969. Some of the target dates contained in 
the plan are interesting and, in a morbid way, amusing. 

April 15, 1969 — "GO" — typical of the public relations gimmickery 
of our State. 

April 16, 1969 — State Advisory Commission on Migratory Farm 
Service appointed. 

April 21, 1969 — Joint meeting in Tallahassee of Federal, State, and 
local officials to create task forces. 

May 1, 1969 — June 15, 1969 — "all existing migrant programs in 
State evaluated by on-sight inspection of specialist." 

July 16, 1969 — report and recommendations to Governor and Fed- 
eral agencies. 

August 15, 1969 — coordinated program underway. 

Well, we are still waiting for that boat to come down our river. We 
don't expect it ever will. 

Senator Mondale. Wlien we heard testimony at Immokalee, I be- 
lieve the Governor had some complicated charts about an interstate 
compact. 

Mr. Segor. That was the action plan. The legislature took it over 
from the Governor. So we have both branches of our State govern- 
ment exercising gimmickery on behalf of the migrants. 

The other manifestation of the "let's appear to do something for 
them" is actual creation of an institution that will appear to do some- 
thing, but either because of its basic design or its manner of opera- 
tion, or both, will in fact do nothing. 

A fine example of this purposefully bad kind of engineering is the 
recently enacted statute creating "the Florida Legislative Commis- 
sion on Migrant Labor and an Advisory Committee Thereto." The bill 
makes a pass at recognizing that there is a problem by stating 
that "* * * the most economically and socially deprived segment of 
population in the United States of America consist of those persons 
generally referred to as migrant farmworkers * * *" 

It goes on to create a commission composed of three members from 
each house of the legislature. The commission is authorized to enter 
into "agreement for the establishment of cooperative arrangements" 
with other States. The Governor is authorized to enter into an "inter- 
state migrant labor compact" in substantially the form set forth in 
the statute. 

The compact would set up an Interstate Migrant Commission which 
would only have the power to do research, suggest proposals, and co- 
operate with other agencies. In essence, the Commission would be 
powerless and would be dependent for financing upon State appropria- 
tions to be requested by it. This toothless tiger is only one illusion con- 
tained in the bill. 

The other is an advisory committee composed of representatives of 
five State agencies, four enumerated grower organizations and, pre- 
sumably for balance, a representative of the Florida State Federated 
Labor Council. This latter choice is unique in that if there is one place 
the farmworkers are not represented it is the labor council. 

There are also positions open for not less than two, nor more than 
four, other persons selected and appointed by the Commission. There 
is not the slightest guarantee that the farmworkers will be directly 
or even indirectly represented by anyone close to them. 



5460 

The legislative conunission was created without any consultation 
with farmworker organizations of their allies, although these are 
well known to the legislature. Three of the grower organizations were 
added at the demand of a grower lobbyist. It can be expected that the 
additional representatives will be "safe" people not likely to cause 
controversy by strong and persistent advocacy of farmworker rights. 

Even if good people are added to the committee, the whole focus 
of the bill is outward toward an amorphous alliance of States to occur 
at some miknown and inevitably far distant date when a dozen or more 
State legislatures can get around to ratifying the pact. It completely 
avoids the need to turn and look at the problems within Florida and 
to devise solutions for them. In sum the bill is a cruel and preposterous 
hoax. 

Having dealt with the institutional biases of our State executive and 
legislative branches, I would like now to turn to the operation of 
existing programs at the local level. Naturally, among these there 
are substantial variations in how they perform, depending in part 
upon the agency concerned and geographic location. Nonetheless, a 
few generalizations can be made. From reports given to me as well as 
personal experiences, I can say that State and local agencies are: (1) 
Not run for the convenience of those they serve the farmworkers, but 
for the convenience of the staffs; (2) The local offices are dominated 
by grower interests and use the benefits they confer to require the 
farmworkers to conform to those interests; (3) There is little, if any, 
outreach, so that often those most in need of help do not get it. This 
can happen either because the farmworkers have not been informed of 
the services offered or the services are dispensed at times or places 
which the farmworkers cannot reach ; (4) The agency staffs often have 
negative attitudes toward their clients; in many cases these attitudes 
are basically racist. The attitudes all too often manifest themselves in 
indifference, impoliteness, harshness, and sometimes cruelty; (5) 
Agency personnel, instead of earnestly trying to help prove eligibility, 
do everything possible to prevent the clients from establishing their 
right to aid. 

Innumerable cases can be recounted in support of the foregoing. 
A few will suffice. 

In many counties, welfare and food distribtuion offices are located 
in places that the poor cannot reach by any means other than private 
automobile. I have been told that in Polk County the commodity dis- 
tribution office is located at an out-of-the-way spot, and the cost reach- 
ing the place amounts to as much as one-tenth of some welfare clients' 
checks. 

I think you will hear more about Polk County because it is the 
home of Coca-Cola in Florida, and another witness will be discussing 
that issue. 

AVlien a representative of the Florida Christian Migrant Ministry 
approached the director of distribution in this county about opening- 
several distribution points, he was told that the county commission 
had already turned down the suggestion as too expensive. One county 
commissioner was quoted in the press as saying, "The next thing the 
poor will want is for us to go to their homes and cook the food for 
them" — typical of the kind of attitude we have in our local govern- 



5461 

mcnt toward farmworkers and other people, particularly when their 
skin color is a little different. 

When the director was queried about making the hours more con- 
venient to farmworkers, the office was open from 8 :30 to 3 :30, Mon- 
day through Friday, he asked why he and his staff should be incon- 
venienced for the farmworkers' convenience. To the reply that the 
reason was that they serve the poor, he said that he had a responsibility 
to his employees. 

This same man added that if the poor really wanted the food, they 
would get to the distribution center when it was open. Many people 
applying for food at this center have been turned down three and 
four times because the comity employees make no attempt to help 
them comply with the regulations. 

One requirement is that the farmworker show his last paycheck 
or a letter from an employer stating his earnings. This is often im- 
possible for people who are paid cash and often work for many 
employers. Variations of this theme are heard from sources through- 
out the State. Attempts to get mobile food distribution units for rural 
areas have generally been rebuffed. 

In the same county I spoke of before, Polk County, the welfare 
office is located at an old airport which is hard to reach. AFDC 
mothers who must go to see their social workers must either pay to 
get there or rely on others. As a result, they often come late or miss 
their appointments altogether. 

In Polk County, there hasn't been a migrant health project for 
2 years. The local health department was unwilling to keep sepa- 
rate records for migrants and therefore was unable to comply with 
Federal regulations. As a result, it pulled out of the program. 

The health department's convenience, in this case, was clearly more 
important to the county health officer than the health of farmworkers. 
No doubt, he would feel very much put upon if he were told his job 
depended on getting the project back. 

Collier County's food stamp program has proof of income rules 
similar to those previously enumerated. Many farmworkers can't 
comply with them. In addition, the food stamp personnel will check 
eligibility by asking employers what they expect the applicant to 
earn the following month. Because of the pervasive hostility of grow- 
ers to the program, they will often make high projections, thus leav- 
ing the individual and his family ineligible. When a local black and 
a Chicano leader went to the county commission to protest this prac- 
tice, they were told they could not do so because they had participated 
in a peaceful demonstration. 

That demonstration was over the failure of the farmworkers to be 
able to get the benefits you gave in the Disaster Kelief Act of 1969. 
The exercise of elementary political rights is often visited by retalia- 
tion in our State. 

The director of the American Friends Service Committee migrant 
project which operates a housing program has informed me that he 
has had to abandon trying to qualify farmworkers for section 235 
housing loans because of the use of such middleclass eligibility require- 
ments as holding a job for 2 years and providing AV-2 forms. Fann- 
worker employment practices, of course, make this impossible. The 
AFSC has now switched to the Farmers Home Administration, but 
this limits the number of houses that can be built. 

36-513— 71— pt. 8B 6 



5462 

Cheating the farmworker out of a steady wage, of course, makes it 
impossible to comply with the program. The AFSC is working with 
the Farmers Home Administration but this is unsatisfactory because 
the programs of that Administration do not allow it to jDrovide enough 
housing. 

Ironically, my experience in the housing field is just the opposite of 
that of AFSC. In 1968, when I was executive director of Florida Rural 
Legal Services, our Belle Glade office began work on a housing project 
for Pahokee, a nearby town. After many months of planning, an 
application for a large project was filed. It was turned down by Farm- 
ers Home Administration with the assertion that the authorizing 
legislation did not allow them to make this size loan. 

It was our opinion, as well as that of the counsel of a consulting 
firm we were using, that this interpretation was wrong. We were 
joined in our opinion by Congressman Paul Rogers, who protested, 
but to no avail. We finally had to abandon Farmers Home and begin 
again with FHA. I ani informed that after two and a half years of 
effect the first models will shortly be constructed. 

We had to backtrack and refile. And I am informed that the first 
models will be up two and a half years after our labor. This will be a 
good-sized project for the area, 150 homes, a small drop in the bucket, 
and it will not reach the lowest of the poor. It will not help the true 
migrant whose wages and mobility make it impossible for him to be 
served by this Government program. 

Senator Mondale. Is this housing project in Pahokee? 

Mr. Segor. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Isn't that the one that was shown on the docu- 
mentary ? 

Mr. Segor. No; the one on the documentary is a public housing 
program. 

This is the Housing Act section 235 which is sponsored by a local 
citizens' group and the Catholic diocese. 

That racism prevails cannot be denied. In Lee County, it has been 
necesary to file suit to integrate the county nursing homes. In that 
same county, a doctor quit the welfare program after a suit was 
brought to require him, among other things, to integrate his waiting 
room. 

Innumerable instances have been recounted of hospitals which have 
received Hill-Burton funds refusing to treat indigents. In Homestead, 
I have attended meetings where the feeling of hatred expressed by 
blacks and Chicanos against the local James Archer Smith Hospital 
was so intense it was almost unbearable. 

Their complaints involved both failure to care for the poor and 
racism. They feel so strongly that they do not want a federally 
funded migrant health project that will shortly open up to even at- 
tempt to get services from the hospital. This, despite the fact that the 
next closest hospital is 15 miles away by way of a heavily trafficked 
road. 

Other witnesses have discussed the absence of basic legal protections 
for farmworkers and the reports of this committee have collected 
valuable data on this point. I will just point out that it is not only 
lack of laws that create difficulties, but also the importance of enforce- 
ment agencies. 



5463 

For instance, the health department which is charged with inspect- 
ing migrant camps in Florida does not have lawyers to file suit 
against violators. It must rely upon county prosecutors who look upon 
this type of activity as a nuisance, taking them away from their crime 
duties. In those places where a prosecutor has a private practice, there 
may actually be conflicts of interest, with the prosesutor representing 
some of the grower interests. 

Even if the health department had enforcement powers, its regula- 
tions are a fraud, being hardly worth the effort to enforce. The same 
is true of the Federal regulations on migrant housing. 

I am informed that in Palm Beach County the health department 
shies away from environmental health problems as opposed to clinical 
ones because of the fear of possible political repercussions. This fear 
of political retaliation is ever present and affects the activities and 
operations of even the most dedicated program and workers. 

It is in the context that I come to my next point, which is that 
there is an interchange between intransigent institutions and biased 
people, back again between biased people and intransigent institutions 
that paralyzes efforts to obtain needed change. We are constantly told 
the farmworkers are content with their lives, won't work and won't 
help themselves. Yet, when there is a chance that farmworkers will 
engage in the processes that lead to change, intense efforts are made to 
frustrate them. 

I have seen a private report, the name of which I cannot reveal, 
which I believe to be valid, which told of one large farmer providing 
buses for his workers to attend a picnic on election day. This was to 
prevent the workers from exercising their franchises. 

A black leader in Immokalee told me that the same type of thing 
occurred on the day a referendum was held on the question of incor- 
porating the town. Naturally, the white farmers and businessmen who 
owned property did not want to be part of a city in which the ma- 
jority of the voting population was black and Chicano. 

The power of agribusiness to thwart the democratic processes in 
order to prevent farmworkers from obtaining benefits that other 
working people take for granted is notorious. In 1969, agribusiness 
was taken by surprise and a bill eliminating the farmworker workmen's 
compensation exemption was voted out of committee in both houses 
of our State legislature. Despite a last-minute lobbying effort, the bill 
passed the Senate by two votes. Unfortunately, it did not get on the 
special order calendar in the House and time ran out. 

This year, the lobbyists were ready and the few friends of farm- 
workers in the legislature, could not even get a watered-down version 
of the bill out of committee. 

The tragic effects of grower opposition to this most elementary form 
of social legislation is set forth in an article that appeared in the July 
16, 1970, issue of the Palm Beach Post. The article quotes a vocational 
counselor for the Florida Council for the Blind as saying that he sees 
as many cases of blindness among glades agricultural workers as there 
are in the rest of Palm Beach County, although the agricultural popu- 
lation makes up less than 10 percent of the county population. 

He attributes the high incidence of eye disease to the swirling muck 
dust encountered by the workers. First, it would provide more im- 
mediate medical care to the workers who are injured by the dust. 



5464 

Second, many of our industrial safety practices have resulted from the 
pressure of insurance companies on business to get it to upgrade stand- 
ards. We could probably expect the same to happen in agriculture, 
^were workmen's compensation to be universally extended to the 
workers. 

Eeturning to the local scene, a classic example of community sabo- 
tage of a needed Federal project recently occurred in Immokalee. A 
doctor from the University of Miami's School of Medicine became 
interested in setting up a major clinic there mider the Migrant Health 
Act. With the support of the U.S. Public Health Service, he began to 
discuss the proposed project with all segments of the community, not 
only in Immokalee, but also in the comity seat at Naples, about 40 
miles away. He touched all the bases, and lined up support from grow- 
ers, business people, the health department, the county commissioner 
for the area and, so he thought, the county medical society. All this in 
addition to the enthusiastic support of the intended consumers. 

However, when a public meeting was held to discuss the project, he 
was shot down by the local doctors by the use of a clever ploy. The 
doctors told the people that what they needed was not a clinic but a 
hospital. Naturally, everyone became excited over the idea and the 
Migrant Health Act clinic was forgotten. 

A board was formed under the chairmanship of the one private 
physician m Immokalee to begin raising money. This physician, along 
with the local druggist, had been prime opponents of the clinic. The 
physician had even gone so far as to threaten to quit practice if the 
clinic came in. 

The upshot of this is that little or nothing has been done to further 
the hospital in the year that has elapsed and the clinic will be located 
in the more hospitable climate of Dade County. 

From public reports and talks with various people familiar with 
what occurred, I have been able to come to the following conclusions : 

(1) Attitudes toward the project were deeply affected by prevailing 
hostility toward Federal projects. Although interestingly enough, this 
did not extend to shyness about applying for Hill-Burton funds. It 
never does. 

This generalized anti-Federal hostility made otherwise hardheaded 
people receptive to a pie-in-the-sky hospital plan despite the fact that 
the community's small size militated against such a hospital being 
successful. 

It also blinded people to the possibility that the clinic could be used 
as a base upon which to build plans for a future hospital as has been 
proposed, and will be done, for the south end of Dade County. 

(2) The local physican and druggist were afraid of competition 
from the clinic and put their own economic well-being ahead of that 
of the people. 

(3) The county medical society was afraid that the clinic would 
raise the farmworkers' level of expectations concerning medical care 
to too high a level. 

(4) The dominant community feared extensive consumer partici- 
pation on the governing board of the clinic. Both because such par- 
ticipation, if successful, will do violence to prevailing racial attitudes 
and because any process that might lead to greater ability upon the 
part of the non- Anglo population to govern itself is viewed as threat- 
eninsr. 



5465 

(5) The lack of sophistication and powerlessness of the workers 
made them incapable of resisting the tactic. Many of them were fooled 
into supporting it, thinking it was for real. 

(6) The inability of the Federal Government to directly serve 
needy, but politically impotent consumers, without working through 
hostile local forces, was a prime contributor to the debacle. Once again, 
the people were mangled. 

In contrast to Immokalee, Dade County was able to muster tre- 
mendous community support for the project. The medical school, the 
county medical society, tlie health planning council, the urban coali- 
tion and, somewhat reluctantly and even truculantly, the local health 
department. 

The difference, of course, is that Dade County is overwhelmingly 
urban and it is therefore possible to circumvent potential opposition 
from rural elements. This distinction between urban Dade and rural 
Collier Counties, while fortunate for the farmworkers in Dade, is 
cause for the deepest melancholy iu tlie remainder of the rural poor. 

Nevertheless, the Dade County project does provide a laboratory in 
which we can observe a project that has on its board a majority of 
consumers. 

Hopefully, the clinic will not only provide first-rate medical service 
but will also act as a training ground for community leaders. 

It is interesting to note that the principal source of discontent with 
consumer control in Dade County appeared to be the local health de- 
partment and the regional Federal bureaucracy in Atlanta. Perhaps 
with experience they will come to also cherish the values attendant upon 
consumer control. 

I started these remarks by asserting that it is the farmworkers and 
not the protesting agribusinessmen who are the victims of bias. The 
examples I have recited are merely a few among legions that support 
that statement. 

When the growers come in and lobby for workmen's compensation, 
unemployment insurance, grower responsibility for social security, 
more stringent housing codes, better health services, a tenfold increase 
in liousing starts with better terms; when they conduct voter regis- 
tration drives, finance leadership clinics, provide better wages and 
financial incentives and really believe that the word "nigger" is bad, 
they will have established some credibility with the farmworkers and 
their friends. 

In short, wlien the growers believe in the American dream for the 
other guy — then their pleas will not have the hollow ring of hypocrisy. 

Thank you, Chairman ^londale, and the other distinguished Sena- 
tors on the committee for giving me this opportunity to express my 
views. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Segor, for an excellent statement 
and analysis of Florida problems. 

(A report submitted by Mr. Segor follows :) 

Report to the Boabd of Directors of Migrant Services Foundation, Inc. by 
THE Executive Director, Joseph C. Segor, on the Inadequacies of the 
Federal Response to the Disaster that Befell the Migrant Farmworkers 
IN Florida During March-April, 1970 

During March 1970, heavy rains in the farming areas of Florida combined 
with previous cold weather, to do serious damage to the farming and livestock 



5466 

industries. This report will recount the efforts of the Migrant Services Founda- 
tion, Inc. and others to obtain federal aid for migrant workers who were dis- 
tressed as a result of the disaster. It will concentrate on spotting the reasons why 
federal aid was withheld. During the course of our futile battle to obtain help, 

I sent two telegrams to Senator Walter F. Mondale, Chairman of the Subcom- 
mittee on Migratory Labor of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 
United States Senate, requesting his aid in determining what help, if any, could 
be obtained from federal agencies under the Disaster Relief Act of 1969 which 
was then in existence less than six months. The Senator wrote to the various 
federal departments and agencies having or appearing to have some authority 
tinder the Act. 

The replies received by the Senator are most instructive, in that they provide 
the opportunity to gain a good deal of insight into the way in which the federal 
agencies view their responsibilities. This report is keyed to those responses. As 
the story unfolds it will be readily apparent that individually and taken together 
the federal agencies suffered from a form of myopia so pathologic that it resulted 
in a total paralysis of the system of disaster aid, thereby frustrating the Con- 
gressional intent as well as causing untold misery among the intended 
beneficiaries. 

The responses to the Senator's query cannot be misinterpreted, they show that 
no attempt was made to implement those sections of the Disaster Relief Act of 
1969 that were intended by the Congress to provide aid to migrant workers vic- 
timized by a disaster. Since the Act can become operative only if triggered by a 
request to the President from a Governor of a State asking for a declaration of 
disaster, lack of federal implementation of its provisions can be attributed to 
the failure of Governor Kirk to make such a request. While it is undeniable that 
the Governor's inertness prevented formal action under the Act by the responsi- 
ble federal agencies, it did not preclude them from making an independent in- 
vestigation of the situation to determine if the facts warranted a State call to 
the President. It can be said at the outset that a federal finding contrary to that 
of the State might well have had the political effect of forcing the State to recon- 
sider its position. In view of the total exclusion of migrants from the State's 
political and social life, the responsibility of the federal government for their 
welfare is commensurately greater and this responsibility has been at least par- 
tially recognized by the passage of several pieces of legislation including Sections 

II and 12 of the Disaster Relief Act of 1969. 

This increased federal responsibility would seem to clearly justify a more ac- 
tive role for federal agencies than might otherwise be the case under the co- 
operative provisions of the Act. Any deference that might normally be accorded 
to State determinations regarding the existence of a disaster can reasonably 
be set aside when migrant agricultural workers are the chief potential benefi- 
ciaries of the Act's largess. It is not too much to expect that federal agencies 
view that situation with realism and act with an understanding of the eco- 
nomic and political factors that militate against migrants in their reltionship 
with State and local governments. I will discuss these in somewhat greater de- 
tail further on in this report. 

By failing to request a disaster declaration from the President, Governor Kirk 
was stating inferentially that whatever the nature of the misfortune that befell 
the effected areas, it was not such magnitude as to justify Presidential inter- 
vention. The threshold question is thus, was there a disaster of the requisite 
magnitude in Florida? 

The Disaster Relief Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-79) does not itself define the 
term "major disaster". Instead, it states that under its terms a major disaster 
is "... a major disaster as determined by the President pursuant to . . . (42 USC 
1855-1855g), which disaster occurred after June 30. 1967, and on or before De- 
cember .^1. 1970." 42 use 1855a defines a "major disaster" as one ". . . which, 
in the determination of the President is or threatens to be of sufficient severity 
and magnitude to warrant disaster assistance by the Federal Government to sup- 
plement the efforts and available resources of State and local governments in 
alleviating the damage, hardship, or suffering caused thereby . . ." The need must 
be certified by the Governor of the State in which the catastrophe threatens or 
occurs and he must give assurance of reasonable expenditures on the part of 
the State and local governments. 

This definition of "major disaster" does not require that a particular level of 
objectively determinable physical damage has occurred, but rather is geared to a 
determination of whether Federal aid is needed to supplement State and local 



5467 

resources available for the alleviation of "damage, hardship, or suffering." 42 
use § 1855a (a)- This determination is wholly the President's. Although it must 
be certified to by the Governor, there is no requirement that the Governor's 
certification must come prior to the Presidential determination. While under 
normal circumstances a State request for help might be a reasonable prerequisite 
for a Presidential disaster determination, the presumption should be otherwise 
where a powerless and often despised minority, such as migrant workers, is 
concerned. Where such a group will be the principal beneficiary, a Federal initia- 
tive is imi)erative. 

The Florida case gives stunning proof of this contention. After rain and cold 
had dealt a severe blow to Florida agriculture, the newspapers began to be filled 
with accounts of the extent of the disaster. The Miami Herald of March 28, 1970, 
reported that, "The nation's salad bowl was awash Friday in a Spring flood oflB- 
cials say may reach disaster proportions. 

Farmers watched their vegetable crops drown, cattle waded through water in 
search of food and canals gushed the runoff into the sea as the paper work was 
started to get nine South Florida counties designated as disaster areas." 

On March 31, the Miami Herald reported that Florida Commissioner of Agri- 
culture Doyle Conner telegraphed Governor Kirk that, "As much as 20 inches or 
more of rainfall within the past three weeks to a month, preceded by severe cold 
early in January, have created devasting conditions and immediate need for 
relief." The next day, Conner was again quoted by the Herald saying that the 
flooding in Palm Beach County was ". . . the worst I've ever seen." The April 2nd 
Herald carried an AP dispatch from Tallahassee saying that Governor Kirk had 
sent a telegram to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Hardin urging that seven coun- 
ties be declared disaster areas. Deputy Undersecretary Galbraith's letter to Sen- 
ator Mondale dated April 10, 1970, indicates that by that date the Governor's 
request had been implemented to the extent that a reduced price feed grain pro- 
gram for five counties had been authorized. 

As early as March 30th, I had become concerned that the farmworkers would be 
by-passed by both the State and Federal governments when it came time for 
relief to be handed out. After doing some research and discovering the existence 
of the Disaster Relief Act of 1969, 1 contacted Rudy Juarez, the Executive Direc- 
tor of Organized Migrants in Community Action, Inc. We discussed the problem 
and he requested that I determine whether the farmworkers were going to be 
included in the State's request for aid. On April 1st, I spoke to Frank Pope, Execu- 
tive Director of the State Disaster Committee. He said that the Committee was 
recommending that a number of counties be declared a disaster area, but that I 
should get specific information from the Governor's office. He recommended that 
I call James Richardson. Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs. I 
did so, and was told by Richardson that a disaster package was being prepared, 
but that aid for migrants had not been discussed. I asked about implementation 
of the Act of 1969. The Secretary replied that he was not familiar with that law. 
I then read it to him over the telephone, whereupon he stated that the State 
agencies in charge of securing information had not informed him of extensive 
unemployment among farmworkers. The agencies he mentioned were the State 
Employment Service, the Division of Emergency Government and the Red Cross. 
I said that I had heard otherwise and suggested that the Secretary recheck his 
sources while I would inquire of mine. 

I then contacted Community Action Migrant Program, Florida Rural Legal 
Services, the American Friends Service Committee Migrant Project, OMICA and 
Glades Citizens Association and asked that they check the employment situa- 
tion. Over the next several days I received back reports from all of these agencies 
that there was substantial unemployment and almost universal under-employ- 
ment. I then called Secretary Richardson on April 3rd and was told that the 
State agencies were not reporting serious unemployment. I was further informed 
that such unemployment as might exist in the vegetable areas was being taken 
care of by transporting the workers to the citrus areas where there were jobs. 
The Secretary also said that the State Farm Labor Employment Ofiices had 
plenty of jobs for farmworkers in the vegetable areas. When I subsequently dis- 
cussed this claim with people in Belle Glade and Immokalee I Vi^as told that they 
had tested the Employment Offices and found the job openings to be non-existent. 

The April 3rd claim that workers could be taken care of in citrus is most 
curious when compared with the Farm Labor Bulletin of April 2nd put out by 
the Florida State Employment Service. The Bulletin states under the topic 
"Central Florida Summary" that "Lull in citrus harvest continues." Under 



5468 

"South Florida Summary" it said that "Heavy rains in most areas resulted in 
decreased labor demands." Regarding jobs for displaced workers in the citrus 
areas it stated ". . . arrangements have been made to help these vporkers find 
employment vphen Valencia harvest becomes active in mid-April." Thus, there 
would be a two-week hiatus before the citrus harvest could take up the slack. No 
doubt, it was expected that the migrants could draw upon their extensive savings 
in the meanwhile. Unstated, was the hardship that would be caused hundreds 
and perhaps thousands of children who would have to be pulled out of school 
midway in the term. It would seem that at this point the State preferred to see 
the farmworker families uprooted in preference to allowing them to receive 
the unemployment benefits authorized by the 1969 Act. 

On April 13, 1970, the Miami News editorialized : "A Miami News reporter, 
who visited migrant camps at the request of the Council of Churches and 
Christian Migrant Ministry, was told that when floods destroyed 70% of the 
crops, 70% of the migrants were out of woi-k. And when migrants don't work 
they don't eat, nor can they pay rent. 

Their condition should be the first to receive attention, from the State and from 
the Federal Departments which dispense emergency funds." 

On Thursday, April 9th, migrants demonstrated in Naples, the County Seat 
of Collier County, protesting the lack of work. A larger demonstration occurred 
at the County Office Building in Pahokee, Palm Beach County, the following day. 
Although it was claimed that the demonstration was planned and put on by a 
Federally-funded agency, the demonstration was, in reality, spontaneous and 
accurately reflected the feelings of the workers. It resulted in emergency food 
supplies being shipped into the area from "West Palm Beach. During the course 
of the demonstration, Rudy Juarez of OMICA, met Secretary Richardson and 
Secretary James Bax of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services 
in the parking lot of the County Office Building. When he asked to talk with them 
so that he could explain the workers' grievances, he was told by the two officials 
that they were in a hurry to see the Mayor of Pahokee and that he should quickly 
say his piece while standing in the middle of the parking lot. Juarez angrily de- 
clined this demeaning invitation. 

Two migrant representatives travelled to Tallahassee and on April 14th pre- 
sented Governor Kirk with petitions and affidavits signed by more than 200 
farmworkers stating their plight and asking for help. It was reported that the 
Governor did not appear interested and resented this attempt to petition the 
government for redress of grievances. 

The April 14th edition of the Belle Glade Herald reported that Steve Johnson, 
an attorney for Florida Rural Legal Services, visited the loading ramps in Belle 
Glade the week before and talked to growers about job availability. Johnson 
was quoted as saying, "One of the large growers told me there was plenty of work 
to be done, but that he had lost 250 acres of celery and was taking four fewer 
busloads out to work on his crop." 

During my investigations I was told that many of the men in a migrant labor 
camp located in the Delray Beach area were about to go to New Jersey to look 
for work. This was at a time when the New Jersey crop was not yet ready and 
there was no work available. Confirming the report that a number of workers 
headed North early is a story in the May 6. 1970, Palm Beach Post, which says 
in its first paragraph, "Flooding March rains and a northern asparagus crop 
may have lured hundreds of migrants to the northeast, leaving winter vegetable 
fai-mers in the Glades with a labor shortage, a farm labor spokesman reported." 
This stoi-y quotes Fred Watts, New Jersey Chief of the Bureau of Farm Labor 
as saying, "... Florida Farm Labor Bureau officials had reported to him an 
over-supply of workers in the Glades several weeks ago caused by the Spring 
rains. 

A couple of weeks ago they really had disastrous unemployment. . . . 

Further evidence of the early departure of some workers from Florida is 
contained in the April 24. 1970 issue of the New Jersey Farm Labor Bulletin. 
It states, "An over-supply of seasonal farm manpower now exists in southern 
New Jersey." 

In light of the extensive evidence of unemployment and the distress of many 
workers, the lethargic responses of the Federal agencies queried by Senator 
Mondale is tragic. The Office of Emergency Preparedness, which has been 
assigned the duty of advising the President on declarations of disaster, and 
the Labor Department, relied on the State-supplied information and pointed out 
that the President had not declared a disaster. The resemblance of the latter 



5469 

remark to something out of Wonderland, where Alice found everything to be 
topsy-turvy, is striking in view of the fact that it was the responsibility of 
these departments to decide whether the President should act. 

In its reply, the Department of Agriculture said that it was implementing its 
end, but that the President would have to act before the Department of Labor 
could provide unemployment payments. It then went on to explain the Depart- 
ment's food programs without mentioning the liberalizations contained in the 
Act of 1969 to assure that disaster victims would receive food even though they 
were not previously qualified for this kind of aid. 

The Office of Economic Opportunity responded by citing two emergency food 
programs that it had funded, one of which it said had $487,000 for the entire 
country. Only a small amount of money granted to this agency had been allocated 
to Florida prior to the disaster and one organization that I know of (OMICA) 
which had been designated a sub-grantee, had distributed its share by January. 
OEO also mentioned two manpower training programs for migrants and said 
they had been instructed to accelerate their placements. Placing migrants in 
non-farm jobs is a slow and tedious task at best. It is hardly the answer to an 
emergency situation. One of these programs cooperated with me in my survey 
of conditions and the official of the program with whom I had contact did not 
remark about any great ability on the part of his agency to alleviate the situa- 
tion. Finally, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, reported that 
the Florida Department of Public Welfare had assigned additional staff to three 
of its regions so that the offices could stay open 24 hours a day. This would 
certainly indicate the existence of an emergency. Due to the nature of the 
categorical assistance programs funded by HEAV, the Welfare Department could 
be of only limited help. Furthermore, there is a question as to whether the 
additional availability of welfare services was communicated to the workers. 
No one mentioned it to me and at the time I was in contact with a large number 
of active and aware people. 

It may now be too late to definitely ascertain whether the State agencies 
or my informants were correct in their assessments of the effect of the disaster 
on farmworkers. Although it appears logical that a disaster which caused im- 
mense crop damage must also have resulted in severe unemployment. Never- 
theless, what is clear is that there was a substantial controversy and a good 
deal of evidence exists that the State spoke out of both sides of its mouth, re- 
porting on the one hand that there was no unemployment while requesting Fed- 
eral help for farmers on the other. In such a circumstance, where human misery 
must be the certain by-product of a wrong decision, the Federal government 
should have moved to determine the facts for itself. If the facts were as claimed 
by the farmworkers and their supporters, the President, armed with his own 
independently gathered information, could have attempted to persuade the 
Governor to make the necessary certification and give the required assurances. 
In this case, there being no State provision for Unemployment Insurance for 
farmworkers and the Disaster Relief Act of 1969 having been si3ecifically de- 
signed to remedy that omission, the Governor need only have shown that the 
State would administer the distribution of the Federal funds. Since Florida 
already has a well-developed unemployment insurance system, the extra burden 
of handling farmworker payments could have easily been shouldered at little 
or no additional cost to the State. 

It should be noted that the State officials carefully distinguished between 
unemployment and under-employment. My informants told me that at the time, 
under-employment often meant a half day of work twice a week. It al.'^o meant 
that many of the farmers took advantage of the situation and reduc-ed both the 
hourly and piece-work rates. As a result, the workers received less income than 
they would have otherwise gotten for the same amount of labor. Combined with 
the severe reduction in the number of hours worked, this cutback in rates must 
have had a devasting effect on the income of many farmworkers. 

It is spurious to try to distinguish between unemployment and so-called under- 
employment for purposes of the Disaster Relief Act of 1969. The Bill provides 
that, "The President is authorized to provide to any individual unemployed as 
a result of major disaster, such assistance as he deems appropriate while such 
individual is imemployed." Payments are limited to the maximum allowed 
by State law and by the State durational requirements. Other public or private 
income replacement payments received by the individual must be deducted. 

The language of the Act is substantially the same as that contained in the 
original Senate Bill. The Senate Public Works Committee in analyzing its Bill 



5470 

said, "This section would relieve the hardship incurred by certain migratory 
workers, not covered by State employment laws, who have been deprived of ex- 
pected labor and earnings by the ravages of a disaster." The Committee em- 
phasized that the aid would be available "only during short-term emergency 
periods for those who are in dire need of emergency aid." 

Nothing in the language of the Act of 1969 nor the legislative history indi- 
cates a Congressional intent to require total weekly unemployment as a pre- 
requisite to eligibility for unemployment benefits. Clearly, the Secretary of 
Labor did not think so when he promulgated his regulation governing Disaster 
Unemployment Assistance. In 20 C.F.R. 625.8(c) (4) the Secretary provided a 
deduction from benefits of, "one-half of any wage paid in the week for services 
performed in excess of 20 hours." This is in line with the policy allowed by 
Florida. Florida Statute 443.04(b) allows an eligible individual to receive par- 
tial benefits in an amount equal to that of his weekly benefits less wages paid in 
excess of $5.00. 

The Florida maximum weekly benefit payable is $40.00. Thus, if a farm- 
worker who was eligible for the full benefit worked part of a week and received 
$15.00 in wages, he would be entitled under Florida law to a partial benefit of 
$40.00 less $15.00 plus $5.00. Such a worker would therefore receive a $30.00 sup- 
plement. Apparently, no attempt was made to determine the number of workers, 
who, though earning some wages, would still have been eligible for a benefit 
under the Act of 1969. Such knowledge would seem crucial to the ultimate de- 
termination of the existence of a disaster. 

Returning to the question of what is a disaster, it must be stated that the 
analysis in this report is based on the assumption that substantial unemploy- 
ment and under-employment of migrant workers created by a catastrophy, is, 
In and of itself, sufficient basis for the declaration by the President of a major 
disaster. There is excellent support for this assimiption. As previously stated, 
all that need be determined in order to find the existence of a major disaster 
Is a need to supplement State and local resources available for the alleviation of 
"damage, hardship or suffering." Obviously, the "damage, hardship or suffering" 
required must be of some magnitude but past experience in the Florida area 
makes clear that it is not necessary that a majority of the people in a disiaster 
a.T&a. suffer from these disabilities. In 1965, Dade County was declared a disaster 
area after being struck by a hurricane. Although many people suffered some 
type of injury, only a minority were eligible for aid under the then existing Dis- 
aster Relief Act when it was invoked. 

The fact that the Secretary of Agriculture authorized feed grain aid for five 
counties under his authority is evidence that a disaster of major proportions 
had struck South Florida this Spring. Had the buildings and equipment of 150 
farmers been destroyed, who would doubt tlhat the Governor, in addition to seek- 
ing help from the Secretary of Agriculture, would have asked for a Presidential 
declaration so that low-cost loans could be made available to the stricken agri- 
businessmen? Yet, when the injury was the loss of wages to thousands of migrant 
workers, we were assured that there was no problem. 

Because the Federal agencies accepted the State determination, the threshold 
was never crossed and th? existence of a major disaster was not declared. While 
guilt in the fii'st instance lies with the State officials. Federal insensitivity to the 
peculiar needs of farmworkers insured that the required aid would not be forth- 
coming. 

It is clear from our experience in Florida this Spring, as well as from that of 
other places (see the report of the American Friends Service Committee and the 
Southern Regional Council on the Federal Response to Hurricane Camille) that 
it takes more than the objective existence of "damage, hardship or suffering" to 
bring about an adequate response. It also takes political clout. If one wants to be 
assured of receiving succor in a time of disaster it pays to be part of someone's 
political constituency. The act of deciding whether a major disaster exists is not 
analagous to judicial fact-finding. Rather, it is part of the political game known 
as "who gets the loot?" A cardinal rule of this game is that the poor, the power- 
less and the despised must always get the short end of the stick. The implementa- 
tion of this rule has given rise to some interesting slogans such as, "Burn, Baby, 
Burn !" and "Revolution now !" Perhaps some day it will dawn on enough people 
that the slogans will change only when this rule of the game ^ is changed. 



1 In this report I have concentrated on exploring the causes of the laclt of Federal 
response without proposing means of preventing a similar occurrence in future disasters. 



5471 

Disaster Relief 

newspaper clippings — farm labor bulletin 

March 28, 1970— May 6, 1970 

[From the Miami Herald, Mar. 28, 1970] 

9 Florida Counties Seek Disaster Aid 

The nation's salad bowl was awash Friday in a spring flood officials say may 
reach disaster proportions. 

Farmers watched their vegetable crops drown, cattle waded through water in 
search of food and canals gushed the runoff into the sea as the paper work was 
started to get nine South Florida counties designated as disaster areas. 

"We've had contacts from Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Palm 
Beach, Okeechobee, Martin and Broward counties," said Wyatt Thomas of the 
Florida Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. 

"In some counties — Hendry and parts of Glades — 95 per cent of the pastures 
are covered in water. The other counties run from 65 per cent on up," he said. 

Spring is supposed to be the dry season in Florida. 

"The State Disaster Committee has met and they are in the process of 
securing information from these various counties regarding the extent of 
the damage with the possibility of declaring these areas a disaster," Thomas 
said. 

"Apparently it's going to be quite bad really," he said. "The vegetable crops are 
damaged extensively. I understand the sugar cane crop for 1970 may be damaged 
heavily in some spots. There's also some discussion of health problems in the 
areas where this water is standing." 

Cattle — Florida ranks 16th in the nation in beef production — also are 
endangered. 

"I understand some cattle are dying because this thing has been going on for 
some time in some areas," Thomas said. "It's the non-availability of feed for 
the cattle that is the serious problem." 

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and flood control districts tried to help by pumping 
water from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic. But still the lake level was rising. 

Some roads were blocked with water and wet cables put several thousand 
telephones out of service. 

collier 

Rainfall that is 20 times normal for March has left Collier County truck farmers 
with less than a 30 per cent crop prospect on the third crop of the 1969-70 wintei 
season. The two other crops were almost entirely knocked out by past rains and 
cold weather. 

"We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping to do better than 30 per cent 
but we're shooting in the dark," admitted Don Lander, county agricultural agent, 
after a two-day inspection of flooded fields that would normally yield a $50 
million annual harvest from 35,000 acres. 



A weekend forecast of mild and cloudy weather gave the Lee County farmers 
their first break this week, but the crop picture remained bleak. 

Record rains of 18..58 inches since ^Nlarch 1 — 16 inches more than normal — 
have inflicted "very severe" damage to the county's $26-million agriculture 
industry, extension agent Robert Curtis .*aid. 

The county's disaster committee Thursday requested federal disaster funds 
for farmers facing their third crop failure of the season. Both previous crops 
suffered ma.ior setbacks from cold and rain. Flower growers were hard-hit 
earlier this year and now the potato crop is almost demolished, Curtis said. 



Absent a major overhaul job on our society, complete alleviation is probably impossible. 
However, a few avenues of change can be explored. The most obvious is that the President 
could be given the power to Initiate aid without a gubernatorial certification. Short of this, 
It should be possible for the appropriate Federal agencies to make their own determination. 
They should be required to do so when requested by minorities that are in a true sense, 
Federal wards, that is ; migrants, blacks in the South, Indians, chicanos, etc. Finally, a 
set of Disaster Guidelines should be established that would enable not only the relevant 
authorities, but the victims and the interested public, to determine the existence of a 
major disaster. 



5472 ! 

PALM BEACH 

Tens of thousands of acres in the Palm Beach County Everglades were still 
under water, and ranchers and farmers were comparing conditions with the \ 
1947 flood, which covered 5-million acres. 

They said further rain, as forecast, would wipe out farms and pastures. 
The corn crops have been the hardest hit, but celery, lettuce and cabbage also 
have been endangered. 

BROWAED 

A spokesman for the Pompano Beach Farmers State Market said about 55 
per cent of Broward County's $10-million vegetable crop has been lost. 

"About the only thing that can happen to us now is either a tidal wave or 
an earthquake," he said. "We've had everything else." 

County Agent Lewis Watson said, "We've had a number of setbacks, but to 
the best of my knowledge, they wouldn't qualify Broward County to be de- 
clared a disaster area." 

MARTIN 

In central Martin County west of Stuart, the seven floodgates at the St. 
Lucie Lock were discharging 10,450 cubic feet of water per second from rain- 
swollen Lake Okeechobee. 

Road crews were patching washoi:ts while the rest of the county employees 
were having an Easter holiday. Water was receding from carports, house 
yards and road intersections. 



[From the Miami Herald, Mar. 31, 1970] 
Damage to Crops Critical, Aid Asked 

Pahokee, Fla. — Spring rains have done "e^xtensive and critical" damage to 
crops and livestock in South Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Doyle Conner 
said Monday. 

Conner used an airplane and cars to cover much of the rain-stricken area and 
then wired Gov. Claude Kirk asking him to help farmers and ranchers. 

"As much as 20 inches or more of rainfall within the past three weeks to a 
month, preceded by severe cold earlier in January, have created devastating con- 
ditions and immediate need for relief," Conner told Kirk in a telegram. 

The areas effected are Martin, Palm Beach, Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Glades and 
Hendry Counties. 

Conner said that not only would crops that fill the nation's salad bowls in 
winter be cut short, but those that survive will be lower in quality. He said 
some cattle have almost no grazing room left because of standing water and 
added that he will study the livestock problem more later this week. 

Conner told Kirk that he will receive requests for disaster relief from the State 
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Disaster Committee shortly. 

Also, the director of the Air and Water Pollution Control Board Monday rec- 
ommended a review of the flood control district system in view of the flooding 
Itroblem. 

In a letter to Gov. Claude Kirk and all Cabinet officers, Director Nat Reed 
recommended that Natural Resources Director Randolph Hodges make a study 
of the system. He said he wants to know what the flood control districts are 
doing to protect "property, croplands, the deer herd and the delicate ecological 
balance of the Everglades." 

[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 1, 1970] 

Crop Damage Rbxief — Farmers Await Word on Loans 

(By Dennis D'Antonio) 

AVest Palm Beach. — With crop damage in the Glades estimated at nearly $5 
million, farmers are awaiting word today on whether Palm Beach County will 
be declared a flood disaster area. 

Tlie designation will make small farmers eligible for low interest loans to 
buy seed and fertilizer for new crops. 



5473 

County Agricultural Agent Robert Pryor estimated $4.8 million in damages 
to the $30 million crop Tuesday. He said 150 to 20O area farmers may need 
emergency loans to recoup their losses in destroyed corn, beans and leaf 
vegetables. 

Under consideration for disaster status, besides Palm Beach, are Martin, 
Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Hendry counties. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Doyle Conner said he expected word today 
from the state disaster committee, which met Tuesday, after being asked to place 
the counties on disaster status. 

Conner toured flooded farm lands in Palm Beach Monday and described the 
scene "as the worst I've ever seen." 

"You could have gone water skiing on many of the farms," he said. 

A spokesman for one of the largest farms in the county used the words 
"fcerious" and "extensive" Tuesday to describe damages to the spread's 3,000 
acres of corn and leaf vegetables. 

"We've been hurt real bad," said Tom Carpenter of South Bay Growers Inc. 
of Belle Glade. 

[From the Farm Labor Bulletin, Florida State Employment Service, Apr. 2, 1970] 
SOUTH FLOBIDA SUMMARY 

Heavy rains in most of area resulted in decreased lahor demands. Crops in 
Dade County escaped damage, but crop loss was extensive in most of the area. 
It will be several more days before damage can be fully assessed. Jobs are avail- 
able for displaced workers in the citrus area, and arrangements have been 
made to help these workers find employment when Valencia harvest becomes 
active in mid-April. 

Belle Glade 

All sugar mills closed for season. Most crops suffered damage from flooding. 
The extent of damage is not yet known. 

Delray Beach-Pompano 

Harvest activities in teans and corn slowed hy rains. Some crop damage 
occurred due to excessive rainfall. Weather conditions have resulted in under- 
employment of some crews. 

Immokalee-Fort Myers 

Underemployment due to rainy period. Crop yields have been greatly reduced 
in quantity, and quality is also below normal. 

Princeton-Homestead 

Weather conditions favorable for crops. Light to moderate rains have kept 
crops in good condition. Harvest is active in beans, tomatoes, squash, potatoes 
and com. Labor supply and demand are in good balance. 

CENTRAL FLORIDA SUMMARY 

Lull in citrus harvest continues. Volume is exjDected to increase rapidly dur- 
ing the last two weeks in April. Some concentrate plants plan to open this 
week. 

Fort Pierce 

Citrus condition good. This area also experienced vegetable loss due to heavy 
rains, resulting in underemployment of vegetable workers. 

Orlando (includes Leesburg, Sanford, and Cocoa) 

Seasonal lull prior to Valencia harvest. Grapefruit harvest continues at normal 
volume, as well as cabbage, celery and miscellaneous vegetables. 

Tampa 

Valencia maturity lagging. Volume movement of valencias is not expected 
before the first week in May. Several crews are unemployed but refuse to 
relocate. Individual crew fill-ins are needed. Tomatoes and celery are moving 
well. 



5474 

Dundee 

Citrus lull continues. Some underemployment still exists, but a rapid buildup 
in employment is expected during the last two weeks in April. Citrus bloom is 
almost finished, and prospects appear good for the 1970-71 season. 

NORTH FLORIDA SUMMABY 

Orange Heights.— Harvest of cabbage, leaf vegetables and strawberries con- 
tinuing. Preharvest is active in potatoes, melons, vegetables and field crops. 
Heavy rains during the weekend interfered with the use of workers. 

Pensacola. — Land preparation and planting resumed. Rain had previously 
hampered preharvest activities. 

Tallahassee. — Nurseries reaching peak employment. Nursery employment will 
soon begin to decline, and it is expected that these workers will be placed in 
peaches, tobacco or other crops. 

Perry. — Workers needed in Madison area to thin peaches. Peach crop is in 
excellent condition. Tobacco setting continues with smoe replanting necessary 
because of unusually heavy rains. 

[From the Miami HeraM, Apr. 2, 1970] 
Declare Disaster in Se\'en Counties, Kirk Asks U.S. 

Tallahassee. — Gov. Claude Kirk recommended Wednesday that seven Florida 
counties be declared disaster areas because of recent heavy flooding. 

Kirk sent U.S. Agriculture Secretary Clifford Hardin a telegram urging that 
the counties be declared disaster areas, meaning they would be eligible for fed- 
eral funds. 

"The disaster is the result of a series of events beginning with a freeze in 
December, 1969. The freeze killed pasture forage. A total of 24 plus inches of 
rain has fallen since December which has kept pastures under water," Kirk 
said. 

Kirk said it is estimated that 90 per cent of the pasture land in Hendry County 
is covered by water and 65 per cent is flooded in the other counties. 

Counties included in Kirk's recommendation were Hendry, Lee, Palm Beach, 
Okeechobee, Charlotte, Collier and Glades. 

Some cattle have starved to death in the flooded area because they could not 
find food. 

The governor said State Health Secretary Dr. James Bax and Community 
Affairs Secretary James Richardson will give all possible assistance through 
their agencies to residents of the stricken area. 

Thousands of deer face death because of flooding in the Everglades converva- 
tion area in several of the counties. 

Nine counties have been hard hit by the flood but Broward and Martin were 
not included in Kirk's request for designation as disaster areas. 



[From the Palm Beach Post, Apr. 3, 1970] 

Migrant's Legal Aides Charge State Fails the Jobless 

(By Mike Abrams) 

Belle Glade. — State agencies are not aiding agricultural workers out of work 
as a result of heavy rainfall and crop failure, Migrant Legal Service personnel 
in South Florida claimed yesterday. 

It is estimated up to 70 per cent of Glades agricultural workers are not able 
to earn money after the spring floods, and Gov. Claude Kirk has requested seven 
counties be named disaster areas. 

Florida Rural Legal Services investigator Elijah Boone in Belle Glade said 
migrant oflScers were coordinating a fact-finding commission to convince the 
state to request special aid to indigent farm workers. 

Migrant Services Foundation Executive Director Joe Segor. in Miami, urged 
Gov. Kirk to go directly to President Nixon in requests for disaster aid under 
the Disaster Relief Act. 

Kirk had requested the relief from Secretary of Agriculture Clifford Hardin. 



5475 

A spokesman for the State Department of Commerce said his oflace would at- 
tempt to transport migrants to pick other crops in northern Florida and Georgia, 
but has not started the plan. 

Segor reported "sympathy" from the state's secretary of community affairs, 
James Richardson, on the migrant problem. Richardson is the main advisor to 
Gov. Kirk on the disaster situation, but he has not received reports of unem- 
ployment in the Glades, Segor said. 

"And that's what we're up against," he said. 

Legal Service Investigator Boone, a former migrant crew leader, said "about 
four or five" buses out of a usual 30 or 40 are at the Belle Glade loading 
ramps each morning to take workers to the fields. 

"We took a light survey and anywhere from 50 to 70 per cent of farm 
workers are unemployed as the result of high water," he said. 

"These people are not out on the street corners." he said. "They're shy, de- 
jected, and many of them are illiterate. They're in their homes getting hungry." 

Boone said the agricultural workers required emergency money which has 
not been provided by state agencies. In the past, indigents have been referred 
to legal service offices for emergency aid by state and county agencies but the 
service doesn't have funds to help them. 

Florida Rural Legal Services Belle Glade office manager Tom Carey said 
migrants may not be able to travel north to pick citrus, as state government 
officials have suggested. 

"These people specialize in the crops they pick," he said. "You can't pick 
oranges in Orlando right now because they'd just go oflE the market. And who 
is going to pay for the cost of them going?" 

Officials of the Glades Citizens Association reported they will contact Rep. 
Paul Rogers (D-Fla.) about the unemployment problem. 

Rogers is scheduled to make a tour of the disaster area this morning. 



[From the Miami News, Apr. 10, 1970] 

Hunger, Lack of Jobs Stalk Florida's Migrant Pickers 

(By Verne O. Williams) 

Belle Glade. — Migrant pickers thrown out of work by crop-killing floods that 
covered the rich mucklands around Lake Okeechobee in recent weeks complain 
bitterly that more attention is paid to the plight of Everglades deer than to 
starving people. 

Walk through the migrant quarters of lakeside farming towns like South 
Bay. Pahokee of Belle Glade and the complaint is the same. 

"They get real concerned about deer, but who worries about us?" asked one 
man in overalls standing by a fleet of idle farm-labor buses. 

Gov. Claude Kirk has asked federal officials to declare seven counties in the 
lake farming belt a "crop diaster area" — thus making farmers eligible for govern- 
ment loans. But this will do nothing for the farm workers, their spokesmen say. 

"According to an official survey, 70 per cent of the crops were destroyed by 
flood," says Edward Parker, Florida Council of Churches representative. "This 
means that 70 per cent of the people who work in this area have no jobs and 
no food." 

Parker estimated that 70,000 people — migrant and local farm workers and their 
families — are involved. 

"Some of these people are in a state of starvation already," he said. 

The Florida Christian Migrant Ministry met yesterday and issued a resolution 
calling on Gov. Kirk and President Nixon to declare a "disaster area" for people 
in the Glades farming area. 

At a joint meeting attended by migrant group spokesmen, the FCMM also 
decided to send representatives to Tallahassee next week to see Kirk. 

The mood of some of the migrants at the meeting was militant. They talked 
of marching on Tallahassee. 

"Our people are marching now in Naples because we are tired of living this 
way," said Ernest Figueroa, member of the "Brown Beret" migrant group. 

A tour of the lake area showed that most of the workers were in the fields har- 
vesting celery when heavy rains struck in early March. As the water drained ofC 
mildew and rot attacked the crop. 



5476 

More rain came two weeks later and all but finished the celery along with other 
leaf crops like endive, escarole and lettuce. 

"If I was working in the celery until it got the black spot," said Mi-s. Ruby 
Morrison, of Clewiston. "Now there's no work until the tomatoes. And nobody 
knows if we gonna work then." 

Those who are working say they are making less money because they have to go 
slow and clean the mildew-spotted leaves from the crop. 

"You got to clean all the 'feather' leaves off the celery," said Mrs. Nellie Byrd, 
in Belle Glade. "I'm still working but I don't know how long." 

Mrs. Byrd came "a thousand miles" from Hayti, Mo. last September to work 
in the Belle Glade fields. She pays $23 a week rent for three rooms for her 
family on Joe Louis Avenue here. These quarters are in a "row house," a multi- 
family building like a barracks with a tin roof. The only water is outside at a 
spigot. 

The migrants pointed out double padlocks on some doors. These mean the 
occupant is behind in the rent and the "rent man" has added his padlock to the 
hasp to keep the tenant out. 

Some of the pickers said they would leave the end of this month for Georgia 
and the tomato crop there. They are the lucky ones who have saved enough 
money to get by. 

[From the Miami News, Apr. 13, 1970] 
Disaster for Migrants, Too 

The Florida Council of Chui'ches makes a good point when it reminds us 
that everyone is worrying about the deer and the farmers in the high water 
crisis, but very little concern is evidenced over the jobless migrant workers. 

Steps must be taken to protect the dwindling deer herds, of course, and the 
farmers may well need the loans which the federal government provides for 
such lost-crop emergencies. 

But as usual, the migrant workers are the last to receive attention. 

A Miami News reporter, who visited the migrant camps, at the request of the 
Council of Churches and Christian Migrant Ministry, was told that when floods 
destroyed 70 per cent of the crops, 70 per cent of the migrants were out of work. 
And when migrants don't work they don't eat, nor can they pay rent. 

Their condition should be the first to receive attention, from the state and 
from the federal departments which dispense emergency funds. 



[From the Miami Herald, Apr. 10, 1970] 

Collier Courthouse Picketed — Migrants Ask More Aid 

(By Tom Morgan) 

East Naples. — Eighty-seven Mexican-American migrant workers and their 
children picketed the Collier County Courthouse here Thursday to protest what 
they said is a lack of federal aid to unemployed after disastrous rains. Their 
claims were disputed by county and state oflScials. 

The group was led by Ramon Rodriguez, who said he is a sophomore federal aid 
student at the University of South Florida but who refused to identify the 
program because that's a personal thing, do we have to get into it?" 

The migrants carried signs when they disembarked from 11 cars and trucks 
saying "Rescue farm workers first, deer second," and "Don't forget us, it's a 
disa.ster for us also." Six of the vehicles carried Collier County tags and the 
rest were from Palm Beach, Hendry and Lee Counties. 

Many of those protesting were the brown berets and brown shirts of Los 
Chicanos, an activist Mexican-American group for whom Rodriquez was the 
spokesman. They distributed leaflets with cards carrying a John F. Kennedy 
statement : "If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revo- 
lution inevitable." 

"We are protesting the situation in Immokalee and the five counties of the 
disaster area," Rodriquez roared over a jwwerful bullhorn. "The farmers are 
getting $3 million and the deers $3,000 while there is nothing done for the worker, 
who are contributing to the economy. 



5477 

"The food stamps are doing nothing. If there is no money for us we might just 
take over this government center. Now everybody turn and let the police take 
your pictures and then they will know you and can arrest you on trumix'd-up 
charges." 

After repeated claims by Rodriquez that the food stamps "are becoming more 
and more exorbitant, they used to be $100 worth for $30 and now they're nearer 
one for one," Gerald Evans, district administrator of that program came forward. 

Evans said that in March alone this county has $70,987 in stamps issued for 
which migrants paid $20,666, "so that's $50,321 without cost to them that some 
.body else paid for or $39 for each of the 1,S06 people that cost them $11 each." 



[From the Belle Glade, Apr. 14, 1970] 
Commissioners Hear Report ox "Hunger Touk" 

At Monday night's regularly scheduled city commission meeting, Mayor Dr. 
John Grady presented a report concerning last week's demonstration by migrant 
laborers claiming hunger and lack of jobs, and the tour of the area at the same 
time by two Catholic priests from the Miami Arih Diocese. 

Gi-ady stated that he and a group composed of growers, state employment 
agency representatives, welfare department workers, and some other employers 
in this area met to di.scuss the situation recently. 

"Out-of-town parties have come here and made a tour of our area." Grady 
st<ited. "thinking that there were no jobs available for farm labor here and that 
families were starving. 

"The source of this tour." Grady charged, "originated with the people in the 
Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) office." 

Grady continued, "It appears that this was an organized attempt to cause prob- 
lems in the Glades. People with good intentions and the priests were used in the 
attempt." 

He reported that employers' payrolls in the area have remained steady and 
that there are job openings for tractor drivers, sod cutters, and others. 

"Some instances of poverty and unemployment do exist here," Grady ad- 
mitted, "but there has not been a great increase. And, until the day of the dem- 
onstration itself, the welfare office reported no great increase in people applying 
for help there. These people supposedly interested in helping the farm labor never 
went to the trouble to find out ahead of time about jobs and hunger here." 

Grady stated that a man named Segor who u.sed to be with the Migrant Legal 
Services office in Belle Glade instigated the whole situation, and Grady further 
stated that members of the local Florida Rural Legal Services Staff went on the 
tour with the Catholic priests. 

In concluding his report. Grady stated "There is free food given away in this 
community every Wednesday, and welfare provides emergency help for families 
in need. The people in city government here are not going to tolerate this outside 
stuff." 

THE OTHER SIDE 

Tuesday morning the Herald questioned Florida Rural Legal Services Attor- 
ney Steve .Johnson concerning the allegations made by Mayor Grady. 

"First of all," .Johnson stated, "the tour was not organized by persons em- 
ployed in this office. The tour was conducted by the Organization of Migrants 
within the Community Action program. Father McMahon one of the priests on 
the tour from Miami, was in and out of this office on the day the Incident occurred. 
He was using our telephone, attempting to contact Dr. Grady, the employment 
service officials, and other community leaders to ask them to go on the tour with 
him. so that he would get a complete picture of the situation with all views 
represented. None of the people he contacted was willing to go on the tour with 
him. 

"The Mr. Segor Dr. Grady holds responsible for the tour has not been with 
the FRLS for some time. He is employed by a non-government, privately fumled 
and operated organization called the Migrant Services Foundation. Pie is in no 
way affiliated with the FRLS." 

.Johnson stated that he and the FRLS Acting Director both attended the meet- 
ing held at the county road department, where Father McMahon read a letter 
36-513— 71— pt. 8B 7 



5478 

from an employment bureau oflScial stating that jobs were available in tbis 
area and in the citrus producing areas of the state. 

"As an attorney," Johnson explained, "I must take the position my client 
chooses. If a client tells me his family is hungry and he can't find work, then 
I must represent him to the best of my ability. This includes advising him to 
seek help from social and welfare agencies. There seems to be a discrepancy 
between the idea that jobs are available and the fact that there are men unable 
to find jobs." 

Johnson stated that last week he visited the loading ramps to talk to growers 
about job availability. "One of the large growers told me there was plenty of 
work to be done, but that he has lost 250 acres of celery and was taking four 
fewer busloads of labor out to work on his crop." 



[From the Belle Glade, Apr. 14, 1970] 
Migrant Leaders Given Letter on Labor Cond. 

About 50 migrant farm workers were among those demonstrating at the 
Welfare oflSces in the Glades Office Building, Friday, following a meeting at the 
county barn. Leader of the group was Father John McMahou of the Arch Diocese 
of Miami in the office to coordinate church work in the rural community. 

Father McMahon said that a proposed tour of the area was changed to a 
meeting to accommodate Bryan M. Page, area farm labor supervisor. Repeated 
changes in the meeting time however, found Page unable to attend and a letter- 
statement on the labor status "at the present time" was delivered to Father 
McMahon and read to his group. 

The tour was originally planned to investigate the rumor of job shortages due 
to unseasonable rains and reportedly ruined crops, said Father McMahon. "When 
the tour was changed to a meeting we thought the migrants should hear Pages' 
position also." said Father McMahon. 

Belle Glade Mayor Dr. John L. Grady, was invited to attend the proposed tour. 
"At the planned departure time," said Father McMahon, "there was no repre- 
sentative from the city present." 

Page's letter stated that "Our Agency Is Strictly a Service Agency," (his 
capitalization), The letter pointed out that there was some under-employment, or 
workers working on a 3- to 4-day basis, but that the Belle Glade Office "has been 
unable to fill all the demands for thinning corn." 

Father McMahon was invited to send any workers in need of a job to one of 
the local Farm Labor Offices in South Florida, located in Belle Glade, Delray, 
Immokalee and Princeton. 

"We will be glad to refer them to a local job or to a job in citrus . . . who 
need labor badly." 

"For your further information, The Belle Glade Office has job openings for 
next Monday in celery and sugarcane." 

Page again stressed that the Farm Labor Offices were "a service agency, serv- 
ing both the workers and the growers. Furthermore, it is our agency's position 
that no emergency exists when work is available locally or in the citrus area." 

Accompanying Father McMahon were Father Jerry Singleton, who is attached 
to the Rural Life Bureau ; August Vanden Bosche, director of Florida Christian 
Migrant Ministry, offices in Miami ; and Rudolpho Juarez, representing the 
Rural Organization Coalition (ROC) for farm workers and "poor people in 
general," and executive director of Organization of Migrants in CommiTuity 
Action (OMICA). 

[From the Miami News, Apr. 15, 1970] 

Migrants Ask Kirk for Heilp 

(By Georgia Martinez) 

Belle Glade. — Petitions and affidavits signed by more than 200 farm workers 
from four counties were sent to Gov. Claude Kirk Tuesday urging him to invoke 
the 1969 Disaster Act. . 

Enclosed in a thick brown folder and submitted by the Rural Organization 
Coalition, the petitions, affidavits and reports signed by farm workers and leaders 



5479 

of farm organizations in Palm Beach, Hendry, Collier and Okeechobee counties 
state that because of the present conditions brought on by freezes and heavy rains 
there is large unemployment and hunger among the workers. 

"Hunger in a bread basket region is a wrong which is present in the glades," 
Rodolfo S. Juarez, executive director of OMICA, wrote in a cover letter to the 
governor. 

"It is somewhat unbelievable that those who are employed in feeding the nation 
are themselves starving. Only you can aid these poor people. 

"We urge you to ask President Nixon to invoke the Disaster Act of 1969 for this 
region, which will allow the unemployed farm workers to obtain food for their 
bellies and will help them in obtaining shelter." 

Juarez says ROC plans to ask everyone to try to get help and that the organi- 
zation would like Kirk to come and talk to the people himself. 

Juarez said Dr. James Bax, Secretary of Health and Rehabilitative Services, 
and James Richardson, Secretary of Community Affairs, visited the area briefly 
Tuesday. 

Juarez said he invited Dr. Bax and Richardson to read the report ROC has com- 
piled, but they refused and would not talk with him or other workers in the area. 



[From the Palm Beach Post, May 6, 19701 
Faemeks Face Lack of Help 

Belle Glade. — Flooding March rains and a northern asparagus crop may have 
lured hundreds of migrants to the Northeast, leaving winter vegetables farmers 
in the Glades with a labor shortage, a farm labor spokesman reported. 

Although a mass migration has not taken place, Glades area farmers face labor 
problems with corn, tomato, and watermelon crops, according to Florida Farm 
Labor Bureau Statistician Walter Kates. 

At the same time, a spokesman for the New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland 
areas said farmers were having no trouble getting workers. 

•'Some of these migrants came up early," said Fred Watts, New Jersey chief 
of the Bureau of Farm Labor in Trenton, N.J. 

"We had to give a lot of them odd jobs because our asparagus crop was about 
10 days late," he said. "If they had any earlier, we would have had some real 
problems up here." 

Watts said most of the workers in the Northeast who recently migrated were 
Puerto Ricans and Mexican-Americans. He said about 170 bus loads had come 
into New Jersey since the beginning of that state's growing season. 

He said Florida Farm Labor Bureau officials had reported to him an oversup- 
ply of workers in the Glades several weeks ago caused by the spring rains. 

"A couple weeks ago they really had disastrous unemployment," he said. 

Florida statistician Kates said orders for corn pullers needed by May 13 have 
been placed by Glades area farmers. The piece rate pay for corn pulling is about 
13 or 14 cents a crate, he added. 

The tomatoes and watermelons are located in the Immokalee area, according to 
Kates. 

Senator Moxdale. Mr. Juarez, I understand you do not have a 
prepared statement. 
Mr. Juarez. No, I don't. 

STATEMENT OF RTJDOLFO JUAREZ, MIGRANT FARMWORKER, 

FLORIDA 

Mr. JuAKEz. In stating that the documentary failed to show, it failed 
to show, for example, the flooding, the constant flooding of people in 
the fxeids. And, as we saw, many of our people, because of the January 
freeze and because of the flooding in March, have been able to work 
only for a period of an hour, an hour and a half, two or three davs a 
week. It failed to show a gathering of people of apiiroximately 200, 
gathering in a county barn while they were filming 3 miles away.' 



5480 : 

It failed to show that these people were there seeking assistance in 
commodity foods, where they had been refused such food three or 
four days before because of the result of flooding. 

It fails to show how the State officials and county officials continue to 
ignore the pleas of farmworkers in the State of Florida. It failed to 
show also the discrimination that we encounter daily. It failed to show 
some of our people, for example, such I will give you an example of 
what happens in the fields. 

A 14-year-old boy poisoned by pesticides, a woman who was scalped 
by a machine while working, a child losing her toes while working 
along with her parents, and the constant exploitation by crew leaders 
and contractors in the process of payroll of the families in the fields. 

It failed to show how they are exploited by various businessmen, 
local stores, insurance companies. It failed to show many things that: 
happen daily that we experience day-by-day in such counties and 
States where we harvest the fields. 

To give you an example of w^hat Mr. Joseph Segor said about the 
James Archer Smith Hospital, there \mve been children with broken 
arms brought from the playgrounds of the school, who arrived there 
sometimes at 10 o'clock in the morning, seeking medical attention for a 
broken arm, with a crying mother, worried mother, and being refused 
and referred to the children's hosi)ital in ]\Iiami, and from there being 
referred to a private physician, and from there being referred to the 
Jackson Memorial Hospital, which is 30 miles away from the area of 
Homestead, and there not being taken care of until 9 o'clock or 10 
o'clock at night by a doctor at tlie Jackson Memorial Hospital. The 
child sutlers all day with the pain in his arm. 

In 2 weeks' time we experienced three accidents of this sort, three 
children with broken arms, who were unable to obtain medical atten- 
tion in any hospital close to the Homestead area, where they ended up 
with the Jackson Memorial Hospital, where it is so overloaded with 
people. 

It failed to show how many children, for example, not being able 
to obtain such medical services, especially in the South Dade labor 
camp. In the South Dade labor camp, the county health department 
operates a small clinic. Of our children who have died of pneumonia — 
many of our children lie on the dirty mattresses that are provided, 
that have been there, I believe, since the camp was first built. Our 
children lie there covered with sores. You cannot even see their sores 
because they are covered with flies. Some of these sores have been 
produced as a result of so many erosions. 

I have such scars on my own arms from the times I have had to sleep 
with some of these people in their homes, sometimes not having 
enough money to rent my own room, because I live about 150 miles 
from where I do most of my work. In some of these homes you cannot 
even walk without stepping on roaches, scorpions. 

It failed to show also the process in which the farmworkers are 
exploited constantly day-by-day through the process of payroll. They 
are paid, for example, by tickets when they are doing piecework in 
the tomato fields. By refusal to give them a ticket, the person giving' 
the ticket which is hired by the contractor and crew leader can merely 
say that he did not pick the right tomatoes that should have been 
picked. And thus it gives him authority to refuse the ticket, which 



5481 

sometimes bears the price of $30 or 15 cents or down to 12 cents. 

This past season in the beginning of the crop, the price for the 
tomato bucket was 30 cents. Immediately after the freeze it went down 
to 12 cents a bucket, because there were hundreds of people overflow- 
ing the fields. Some of them just merely standing there watching others 
work or waiting for the possibility of the farmer producing more 
buckets so that they could also try to make a dollar or two, which is 
what the others were making, because there was not enough work for 
them. 

This year most of the farmers enjoyed themselves because they were 
able to run people home, to send them home, or keep them standing 
there. They were able to fire on the spot any people that they felt were 
not capable of doing the job and hire some of those who were standing 
on tlie line trving to find a job. 

Mr. Josepli Segor mentioned some of this that we suffered on the 
floods. 

OMICA is a member of RCC, which is a rural coalition organization 
composed of various organizations and groups that have been formed 
in the State of Florida" in an effort to unify and become stronger to 
deal with those who continuously exploit us and discriminate against 
us. 

AVlien we heard tliat there was a survey made by Riciiardson. the 
Secretary for Community Affairs, and that he had not mentioned 
one farmworker, although he had mentioned that 70 percent of the 
crops had been destroyed in seven comities, he also mentioned that 
many of the deer were dying, but not one word was mentioned about 
the farmworkers who mainly depend on these crops. 

We made a survey and found that the farmers were actually evict- 
ing some of the families since they no longer had any jobs for 
them. We found that many of the families had nothing to eat, no food 
on their tables. We found that many of them were worried as to 
where they would go, because they had no money to pay rent, the 
excessive rent that is charged by the farmers. 

The same people went to the county welfare department to seek 
commodity assistance. These families were refused by merely stating 
that they had not lived a year there, that they were not informed 
that it was no longer so. 

So, as a result of the people contacted, various groups, wlio are 
also members of ROC, contacted OMICA, for example. OMICA got 
active in contacting some organizations. And thus we were able to 
develop some facts as to the amount of unemployment that existed. 

When these people came to the county barn, the farmers' county 
barn, in Belle Glade, we found that Richardson as well as Bax and 
a guy from the state unemployment office were there. We confronted 
them. 

The people pleaded and told them to include them, to try to get 
some assistance for them. As a result, they went inside, the people 
went inside because this man who was there completely ignored them. 
They refused even to sit with local agencies and with local groups, 
such as OMICA, to discuss the amount of unemployment because of 
tlie floods and to discuss the problems that had been created because 
of this. 



5482 

But this was to no avail, because they refused to speak. We found 
out afterwards that they had fiown to Naples, where we again con- 
tacted another chapter of OMICA to try to again speak to the peo- 
ple so that we might be heard, so that they might listen to the pleas 
of the farm workers, so that they might also be informed, just as well 
as the farmer, if the farmer lost his crop, then how is the farmwork- 
er going to earn his money for the rent, for his food, for his cloth- 
ing or for his trip that he was preparing for up North. 

As a result of that flood and that freeze and the loss of these crops, 
many of the migrants have stayed in Florida because they have no 
money to travel. Many of the migrants lost their cars, their pickups, 
their means of travel. And many of them lost their homes in Texas. 

Right now, yesterday, while the hearings were going on, the same 
migrants have returned, because not many jobs are available or have 
stayed on because of no money to travel. Their water is being cut off 
because they are not needed by the farmer now. 

Very few of them are hired. Those who are already hired are those 
who have worked for the farmers year-after-year, which are the sea- 
sonal farmworkers, or those who drive tractors or thin some of the 
crops. But the migrants who have stayed cannot find jobs. And even 
those who try to get out of agriculture and try to go through the 
employment office to apply for a construction job or a job outside 
of agriculture, their applications are never reviewed. They never 
hear from the employment office unless a farmer happens to be in need 
of somebody to clear a ditch or work in the fields. 

My assistant director, Joe Alexander, suffered some brutal beatings 
about 3 weeks ago. This I say because on the documentary they 
showed where people were run out of the camp at the point of a gun. 
We are run out not at the point of a gun but with actual bullets in 
many j^laces. 

Senator Mondale. In the documentary there were a few examples 
shown of where the newsman with a camera was told to get off the 
property, not to ask questions of the migrants. But it is your testi- 
mony that when community organizers go on the property, they are 
often beaten up ; and even shot. 

Mr. Juarez. They are beaten up in the camp or followed out on 
the lonely roads. They are followed and beaten up on a lonely road. 
They are threatened, or their cars are shot up with bullets along those 
highways. 

Senator Mondale. You say that has happened recently ? 

Mr. Juarez. This happens various times. 

Senator Mondale. Did you say that your assistant was beaten up 
3 weeks ago ? 

Mr. Juarez. Yes, sir. 

Senator Mondale. What happened to him ? 

Mr. Juarez. We have various members who have migrated from 
the County of Dade into the Ruskin-Palmetto-Bradenton, area and 
Sarasota, which is not far from Tampa. Members of OMICA who 
were wearing their OMICA buttons would be fired from their jobs, 
or members of OMICA who were merely complaining of the hous-' 
ing conditions. 

When my assistant director went to see these people, he spent, I 
believe, about a month there or a month and a half. He was found 



5483 

out. He was threatened. He continued to see these people and informed 
them and continued to send us information in the office that we have 
at Homestead. 

Then one day he was followed. He was beaten up. And, as a result, 
he suffered injuries, not permanent injuries. But his face was pretty- 
well beaten up. 

This is done sometimes to our own people, because money is what 
talks in this Nation and because some of our people — there are various 
tools and means and ways that are used. They can be forced to do 
things because they might be in debt with a farmer or contractor, if 
the farmer promised to forget about a bill or about a debt, or if he 
offers a good amount of money. Some of our own people sometimes 
do this. 

Senator Mondale. In other words, occasionally they will even hire 
Chicanos to beat up community organizers. 

Mr. Juarez. Especially Chicanos, who might very well be along the 
middle class already, or Chicanos who have been so brainwashed and 
since they have never experienced what the migrant farmworker has 
experienced, migrating throughout the States, he too does not under- 
stand the things that we are trying to show him or the things that we 
express. 

There are otlier times also when the farmworkers, for example, will 
protest in the fields. I know of one incident where three farmworkers 
were kept in a watermelon field all night. Tliere was about 15 cars of 
Anglos, Gringos, who parked at the edge of this field. If it had not 
been that one of them had a rifle — he was supposedly guarding the 
watermelon fields — if it had not been that this man shot two shots in 
the air, probably all the Gringos would have gone into the field and 
done away with those three men who were there merely trying to do 
a job. 

There are all kinds of things that we experience that you would have 
to live them. I have lived them all my life. I sometimes feel ashamed to 
claim that I used to be a crew leader. But in a way I am glad, because 
I was able to experience in many ways, for example, that the crew 
leaders and the contractors cheat our people. 

As I look at it now, they cheat them just by the system. Because a 
farmworker is not able to work or establish close relations with the 
farmer, therefore he loses opportunities, for example, to get a better 
job or a better position. Usually those who do get better positions 
are the sons or the daughters of the crew leaders, themselves. 

Many of the farmers sometimes claim that there are payrolls made 
as high as a hundred dollars a week or $150 a week, collected by farm- 
workers. But they fail to state the amount of people working on that 
same payroll, because our traditions have been that the parent is the 
one that collects the whole payroll. 

Senator Mond/Vle. How old were you when you first started work 
as a migrant ? 

Mr. Juarez. About 5 years old. 

Senator Mondat^e. How many were in your family at that time ? 

Mr. Juarez. Twelve. 

Senator Mondale. Did you all work in the fields ? 

Mr. Juarez. Those who were — I was the youngest when we did start. 

Senator Mondale. The wliole family would go into the fields? 



5484 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. 

Senator MoNDALE. The pay would then 2:0 to your father? 

]Mr. Juarez. Yes, th.at is the tradition. It is the tradition of the 
Mexican-Americans, the Chicanos. The parent collects the payroll. If 
there are any deductions, it is deducted from that one payroll. 

Senator Mondale. So that many times when we hear these state- 
ments, as we did on the documentaiy, of how much money is made, 
very often that is a whole family involved. 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Senator Mondale. It ma}^ be several children, including the wife. 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Senator Mondale. When you break it down to how much that leaves 
per capita after deductions 

Mr. Juarez. If you break it down, it will amount to about $7 or $8 
at the most, or $9 a day, if it was a good day's work. 

I know when I took my family to pick cherries in Traverse City, 
Mr. Chairman, I would draw $90 to $100 a week. But this was with my 
wife and I and seven children that worked. This was the case with so 
many other families that worked in the fields. 

This past season when I went among the migrants who migrated, 
for example, to North Port, Mr. Chairman, the crew leader and the 
boss, the farmer, were talking about being investigated by the Social 
Security Department or being investigated because they were not 
deducting social security. 

In an effort to keep from deducting social security, the farmer 
asked the crew leader to a])ply for social security numbers or to name 
each members of the family separately, so that the amount of payroll 
drawn by the parent could never exceed the amount where they 
would be able to deduct social security. Thus, if a parent had three or 
four sons or daughters, they would all state their social security 
number. 

Because of the amount of rain and because it is always like that, 
they never reach the amount that they have to roach before social se- 
curity can be deducted. 

Senator Mondale. How many years, Mr. Juarez, have you person- 
ally been involved as a farmworker and migrant ? 

Mr. Juarez. I don't think I have ever been out. 

Senator Mondale. You started when you were 5 years old. How old 
are you now. 

Mr. Juarez. I am 31. 

Senator Mondale. Would you say that the conditions of the farm- 
worker and the migrant have improved substantially during this pe- 
riod, or not? 

Mr. Juarez. No, because I remember the first year that we traveled 
from Texas to the sugar beet companies in Ohio with many other fam- 
ilies, especially on the highways that we traveled, we could not find 
a plac« to stop. We could not find a place to rest. We could not find a 
decent place to eat. 

I remember that all we ate was bologna and bread, which is the only 
thing that you might be able to buy when you are traveling on a . 
highway. 

Some of these same houses that have been in existence for 15 or 20 
years are still there, where we have lived. I visited Arkansas and 



5485 

Missouri, part of the places where I was raised. And there are liouses 
and people still living in them, except for those farmers who burned 
their houses because of the migration of the blacks and the Chicanos 
who migrated into citrus or other States because of the cotton-picking 
machines. 

Senator Mondale. It is your testimony that in some 25 years that 
you have been a farmworker and migrant, the conditions have not 
improved ? 

Mr. Juarez. To my way of feeling, no. The farmworker is still 
discriminated against. He is unaccepted in the community. He is still 
being exploited by farmers, by crew leaders, by contractors, by the 
stores from which he buys, by insurance companies. You name it. The 
whole society is against us. 

Senator Mondale. Did you see the NBC documentary the other 
night entitled "Migrant— An NBC IVliite Paper"? 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Would you say that documentary overstates the 
plight of the migrant or understates it ? 

INIr. Juarez. I would say that it understates it. 

Senator Mondale. It understates it ? 

IVIr. Juarez. Yes, in many ways. 

Senator Mondale. I know your testimony recounted that. But I 
Avanted to get your response to the direct question. 

Could it not be the case, in fact, that with mechanization, the plight 
of the migrant is even worse than it has been ? 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. You have recounted the fact that many of the 
migrants are returning home early this year. 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Normally, if it is a good crop year, they would 
go north and stay in the stream from late spring until sometime in 
the fall? 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. And they would go from one crop to the next? 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Senator Mondale. But this year many of them are returning home 
early ? 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Senator Mondale. To Florida, where there is no employment. 

Mr. Juarez. And some of them never left. 

Senator Mondale. And some of them never left. And I gather for 
some of them it is because of the fact that mechanization is taking over 
some of the work. 

Mr. Juarez. That is right. I remember, for example, in west Texas, 
around the Lubbock area, where I used to stand barefooted or take 
along my friend with my parents when we were picking cotton, and 
actually the same thing that happened then is happening now in vari- 
ous States because of mechanization. 

There has already been mentioned tomato-picking machines in Flor- 
ida. When that happens, I don't know what the migrant farmworker 
13 going to do. They have a lot of cherry-shakers in Michigan now. 
They have a pickle machine. 



5486 

Many of us used to go to work for the Heinz Pickle Co. in Cedar 
Rapids and various other pickle companies we used to work with. 
They don't have the amount of work available for the migrants that 
they used to have. 

Senator Mondale. In a situation where a migrant father, wife and 
family start north this year for a job, do they know for sure that the 
jobs that they had the previous year will be available again to them? 
Or is the whole risk of finding out the current labor situation on them ? 
Do they get any help from the State employment service, the Fed- 
eral Farm Labor Service, or anyone else to help them, and says, 
"Wait a minute, there is no point going north this year to pick that 
crop, because those jobs are not there anymore"? Are there too many 
migrants going north seeking jobs which don't exist any longer, and 
are they forced to compete for the few that remain ? What is the condi- 
tion? 

Mr. Juarez. They get absolutely no help from the State employment 
office. They get absolutely none. 

For example, if the crops are bad up north, naturally the State 
employment office is not going to mention it to the farmworker, be- 
cause regardless of how bad the crop is in Michigan or Indiana or Ohio, 
or whatever State they travel to, some of these people are still wanted 
because they are wanted to gather what little there is. They don't par- 
ticularly care about the amount of people. They want to assure them- 
selves that they are going to have enough labor. 

Some of them, for example, we have gotten information back as far 
as Wyoming, where some people have migrated for si^inrar beets . They 
found that there was not as many sugar beet fields as there used to be, 
as there was last year. Many of them, however, are not informed. The 
only ones that are doing anj'^ informing to the farmworker is the farm- 
worker organizations, which is themselves. They are informing them 
through a nationwide communication, where the work is available or 
wherever the bad weather struck or wherever they have established 
another machine, where it will be liarder for the f armworkei- to survive. 

But it is hard for the migrant to decide to stay in a place where there 
is no longer any employment. It is hard for him to decide to stay there. 
So he gambles, and he continues to migrate regardless of what some- 
times another farmworker will tell him. 

This year we experienced the same thing. We informed various 
farmworkers about the conditions up North. We informed them about 
what was happening in the Florida State, in our comities. Yet what 
they would do, they would move sooner in order to try to be there 
before anybody else arrived. And they found everybody doing the same 
thing. 

Senator Mondale. They all arrived much earlier, for far fewer jobs? 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Senator Mondale. As these jobs are disappearing due to mechaniza- 
tion, what about the number of migrants in the migrant force? Are 
there still new recruits in the migrant stream coming from Texas and 
elsewhere to inflate the number of farmworkers ? 

Mr. Juarez. Yes. I personally reported approximately about 800 
illegals from Mexico who were brought by various crew leaders, who 
go all the way to the border and bring them to Florida. 



5487 

Senator Mondale. In other words, while these jobs are disappear- 
ing, they are still going to Texas to recruit illegals to come to Florida ? 

Mr. Juarez. Right. They are still bringing in offshore labor, too. 

For example, we tried to help some by recruiting, ourselves, some of 
the farmworkers, and encouraging them to go to citrus, to work in 
citrus. But when they arrived there, there was no housing available to 
them or they were just not hired. Some of them returned. Some of 
them got hired, and some of them didn't. 

Senator Mondale. Would it be fair to say that the desperate condi- 
tion of the farmworker along the Texas-Mexican border, and the pos- 
sibility of free entrance across that border by poor Mexicans, creates 
such a desperate situation that in large numbers they are continuing to 
flow to Florida and other places in a desperate search for work. 

Mr. Juarez. Riglit. 

Senator Mondale. So that as jobs are disappearing due to mech- 
anization, the actual size of the farmwork force is increasing, due, in 
some significant part, to the desperate conditions resulting from border 
crossings. And, in addition to that, they are bringing in more than 
nationals — sucli as British West Indians — in large numbers into 
Florida for sugar cane. Is that correct ? 

Mr. Juarez. I believe they have 1,800 offshore laborers for citrus, 
too. 

Senator Mondale. For citrus, not for sugar cane ? 

Mr. Juarez. Specifically for citrus. 

Senator Mondale. Is that larger this year than last year ? 

Mr. Segor. It is some hundreds larger. 

The worry is what happens in the future. They have their foot in 
the barn door, and they are going to kick it open. 

Senator Mondale. That is the direction they are going. 

So while the farmworker situation becomes increasingly desperate, 
the supply of foreign labor is increasing. 

Mr. Juarez. Right. 

Also, because of this crossing of Mexicans from Mexico into the 
State of Texas, it forces other people to migrate from the State of 
Texas into Florida. 

Senator Mondale. As a matter of fact, most of the Chicanos in 
Florida are there because the situation was so desperate along the 
Mexican border. Is that right ? 

Mr. Juarez. Right. As a result of that hurricane that hit the State 
of Texas, we gained more migrants in the State of Florida, and we 
continue to gain more migrants because of the conditions in the State 
of Texas — and because of the shortage of jobs in States like Wyoming, 
Arizona, and even California. 

So they will come to Florida. And from there they will migrate to 
eastern States. 

For example, many farmworkers just 3 weeks ago arrived in the 
State of Florida, who had never been there before. But they have 
heard from others that there is work available there, as little as there 
is, but that there fire jobs available. They found themselves isolated 
from their home State. They found themselves jobless. And they 
sought assistance, for example, from welfare agencies, being unsuc- 
cessful, so that they could continue on their travel up north — Michigan 
or Ohio. 



5488 

Senator Mondale. Is there any evidence that the U.S. Department 
of Labor is trying to inform them of the real situation in Florida and 
discouraging them from going there ? 

Mr. Juarez. I have never seen any efforts made by any State employ- 
ment office or the Agriculture Department to inform or assist in any 
way the migrants or the farmworkers in any State I have traveled 
in. And I have traveled to many of them. 

Senator Mondale. I think that is a most scandalous situation. 

Senator Saxbe. I think there are efforts. He says he does not know 
of them. I am sure there are efforts, because I have seen them. 

Senator Mondaue. How many years have you been in the stream? 

Mr. Juarez, Twenty-five years. 

Senator Mondale. And liow many years have you been a community 
organizer ? 

Mr. Juarez. Only two. 

Senator Mondale. And you have never seen any of this ? 

Mr. Juarez. No. 

Mr. Segor. Senator, when T was with the GEO program, we had 
offices next to Farm Labor Offices in two locations at one time. I used 
to get repoT-ts baok that the FLS employees were there sleeping during 
the day. All I got were pessimistic reports from everybody about that 
situation al>out the employment service. 

I think there is a scandal that covild well be opened up to somebody 
who has sulipena power to start digging around in there. I think some 
of the things that Mr. Juarez is raising points about, not that we 
slioiild focus on the farmworkers and tlipir ■plight anymore — to my 
memon% I think two ioumalists won tlie Pulitzer Prize on that issue 
in the last 15 years. Tlie documentary 10 years after Edward R. Mur- 
row again establishes the fact. 

Mr. Juarez is beginning to be a professional witness, as are others, 
in telling you of their plight. Decisions are being made in this coun- 
try at the political level, in the board rooms of large corporations. 
And they are being made by labor unions that come in and diddle 
with farmworkers, as they did in Florida, and back out without giving 
them the resources. They are keeping people in conditions of poverty. 

One of our next witnesses, I understand, is really going to delve 
into it. He has more facts about this than I do. 

I think this is an issue that this committee has to be A^ery concerned 
with, where the decisionmaking processes are. 

Senator Saxbe. I had information the other day about employment 
around Ocala. That is a horse country, not so much the fruit-and- 
vegetable country. The local employment office could not provide 
peo]>le. They made a contract with Dominicans to come in there in 
work gangs. They have these people in there now. 

Mr. Segor. In Ocala, Fla., from the Dominican Republic? 

Senator Saxbe. Yes. 

IMr. Segor. "What kind of vegetables? 

Senator Saxbe. It is not for fruit and vegetables. It is baling hay, 
building fences, this kind of thing. 

Mr. Segor. I really don't know. I requested all requests in Florida . 
other than sugarcane for foreign Avorkers. I received nothing from 
the Department of Labor indicating that people were being employed 
for the horse industry. 



5489 

Maybe they don't consider that "agriculture," and they played 
games with my letter. But I am totally unaware of that. 

Mr. Juarez. Our office in Homestead was visited by one person from 
the State employment office. I tell you, the day he came into our 
office — and this is tlie only time that one of them has ever come to 
speak to us — he came, he opened the door, he walked in like ho was 
King David. He walked in, he failed to introduce himself. He did 
not say anything. All he did was just come up to the desk, and he said, 
"I need a hundred hungry people." 

There are times when you can hold back in your anger. I try to do 
that most of the time. Sometimes I fail. But this man made me so 
mad that I asked him what did he want the hungry people for. He 
said that he wanted them for okra. He didn't say where. 

This was immediately after we were showing the amount of un- 
employment because of the flood. He didn't tell us where these people 
Avere supposed to go to work. He didn't say wlio he was or where he 
was from. 

It was later I found he was from the employment office. But he said, 
"I want a hundred hungiy people.'" 

I told liim I was angry. I said, '"Since when do people have to be 
hungry in order to work, in order to cut okra'^" 

He did not answer. He started backing out. And, believe me, I was 
ready, so that he could mop the floor with me or me mop it with him, 
because that is usually the manner in which State and local officials 
treat us, by insulting remarks or just merely ignoring us. 

In my years of migi'ating and working in the fields, I have never 
heard one farmworker claim that he was helped by the employment 
office. 

Senator Mondale. It is now noon. We have two more witnesses. I 
think we ought to complete tlie questions with this panel, and perhaps 
come back later for the other v>dtnesses. 

Senator Saxbe ? 

Senator Saxbe. Mr. Segor, are most of the oranges picked by mi- 
grants in Florida ? 

Mr. Segor. There are migrants in seasonal agTiculture. Some of 
them stay all year in those localities. Others are true migrants and 
move on. 

Senator Saxbe. Are most of the migrants Mexican-Americans? 

Mr. Segor. Not in citrus ; no. They are mostly blacks. 

Senator Saxbe. Those blacks are migrants in Florida? 

Mr. Segor. That is right. Many of them are, not all. 

Senator Saxbe. Most of them ? 

Mr. Segor. Figures are hard to come by. Probably the majority are 
migrants. 

Senator Saxbe. They migrate from Florida or elsewhere? 

Mr. Segor. That is right. 

Senator Saxbe. Or just around Florida ? 

Mr. Segor. They will do both. They will move up into the other 
crops in the summer. 

Senator Saxbe. This is true for the Claremont-Leesburg areas up 
through Lake and Polk ? 

Mr. Segor. Certainly true of Polk County. 



*5490 

Senator Saxbe. I was imcler the impression that most of the har- 
vesters there were recruited locally. That is the reason I asked the 
question. 

Mr. Segor. They consider the local areas their home, so they are 
recruited locally. But many of them will also go on the stream. They 
may not go the whole summer. Some may go part of the time. Some 
may go 1 year and not the next year. 

The recruiting processes are somewhat haphazard in that regard. 

Senator Saxbe. Is it common for most families to want to work in 
citrus groves ? 

Mr. Segor. Yes. 

Senator Saxbe. Small children ? 

Mr. Segor. Yes. 

As a matter of fact, there is one camp called Maxey's Camp, owned 
by Coca-Cola, where I have had reports of 50 or 60 children out in 
the field, not necessarily working, because they can't reach the tree, i 
But they can work in vegetables. But they are out there because there 
is no other place for them to go. 

Senator Saxbe. Are they working ? 

Mr. Segor. Some will work. 

Of course, the very smaller ones cannot work citrus. It is too much 
work. 

The University of Miami's statistics indicate there is a heavy drop- 
out at the sixth-grade level, which is the age at which a child can begin 
to do a pretty full day's work. 

Senator Saxbe. Has the minimum wage helped any ? 

Mr. Segor. No, I would not say at all. It is all piecework. They get 
around the minimum wage. 

Senator Saxbe. The minimum wage is not enforced ? 

Mr. Segor. No, there is no enforcement whatever. 

Senator Saxbe. No interest in enforcement ? 

Mr. Segor. I have never seen any interest. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Schweiker? 

Senator Schweiker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Juarez, you mentioned a case, if I heard you correctly, in one 
crop you were being paid 30 cents per unit. And then after that, I 
guessbecause of a weather setback, the price dropped to 12 cents per 
unit that the workers were paid. 

Is my recollection correct ? 

Mr. Juarez. Eight. 

Senator Schweiker. What crop was that ? 

Mr. Juarez. Tomatoes. 

Senator Schweiker. When something like that happens, is there any 
legal remedy? 

In other words, getting back to the minimum wage, is there any legal 
remedy that you folks have ? Would that have been below the minimum 
waffe, 'for example, under the law in Florida, or whatever Federal law 
applied ? Or what resources, if any, did you have to fight that cutback? 

Mr. Juarez. We don't, because we don't have any collective bargain- 
■ ing. There are enough people waiting there to be hired. What can 
you do ? 

Senator Schweiker. Would this not violate either the State or some 
Federal regulation of the minimum wage we are talking about? Or are 
you saying that was not worried about, either ? 



5491 

Mr. Juarez. I would have to be an attorney to know that. 

Senator Schweiker. Is your farm group affiliated with the United 
Farm Workers Organizing Committee? Or is it a separate group? 

Mr. Juarez. It is a separate group. 

Senator Sch^veiker. Is the United Farm Workers Organizing Com- 
mittee active in your area or not ? 

Mr. Juarez. Not in our behalf. 

Senator Schweiker. What progress do you feel you are making in 
organizing ? 

In other words, Senator Mondale asked you the question of what is 
happening in general conditions of the people over the years. Can you 
specifically relate what progress you are making in imion organizing? 

Mr, Juarez. We are not union organizing. 

Senator Schweiker. You are not? 

Mr. Juarez. No. 

Senator Schweiker. What role do you perform ? What role do you 
perform for the OMICA migrants in community action ? 

Mr. Juarez. It is a nonprofit corporation. We try to establish enough 
information as to services that are available to the migrants, the sea- 
sonal farmworker. We try to police the programs that are there which 
express so much discrimination toward them. We try to inform them 
of newly passed laws that might be available for their benefit. And 
we stand up, and when we are asked, we bring it to the attention of 
those in power to seek change. 

Senator Schweiker. Do your activities diiier from union activitv, 
then ? 

Maybe this question should be addressed to Mr. Segor, because 
he made the statement — "the largest farmworker organization in 
Florida." Maybe he can answer that. 

Mr. Segor. I think the distinction is that they are not attempting 
to be collective-bargaining units at this point, which is, I think, what 
a union is. They are working, I think, in the roles they are taking — 
what they are trying to do is show the farmworker the benefit of 
organization. 

Wliether the union comes or not is a separate question, which has 
not been answered. 

The experience in Florida with unions is very bad, mostly the 
unions' fault. The farmworkers took a beating as a result of it. That 
was not the union that is active in Texas and California. If they had 
come in, I think it would have been a different story. 

At the moment, Mr. Juarez is working with his group on what per- 
haps the original community-action-program concept was before it 
got demolished, and is doing a better job at it. 

Senator Schweiker. Mr. Juarez, I realize that you have a lot of 
problems with your people. But what, in your judgment, is the most 
serious, difficult, or worst problem that you face with your people 
today ? Is there any one thing you can put your finger on ? 

I realize the whole picture is not very encouraging. But is there 
any one thing that stands out in your mind that will go a long way 
toward rectifying the situation that could be corrected? 

Maybe it is not that easy to oversimplify it. 

jlr. Juarez. It is not, because all the problems are just as bad. 
The problem of housing, where our people have doubled up and are 



5492 

living in pigj)ens provided by the farmers. The excessive amount of 
rent that is charged for them. Or it might be the wages, that they are 
not adequately paid. Or it might be the unemployment that exists in 
the State. Each one of tliese problems is just as bad as the other. 
Each one relates to the other. 

Senator Schweiker. One more question. Mr. Segor's testimony- 
referred to a situation relating to blindness among agricultural work- 
ers. You said that a vocational counselor attributes the high incidence 
of eye disease to the swirling muck dust encountered by the worker- 
Can you describe for the subcommittee the physical environment 
that ]:)roduces this, and what crops ? 

Mr. Segor. The crops range from sugarcane to tomatoes, and the 
whole range of vegetable crop that you eat in your salad. That area 
is really part of the Everglades. The soil is the tremendously decayed, 
rich vegetable matter of the centuries. 

So long as it is wet, it stays down on the ground. When it begins to 
dry, it just crumbles into powder and can blow. 

Of course, the agricultural workers are out in that stuff all day. 
Apparently — and this is new information I recently got — it has a tre- 
mendous effect on their eyes because of the very fine granulated form. 

Doctors could undoubtedly tell you more about that. The statistic, 
as I used it, of course, has its own human value and also shows the 
really pernicious effect of the farmers lobby in preventing an accepted 
and elementary form of social benefit, which is workmen's compensa- 
tion, which probably, from the pressure of the insurance companies, 
might get portable showers so that the workers could wash their eyes. 

It might be difficult to wear goggles all day. But you could get treat- 
ment at the beginning of the disease if that was available. But it is 
not available for most workers. It is available to the foreign workers. 
The Labor Department insists it be available. 

Senator Schweiker. It is available for the foreign workers ? 

Mr. Segor. It is required by both the Labor regulations and the 
contract signed by the foreign employment unit and the farmers, that 
they must have State workmen's compensation. 

Senator Schweiker. You are saying we treat our foreign workers 
better than our domestic migrants in many areas? 

Mr. Segor. Far better. The housing is better. Everything is better. 
That does not make it very good, but it is better. 

Senator Schweiker. It is available because the Secretary enforces 
an agreement that he makes on the importation of farmworkers ? 

Mr. Segor. That is right. Although it is not the best collective bar- 
gaining, the foreign government has a certain bargaining position. The 
Government of Puerto Rico has a bargaining position with its 
workers up north. 

Senator Saxbe. You have testified and others have testified that the 
migratory labor has been shamelessly exploited. Wlio is responsible 
for this? Is it someone making unconscionable profit? Is it thegrower, 
the packer ? Does the product sell too cheap ? 

Mr. Segor. I think it is a combination, at least these days. The in- 
difference of those who control the industry — that does not mean there 
is a monopoly that is planning to exploit the workers in every instance. 
Much of it is indifference, failure to exercise responsibility by those 
who finance and those buying up the farms. 



5493 

The small farms are dying out. And agriculture in Florida is more 
and more in the hands of big business. 

There is also a structure at the lower level which these corpora- 
tions superimpose themselves over, without attemptmg to change. 
They do not try to change the old attitudes of racism, of personal 
indifference to people of different color, and to their welfare. 

So if you really want to get down to the responsibility now, 1 thmk 
you would have to go perhaps out of the State of Florida to the peo- 
ple who own these things as part of their investment and say. Look, 
you are making money, but you are not changing the social condi- 
tions which have grown up down there." 

The politicians in the State receive their benefits, of course, trom 
the farmers who have money, not from the farm workers who don-t 
have money and don't vote. With some rare exceptions— thank good- 
ness for that— the politicians show a great disinterest m helping the 
people. At the local level, they may even be the economic exploiters. 
The guy on the commission may own the farm. 

It is a total social environment. So long as we just focus on misery, 
we are not going to end the misery. 

I may say that I share the pessimism of others about the h ecleral 
Government. I was around in the heyday of optimism. And those of 
us who should have known better politically learned our lesson. 

Senator Saxbe. I take it, in regard to that, the Agricultural Com- 
mittees of both the House and Senate have not shown any great in- 
terest in changing the basic concept of this. And I think that we caii 
share your pessimism a little bit, too, because while a great deal of this 
is a labor problem, there is a lot more of it that is an agricultural 
problem, as I understand it. 

With the big subsidies and with the attitudes that seem to be ex- 
pressed generally in committees, we can't be very optimistic about 
any radical change. 

I can understand where a small grower, which you say is going out 
of business, finds himself between a rock and the other place, because 
to compete he has to go along with what he can get at the cheapest 

price. 

In Ohio we have a somewhat different situation, because ours are 
sugar beets and tomatoes primarily. We found, for instance, a few 
years ago that there were people who were recruiting labor and they 
also managed to recruit about twice as many as were needed. In this 
way, of course, when they all arrived, there would be a ready supply. 
And then, of course the recruiters from Michigan for the cherries 
would come in and recruit for up there and again attempt to get an 
over-supply. The shortages would be day-to-day shortages. The over- 
supply would be month-to-month. 

Now if the Department of Agriculture is not doing something about 
this— as I say, the Ohio comniittee that was formed for the purpose 
of trying to"^do something for the migratory labor did put out in- 
formation bulletins on a monthly basis in trying to level off the tre- 
mendous influx of people. Then we found out there were a lot of peo- 
ple going through Ohio anyway, because they were going to Michigan 
to work. And it was a convenient stopover on their way to Michigan to 
pick cherries. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much, gentlemen. 

36-513 — 71 — pt. SB 8 



5494 

Mr. Segor we will print your statement in its entirety at this point 
in the record. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Segor follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Joseph C. Segor, Executive Director, Migrant Services 

Foundation, Inc. 

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, my name is Joseph C. Segor. 
I am the Executive Director of the Migrant Services Foundation, Inc. I am a 
lawyer and for the past several years have concentrated my efforts on the 
problems of farmworkers. From May 1967 to September 1969, I was the Ex- 
ecutive Director of Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., an OEO funded legal 
services program operating in seven south Florida counties. 

The Migrant Services Foundation is privately financed and provides legal 
and other services to farmworkers in Florida. We are headquartered in Miami, 
but operate throughout the State. My companion is Rodolfo Juarez, Executive 
Director of Organized Migrants in Community Action, Inc. (OMICA), the larg- 
est farmworker organization in Florida. He was born and raised a migrant, even- 
tually becoming a crew leader. Recognizing the exploitation of migrants by crew 
leaders as well as others, he quit, at great financial sacrifice, to work for several 
OEO rural programs prior to becoming the operating head of OMICA. OMICA 
maintains a full-time office in Homestead, Dade County, Florida and has chap- 
ters in a number of locations throughout the State. 

I will present a short prepared statement after which we vnll both be happy 
to answer questions. 

Mr. Chairman, the newspapers and news programs have been filled with 
accusations by growers, agribusiness organizations, and political leaders in our 
state that the recently aired NBC Migrant White Paper produced by Martin 
Carr and narrated by Chet Huntley was biased. These individuals and organiza- 
tions were so certain of their position that they made their accusations even 
before they saw the show. Our Governor, whose protests were among the loudest, 
appeared to be trying to create a self fulling prophecy of bias by declining to 
appear on the program . 

The dictionary teaches that bias implies unreasoned and unfair distortion of 
judgment in favor of or against a person or thing. It is the thesis of my remarks 
that the State of Florida, through its governmental institutions at all levels, as 
well as its social and economic structures is biased against the farmworkers. I 
would modify the dictionary definition somewhat, however, because in my opinion 
the bias which oppresses farmworkers is in many instances not unreasoned, 
but a deliberate, calculated and purposeful attempt to maintain an economic 
advantage regardless of the cost in human misery. Also, inextricably connected to 
the economic motivation is a deep and pervasive racism that permiates all of rural 
and much of urban Florida. Present too is a hypocritical selfishness that masks 
itself in a philosophy of radical individualism and surfaces as an extreme 
hostility to programs, especially federal programs, intended to aid the needy, 
the helpless and the powerless, particularly when these are Black, Chicano, or 
Puerto Rican. At the same time, every effort is made to obtain federal largess 
which benefits the dominant economic, political and social groups. 

The abuse heaped upon NBC was only one minor manifestation of the fore- 
going characteristics. To anyone familiar with migrants, the NBC show under- 
stated rather than overstated their problems. I have seen places such as Jerome 
that are worse than any shown on the show. The feeling of oppressiveness that 
occurs cannot be shown on TV. It can only be lived. The conclusion of that show 
that all Americans are responsible is wrong, particular men and institutions are 
at fault, they should not be allowed to hide in the crowd. 

A specially good example of institutional hostility to farmworkers was the 
State response to their pleas in the spring of this year that they be accorded 
the unemployment benefits provided in the Disaster Relief Act of 19G9. 

A complete account of this shameful episode is contained in my report to the 
Board of Directors of the Migrant Services Foundation, Inc., a copy of which is 
attached as an appendix to these remarks. Perhaps the best short summary of 
what happened is contained in a headline from the Fort Myers (Fla.) News- 
Press of April 10, 1970, which read, "Disaster Relief : Farmers Get It, Migrants 
Want It." Unfortunately, or more properly I should say tragically, they did not 
get. The motives that lead growers and State ofiicials to combine to prevent the 
migrants from receiving assistance specifically provided by the Congress for 



5495 



if migrants are paid '^^^^^^ /^^//^X ^llaiTw^^ wlw, in other con- 

rathe.- than work %"^<^^>^^f^^^JJSS ^^Zotbj ,T'-Lrv-em or else they 
l'„'S\™'.?'a^iialftVhra™r.ralLti^,Stl^^^^^ 

April 10, 19by— ijtu. ^piii J.U, ^ iqf.q_Tnin<- meeting in Tallaliassee of fed- 

ix4re"?a«£.:;j|fj£^i^^^^ 

all existing migrant mogiamsnsta^ to Governor and fe<le™i 

^^.^e^^rUrsegC^nt^f^o^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

IheJomSssionTs authorized to enter into "agreements for the establishment 
of ooon?rTti?e arrangements'' with other states. The Governor is aiithorized to 
onfarfrftnaT'lSerstS migrant labor compact" in substantially the form set 
?mth iS the statute The ^oSJact would set up an interstate migrant commis- 
?on which would only have the power to do research, suggest proposals and co- 
ooe^nT^with other agencies. In essence, the commission would be powerless and 
Xuld brdependent for financing upon state appropriations to be requested by 
it This toothless tiger is only one illusion contained m the bill. 

The other is an advisory committee composed of representatives of five state 
a.^encie'T four enumerated grower organizations and, presumab y for balance 
^representa ive of the Florida state federated labor council. This latter choice 
fsimiaue in that if there is one place the farmworkers are not represented it is 
the Sor Council There are also positions open for not less than two nor more 
hL four othei- persons selected and appointed by the commission. There is not 
the slightest guarantee that the farmworkers will be directly or even indirectly 
represented b^^^ close to them. The legislative commission was created 

wK\it any consultation with farmworker organizations or heir aUeai 
thouo-h these are well known to the legislature. Three of the grower organiza 
tions were added at the demand of a grower ,lobbyi^st. It can be expected tha 
the additional representatives will be "safe" people not likely to cause con 
troversv by strong and persistent advocacy of farmworkers rights. 

Even if good people are added to the committee, the whole focus of the bill is 
outward toward an amorphous alliance of states to occ^r at some unknown and 
inevitably far distant date when a dozen or more state legislatures can get 
around to ratifying the pact. It completely avoids he need « jurn and look 
at the problems within Florida and to devise solutions for them. In sum, the 
bill is a cruel and preposterous hoax. „„/i i^„5cio 

Having dealt with the institutional biases of our state executive and legisla- 
tive branches, I would like now to turn to the operation of existing programs 
at the local level. Naturally, among these there are substantial variations m 
how thev perform, depending in part upon the agency concerned and geographic 
location' Nonetheless, a few generalizations can be made. From reports given to 
me as well as personal experiences, I can say that state and local agencies are: 



5496 

(1) Not run for tlie convenience of those they serve, the farmworkers, 
but for the convenience of the staffs. 

(2) The local offices are dominated by grower interests and use the bene- 
fits they confer to require the farmworkers to confoi-m to those interests. 

(3) There is little, if any, outreach, so that often those most in need of 
help do not get it. This can happen either because the farmworkers have not 
been informed of the services offered or the services are disi>sensed at times 
or places which tlie farmworkers cannot reach. 

(4) The agen: y staffs often have negative attitudes toward their clients, 
in many cases tin se attitudes are basically racist. The attitudes all too often 
manifest themsehes in indifference, impoliteness, harshness and sometimes 
cruelty. 

(5) Agency personnel instead of earnestly trying to help prove eligibility, 
do everything possible to prevent the clients from establishing their rights 
to aid. 

Innumerable cases can be recounted in support of the foregoing. A few will 
suffice. In many counties, welfare and food distribution offices are located in 
places that the poor caimot reach by any means other than private automobile. 
I have been told that in Polk County the commodity distribution office is located 
at an out of the way spot, and the cost of reaching the place amounts to as 
much as one-tenth of some welfare clients checks. 

When a representative of the Florida Christian Migrant Ministry approached 
the director of distribution in this county about opening several distribution 
points, he was told that the county commission had already turned down the 
suggestion as too expensive. One county commissioner was quoted in the press 
as saying "the next thing the poor will want is for us to go to their homes and 
cook the food for them." 

When the Director w^as queried about making the hours more convenient to 
farmworkers, the office was open from 8:30 to 3:30, Monday thru Friday, he 
asked why he and his staff should be inconvenienced for the farmworkers con- 
venience? To the reply that the reason was that they serve the poor, he said that 
he had a responsibility to his employees. 

This same man added that if the poor really want the food they would get to 
the distribution center when it was open. Many people applying for food at this 
center have been turned down three and foxir times because the county employees 
make no attempt to help them comply with the regulations. One requirement is 
that the farmworker show his last pay check or a letter from an employer 
stating his earnings. This is often impossible for people who are paid cash and 
often work for many employers. Variations of this theme are heard from sources 
throughout the state. Attempts to get mobile food distribution units for rural 
areas have generally been rebuffed. 

In the same county, I spoke of before, the welfare office is located at an old 
airport which is hard to reach. AFDC mothers who must go to see their social 
workers must either pay to get there or rely on others. As a result, they often 
come late or miss their appointments altogether. 

In Polk County there hasn't been a migrant health project for two years. The 
local health department was unwilling to keep separate records for migrants 
and therefore was unable to comply with federal regulations. As a result it 
pulled out of the program. The health department's convenience, in this case, 
was clearly more important to the county health officer than the health of farm- 
workers. No doubt, he would feel very much put upon if he were told his job 
depended on getting the project back. 

Collier County's Food Stamp Program has proof of income rules similar to 
those previously enumerated. Many farmworkers can't comply with them. In 
addition, the food stamp personnel will check eligibility by asking employers 
what they expect the applicant to earn the following month. Because of the 
pervasive hostility of growers to the program, they will often make high projec- 
tions, thus leaving the individual and his family ineligible. When a local Black 
and a Chicauo leader went to the county commission to protest this practice, 
they were told they could not do so because they had participated in a peaceful 
demonstration. 

The Director of the American Friends Service Committee Migrant Project 
which operates a housing program has informed me that he has had to abandon 
trying to qualify farmworkers for section 235 housing loans because of the use 
of such middle class eligibility requirements as holding a job for two years and 
providing W-2 forms. Farmworker employment practices, of course, making thig.. 



5497 

impossible. The AFSC has now switched to the Farmers Home Administration, 
but this limits the number of houses that can be built. 

Ironically, my exi>erience in the housing field is just the opposite of that of 
AFSG. In 1968, when I was Executive Director of Florida Rural Legal Services, 
our Belle Glade office began work on a housing i>roject for Pahokee, a nearby 
town. After many months of planning, an application for a large project was 
filed. It was turned down by Farmers Home Administration with the assertion 
that the authorizing legislation did not allow them to make this size loan. It 
was our opinion, as well as that of the coiuisel of a consulting firm we were 
iTsing, that this interpretation was wrong. We were joined in oiu* opinion by 
•Congressman Paul Rogers, who protested, but to no avail. We finally had to 
abandon Farmers Home and begin again with FHA. I am informed that after 
two and a half years of effort the first models will shortly be constructed. 

That racism prevails cannot be denied. In Lee County it has been necessary 
to file suit to integrate the County nursing homes. In that same County, a Doctor 
•quit the welfare program after a suit was brought to require him, among other 
things, to integrate his waiting room. 

Innumerable instances have been recounted of hospitals which have received 
Tlill-Burton funds refusing to treat indigents. In Homestead, I have attended 
meetings where the feeling of hatred expres.sed by Blacks and Chicanos against 
the local James Archer Smith hospital was so intense it was almost unbearable. 
Their complaints involved both failure to care for the poor and racism. They 
feel so strongly that they do not want a federally funded migrant health project 
that will shortly oi^en up to even attempt to get services from the hospital. This, 
despite the fact that the next closest hospital is 15 miles away by way of a 
heavily trafficked road. 

Other witnesses have discussed the absence of basic legal protections for farm- 
workers and the reports of this committee have collected valuable data on this 
ix)int. I will just point out that it is not only lack of laws that create difficulties^ 
but also the impotence of endorcement agencies. For instance, the health depart- 
ment which is charged with inspecting migrant camps in Florida does not have 
lawyers to file suit against violators. It must rely upon county prosecutors who 
look upon this type of activity as a nuisance taking away from their crime 
duties. In those places where the prosecutor has a private practice, there may 
actually be conflicts of interests. 

Even if the Health Department had enforcement powers, its regulations are a 
fraud, being hardly worth the effort to enforce. The same i ; true of the federal 
regulations on migrant housing. 

I am informed that in Palm Beach County the Health Department shys away 
from environmental health problems as opijosed to clinical ones because of the 
fear of possible political repercussions. This fear of political retaliation is ever 
present and effects the activities and operations of even the most dedicated pro- 
gram and workers. 

It is in this context that I come to my next point which is that there is an 
interchange between intransient institutions and biased people, back again be- 
tween biased people and intransigent institutions that paralyzes efforts to obtain 
needed change. We are constantly told the farmworkers are content with their 
lives, won't work and won't help themselves. Yet. when there is a chance, that 
farmworkers will engaged in the processes that lead to change, intense efforts 
are made to frustrate them. 

I have seen a report, which I believe to be valid, which told of one large farmer 
providing buses for his workers to attend a picnic on election day. This was to 
prevent the workers from exercising their franchise. A black leader in Immo- 
kalee told me that the same type of thing occurred on the day a referendum w^as 
lield on the question of incorporating the town. Naturally, the White farmers and 
businessmen who owned property did not want to be part of a city in which the 
majority of the voting population was Black and Chicano. 

The power of agribusiness to thwart the democratic processes in order to pre- 
vent farmworkers from obtaining benefits that other working people take for 
irranted is notorious. In 1969, agribusiness was taken by .surprise and a bill 
eliminating the farmworker workmen's compensation exemption was voted out 
of committee in both houses of our state legislature. Despite a last minute lobby- 
ing effort, the bill passed the Senate by two votes. 

Unfortunately, it did not get on the special order calendar in the House and 
time ran out. This year the lobbyists were ready and the Friends of Farm- 
workers in the legi.slature could not even get a watered-down version of the 
T)ill out of committee. 



5498 

The tragic effects of grower opposition to this most elementary form of 
social legislation is set forth in an article that appeared in the July 16, 1970, 
issue of the Palm Beach Post. The article quotes a vocational counselor for 
the Florida Council for the Blind, as saying that he sees as many cases of 
blindness among glades agricultural workers as there are in the rest of Palm 
Beach County, although the agricultural population makes up less than 10% 
of the county population. He attributes the high incidence of eye disease 
to the swirling muck dust encountered by the workers. First, it would provide 
more immediate medical care to the workers who are injured by the dust. Sec- 
ond, many of our industrial safety practices have resulted from the pres- 
sure of insurance companies on business to get it to upgrade standards. 
We could probably expect the same to happen in agriculture were workmens 
compensation to be universally extended to the workers. 

Returning to the local scene, a classic example of community sabotage of a 
needed federal project recently occurred in Immokalee. A doctor from the 
University of INIiami's School of Medicine became interested in setting up a 
major clinic there under the Migrant Health Act. With the support of the 
U.S. Public Health Service he began to discuss the proposed project with all 
segments of the community, not only in Immokalee, but also In the county 
seat at Naples. He touched all the bases, and lined up support from growers, 
business people, the Health Department, the County Commissioner for the area 
and, so he thought, the county Medical Society. All this in addition to the en- 
thusiastic support of the intended consumers. However, when a public meet- 
ing was held to discuss the project, he was shot down by the local doctors 
by the use of a clever ploy. The doctors told the people that what they needed 
was not a clinic but a hospital. Naturally, everyone became excited over the 
idea and the Migrant Health Act clinic was forgotten. 

A board was formed under the chairmanship of the one private physician in 
Immokalee to begin raising money. This physician, along with the local 
druggist had been prime opponents of the clinic. The physician had even gone 
so far as to threaten to quit practice if the clinic came in. The upshot of this 
is that little or nothing has been done to further the hospital in the year that 
has elapsed and the clinic will be located in the more hospitable climate 
of Dade County. 

From public reports and talks with various people familiar with what oc- 
curred, I have been able to come to the following conclusions. 

(1) Attitudes toward the project were deeply affected by prevailing hostility 
toward federal projects. Although interestingly enough, this did not extend to 
shyness about app'ying for Hill-Burton funds. This generalized anti-federal 
hostility made otherwise hard-headed people receptive to a pie in the sky hos- 
pital plan despite the fact that the community's small size militated against 
such a hospital being successful. It also blinded people to the possibility that 
the clinic could be used as a base upon which to build plans for a future 
hospital as has been proposed for the south end of Dade County. 

(2) The local physician and druggist were afraid of competition from the 
clinic and put their own economic well-being ahead of that of the people. 

(3) The County Medical Society was afraid that the clinic would raise the 
farmworkers level of expectations concerning medical care to too high a level. 

(4) The dominant community feared extensive consumer participation on 
the governing board of the clinic. Both because such participation, if successful, 
will do violence to prevailing racial attitudes and because any process that 
might lead to greater ability upon the part of the non-Anglo population to 
govern itself, is viewed as threatening. 

(5) The lack of sophistication and powerlessness of the workers made them 
incapable of resisting the tactic. Many of them were fooled into thinking it 
was for real. 

(6) The inability of the federal government to directly serve needy, but 
politically impotent consumers, without working tlirough hostile local forces 
was a prime contributor to the debacle. Once again the people were mangled. 

In contrast to Immokalee. Dade County was aWe to muster tremendous rom- 
munity support for the project. The Medical School, the County Medical Society. 
the Health Planning Council, the Urban Coalition and somewhat reluctantly and 
even truculantly, the local health department. The difference of cour.=!e. is that 
Dade County is overwhelmingly urban and it is therefore possible to circiimvent 
potential opposition from rural elements. This distinction between urban Dade- 



5499 

and rural Collier County while fortunate for the farmworkers in Dade is cause 
for the deepest melancholy in the remainder of the rural poor. 

Nevertheless, the Dade County project does provide a laboratoi-y in which 
we can observe a project that has on its board a majority of consumers. Hope- 
fully, the clinic will not only provide first rate medical service but will also act 
as a training ground for community leaders. It is interesting to note that the 
principal source of discontent with consumer control in Dade County appeared 
to be the local Health Department and the regional federal bureaucracy in 
Atlanta. Perhaps with experience they will come to also cherish the values 
attendant upon consumer control. 

I started these remarks by asserting that it is the farmworkers and not the 
protesting agribusiness men who are the victims of bias. The examples I have 
recited are merely a few among legions that support that statement. When the 
growers come in and lobby for workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, 
grower responsibility for social security, more stringent housing codes, better 
health services a tenfold increase in housing starts with better terms ; when 
they conduct voter registration drives, finance leadership clinics, provide better 
wages and financial incentives and really believe that the word "nigger" is bad, 
they will have established some credibility with the farmworkers and their 
friends. In short, when the growers believe in the American dream for the other 
guy — then their pleas will not have the hollow ring of hypocri.sy. 

Thank you. Chairman Mondale and the other distinguished Senators on the 
Committee for giving me this opportunity to express my views. 

Senator Mondale. We will now stand in recess and start with the 
witness Philip Moore at 2 o'clock. 

("V^Hiereupon, at 12 :30 p.m. the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene 
at 2 p.m. the same day.) 

AFTEKNOOX SESSION 

(The subcommittee reconvened at 2 p.m., Senator Walter F. 
Mondale, chairman of the subcommittee, presidina;.) 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Philip Moore, executive director of the Proj- 
ect on Corporate Eesponsibility. 

STATEMENT OF PHILIP MOOEE, STAFF COUHSEL, PROJECT ON 
CORPOKATE RESPONSIBILITY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Mr. MooRE. Mr. Chairman, my name is Philip W. Moore. I am staff 
counsel to the Project on Corporate Responsibility, a newly formed 
organization to seek out and explore the ways in which large private 
corporations can be made more responsive to public needs. 

Corporate leaders today make decisions that fundamentally affect 
the day-to-day lives of citizens. Yet, too often, corporate decision- 
makers remain isolated from the voice of the public and free from 
public outrage. We felt this was true with General Motors in our first 
campaign to make General Motors responsible, a public interest proxy 
fight which the Project on Corporate Eesponsibility conducted. 

We have just begun an investigation of the agribusiness industry 
which shows a similar result — a callous disregard for the welfare not 
only of workers but also of the consumer. In addition to planning the 
second round of Campaign GM, the project will pursue corporate in- 
volvement in the agribusiness industry. 

Ten years ago CBS showed a remarkable documentary, "Harvest 
of Shame," which depicted the tragic and shameful human conditions 
to which migrant workers are subject in their day-to-day lives. Last 
Thursday night, NBC showed what appeared to be a virtual repeat of 
the CBS film — nothing had changed. 



5500 

The migrant still lives in daily fear for his survival. He has utterly 
no hope for the future, either for liimself or his family. He is locked 
into a system in which all of the essential elements of life support — 
income, housing, food, health — are controlled by a corporate system of 
farming on the one hand and a total lack of public support programs 
on the other. 

And here we are today — testifying— giving still more evidence of the 
obvious. We have heard testimony of inadequate medical and health 
programs for the migrant. We have heard testimony of the failure of 
local agencies to fill the needs of income and health for these workers. 
And we have all heard of inadequate Federal programs which not only 
fail the migrant, but ironically give tremendous support to the corpo- 
rate farmer who is very much a cause of the migrant's needs. 

Tragically, what is most important about this testimony and the 
NBC film is not the substance of what was said — those facts have been 
known for years — but rather that we've had these hearings and another 
documentary at all. One viewing of "Harvest of Shame" should have 
been sufficient to create a firm i-esolve to end then the human exploita- 
tion of migrant workers. 

Instead, it seems, the opposite is true. The leaders of these corpora- 
tions apparently saw the CBS documentary in 1960 as depicting an 
opportunity for explosive profit, rather than as an appalling story of 
human tragedy. Ten years ago, Coca-Cola bought out Minute Maid 
orange juice and plunged itself into the Florida citrus industry and 
the system of migrant labor which that industry supports. 

Ten years ago, the Atlantic Coastline Railroad incorporated Alico 
Land Development Co. in Florida to develop some 203,000 acres of 
Florida land as a first step toward creating a new agribusiness empire. 

In the last 10 years corporate farming has skyrocketed. Since 1960, 
close to 7,000 corporations have come into farming and related activi- 
ties, many of them as subsidiaries of large conglomerate corporations. 
Tenneco in California through the Kern County Land Corp. ; Gulf & 
Western in Florida through the South Puerto Sugar Co. ; United Fruit 
in Texas (Pan American Freeze) ; Coca-Cola in Florida ; Royal Crown 
Cola in Texas (Texsun) ; Union Carbide in Texas; and the railroads — 
Penn-Central in Florida, Northwest Industries in the Midwest, Sea- 
board and Atlantic Coastline Railroads in Florida, these and many 
more corporations have moved into agribusiness. 

Agribusiness is complicated enough, involving as it does the use of 
human resources to convert land resources into profit. It is made still 
more complicated by corporate machinations, tax considerations, and 
Federal farm programs, which defy imagination in the way that they 
benefit corporations — not people. 

But one fact must be clear: Corporations come into farming and 
land use because they make money, it is a good investment. It is the 
corporations who get the lion's share of the $120 billion that consum- 
ers spent last year on food and beverages. But for whatever reason, 
corporations are there, and the decisions made by these corporations 
at least perpetuate a condition of human misery because of acquies- 
cence and at worst create this misery by active contribution to the 
system of migratory labor. 



5501 

It is those corporations and their leaders who derive benefit from 
this system either as investors or corporate managers that must ulti- 
mately bear the responsibility of this system. ^ J 4.1^ 

In pointing to the large conglomerate, I do not mean to exclude tne 
large local corporations that are primarily into agriculture. These 
local corporations participate just as fundamentally in the exploita- 
tion of the farmworker— the Collier Corp., Benn Hill (jrrittin, A. f. 
Duda & Sons, Griffin & Brand, the Bentson family all own and farm, 
and process the produce from thousands of acres of land m t lorida 

No one corporation can be singled out as particularly bad, for they 
have all failed in the last 10 years to take any meaningful step to 
eliminate the conditions which their corporate decisions impose daily 
on the lives of migrant workers. (U.S. Sugar has enibarked on a hous- 
ino- proo-ram. Our information is not sufficient as to its effects.) 

But because all have failed to take responsible measures does not 
excuse each one of them from accountability. And indeed, the large 
conglomerate farmer has perhaps a special responsibility, having 
created a sophisticated chain of corporate structure which isolates the 
corporate decisionmakers from public pressures and hiunan misery. 

Who in this country knows that Minute Maid orange juice is a 
Coca-Cola product? Or who can know that Alico is controlled ulti- 
mately by a Baltimore bank? It is precisely this problem of corporate 
insulaJtioii through holding company structure or through internal 
divisions that makes information gathering extremely difficult and 
ultimate remedies almost impossible. 

Coca-Cola, especially, seems pained that they have been singled out 
on the NBC show. They point to other companies that are also doing 
bad things, and they say they have plans for new programs. But just 
because other corporations are doing bad things doesn't excuse Coke. 
More importantly. Coke is big, it is powerful, and it is visible. 

Coke's policies can set the standard for other corporations and as 
such Coke has perhaps a special responsibility. If Coke doesn't want to 
be singled out, it should not only clean its own house, but also assert 
its leadership position on its corporate colleagues to reform their 
migratory labor policies. 

The Coca-Cola Co. is one of the biggest Florida citrus growers and 
distributors. It owns or controls under long-term lease more than 
30,000 acres of planted citrus groves in Florida. In addition, it owns 
three Florida processing plants with a capacity of T,100 gallons of 
citrus concentrate per hour. Through its food division, Coca-Cola 
handles all of the distribution of its Minute Maid products. 

While the company has numerous subsidiaries and conducts business 
in 25 countries, it is run primarily through internal divisions. In 
1960, Minute Maid was merged into Coca-Cola and for 7 years was 
run as a separte division. In 1967, Coke formed a food division, of 
wliich Minute Maid is a subdivision. The food division is based m 
Houston, Tex. 

Coke's director of farmworker personnel, William Kelly, was until 
very recently stationed in Houston where Coke has no farmworking 
requirements, far away from the day-to-day misery of the Florida 
workers. 



5502 

One of Coke's Minute Maid groves is at the corner of Route 630 A 
and Hobson Road in Frostproof, Fla. The grove is serviced by migra- 
tory worker quarters called Maxey Quarters, which is owned and 
operated by Coca-Cola. These quarters, which were filmed in the NBC 
documentary, house between 200-300 people. They have no indoor 
water or plumbing ; there is no hot water, the conditions of the houses 
are unquestionably bad. 

But what is worse, even, than the housing conditions, is tlie social 
control that is maintained over the life style of the migrants and all 
of the basic life support systems of the migrants. 

In order to live in these houses, a family must work for Coke. If 
somebody is sick, the foreman, not a doctor, can decide whether the 
person can stay home. If the foreman decides that a worker is not sick, 
then he must either work or risk eviction from his housing. With evic- 
tion comes total loss of income, housing, medical support, and food. 

Coke maintains no day care facilities; children must either go to the 
fields or hang around the quarters. The families need the children to 
help pack the oranges — the cycle of destitution continues unend- 
ing. If one part of the cycle breaks down, the worker's whole life breaks 
down. 

We have not been able to determine, because there are no break- 
downs, how much of Coke's income comes from the food division and 
how much in turn comes from. Minute Maid operations. But they do 
make monev. The president of Coca-Cola is J. Paul Austin. His salarv 
is $150,000"; his retirement benefits are $48,000 and he owns .55,000 
shares of Coke, which pays him annually an additional $70,200. 

The chairman of the board of directors is Lee Talley. His annual 
salary is $61,000; his retirement benefits are $48,000 and he owns 
45,000 shares of Coke stock which pays $64,800 a year. Mr. William A. 
Coolidge is a former director of Minute Maid and is now a director of 
Coca-Cola holding 97,000 shares of Coca-Cola stock which pays 
$139,000 a year. Together the directors and officials of Coke own more 
than a million shares. 

None of these men, nor any of Coke's chief employees, suffers the 
slightest bit of income, job, or life support insecurity. Their needs, 
all of them, are well taken care of for the rest of their lives and several 
generations to come. Yet, a portion of the income that these men 
receive from their work and stock ownership comes from the labor 
and scandalous insecurity of migi'ant workers in Florida. 

It is bad enough that they should be able to make so much money 
when workers in their own company make so little. But it is even worse 
that the working conditions, the wages, the system of racism and 
despair which characterize the life of the migrant worker are a product 
of, and perpetrated by, decisions made by these very same men. And 
thev bear a major responsibility for curing the defects of their 
decisions. 

Shortly after this testimony was announced, I received a call from 
Mr. Joseph Califano, former aide to President Johnson and now an 
attorney with Arnold & Porter, who represent Coca-Cola. He asked to 
talk to me about the new programs that Coke was starting. We met , 
and he described new programs which have been in the planning 
stages, he said, for nearly 2 years. 



5503 



Many of the programs sound good. They cover housing, education, 
wage scales, working conditions and job security. They seem to recog- 
nize needs for upward mobility and commmiity participation. And 
they appear to come from a commitment of Coca-Cola to do something 
about the problems of migrant workers in Florida. 

I understand that Coca-Cola executives will be testifying later in 
these hearings. I assume that the specifics of the programs will be 
si.ielled out then, and I postpone additional comment until after we 
have had a chance to review the specific programs. 

But regardles of the benefit of the program, it is appalling that it 
took 10 years to embark on any program at all. Ten years have been 
lost on an opportunity for a responsible corporation to begin to attack 
a fundamental prol^lem encompassing an entire life system. Corpora- 
tions should not be permitted such 10-year luxuries. 

I would like to ask Mr. Austin or Mr. Talley how long it took Coke 
to introduce a new product like Sprite— was that 10 years? Or what 
about new methods— a new can— does it take 10 years to develop a new 
can« I doubt it. ^YhJ is it that when it comes to profit, corporations 
work fast, but when it comes to human conditions, corporations at 

best plod along. , ^ ^ ^ ^ / a v \ 

Another corporation, the Alico Land & Development Co. (Alico) 

is a relatively small farming operation in Florida. Indeed, when com- 

-pared to other giants like U.S. Sugar (90,000 acres), Collier Corp. 

(400,000 acres), and Coca-Cola with 30,000 acres of planted citrus 

groves Alico's farming operations are miniscule. But Alico was born 

of a large corporate conglomeration, gi^owing out of railroad opera- 
tions, most of which I have put in this chart, which to me represents 
a new form of corporate "pop-art," if you are willing to look at it 
and see the various lines and part of the railroad holding structure. 
Perhaps later we can refer to the chart specifically. It represents a com- 
mitment of these corporations and their leaders to utilize old rail- 
road resources for long term agricultural and land holdings. It repre- 
sents a commitment to invest in a system of agriculture, on an in- 
creasingly large scale, which participates in the despair of migrant 
workers. And it provides an extremely good example of how corporate 
structure tends to isolate the actual decisionmakers from the opera- 
tion of the farm. T 1 l i. 1 

Alico does its business in citrus, cattle, forestry, and land rental. 
It owns and controls some 203,000 acres of Florida land. 6,875 are m 
citrus, 4,025 of these acres being planted in citrus groves. In 1969, 
54.5 percent of its income came from citrus groves. Its citrus groves 
are located in Polk Coimty (5,265) and Collier County (1,200). 

We have been imable to determine how many migrant workers har- 
vest these citrus groves, or anv of their other agricultural products. 
Most harvesting is done through a profit-sharing arrangement with 
Ben Hill Griffin, Inc., and we have not been able to determine whether 
the worker is hired by Alico directlv or by Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. If 
the usual practice apuplies, Ben Hill Griffin. Inc., the processor, does 
the hiring of migratory workers. Ben Hill Griffin, Jr., is a director 
of Alico. 

In each of the past 3 vears, Alico's annual report mentions the 
unfavorable impact of bad weather on its crops. But in each year 
Alico's net return on its citrus increases. In the years between 1967 



5504 

and 1968, higher income resulted from higher prices paid by the con- 
summer. In 1969, the income in net return from citrus ($57,000 — 11 
percent over 1968) equals the amount saved in lower harvesting pay- 
roll minus the amount lost in gross sales. 

While this may be pure coincidence, the company's increase in 
citrus net returns appears to come at the expense of the consumer in 
higher prices and the worker in less work. Alico appears to be able 
to modify its harvesting cost and the worker thus suffers, not only 
from corporate disregard but also from the capricious nature of 
the agricultural industry. 

The company, despite the changing weather conditions, keeps in- 
creasing its profits, Alico has retained all of its earnings and has 
never declared a dividend to its stockholders. 

Alico was incorporated in 1960 as a subsidiary of the Atlantic Land 
& Improvement Co., which was then a subsidiary of the Atlantic Coast- 
line Railroad Co. It was formed to take over and develop some 203,000 
acres of Florida land originally held by the railroad, but then owned 
by Atlantic Land & Imj^rovement Co. 

Alico was since spun off, and is now a subsidiary of the Atlantic 
Coastline Co., a holding company which owns 35.4 percent of the 
Alico stock. Fifty-two percent of the stock in Atlantic Coastline Co. is 
owned by the Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Co.. a Baltimore bank. 

The Interstate Commerce Commission has held that the Atlantic 
Coastline Co. is controlled by Mercantile Bank. Recently, the Mercan- 
tile Bank has announced that it is merging with two other Maryland 
banks to form still another holding company called Mercantile Bank- 
shares, Inc. The Mercantile Bank currently owns directly 5 percent of 
the Alico stock directly so that Mercantile's total stock control of Alico 
is slightly more than 40 percent. 

The Mercantile, Atlantic, and Alico holding company line was orig- 
inally intended to be part of a larger holding company structure 
growing out of a - erger between the Atlantic Coastline Railroad Co. 
and the Seaboard Coastline Railroad. Seaboard Coastline Railroad is 
currently a 100-percent owned subsidiary of the Seaboard Coastline 
Industries, the railroad holding company. 

The Atlantic Coastline Co. was to have merged into Seaboard Coast- 
line Industry, forming one holding company structure. But for tax 
considerations, the merger never went through. As it now stands, At- 
lantic Coastline owns 15 percent of Seaboard Industries, which pro- 
vides almost all of Atlantic's income. The Mercantile Bank owns or 
controls directly 2 percent of the Seaboard stock. 

The complicated corporate structure and variations in stock owner- 
ship should not serve to protect the men who benefit from this struc- 
ture and ultimately make the decisions that affect the use of the land 
and the conditions of the worker. The fact that there are several corpo- 
rate tiers between the Alico farming oj^erations and the corporate 
decisionmakers does not isolate the decisionmakers from the impact 
of their corporate decisions. 

The men that run Alico ultimately bear the responsibility for Alico's 
participation in migrant working conditions, and they are part of this 
larger corporate structure. Three men especially seem close to the oper- 
-ations. 



5505 

William E. McGiiirk, Jr., is chairman of the board of the Mercantile 
Safe Deposit & Trust Co., in Baltimore. He is a director and chairman 
of the executive committee and vice president of the Atlantic Coast- 
line Co. He is a director and member of the executive committee of 
Alico. He is a director, and chairman of Seaboard Coastline Indus- 
tries and Seaboard Coastline Eailroad. 

In addition to stock options and pension plans lie receives compen- 
sation in the following amounts and sources: Seaboard Coastline 
Railroad, $62,000; Atlantic Coastline, $1,400; Seaboard Coastline In- 
dustries, $600; Mercantile Bank, $79,999; or a total of $144,000 in 
direct remuneration from these four companies. He receives no com- 
pensation directly from Alico. On retirement, he will receive at least 
$70,000 a year from these companies. 

William T. Rice is chairman and president of Atlantic Coastline 
Co. He is a director and chairman of Alico, and he is chairman and 
chief executive officer of Seaboard Industries and the Seaboard Rail- 
road. He receives $149,205 in direct compensation from these compa- 
nies, in addition to stock options and dividends, $144,000 of which 
comes from Seaboard Railroad. On the Atlantic and Seaboard reports 
he lists his address as Richmond Va. On the Alico report he lists his 
address as Jackonville, Fla., Alico being a Florida corporation. 

Prime F. Osborn is a director and president of Seaboard Coastline 
Railroad & Industries. He is a director of Atlantic, and he is a director, 
member of the executive committee, and vice president of Alico. He 
receives as direct remuneration from these companies a total of $90,- 
085 — $87,000 of which comes from Seaboard Railroad. 

In addition to the interlocks of these three men. Mercantile is well- 
endowed with the usual ironies of director interlocks. In view of the 
medical problems which daily confront migrant workers, the partici- 
pation of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Mercantile is particularly ironic. 
Johns Hopkins Hospital owns 3,000 shares of Mercantile. Mr. J. C. 
Cooper, Jr., who is chairman of the board of Johns Hopkins Hospital, 
is a director of Seaboard and Atlantic as well as Mercantile, and owns 
974 shares of Mercantile. McGuirk himself is vice chairman of the 
hospital, and Russell Nelson is president of the hospital and on the 
Mercantile board. Milton Eisenhower, the former president of Johns 
Hopkins University, is on the Mercantile board. 

One would hope that these men when confronted with the testimony 
at these hearings will exercise their responsibilities as investors and 
directors to solve the medical and health problems of the migrant. 
They especially should be concerned — being as they are, men of medi- 
cine and men of finance. 

Messrs. McGuirk, Rice, and Osborn are primarily responsible for the 
operations of Alico. They are well plugged into the local agricultural 
operations — having several Florida bankers on their board. Ben Hill 
Griffin, an important processor — crucial to any farming operation — is 
on Alico's board. And they have hired a local man as president of 
Alico, whom they pay less than $30,000 for his efforts. While these peo- 
ple participate in day-to-day operational decisions, it is Rice, Osborn, 
and McGuirk who make the ultimate policy decisions. 

And they enjoy fantastic corporate benefits from their railroad hold- 
ing company structure — benefits and security which stand in sharp 
contrast to the lives of the migrant workers who are affected by their 



5506 

decisions. McGuirk's salary alone (not to mention liis income from 
private investments) is enough to support 165 migrant Avorkers at the 
going annual average income of $891. 

Indeed, McGuirk or Rice could have financed all of the Federal wel- 
fare payments made in Hendry County, Fla., in fiscal 1969, and still 
had more than $40,000 a year left over for their personal use. And the 
fringe benefits : Thosp men have virtually no worries about health care, 
life insurance, and other traditional forms of life support. If these 
men stopped working tomorrow, they would have large annual in- 
comes; they would still have medical care; they would still have at 
least one house; their children would still have their education and 
opportunities for the future. 

Not so for the migrant worker. If he stops working, if he gets sick, 
if he is injured, he loses everything, not gradually, but right away. 

Moreover, the fact that these men derive virtually no income directly 
from the operations of Alico does not free them from their responsi- 
bilities to develop an enlightened agricultural business. Indeed, in some 
ways it is more offensive ; for they have created a company for which 
they have no economic need. They can afford the luxury of retaining 
earnings for future land acquisitions and new mergers such as the re- 
cent formation of the Alico Helicopter Co., to get into the chemical 
spray business. What is almost a hobby with these corporate leaders is 
a day-to-day life struggle with the migrant worker. 

I have talked today only of Coke and Alico. There are, of course,, 
other corporations and corporate decisionmakers who malce lots of 
money and are as responsible for this suffering as Coke and Alico. But 
Coke and Alico seem particularly appropriate models for large cor- 
porate farming on the one hand and corporate insulation on the other. 
Now I could go on and on about corporate conglomerates. Many have, 
but I don't think it is necessarj^ Their stories are so similar. Some say 
it is extremely complicated stuff — agribusiness — especially trying to 
ferret through corporate structures to get to the heart of economic 
realities. But in fact, it's very simple; some corporations are making 
large investments into a farming industry which wrecks havoc on the 
day-to-day lives of its workers. 

And I sometimes get the feeling that corporate leaders create the 
complexities of subsidiaries, of divisions, and large economics and then 
point to those very complexities which they have created in order to 
hide simple realities. 

Here the reality is simj^le. It's a reality of despair. And it is a 
reality that is daily practiced by the agricultural industry. And those 
people who run these corporations at least have a responsibility to 
alleviate the problem, and may in fact be responsible for creating 
the problem. 

And the Government, what can you do? Of course you can pass 
legislation covering minimum wages, health and welfare, housing, 
collective bargaining and the like. I am sure you have many welfare 
alternatives. And I think you should consider them all. 

But I think we can't let the corporations off so easy, '^^'^ly can't the 
grower cooperatives and conglomerates join in and create a common 
fund to maintain an annual wage for the migrant worker pool ? Why 
can't a similar fund for health, life, and medical insurance be created 
by these corporations ? 



5507 

Indeed, why does the taxpayer have to participate in still another 
farm program which will benefit ultimately the private corporations ^ 
And if the cost of these programs, privately funded, privately created, 
must be borne by the consumer, then so be it. According to NHL, a 
doubling of wages would add only 1 to 2 cents to consumer costs. But 
I think;] udging from the Alico figures, that a good portion ol this 
cost can be borne by the real owners and investors. 

As I sat here listening to the testimony, I became more and more 
offended : Why do these corporate leaders get away with this ]unk 
so often? Why are corporations permitted to ignore for so long the 
human suffering they cause? Why is it that corporations can PoUute 
and rape our land and human resources, and when they are finally dis- 
covered, come in and apologize ? _ TV 1, 

We expect more from human beings in their day-to-day lives ; why 
don't we demand at least the same standard from our corporations m 
the day-to-day conduct of their business ? ^ 

I just know that Austin and other Coke officials are gmg to come 
breezing into these hearings and they are going to say : "Boys, we re 
sorry We're sorry for raping these people. We're sorry that we don t 
pay them enough to live a month, much less a year. We're sorry that 
migrant workers die at the age of 49. We're sorry about all these things 
we do every day. But now we're going to be better. We re going to 
make new houses and we're going to raise wages, and give the worker 
some hope. So stay off our backs and give us another chance. Ihat is 
what the Coke people are going to say. 

Well, I don't think that's enough. We have lost a whole generation 
just in the last 10 years because of corporate ignorance. We may have 
lost a whole world because of corporate rape of the environment. 
We have got to stop this. We have got to stop corporations from 
getting away with this kind of irresponsibility in the future. This 
Congress has got to find ways in which corporations and their leaders 
are accountable not simply for future activities, but for tlieir past 

conduct. r>t 1 1 AT 

For our part, we will be watching companies like Coke and Alico, 
and as many of the others as our resources and dedication permit. We 
are going to study these "plans." We will see about a boycott of Coca- 
Cola, and Minute Maid, and other companies. Already, we have placed 
orders to buy stock in these companies, i^nd we will go to our coowners 
like Johns Hopkins and ask them what they will do about Alico. 

Someday a migrant worker will look down that complicated cor- 
porate maze all the way to Baltimore and see McQuirk as president 
of the Mercantile Bank. Someday that migrant worker will set his 
sights on that bank, and say, "If I work real hard, I too would be 
chairman of the Mercantile Bank." But I hope he chooses not to be 
president of the bank, but rather dedicates himself to creating truly 
responsible institutions that do not isolate its leaders from the day-to- 
day impact of their decisions. Then we won't need hearings and 
documentaries. 

But as it is now, the workers can't even look beyond the orange tree. 
Only when McGuirk and his corporate colleagues are prepared or com- 
pelled to give up the luxury of corporate isolation, will that day become 
a reality. [Applause.] 



5508 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Moore, for a most impressive 
statement. I only regret that more of my colleagues were not with me 
to hear it. I order your entire statement printed at this point in the 
record. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Moore follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Philip W. Moore, Staff Counsel, 
Project on Corporate Responsibility 

My name is Philip W. Moore. I am staff counsel to the Project on Corporate 
Responsibility, a newly formed organization to seek out and explore the ways 
in which large private corporations can be made more responsive to public 
needs. Corporate leaders today make decisions that fundamentally affect the 
day to day lives of citizens. Yet too often corporate decision-makers remain 
isolated from the voice of the public and free from public outrage. We felt this 
was true with General Motors in our first campaign to make General Motors 
responsible, a public interest proxy fight which the Project on Corporate 
Responsibility conducted. We have just begun an investigation of the agri- 
business industry which shows a similar result — a callous disregard for the 
welfare not only of workers, but also of the consumer. In addition to planning 
the second round of Campaign GM, the Project on Corporate Responsibility 
will pursue corporate involvement in the agri-business industry. 

Ten years ago CBS showed a remarkable documentary, "Harvest of Shame." 
which depicted the tragic and shameful human conditions to which migrant 
workers are subject in their day to day lives. Last Thursday night NBC showed 
what appeared to be a virtual repeat of the CBS film — nothing had changed. 
The migrant still lives in daily fear for his survival. He has utterly no hope 
for the future, either for himself or his family. He is locked into a system 
in which all of the essential elements of life support — income, housing, food, 
health — are controlled by a corporate system of farming on the one hand and 
a total lack of public-support programs on the other. 

And here we are today — testifying — giving still more evidence of the obvious. 
We have heard testimony of inadequate medical and health programs for the 
migrant. We have heard testimony of the failure of local agencies to fill the 
needs of income and health for these workers. And we have all heard of inade- 
quate federal programs which not only fail the migrant, but ironically give 
tremendous support to the corporate farmer who is very much a cause of the 
migrant's needs. 

Tragically, what is most important about this testimony and the NBC film 
is not the substance of what was said — those facts have been known for years — 
but rather that we've had these hearings and another documentary at all. One 
viewing of "Harvest of Shame" should have been suflBcient to create a firm 
resolve to end then the human exploitation of migrant workers. 

Instead, it seems, the opposite is true. The leaders of these corporations appar- 
ently saw the CBS documentary in 1960 as depicting an opportunity for exploitive 
profit, rather than as an appalling story of human tragedy. Ten years ago, Coca- 
Cola bought out Minute Maid Orange Juice and plunged itself into the Florida 
citrus industry and the .system of migrant labor which that industry supports. 
Ten years ago, the Atlantic Coastline Railroad incorporated Alico Land Devel- 
opment Company in Florida to develop some 203,000 acres of Florida land as a 
first step toward creating a new agri-business empire. 

In the last ten years corporate farming has skyrocketed. Since 1960, close to 
7,000 corporations have come into farming and related activities, many of them 
as subsidiaries of large conglomerate corporations. Tenneco in California through 
the Kern County Land Corporation ; Gulf and Western in Florida through the 
South Puerto Rico Sugar Company; United Fruit in Texas (Pan American 
Freeze) ; Coca-Cola in Florida; Royal Crown Cola in Texas (Texsun) ; Union 
Carbide in Texas ; and the railroads — Penn Central in Florida, Nortlnvest Indus- 
tries in the midwest, Seaboard and Atlantic Coastline Railroads in Florida, these 
and many more corporations have moved into agri-business.^ 

Why these corporations come in is not totally clear, but it must be the money. 
Agri-business is complicated enough, involving as it does the use of human re- 



See appendix. 



5509 

sources to convert land resources into profit. It is made still more complicated 
by corporate machinations, tax consideration, and federal farm programs, which 
defy imagination in the way that they benefit corix>rations— not people. But one 
fact must be clear : Corporations come into farming and land use l)ecause they 
make money, it is a good investment. It is the corporations who get the lion's 
share of the $120 billion that consumers spent last year on food and beverages. 
But for whatever reason, corporations are there, and the decisions made by these 
corporations at least perpetrate a condition of human misery because of acquies- 
cence and at worst create this misery by active contribution to the system of 
migratory labor. It is those corporations and their leaders who derive benefit 
from this system either as investors or corporate managers that must ultimately 
bear the resiwnsibility of this system. 

In i>ointing to the large conglomerate, I do not mean to exclude the large local 
corporations that are primarily into agriculture. These local corporations par- 
ticipate just as fundamentally in the exploitation of the farm worker — the Collier 
Corporation, Benn Hill GriflBn, A. P. Duda and Sons, Griffin and Brand, the Bent- 
sen Family all own and farm, and process the produce from thou.sands of acres of 
land in Florida and Texas. Xo one corporation or category can be singled out as 
particularly bad, for they have all failed in the last ten years to take any mean- 
ingful step to eliminate the conditions which their corporate decisions impose 
daily on the lives of migrant workers.^ 

But because all have failed to take respon.sible measures does not excuse 
each one of them from accountability. And indeed, the large conglomerate farmer 
has created a sophisticated chain of corporate structure which isolates the cor- 
porate decision-makers from public pressures and human misery. Who in this 
country knows that Minute Maid Orange Juice is a C5oca Cola product? Or 
who can know that Alico is controlled ultimately by a Baltimore bank? It is 
precisely this problem of corporate insulation through holding company struc- 
ture or through internal divisions that make information-gathering extremely 
difficult and ultimate remedies almost impossible. 

Coca Cola, especially, seems pained that they have been singled out on the 
NBC show. They point to other companies that are also doing bad things, and 
they say they have plans for new programs. But just because other corporations 
are doing bad things doesn't excuse Coke. More importantly. Coke is big, it is 
powerful, and it is visible. Coke's policies can set the standard for other cor- 
porations, and as such Coke has perhaps a special responsibility. If Coke doesn't 
want to be singled out, it should not only clean its own house, but also assert 
its leadership position on its corporate colleagues to reform their migratory labor 
policies. 

The Coca Cola Company is one of the biggest Florida citrus growers and dis- 
tributors. It owns or controls under long term lease more than 30.000 acres of 
planted citrus groves in Florida. In addition, it owns three Plorida processing 
plants with a capacity of 7,100 gallons of citrus concentrate per hour. Through 
its Food Division, Coca Cola handles all of the distribution of its Minute Maid 
products. 

While the company has numerous subsidiaries and conducts business in 25 
countries, it is run primarily through internal divisions. In 1960, Minute Maid 
was merged into Coca Cola and for seven years was run as a separate division. In 
1967, Coke formed a Food Division, of which Minute Maid is a subdivision. The 
Food Division is based in Houston, Texas. Coke's director of farmworker person- 
nel — William Kelly — was until very recently stationed in Houston where Coke 
has no farmworking requirements, far away from the day to day misery of 
the Florida workers. 

One of Coke's Minute Maid groves is at the corner of Rt. 630A and Hobson 
Road in Frostproof, Florida. The grove is serviced by migratory worker quarters 
called "Maxey Quarters," which is owned and operated by Coca Cola. These 
quarters, which were filmed in the NBC documentary, hou.se between 200-300 
people. They have no indoor water or plumbing ; there is no hot w^ater, the condi- 
tions of the houses are unquestionably bad. But what is worse, even, than thft 
housing conditions, is the social control that is maintained over the life style 
of the migrants and all of the basic life support systems of the migrants. 

In order to live in these houses, a family must work for Coke. If somebody 
is sick, the foreman, not a doctor, can decide whether the person can stay home. 



*U.S. Sugar has embarked on a housing program. Our Information is not sufficient as 
to Its effects. 

36-513 O — 71 — pt. 8B 9 



5510 

If the foreman decides that a worker is not sick, then he must either work 
or risk eviction from his housing. With eviction comes total loss of income, 
housing, medical support, and food. Coke maintains no day care facilities ; 
children must either go to the fields or hang around the quarter.s. The fam- 
ilies need the children to help pack the oranges — the cycle of destitution con- 
tinues unending. If one part of the cycle breaks down the workers whole life 
breaks. 

We have not been able to determine, because there is no breakdown, how 
much of Coke's income comes from the Food Division and how much in turn 
comes from Minute Maid operations. But they do make money. The president 
of Coca Cola is J. Paul Austin. His salary is $150,000; his retirement bene- 
fits are $48,000 and he owns 55,000 shares of Coke, which pays him annually 
an additional $79,200. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Lee Talley. 
His annual salary is $61,000 ; his retirement benefits are $48,000 and he owns 
45,000 shares of Coke stock which pays $64,800 a year. Mr. William A. Coolidge 
is a former Director of Minute Maid and is now a Director of Coca Cola hold- 
ing 97,000 shares of Coca Cola stock which pays $139,000 a year. Together 
the directors and officials of Coke own more than a million shares. None of 
these men, nor any of Coke's chief employees suffer the slightest bit of income, 
job, or life support insecurity. Their needs — all of them — are well taken care 
of for the rest of their lives and several generations to come. Yet, a portion of 
the income that these men receive from their work and stock ownership comes 
from the labor and scandalous insecurity of migrant workers in Florida. It is 
bad enough that they should be able to make so much money when workers 
in their own company make so little. But it is even worse that the working 
conditions, the wages, the system of racism and despair which characterize the 
life of the migrant worker are a product of, and perpetrated by, decisions made 
by these very same men. And they bear a major responsibility for curing the 
defects of their decisions. 

Shortly after this testimony was announced I received a call from Mr. Jo- 
seph Califano, former aide to President Johnson and now an attorney with 
Arnold and Porter who represent Coca Cola. He asked to talk to me about 
the new programs that Coke was starting. We met and he described new programs 
which have been in the planning stages, he said, for nearly two years. Many of 
the programs sound good. They cover housing, education, wage scales, working 
conditions and job security. They seem to recognize needs for upward mobility 
and community participation. And they appear to come from a commitment of 
Coca Cola to do something about the problems of migrant workers in Florida. 

I understand that Coca Cola executives will be testifying later in the.se hear 
ings. I assume that the specifics of the programs will be spelled out then, and 
I postpone additional comment until after we have had a chance to review the 
specific programs. But regardless of the benefit of the program, it is appalling 
that it took ten years to embark on any programs at all. Ten years have been 
lost on an opportunity for a responsible corporation to begin to attack a 
fundamental problem encompassing an entire life system. Corporations should 
not be permitted such ten year luxuries. 

I would like to ask Mr. Austin or Mr. Talley how long it took Coke to intro- 
duce a new product like Sprite — was that ten years? Or what about new 
methods — a new can — does it take ten years to develop a new can? I doubt it. 
Why is it that when it comes to profit, corporations work fast, but when it comes 
to human conditions, corporations at best plod along. 

Another corporation, the Alico Land and Development Company (Alico) is a 
relatively small farming operation in Florida. Indeed, when compared to 
other giants like U.S. Sugar, (90,000 acres in Collier County) ; and Coca 
Cola with 30,000 acres of planted citrus groves — Alico's farming operations are 
miniscule. But Alico was born of a large corporate conglomeration, growing out 
of railroad operations. It represents a commitment of these corporations and 
their leaders to utilize old railroad resources for long term agricultural and 
land holdings. It represents a commitment to invest in a system of agriculture, 
on an increasingly large scale, which participates in the despair of migrant 
workers. And it provides an extremely good example of how corporate struc- 
ture tends to isolate the actual decision-makers from the operation of the farm. 

Alico does its busine.ss in citrus, cattle, forestry and land rental. It owns and 
controls some 203,000 acres of Florida land. 6,875 are in citrus, 4,025 of these 
acres being planted in citrus groves. In 1969. 54.5% of its income came from citrus 
groves. Its citrus groves are located in Polk county (5,265) and Collier county 



5511 

(1,200). We have been unable to determine how many migrant workers harvest 
these citrus groves, or any of their other agricultural products. Most harvesting 
is done through a profit sharing arrangement with Ben Hill Grilfin, Inc., and we 
have not been able to determine whether the worker is hired by Alico directly 
or by Ben Hill GriflSn, Inc. If the usual practice applies, Ben Hill GriflBn, Inc., 
does the hiring of migratory workers. Ben Hill Griflin, Jr., is a director of 
Alico. 

In each of the past three years Alico's annual report mentions the unfavor- 
able impact of bad weather on its crops. But in each year Alico's net return on Its 
citrus increases. In the years between 1967 and 1968 income resulted from higher 
prices paid by the consumer. In 1969, the income in net return from citrus 
($57,000 — 11% over 1968) equals amount saved in lower harvesting payroll minus 
the amount lost in gross sales. While this may be pure coincidence, the com- 
pany's increase in citrus net returns appears to come at the expense of the con- 
sumer in higher prices and the worker in less work. Alico appears to be able 
to modify its harvesting cost and the worker thus suffers, not only from corpo- 
rate disregard but also from the capricious nature of the agricultural industry. 
The company, despite the changing weather conditions, keeps increasing its 
profits. Alico has retained all of its earnings and has never declared a dividend 
to its stockholders. 

Alico was incorporated in 1960 as a subsidiary of the Atlantic Land and Im- 
provement Company, which was then a subsidiary of the Atlantic Coastline Rail- 
road Company. It was formed to take over and develop some 203,000 acres of 
Florida land originally held by the railroad, but then owned by Atlantic Land 
and Improvement Company. Alico was since spini off, and is now a subsidiary of 
the Atlantic Coastline Company, a holding company which owns 35.4% of the 
Alico stock. 52%, of the stock in Atlantic Coastline Company is owned by the 
Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company, a Baltimore bank. The Interstate 
Commerce Commission has held that the Atlantic Coastline Company is con- 
trolled by Mercantile Bank. Recently, the Mercantile Bank has announced that 
it is merging with two other Maryland banks to form still another holding com- 
pany called Mercantile Bankshares, Inc. The Mercantile Bank currently owns 
directly 5% of the Alico stock directly, so that Mercantile's total .stock control 
of Alico is slightly more than 40%. 

The Mercantile, Atlantic, and Alico holding company line was originally in- 
tended to be part of a larger holding company structure growing out of a merger 
between the Atlantic Coastline Railroad Company and the Seaboard Coastline 
Railroad. Seaboard Coastline Railroad is currently a 100% owned subsidiary 
of the Seaboard Coastline Industries, the railroad holding company. The Atlantic 
Coastline company was to have merged into Seaboard Coastline Industry, form- 
ing one holding company structure. But for tax considerations, the merger never 
went through. As it now stands Atlantic Coastline owns 15% of Seaboard Indus- 
tries, which provides almo.st all of Atlantic's income. The Mercantile Bank owns 
or controls directly 2% of the Seaboard stock. 

The complicated corporate structure and variations in stock ownership should 
serve to protect the men who benefit from this structure, and ultimately make 
the decisions that affect the u.se of the land and the conditions of the worker. 
The fact that there are several corjwrate tiers between the Alico farming oper- 
ations and the corporate decision-makers does not isolate the decision-makers 
from the impact of their corporate decisions. 

The men that run Alico and ultimately bear the responsibility for Alico's 
participation in migrant working conditions, are part of this larger corporate 
structure. Three men especially seem clo.se to the oi^erations. 

William H McGuirk, Jr., is Chairman of the Board of the Mercantile Safe 
Deposit and Trust Company, in Baltimore. He is a Director and Chairman of 
the Executive Committee and Vice President of the Atlantic Coastline Comi>any. 
He is a Director and member of the Executive Committee of Alico. He is a Direc- 
tor, and Chairman of Seaboard Coastline Industries and Seaboard Coastline 
Railroad. In addition to .stock options and pension plans he receives comi>en- 
sation in the following amounts and sources : Seaboard Coastline Railroad, 
$62,000: Atlantic Coastline, $1,400; Seaboard Coastline Industries, $600; Mer- 
cantile Bank, $79,999, or a total of $144,000 in direct remuneration from these 
four companies. He receives no compensation from Alico. On retirement, he will 
receive at least $70,000 a year from these companies. 

William T. Rice is Chairman and President of Atlantic Coastline Company. He 
is a Director and Chairman of Alico, and he is Chairman and Chief Executive 



5512 

OflBcer of Seaboard Industries and the Seaboard Railroad. He receives $149,205 
in direct compensation from these companies, in addition to stoclc options and 
dividends, $144,000 of which comes from Seaboard Railroad. On the Atlantic and 
Seaboard reports he lists his address as Richmond, Va. On the Alico report he 
lists his address as Jacksonville, Fla. 

Prime F. Osborn is a Director and president of Seaboard Coastline Rail- 
road and Industries. He is a Director of Atlantic, and he is a Director, member 
of the Executive Committee and Vice President of Alico. He receives as direct 
remuneration from these companies a total of $90,085 — $87,000 of which comes 
from Seaboard Railroad. 

In addition to the interlocks of these three men, Mercantile is well-endowed 
with the usual ironies of director interlocks. In view of the medical problems 
which daily confront migrant workers the participation of Johns Hopkins Hos- 
pital in Mercantile is particularly ironic. Johns Hopkins Hospital owns 3,000 
shares of Mercantile. Mr. J. C. Cooper, Jr., who is Chairman of the Board 
of Johns Hopkins Hospital is a Director of Seaboard and Atlantic as well as 
Mercantile, and owns 974 shares of Mercantile. McGuirk himself is vice chair- 
man of the hospital, and Russell Nelson is president of the hospital and on the 
Mercantile Board. Milton Eisenhower, the former President of Johns Hopkins 
University is on the Mercantile board. One would hope that these men when 
confronted with the testimony at these hearings will exercise their respon- 
sibilities as investors and directors to solve the medical and health problems 
of the migrant. They especially should be concerned — being as they are men 
of medicine and men of finance. 

Mssrs. McGuirk, Rice and Osborn, are primarily responsible for the operation 
of Alico. They are well plugged into the local agricultural operations — having 
several Florida bankers on their Board. Ben Hill Griffin, an important proc- 
essor — crucial to any farming operation — is on Alico's board. And they have hired 
a local man as president of Alico, who they pay less than $30,000 for his efforts. 
While these people participate in day to day operational decisions, it is Rice, 
Osborn and McGuirk who make the ultimate policy decisions. 

And they enjoy fantastic corporate benefits from their railroad holding 
company structure — benefits and security which stand in sharp contrast to 
the lives of the migrant workers who are affected by their decisions. McGuirk's 
salary alone (not to mention his income from private investments) is enough 
to support 165 migrant workers at the going annual average income of $891.00. 
Indeed, McGuirk or Rice could have financed all of the federal welfare 
payments made in Hendry County, Florida, in fiscal 1969, and still had more 
than $40,000 a year left over for their personal use. And the fringe benefits: 
These men have virtually no worries about health care, life insurance and other 
traditional forms of life support. If these men stopped working tomorrow, they 
would have large annual incomes ; they would still have medical care ; they 
would still have at least one house : their children would still have their edu- 
cation and opportunities for the future. Not so for the migrant worker — if he 
stops working, if he gets sick, if he is injured, he loses everything, not grad- 
ually, but right away. 

Moreover, the fact that these men derive virtually no income directly from 
the operations of Alico does not free them from their responsibilities to develop 
an enlightened agricultural business. Indeed, in some ways it is more offensive ; 
for they have created a company for which they have no economic need. They 
can afford the luxury of retaining earnings for future land acquisitions and 
new mergers such as the recent formation of the Alico Heliocopter Company, to 
get into the chemical spray business. What is almost a hobby with these cor- 
porate leaders is a day to day life struggle with the migrant worker. 

I have talked today only of Coke and Alico. There are, of course, other cor- 
porations and corporate decision-makers who make lots of money and are as 
responsible for this suffering as Coke and Alico. But Coke and Alico seem par- 
ticularly appropriate models for large corporate farming on the one hand and 
corporate insulation on the other. 

Now I could go on and on about corporate conglomerates. Many have, but I 
don't think it is necessary. Their stories are so similar. Some say it's extremely 
complicated stuff — agri-business — especially trying to ferret through corporate 
structures to get to the heart of economic realities. But in fact, it's very simple ; 



5513 

some corporations are making large investments into a farming industry which 
wracks havoc on the day to day lives of its workers. And I sometime get the 
feeling that corporate leaders create the complexities of subsidiaries, of divi- 
sions, and large economics and then point to those very complexities which 
they have created in order to hide simple realities. 

Here the reality is simple. It's a reality of despair. And it is a reality that is 
daily practiced by the agricultural industry. And those people who run these 
corporations at least have a responsibility to alleviate the problem, and may in 
fact be responsible for creating the problem. 

And the government, what can you do? Of course you can pass legislation 
covering minimum wages, health and welfare, housing, collective bargaining and 
the like. I am sure you have many welfare alternatives. And I think you should 
consider them all. 

But I think we can't let the corporations off so easy. Why can't the grower 
co-operatives and conglomerates join in and create a common fund to maintain 
an annual wage for the migrant worker pool? Why can't a similar fund for 
health, life and medical insurance be created by these corporations? Indeed, why 
does the taxpayer have to participate in still another farm program which will 
benefit the private corporations? And if the cost of these programs, privately 
funded, privately created, must be borne by the consumer, then so be it. Accord- 
ing to NBC, a doubling of wages would add only 1-2^ to consumer costs. But I 
think, judging from the Alico figures, that a good pontion of this cost can be borne 
by the real owners and investors. 

As I sat here listening to the testimony I became more and more offended — ^why 
do these corporate leaders get away with this junk so often? Why are corpora- 
tions permitted to ignore for so long the human suffering they cause? Why is it 
that corporations can pollute and rai^e our land and human resources — and they 
are finally discovered, come in and apologize. We expect more from human beings 
in their day to day lives — why don't we demand at least the same standard from 
our corporations in the day to day conduct of their business ? 

I just know that Austin and other Coke oflicials are going to come breezing into 
these hearings and they are going to say : "Boys, we're sorry. We're sorry for 
raping these people. We're sorry that we don't pay them enough to live a month, 
much less a year. We're sorry that migrant workers die at the age of 49. We're 
sorry about all these things we do every day. But now we're going to be better. 
We're going to make new houses and we're going to raise wages, and give the 
worker some hope. So stay off our backs and give us another chance." That is 
what the Coke people are going to say. 

Well, I don't think that's enough. We have lost a whole generation just in the 
last 10 years because of corporate ignorance. We may have lost a whole world 
because of corporate rai>e of the environment. We have got to stop this. We have 
got to stop corporations from getting away with this kind of irresponsibility in 
the future. This Congress has got to find ways in which corporations and their 
leaders are accountable not simply for future activities, but for their past 
conduct. 

For our part, we will be watching companies like Coke and Alico, and as many 
of the others as our resources and dedication permit. We are going to study these 
"plans." We will see about a boycott of Coca Cola, and Minute Maid, and other 
companies. Already, we have placed orders to buy stock in these companies. And 
we will go to our co-owners like Johns Hopkins and ask them what they will 
do about Alico. 

Someday a migrant worker will look down that complicated corporate maze 
all the way to Baltimore and see MeGuirk as President of the Mercantile Bank. 
Someday that migrant worker will set his sights on that bank, and say, "If I 
work real hard, I too would be Chairman of the Mercantile Bank." But I hope 
he chooses not to be president of the bank, but rather dedicates himself to creating 
truly responsible institutions that do not isolate its leaders from the day to 
day impact of their decisions. Then we won't need hearings and documentaries. 
But as it is now, the worker can't even look beyond the orange tree. Only when 
McGuirk and his coriwrate colleagues are prepared or compelled to give up 
the luxury of cori)orate isolation will that day become a reality. 



5514 



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5515 

APPENDIX II 



Federal grants 
Federal grants to welfare 

to corporations programs 



Texas counties: 

Starr 1,211,000 1,788,000 

Cameron.. 13,719,000 4,027,000 

Hidalgo.. --- 20,854,000 5,184,000 

Willacy 4,952,000 499,000 

Total 40,736,000 11,498,000 

Florida counties: 

Palm Beach 5,353,000 3,585,000 

Hendry 506,000 101,000 

Collier _ 118,000 283,000 

Total 5,977,000 3,969,000 

Grand total 46, 713, 000 15, 467, 000 

1969 Federal grants to cotton (Texas).... 20, 137,000 

1969 Federal grants to sugar I (Florida) 2,524,000 

1 1969 Federal grants to sugar alone, 1,181,195 under the Sugar Act. 

Senator Mondale. You mentioned at the outset of your testimony 
that since 1960 close to 7,000 corporations have been created and have 
gone into farming or related businesses. I could not help but be struck 
by the fact that as the number of corporate farms seem to be dramati- 
cally increasing, the number of family-operated farms seem to be 
dramatically decreasing. 

Do you see a correlation between the growers of the large well- 
f unded corporate farms and the future of family farming ? 

Mr. Moore. I definitely do. My statement refers to an appendix, 
which I believe was prepared and added to the record. 

That appendix does cover precisely this point. That is, it appears 
to be the corporate conglomerate moving into farming mostly at the 
processing level. What that means is that the corporation comes in as 
a processor, it deals with the individual farmer, usually dictating the 
terms at a flat or consignment rate. 

The processor then goes to the trucker, who in turn goes to the 
migrant, hires the migrant, and then they haul the stuff to the process- 
ing level. That is one cycle of the economics of it. 

Distribution is another cycle. At that cycle, most of the profit is 
being made in the farming operation. What is happening is that the 
small farmer has no bargaining power, he has no control over ultimate 
prices. Those prices are set by the corporate leaders further down the 
line. He is being rubbed out. 

In Texas, I understand, processors are going to Mexico, much at the 
expense of the local family farmer there. 

Senator Mondale. Could it be that one of the side effects of this 
exploitation of the farmworker is a subsidy to the large corporate 
farms, which in turn permits them to outcompete the family farmer ? 

Mr. Moore. I must say that I have tried— we are very new in the 
agricultural business at this stage of the game— I tried very quickly 
to understand all the farming programs. Most of it goes way above my 
head, so far as I can see. 

What I find offensive in the people I have talked to about these 
programs is that corporations do seem to get the benefit of them. 



5516 

Tliey do seem to be able to use the kind of benefits that are made 
available by these Federal programs much better than the small 
farmer, for whom, in fact, most of these programs were intended. 

Senator Mondai.e. Do you know what the approximate dollar re- 
turn to Coca-Cola was last year or a recent period on agricultural sales 
produced in whole or in part through the use of migrant farm- 
workers ? 

Mr. MooRE. No, as I said, I cannot find that figure. It is not broken 
down that way. It is a gross figure. 

I suspect if it were possible to look inside, I am sure Coca-Cola has 
that broken down and might make it available to the subcommittee. 

Senator Mondale. Do you know how many acres they farm? 

Mr. Moore. In Florida they farm 30,000 acres, most of which is 
owned, some of which is held under long-term lease. 

Senator Mondale. Do they have other farm operations ? 

Mr. Moore. I don't believe so, but I am not positive of this. I think 
almost all of the citrus operations — as you can see in that chart, there 
are several other divisions : Hi-C, Snowcrop, and a few other fairly 
well-knoAvn products also come from citrus products. I think all of 
that comes from Florida. I am not totally positive of that. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have any estimate of how many employees 
or farmworkers they hire? 

Mr. Moore. I have an estimate, they are figures given to me by 
Mr. Califano. I am sure they will be very specific on it. They had 700 
out-of-State migrant workers; if I remember correctly, 166 in-State 
Florida migrant workers, what they call floaters, I think, and an ad- 
ditional 100 or 200 that come from offshore islands. 

They also have a category of employees called the grove worker, 
who is a permanent employee of Coke and he has supervisory func- 
tions for the grove, and I believe that there are approximately 300 of 
those. They are in a different category, the grove worker, than the 
harvesting category which I mentioned earlier. 

Senator Mondale. From your information, there are something: like 
1,400 farm workers, whether they came from out of State or within 
the State or foreign nations, and about 300, approximately, supervi- 
sory full-time year-round employees, working for Coca-Cola, farm- 
ing some 30,000 acres of land. 

You do not know what the dollar volume is ? 

Mr. Moore. No, I do not. 

Senator Mondale. And they are primarily in citrus? 

Mr. Moore. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Is that exclusively with Minute Maid ? 

Mr. MooRE. They have Hi-C, Snowcrop and Minute Maid is their 
biggest product from the citrus industry. 

Senator Mondale. How about Alico ? Do you have the comparable 
figures, the amount of acreage, the dollar volume, the number of farm 
employees, so that we get a notion of its scope? 

Mr. MooRE. Alico has a total of 209,000 acres in Florida. Their 
citrus is 6,465 in Florida. It is a relatively small citrus operation. 

As I mentioned in the testimony, all of their earnings are being 
re^tained. Last year they did buy another 600 acres of citrus groves. 
They are planning, and the whole ])attern of that company is to 
increase its land holdings, especially in the citrus industry. 



5517 

Senator Mondale. Do you have any idea what their dollar volume 
was last year? 

Mr. Moore. The dollar volume in what? 

Senator Mondale. Sales in agricultural products produced by 
farmworkers. Or do you have any estimate of the number of em- 
ployees, farmworkers ? 

Mr. Moore. No, they have no estimate there. It could probably be 
broken down on some formula of how many people it takes to harvest 
X number of acres. 

Senator Mondale. We will try to develop some of this when Coca- 
Cola is here on Friday. 

In any event, these are large corporate farms that either are run 
directly or through complicated conglomerate ownership patterns. 
In your discussion with the representatives of Coca-Cola, did the list 
of things that they hope to do with their plans, include the right of 
these workers to organize into a union? 

Mr. MooRE. That right was never mentioned. I kind of doubt that 
that was part of their plan. 

Senator Mondale. I listened to your testimony and I was wonder- 
ing what your strategy is, what your approach is, to try to achieve 
what you call corporate responsibility in the treatment of the farm- 
worker. 

How do you intend to go about it ? 

Mr. Moore. Well, we have just begim. We started early by doing 
some research in some of the major agricultural industry companies. 
One of them was Tenneco. Tenneco has very little involvement as we 
know, so far, in Texas and Florida, at least in farming. 

As we review the Coke plan specifically, and as we unwind more of 
these corporate structures, probably what we will do is two things: 
With a company like Coca-Cola, which is highly visible, which is 
using the proceeds, really, of a very popular pop drink to divert it 
and use it to develop land resources, we might very well consider a 
boycott of Coke products as a way of applying citizen pressure on 
them. 

There is another possibility, a shareholders' proxy fight of some 
kind. From my discussion with Mr. Califano, I am sure Coke wants 
to do something to avoid this problem. I suspect when they come in 
here at the end of this week, they will try to unfold the plan that this 
committee and the rest of the public will hope is sufficient. 

We, of course, will wait and give them that hearing and see what 
kind of plan it is and how well they plan to implement that before 
we embark on anything specifically with them. 

With Alico it is quite different. 'Control is so tight both by indi- 
viduals and by institutional shareholders, and its visibility is so low, 
they have very little contact with the public generally, there is no 
way of developing specific public pressure, so I suspect what we will 
do is buy some shares of stock and then go to institutions like the 
Johns Hopkins Hospital and others like it, and ask them, as coowners 
of the corporation, what they intend to do. Will they join with us in 
some effort as coowners of the corporation, in some effort to reform 
Alico's migratory worker problem, or even more importantly, really, 
to set up Alico, perliaps because it is relatively new, as a model of the 
kinds of things a corporation can be doing, to l)egin to experiment 



5518 

with the sorts of things that corporations and their leaders ought to 
be trying out. 

Senator Mondale. Corporations are in business for a profit. These 
large corporate farms by and large are almost completely beyond the 
reach of modern unions, even though their corporate counterparts, 
industrial counterparts, have been unionized for 40 years or more. 

I think it is fair to say that since unions have represented workers 
in industrial plants, wages have gone up, security provisions have 
been included, seniority protection, health and welfare protection, 
pesticide protection, retirement benefits. In other words, the workers 
who have obtained their own representative procedure and their own 
remedy have proven to be far better in protecting their rights than 
any of us have been. 

Strangely, most of these corporations profit a great deal neverthe- 
less. What has been unique is that the National Labor Relations Act 
does not extend to the agriculture industry, and we see many of these 
huge corporations now in agriculture that are far more like General 
Motors than they are like the small family farmer. Yet they are still 
beyond the reach of the normal labor-management laws. 

Would you not think that perhaps the best remedy is to extend the 
National Labor Relations Act to such employee units and to accord 
them the same right to organize and bargain collectively, to strike, 
as is found in every other sector of American life? Wouldn't they 
then be far more able to assert their interest than otherwise? 

Mr. Moore. I think that the right of the farmworker to organize 
in a labor union, to form imions and receive all the other benefits, is a 
necessary precondition to anything else that can develop, both in de- 
veloping an articulate farmworking community, to developing roots 
in a community, and other kinds of benefits that are important to them. 

I think there are other areas both of legislation and kinds of pro- 
grams that a corporation should get into. I don't know, for example, 
who is responsible for Maxe^ Quarters and the dilapidated quarters 
these people end up staying in. Is it the corporation's responsibility 
as opposed to the union ? 

If that is so, should the corporation be permitted to pass that cost 
on to the consumer ? In some instances I think they might be able to. 
Or would the corporation start insisting on taxing the worker, the 
union, in the form of dues or something else ? 

I think there are all kinds of other problems that have to be antic- 
ipated in developing legislation for the farmworker, the very first of 
which is to allow them to organize and to bring those workers under 
the scope of normal Federal labor protection that is available to many 
other workers. 

Senator Mondale. It is not generally known that, among farm- 
workers, homeownership is very rare, simply because they are rootless. 
They have no way of being sure of jobs from season to season or from 
day to day, and therefore, the normal programs, even the self-help 
housing program, where they can build good, solid, sanitary housing 
for $7,000, IS beyond their reach. 

One of the few places I have seen this housing development, in- 
terestingly enough, is in California, where there have been union con- 
tracts entered into with the wine grape growers. As a result, these 



5519 

employees for the first time have job security, have seniority, and can 
make plans for their families. 

That is why it seems to me that one of the key answers to this cor- 
porate responsibility problem in agriculture is the capacity of the 
worker to sj^eak up effectively, to assert their own rights. I wonder if 
that is not a better long-term solution than what I gather is the part of 
your strategy, to prevent the real profiteers from ignoring their re- 
sponsibility for what is hapj)ening. 

Mr. MooRE. Our posture, which is to continually remind corpora- 
tions that they do have a responsibility in these areas, does not mean 
to exclude some of the long-range goals that you have mentioned. 

I would add that I think we all have a tendency, and have histori- 
cally had the tendency to let the corporation have their mistakes and 
then try to cure those mistakes through some other route, rather than 
directly holding the corporation accountable for it. 

I think some areas of accountability simply have to be explored. It 
is a very tough problem because I don't quite know, myself, exactly 
what form this accountability should take and how finally these cor- 
porations should be brought into line. 

Senaor Mondale. How long have you been studying Coca-Cola 
and Alico? How long did it take you to develop these figures that 
we have heard today ? 

Mr. Moore. Back in May is when we looked into agri-business; at 
that time we were looking into businesses other than Coca-Cola. We 
in this part of the country had not realized that Minute Maid was a 
product of Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola was all tied into the Florida 
citrus industry. 

It was not until 2 weeks ago in fact that we heard about these hear- 
ings, and possible Coca-Cola involvement with the documentary, and 
we looked into Coca-Cola. It was extremely hard to pierce through 
these books. AVe have gone through, as well as we can, charts like 
those two up there for every corporation we have known about. 
United States Sugar, Tenneco, and others. It is extremely difficult to 
be able to go through these lines. 

Senator Mondaue. Did you find them cooperative when you asked 
questions ? 

Mr. Moore. Some are. Alico we have had no direct contact with. 
The Coca-Cola people, as you know, have initiated conversations 
with us. At the moment they appear open. I would just like to see 
their plan. I would like to see their own plan and their own program 
before determining how cooperative they really are. 

Senator Mondale. You are making a pioneering effort in seeking 
to unravel these conglomerates, trying to understand them, if that 
IS possible. I think this is the first time the Migratory Labor Subcom- 
mittee has had any information like this, and this committee has been 
in existence for 10 years. 

It is my impression, for example, that in the wine graj>e industry 
it was only when one of the big corporations that sell wine in this 
country became embarrassed over the conditions of the farmworkers 
who pick their grapes, that the union contracts followed. 

That may happen with citrus, but I would hate to have this responsi- 
bility if I were president of the Baltimore Bank. I think I would 
feel a lot more comfortable if there were changes in the national laws 



5520 

permitting the union and introducing into this area the same labor- 
management concepts that we are used to elsewhere. 

After all, this is pretty late in America's history to argue that 
unionization is a dangerous thing. I am personally convinced that if 
farmworker unions were organized, we would all be better off and we 
would have justice. 

And the costs, if they were truly competing industries, would be 
the same. 

Mr. MooRE. If you imposed it on all of them directly. 

Senator Mondale. Yes. 

Mr. Moore. Yes, we would have to do that. No company that we 
would single out, would be in an effort to single it out at the expense 
of others, but rather to try to develop models for others to follow. 
And certainly other legislation, that would apply across the board 
to all the companies. 

Senator Mondale. I think the key problem to pollution, for example, 
is that there is a lot of money in dirty water. 

Mr. Moore. There is a lot of money in cleaning out the dirty water. 

Senator Mondale. Not as much as there is today in making dirty 
water. 

Mr. Moore. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. It seems to me that when we shift the incentive 
so that you can make more money with clean water than with dirty 
water, they will find a way pretty fast to shift their emphasis; the 
same with air. And it is the same way with poverty. There is a lot of 
money in poverty, apparently. 

You can get rich on hunger in this country. I don't mean that they 
make that deliberate choice, but that is the result of what is going on. 
It ought not to be possible to do that. The cost of a decent life ought 
to be incorporated in the price of every product. I don't think that is 
revolutionary in this day and age. 

Texas passed a $1.10 minimum wage — you can't live on $1.10. Even 
if you get year-round employment, you cannot live on it. Many of 
them, I am sure, are not earning that kind of money and certainly 
don't have year-round employment. 

In testimony this mommg from Mr. Juarez we learned that he thinks 
things have been getting worse during the past 25 years. 

Another thing, I am personally convinced that rural America has 
paid a big price for this strategy of cheap labor, for the money has gone 
elsewhere. If the citizens of those communities were making decent 
wages, the local stores would be doing better, public revenues would be 
more readily available, the schools would be better, and the other serv- 
ices that the community depends upon, which the residents have to pay 
for, would be far better. 

I think it has been a very costly strategy. 

I would hate to have to live with my conscience. I think this must 
damage them in a psychological way, knowing that people live this 
way. They know their responsibility. They pay a psychological price 
that must be enormous. As much as they might try to rationalize, there 
are very few human beings who can live with what they are doing to 
these people and can feel comfortable about it. 

How else can you justify their going to these networks and asking 
them not to use the television documentary ? If they thought they were 



5521 

so right, how come they did not want the folks in the community to see 
the show ? It sounds to me like they felt guilty. 

Mr, Moore. It seems to me worse than guilt. If they felt guilty, they 
would do something about it. Hopefully, guilt is sufficient motive to 
get them to do something about it. 

Obviously it is not. What they are concerned with, by response to the 
NBC show, is something more than guilt : public pressure, new legisla- 
tion, whatever else that might come. 

It is too bad that guilt and those kinds of personal feelings are not 
sufficient to make those corporations and corporate leaders conduct 
truly responsible management. The most galling thing about the 
migrant worker, opposed perhaps to the pollution problem, is that 
it is so clear and obvious on the one hand. 

It is so simple in one sense in its solution, when you talk about some 
of the superficial aspects of it anyway. The housing is terrible. They 
can go down there and look at it and see it is terrible. 

It would cost Coca Cola a hundred thousand dollars, maybe, to fix 
up their housing to a habitable condition in all of the State of Florida, 
and they still have not done even that. It obviously will take a lot more 
than guilt to make these guys do it. 

Senator Mondale. Very well stated. Thank you very much, Mr. 
Moore, for your most useful statement and for the appendices sup- 
plied, all of which will be included in the record. 

Our final witness today is Clay Cochran, who is the executive direc- 
tor of the Rural Housing Alliance, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Cochran, we are delighted to have you here this afternoon. We 
wish to express our appreciation for the schedule complications 
created by your having to wait as long as you have. 

I was told you were the first manager of the Weslaco Labor Camp. 

STATEMENT OF CLAY COCHRAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RURAL 
HOUSING ALLIANCE, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Mr. Cochran. Thirty-one years ago. And it sounds like things 
have not changed a bit in Weslaco. 

Senator Mondale. That was built in 1939 or 1940. It opened in early 
1940. 

Was that a Federal program ? 

Mr. Cochran. Thte only thing approaching a decent farm-labor 
housing program that the country ever had was the old farm security 
migratory labor program. 

Senator Mondale. That was a national program that went around 
building decent housing, decent by those stajidards then, for migrants. 
That is why we still see some of that housing in migrant communities 
that are uniformly dirty and 35 years old. It was built under that 
program ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Cochran. Yes. Some of them were poorly constructed when 
they were first built, and 30 years has not done them any good. 

As I will indicate a little later, it was a great program as far as it 
went and lasted about 10 years. 

I am Clay Cochran, executive director of the Rural HousiLng 
Alliance. 



5522 

Lee Reno, of our staff here, has been doing a study of the farmers 
home labor camp program. I thought we had our migrant housing co- 
ordinator here, Pat Sabelhaus, but he went to the telephone. Maybe he 
w411 show again. 

I want to thank you for inviting us to be here, Mr. Chairman. We 
have watched your work with great concern and pleasure for a long 
time, because there do not seem to be many people plowing in this area 
except you and your subcommittee. 

I am going to omit the reference to the Rural Housing Alliance, 
since, if I may, we will put the whole statement in the record and I 
will highlight it. 

Senator Mondale. We will include the full statement as though 
read, and you can summarize it, if you wish. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Cochran follows :) 

Statement of Clay L. Cochran, Executive Director, Rural Housing Alliance, 

Washington, D.C. 

My name is Clay L. Cochran and I am the Executive Director of the Rural 
Housing Alliance. With me is Lee Reno, a Farm Labor Housing Specialist on our 
staff who has been making a study of the FMHA farm labor housing program. 
I would like to thank the Chairman, Senator Mondale, for inviting us here today 
to give what assistance we can to this Subcommittee. 

The Rural Housing Alliance is a private non-profit corporation formed to 
help low-income rural Americans obtain decent housing. We do this by doing 
research, disseminating information and providing technical assistance and 
training. FV^r the past several months we have been studying some of the problems 
involved in delivering decent housing to migrant and seasonal farm workers. 
Before discu,ssing some of the findings of that study, I think it is necessary to 
offer some general statements so that the housing picture can be put in per- 
spective. 

I believe it is recognized by everyone here that the problems of farm workers 
cannot be solved by any one program. In other words, the lot of farm workers 
would not be greatly improved with higher wages alone, or by bringing them 
fully under the Fair Labor Standards Act alone, or providing them full Social 
Security coverage alone, by providing them Unemployment Compensation or 
Workmen's Compensation alone, or providing every farm worker with a decent 
house, or by insuring them decent medical care or -adequate food alone. Not one, 
but all of these changes must be made before farm workers — migrant or sea- 
sonal — or fully employed year around — will have first class citizenship. 

Therefore, housing is only one of many things which must be improved. I 
might add, however, that it is an especially expensive item. If adequate and 
decent housing could be obtained by farm workers for a sum they could afford, 
a great deal of their misery could be overcome. Health problems caused by lack of 
sanitary facilities, polluted water, and undesirable overcrowding could be al- 
leviated, along with less spoiled food and more adequate diets, if one can assiune 
that decent housing including a refrigerator. Enough studies and surveys have 
been made, enough hearings have been held, enough farm workers have died 
from diseases caused by their insanitary environment to document the tremen- 
dous need for improved housing. Traditionally, much of the housing used by mi- 
grant farm workers has been furnished by the growers who employ them, or 
they found for them,selves, whatever housing was available near their jobs. [But 
these sources of housing (especially bousing which is anything like decent) have 
dried up.] Generally, growers have never provided decent and sanitary housing 
for migrant workers. Good, privately owned housing is not available to farm 
workers when and where it is needed. In short, the private sector has failed to 
supply the needs of these or other poor people. 

The blame rests on all of us, the community, the Congress, the President 
and the Bureaucracy for failing to make a full commitment to eliminate all sub- 
standard housing in the nation. Instead, the programs ostensibly designed to 
provide decent housing for low-income people have been little more than token 
programs. The leadership of this country has closed its eyes when the various 



5523 

Administrative Agencies fail to perform because of insufficient funds, insuffi- 
cient legislative authority, or intentional perversion of the legislation. But worst 
of all, the Government has perpetuated the myth that somehow, someday, in- 
dustry and the lending institutions will and can solve the housing problem 
provided we furnish them a few, but uneconomical, incentives such as interest 
subsidies, insured loans, incentive grants and the like. Farm workers will get 
decent housing only when a comprehensive attack is made on the total housing 
problem for all low-income people. An all-out attack, with billions of dollars 
of direct government aid, will be required to put an end to the rural and urban 
ghettoes and company camps and towns which flourish today. 

FmHA Farm Labor Housing Program 

Let us look at the major federal government program ostensible designed to 
solve the farm labor housing shortage. In 1961, Congress amended the Housing 
Act of 194:9, authorizing the Farmers Home Administration within the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture to make available insured loans at an interest rate of 
5 percent. These loans could be made to farmers, associations of farmers, non- 
profit organizations and States and their subdivisions for the purpose of construct- 
ing or repairing housing and related facilities for use by farm workers. From the 
beginning of this program through 1965 only 29 loans totaling 1.2 million were in- 
sured. These loans provided housing for 256 families and 816 individual farm 
workers. It was evident that insured loans alone, was not sufficient incentive to 
entice farmers and organizations to construct or repair the needed housing. 

FmHA Changes in 1965 

In 1905, Congress expanded the Farm Labor Housing Program by authorizing 
the Farmers Home Administration to make available grants to States and their 
subidivisions and to broad-based nonprofit organizations for up to two-thirds 
the cost of a rental housing project. The balance of the cost of the project 
could come from an insured loan. Although the grant program can be credited 
for increased construction of housing for farm workers the sad truth is that it is 
still not an attractive enough program to stimulate local organizations to use it. 
From 1962 through March, 1970, the loan and grant program has obligated just 
over $28 million ($16 million in loans and $12 million in grants). This money 
has produced just over 4000 units to house families and an additional number 
of units to house 3300 individual farm workers, meeting possible 2% of the total 
need. Only 26 percent of the funds available for loans and 74 percent of the funds 
available for grants was obligated. 

Why Failtire? 

Several things account for the failure of this program. First, even with a grant 
of two-thirds of the capital cost of a project, the subsidy is not deep enough. It 
is practically impossible to adequately operate and maintain a project on rental 
income that farm workers are able to afford and still repay a third of the capital 
cost. One need only look at the experience in the field of public housing to see 
that even with a capital cost subsidy of 100 i)ercent, rental income is often inade- 
quate for operation and maintenance. So, from its inception, the present farm 
labor housing program was doomed to failure because it did not provide enough 
subsidy. 

Given an inadequate piece of legislation and an agency which for a number 
of reasons is unable to administer it efficiently, the results could hardly have 
been much. It is not my purpose here to fault the Farmers Home Administra- 
tion, for the basic blame lies with the legislation itself. However, it is necessary 
to describe the problems the program has had in that agency. First of all, FmHA 
is incredibly understaffed to handle properly all of the programs it has been 
assigned and the Farm Labor Housing Program has a very low priority. In 
1969, its biggest year, expenditures for Farm Labor Housing accounted for about 
one-half of one percent of the total operation of the Agency. No formal lines of 
responsibility exist for the administration of this small but important program 
except that it is grouped along with other housing programs within the Rural 
Housing Division. 

The application process for a labor housing loan and grant is a lengthy and 
complex thing, requiring sophisticated documentation of need and a plan of 
operation. Often local organizations are unable to untangle the process and are 
intimidated by it so that they do not apply. Farmers Home Administration's 
County Offices are often so overburdened with work and inhibitions that they are 



5524 

unable or unwilling to encourage applications and assist in the application 
process. 

The Farmers Home Administration has no funds for research so grants and 
loans are not necessarily made where the need is greatest. Overall need is not 
known and decisions on applications are made on an ad hoc basis from informa- 
tion furnished by the applicant and supported by FmHA County personnel. 

Only 16 organizations have received grants since the inception of the pro- 
gram. Of these, only three have received maximum grants (two thirds of the 
cost of the project) and only two others have received grants exceeding one-half 
the cost of the project. For the other projects, higher grants could have resulted 
in lower rents for the tenants. Rents are generally over $50 a month plus utilities 
and in at least one project, rent is $85 a month plus utilities. The House Appro- 
priations Committee has voiced its opposition to grants exceeding 50 per cent 
of the cost of Farm Labor Housing projects. The fact that Farmers Home Ad- 
ministration has limited the majority of its labor housing grants to that level 
or below, doubtless reflects FmHA's deference to the power of the Appropriation 
Committee. 

Recently, the Farmers Home Administration limited eligibility for grants: to 
public bodies purportedly due to its bad experience with repayment by other 
types of sponsors. By doing this, it ignores its statutory authority for making 
grants to broad-basied nonprofit organizations. This severely limits any expansion 
of the present program since in many areas where there is a need for labor 
housing, public bodies do not exist which are willing to use the program. Of the 
16 organizations which have received grants, six of them are private, nonprofit 
organizations and the rest are public housing authorities. It should be added 
here that these nonprofit organizations are not broad-based in the sense that they 
adequately represent the entire community. Rather, they generally consist of local 
farmers, growers associations, businessmen, and local governmental oflScials. 
Churches, poverty agencies, and most important, farm workers themselves are not 
represented. Groiips representing these later organizations have become in- 
creasingly interested in participating in the program but are now excluded be- 
cause of the recent Farmers Home Administration ruling. 

The Main Pro'blem is Legislation 

Again, I wish to emphasize that the major reason for the failure of the program 
lies in the legislation. It places the decision making power as to whether to build 
farm labor housing in the hands of local individuals and organizations and 
excludes farm workers themselves from the process. Thus, if there is no local 
initiative the farm workers must suffer and the Federal officials can do little 
if anything, except to obscure the reasons for failure. In the 1930's and early 
1940's the Farm Security Administration assumed the responsibility for meeting 
the needs of hired farm labor within the funds available. It undertook to 
ascertain the need, administer, and subsidize the housing it constructed. In six 
years it furnished enough shelter to house 19,000 families. The present program 
is far more limited and the hands of Federal officials except for veto ixxwer — 
are firmly tied. 

Farm Labor Housing in Florida 

On July 16, 1970, NBC aired on nationwide T.V. a documentary entitled 
"Migrant — NBC White Paper". In part, it showed the wretched housing in which 
farm workers in Florida must live. In the film an official from a Public Housing 
Authority told much the same story about housing programs for migrants that we 
are telling today. It is ironic that the documentary exposing lousy housing wa.s 
miade in Florida where more Federal money has been spent for farm worker 
housing under the FmHA program than in any other State. In fact, organiza- 
tions and individuals in Florida have received over $14 million, or 51 percent of 
all Farm Labor Housing loans and grants since the inception of the program. 
Nearly 2,000 family units (50 percent of the U.S. total) and units for over 1,600 
individuals (49 percent of the U.S. total) have been built for use by Florida 
farm workers. Half the total of a totally inadequate program leaves housing con- 
ditions still deplorable. Expenditures in Florida under this program not only 
are the highest of any state, but represents the highest expenditures per capita 
of farm workers. Even so, expenditures add up to a pitiable $85.35 per worker 
over a period of nine years, or less than $10.00 per worker per year. Given this 
level of responsibility in Florida — which ranks first — one can imagine how much 
more is required in other States. 



5625 

The Florida State Office of Economic Opportunity tells us that there are still 
332,403 substandard houses in that state. There are 17 counties where substandard 
housing comprises more than 40 per cent of all the housing. I might add that 
the term "substandard" is a bureaucratic euphemism for the type of housing 
shown in the NBC Documentary. 

In a study done last year by E. John Kleinert of the University of Miami, 
housing for migrants was surveyed using a sample of over 9,000 migrants within 
the state of Florida. This survey indicated that 5 per cent of the houses did 
not have electricity, 31 per cent did not have a working sink, 18 per cent did not 
have screens, 41 per cent did not have a functioning toilet, and 42 per cent did 
not have a shower or tub. Moreover, the survey showed that the average migrant 
family had Ave members and lived in a three room unit. 

Who is the oppressor here? Who is responsible for this tragedy? It must be 
the Federal Government for it is the only institution with the power and the 
funds to solve the problem. We believe that Congress has the responsibility for 
seeing that a comprehensive program to provide decent housing for farm workers 
is initiated. For it is the body that controls the authority of administrative 
agencies ; it is the body that controls the purse strings ; and it is the body that 
can establish the watch-dog committees to see that an effective program is car- 
ried out. Congress need only look back at the programs it has already enacted 
for providing farm labor housing to discover what direction it should take in 
establishing a new, comprehensive program. Congress should realize that a pas- 
sive loan and grant program (at least one not deeply subsidized) like the present 
FmHA Farm Labor Housing Program cannot work effectively. It should realize 
that labor camp code enforcement program is not enough (though needed). For 
guidance, Congress should look at the Camp Program administered by The Farm 
Security Administration in the late 1930's and early 1940's. The lesson to be 
learned there is that terrible conditions existing in the 1930's for farm workers 
were not significantly different, in a relative sense, than they are today. It re- 
quired direct action on the part of government then : it requires the same today. 

Title III-B — Office of Economic Opportunity 

In emphasizing the shortcomings of the FmHA farm labor housing program, 
Mr. Chairman, we do not wish to overlook the operations of OEO in the field of 
Farm Labor Housing. We do not have much detail on the extent to which OEO's 
legal services have been able to put resources into working toward solutions of 
this problem, but we know they have been active in several states and that addi- 
tional funds should be made available for this purpose. They can be helpful in 
many ways, from knocking out the unconstitutional barriers erected around pub- 
lic housing in California to the enforcement of health and sanitary laws and 
regulations, and the protection of workers against the plethora of ills which any 
group of poor people suffer who do not have access to socially oriented legal 
council. 

Directly, OEO's contribution to the solution of the housing problems of hired 
farm workers has been almost wholly the resuU of the operations of the Migrant 
Division funded under Title III B of the OEO Act. With only about 1 per cent 
of the total funds available to OEO. the Migrant Division has pioneered in the 
development of self help housing in this country, leading to congressional author- 
ization of the present FmHA land revolving and sponsor grant fund programs. 
In the last 5 years the migrant division's activities have resulted in the construc- 
tion of about 1.200 homes under the self help program using FmHA loans for 
financing (the niimber inchides those completed) which is equal to 25% of those 
constructed thru the FmHA labor housing program. Under this program a familv 
gets to own a home for 2.5 to 40 percent less than the same home would be 
available for on the private market. In effect this means that the family fjet/t a 
decent home because they could not afford anything like the same house, if any. 
Without the self help program. 

The Migrant Division has also moved into the area of attempting to establish 
rental and other housing, possibly including self help hou«!ing under the Turn- 
key III program which would enable an agency to reach very deep into the 
lower income groups. With funds available, it is the migrant division which 
mieht well move mo.st effectively into an advocacy and coordinating program 
which could encourage more action on the part of state and local government in 
farm labor hou.«?ing. 

The Migrant Division of OEO is the closest thine the F^^deral government now 
has which concerns itself with the housing problem of hired farm workers. The 

3&-513 O— 71— pt. 8B 10 



5526 

problem is the penny ante funds available under Tilte III B and the failure of 
OEO as an agency to lay down a clear policy on housing for low income people. 
We are convinced, Mr. Chairman, that whatever the migrant division has been 
able to accomplish with its limited funds and staff is very directly related to the 
fact that it has been and remains a national program. We are very concerned 
about the recent rumor that OEO is contemplating regionalizing the migrant 
program, and we hope you and the Congress oppose any such plan. If there is 
anything we know about a program dealing with hired farm workers, and 
particularly migrants, it is that when the problem is turned over to regional 
state or local groups without overall Federal leadership and controls, the 
vested interests emerge triumphant, actually or by exercising a veto power over 
anything creative and progressive. 

HTJD and Rural Housing 

There is little point in discussing HUD and housing for hired farm labors, 
as it is diflScult enough to get HUD into the rural housing program at all, 
without bringing in the complication of narrowing the focus to hired farm 
workers. 

With the exception of public housing and possibly one or two sections of the 
newer legislation, the HUD agencies are not going to deal with hired farm workers 
under existing structures and law. We are hopeful that a re-invigorated public 
housing program, including Turnkey III, can be used to assist in housing farm 
workers. In general, however, we think it is going to take a new kind of public 
housing program, and possibly a new farm worker housing agency to get the 
kind of action out of public housing which farm workers have a right to expect. 
Here again, the Federal government have established programs and left states 
and local governments a total veto power over whether their low income citizens 
benefit from Federal legislation. We think this is bad government. 

We are convinced that HUD has authority to fund self help housing projects, 
but so far their lawyers are busy exchanging memos on the matter and we await 
some weighing of the poundage of verbosity to bring forth a decision. Under 
Section 160(b), if HUD would get about the task of funding self help housing, 
coupled with the Section 235 interest subsidy program, they might make a 
very considerable impact on the farm labor housing problem. The "might" how- 
ever is a big word because HUD's finances originate with private money lenders 
and as our letter to the Chairman recently indicated, those lenders are not en- 
thusiastic about marginal credit cases. Outside public housing, we doubt that 
HUD has much of a potential for solving this problem under existing legislation. 

No existing agency of the Federal Government is currently capable of 
administering a comprehensive program to improve the housing conditions of 
all farm workers. Historically, the two major programs (FSA Camp Program 
and FmHA Farm Labor Housing) were placed within the Department of 
Agriculture. But the provision of decent housing for farm workers can no 
longer be considered an "agricultural problem." It is a human problem. It re- 
quires an agency whose primary function is meeting the housing needs of 
farm workers and not the needs of farm owners. One hesitates to advocate that 
it be made a part of a larger, comprehensive housing agency as the record of 
subordination of measures to improve the lot of farm workers when included 
in broader groupings is all too clear. Thus, for now, a new independent agency 
is required, freed of the shackles of myths and prejudices that have kept the 
farm workers the most poorly housed of any group of workers in the country. 

The new agency should be authorized to do a complete survey of the need 
for farm labor housing. This survey is not to be just another study of the 
deplorable conditions of farm labor housing; but a program survey upon 
which the agency will decide where the housing will be located and how 
much and what type it will be. Such a survey should discover where new hous- 
ing should be located what type of housing is needed, what effects mechaniza- 
tion will likely have on the need for a large farm labor force in all locales, 
and the possibility of diversification of the existing farm labor force into 
the general labor market. In addition, it should discover the extent to which 
existing local institutions are capable of receiving large Government sub- 
sidies to provide housing for farm workers in a manner compatible with over- 
all needs of farm workers. 

The Agency shoud be authorized to provide total financial assistance for 
the planning, development, and construction, purcha.se, lease or rehabilitation of 
the needed housing and related facilities in any area for use by farm workers 



5527 

In addition, the Agency should be authorized to provide supplemental funds 
for operation and maintenance when project income is insufficient to provide 
for it. 

In most cases, permanent housing, capable of year-round occupancy, should 
be provided, Housing of this type should be considered even in areas where 
most of the farm workers are migrants, in an effort to eliminate the need for 
traveling long distances. 

In areas where it is considered totally impracticable to build permanent type 
structures because of (a) very brief periods of occupancy, (b) a rapidly de- 
clining need for farm labor (c) a foreseeable end for the need of farm labor 
and (d) a showing that permanent housing is not needed for other low-income 
persons in the immediate future, temporary housing should be provided. Such 
housing should include adequate space for the occupants, indoor plumbing, 
cooking facilities, furnishings, and recreation areas. Whenever possible, it 
should be designed so that it will have some future use to the community in 
which it is located. 

Institutions eligible to receive Federal funds to provide housing and related 
facilities for farm workers should be States, public organizations within States 
organized specifically to meet the needs of farm workers, and private, non-profit 
organizations of farm workers. Where no State, public or private organization 
makes application for funds within a reasonable time after the Agency has docu- 
mented the need for farm labor housing within a state, or portion of it, the 
Agency, itself, should have the authority and obligation to develop, construct 
and operate the needed housing. 

The Agency should make available a number of alternative programs similar 
to those in existing Public Housing legislation. Thus, in addition to funding the 
development and construction of new projects, the Agency should allow for the 
purchase of existing housing for immediate occupancy or for rehabilitation ; the 
purchase of new housing from private developers after it is completed ; and the 
leasing of housing. Rents for the housing should be based upon the tenants in- 
come, based on a sliding scale up to 20 percent (the lower the income, the lower 
the percent of income for rent). In all cases, the tenants should be given the 
option or having a portion of their rent (in the case of permanent year-round 
dwellings) go into an "equity fund" for the eventual purchase of the house. 

The Agency should be appropriated funds for the purpose of training all man- 
agers of projects to enable them to efficiently operate the project and to be sensi- 
tive to the needs of the tenants. 

Each project should have a tenant's council, democratically elected, to advise 
the management and assist the organization in setting local policy. An appeal 
apparatus should be established, with the Director of the Agency as the final 
arbiter, to settle differences between the tenant's council and management and 
local organizations. 

The agency should be authorized to exercise the power of eminent domain in 
areas where building sites are not readily available. 

The Agency should make available to applicant organizations planning services 
and technical assistance in order that all housing needs might be met in the 
local area. 

The Agency should be authorzied to preempt local zoning regulations and 
building codes in appropriate circumstances. 

The Agency should be authorized to enforce a strict national code concerned 
with housing provided for farm workers who travel across states lines, or hous- 
ing used by farm workers which is owned or operated by or for the benefit of 
growers or corporation farms engaged in interstate commerce. 

Permanent housing shoixld not be built in a compound or labor camp type 
setting. Rather, scattered sites should be used, or at the very least, subdivisions 
should be developed. Sites should be carefully selected, to provide for integration 
within the existing community and proximity to existing jobs and community 
services. 

Finally, the Agency should be authorized to make payments to the local gov- 
ernments and school districts for any increased burden on services rendered by 
them caused by the location of housing for low income persons in a particular 
area. 

These are some of the measures, then, that must be taken if hired farm workers 
are to be decently housed this side of heaven. The persons that need the help 
are nearly powerless. If many of us hope that farm workers themselves, cur- 
rently engaged in the process of awakening to their own potential strength will 



5628 

soon be able to exercise self determination. But until that potential strength 
becomes reality, and until this discrimination ceases, dilapidated housing, ill- 
health, pollution, disease, lack of equal opportunity and the shame and degrada- 
tion of farm workers rests on the conscience of the total community and makes 
the moral pretense of this country ugly and hypocritical. 

Mr. Cochran. The Kural Housing Alliance is a private, nonprofit 
organization that has been trying to do something about bad housing 
in all the small towns and rural areas, because two-thirds of the bad 
housing is there and most people, when you tell them that don't even 
believe it, because it has been something that has been so well con- 
cealed. 

I want to make it clear that when the representatives of the union 
and others were speaking this morning, saying that the most impor- 
tant thing for farm workers is unionization that we certainly agree to 
that — ^but it is going to take a lot more than unionization a lot faster 
to do anything for a lot of the people who are out there. 

But we do not want to be put in a position of doing anything but 
saying "Hurrah" when they say that Christian paternalism and pub- 
lic concern are no substitute for putting enough power in the hands 
of the people out there to do something for themselves. 

These hearings remind me of old Mr. Peacham in the "Three Penny 
Opera" who said, patting a huge Bible "This is a great book full of 
great slogans, but people being what they are, the best slogan won't 
last more than 3 weeks." 

From the "Grapes of Wrath," to the old Melvin Douglas group, that 
exposed this in the thirties and forties on through "The Harvest of 
Shame" and all the work of this subcommittee, the horrors that are 
brought out seem to last about 3 weeks. And then people forget it. The 
only people who will not forget it are those out there with the cock- 
roaches. And there, of course, is where the power has to be put. 

I hope that is going on at a rapid pace. But apparently it is not, 
not in Florida. We need to do something from where any of us stand, 
to do anything we can on workmen's compensation, housing, and so 
forth. 

Our concern has been housing. I don't believe, despite what I am 
going to say here and what is in the written statement — I don't be- 
lieve we are going to do much for housing for hired farmworkers until 
we do something for housing for all the low-income people. I don't 
believe that this Congress or any of the administrations that I have 
known lately are going to really get behind a special program focused 
on hired farm labor. I think it has to be part of a bigger thing. 

Yet, when you are confronted with it and asked what can be done, 
one comes up with a program and says, "Just in case you don't know 
what is needed, we will tell you." But we still think it is going to come 
up as a part of the broader program. 

One Senator asked me last week in another hearing, shouldn't the 
farm operators provide the housing ? 

My response basically is that I don't think they will, and I don't 
think they should, because they build company towns. 

The next question, if we get a decent welfare program, can they 
buy decent housing ? Not under any welfare program I see coming up. 
The housing is not there to be bought. It has to be built. 

If we succeed in getting through some welfare reforms and getting 
assistance out there, all the poor people can do is bid up the price of 



5529 

the houses with a few less cockroaches in them, unless we do something 
about building. 

So far, we have been remarkably clever people on closing our eyes 
to this and in maintaining the myth, both in the area of farm labor 
housing and other low-income housing, that sooner or later, some way 
or another, the free enterprise system and the market, with some in- 
sured loans or this or that gimmick that comes along, are going to take 
care of this problem. They are not. It is going to take a massive input 
of Federal money directly to do anything about housing of farm- 
workers or any other poor group. 

The point you touched on, Mr. Chairman, the old farm security 
program, I think is worth touching on, because by contrast with what 
we have and in terms of where we ought to be going, it is important. 

It started when the Dust Bowl immigrants hit California in a flood 
in the thirties and were piling up in the ditch banks in even larger 
numbers, and the children were starving, and there were enough of 
the Steinbeck types who were exposing this to view that even in those 
grim depression days, there was some public concern, and there was 
an ear in Washington, there was even an ear in Sacramento at the 
time. 

The California "Welfare Department started those old camps, and 
resettlement picked up the program. First they were nothing but plat- 
forms with tents and sanitary facilities and telephones, where you 
could call a doctor — and some grant money for food and medical care. 

As the program evolved, it came under attack every year in the con- 
gressional committees and on the floor ; charged with everything from 
unionization of farm workers to Communism (Senator Russell even 
condemning them for subsidizing the big corporations by housing their 
workers). Nevertheless, it evolved in to a pretty remarkable program. 
In the latter days the camps, so-called, that were being built were very 
well planned communities, with circular drives, community centers 
for recreation, for meetings, for nursery schools, which we did operate 
in them, a clinic, which was staffed full-time with a nurse, and by con- 
tracts with doctors in the area. 

In the Southwestern area, the greatest medical co-op the country has 
ever had for low-income people operated with funds from Farm Se- 
curity. They covered three States there. They built their own hospital. 

Senator Mondale. I remember Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, where 
the children talked about Government camps, the relief that those 
children felt when they finally got placed in one of those camps. In 
those days in the midst of all that devastation, they must have been 
quite remarkable at that time. 

Mr. Cochran. They were really sanctuaries. As a camp manager, 
I had the authority of a Deputy U.S. Marshal. And, among other 
things, I stopped the Chief of Police of Weslaco from coming out and 
collecting for the loan sharks by telling him that I would throw him 
in jail, so far they would have to pump sunshine to him if he showed 
up again, because the camp was not even in the city of Weslaco. Never- 
theless, he was still collecting for the local loan sharks. 

There were relief funds available and medical care. There was a 
place where they could get together. Those camps were run by an 
elected council. They even had their own judiciary, which used to sit 



5530 

in their overalls and hand out work sentences for people who dirtied 
up the garbage racks. 

That program was wiped out by the Farm Bureau Federation in 
1947, moving in the background all these fine agri-business forces, who 
feared most of all that the farm workers would organise out of the 
camps, although they had not. But, also, they set a bad example for 
the community. They were a pain in the psychological neck of agri- 
business. 

I don't believe these people suffer so much from guilt as uneasiness 
that something will happen to the racket. 

In any case, Congress abolished the program, turned the camps 
back in some cases to the local housing authorities, and in some cases 
to grower associations. And the program was eliminated. Two years 
after that the Congress passed the Housing Act of 1949, but farm- 
workers don't show up in it. 

Senator Mondale. The Weslaco Camp and others like them were 
paid for with 100 percent by Federal money, were they not ? 

Mr. Cochran. The land, the buildings, the medical care, the staff 
were all Federal in all cases. 

Senator Mondale. When these buildings were sold, I assume that a 
county or some operation bought them rather cheaply at that time. 

Mr. Cochran. So far as I know, they were turned over without 
cost. 

Senator Mondale. Free ? 

But the local agency then has continued to charge substantial rents, 
even though they got the camps free. It has been, I would gather, a 
major revenue producer for some of these counties. 

Mr. Cochran. Possibly. Assuming they have maintained them the 
way I think they probably maintained them, they were revenue pro- 
ducers, meaning they have not maintained them. But if you are main- 
taining decent facilities, which are as over crowded as the Weslaco 
Camp was, for poor people, a lot of whom are transients, the cost of 
maintenance and care is going to be considerable. 

That is the reason that the Farm-Labor Housing program we have — 
and even to some extent the one prepared in your and Senator Hart's 
bills providing for a 90-percent subsidy — are deficient because people 
that poor cannot afford to pay enough to cover maintenance and opera- 
tion and defray any capital cost. The subsidy really ought to be as 
much, as we point out in our written statement, as much as we give 
public housing, that is, 100 percent of capital cost plus a part of the cost 
of operations. Otherwise, you deny the neediest people admission. Or, 
alternately, you gouge them for money, which they have to take out of 
shoes and medical care and the other necessities of life. 

For 12 or 14 years after that program was eliminated, the Congress 
did nothing. Then in 1961 it passed legislation which permitted loans at 
5 percent to associations of farmers and other nonprofit organizations, 
States, and subdivisions. 

Under that program, practicallj nothing happened. There were 29 
loans in 4 years to house 256 families and 816 individual farmworkers. 
The program wasn't working. 

In 1965 the law was amended to make possible grants up to two- 
thirds of the cost of the project, and the balance of the cost to come 
out of insured loans. But this was still not an adequate program. 



5531 

particularly since the Appropriations Committees immediately ruled 
that the grant should not be over half. Farmers Home Administration 
knows where its bread is buttered, and I don't think they have funded 
five projects where they allowed more than half the cost through 
grants. 

In March of this year the loan and grant program had obligated just 
over $28 million, $16 million in loans, $12 million in grants, and has 
produced the magnificent total of 4,000 units to house families and 
barracks units for 3,300 individual workers, very generously, as we 
computed yesterday, 2 percent of the total need. 

At the same time. Farmers Home only put out 26 percent of the 
funds it had available for loans and 74 percent of the funds available 
for grants. Even with this drop in the bucket, the money did not go 
out. 

The question is, "Why ?" 

In the first place, the subsidy wasn't deep enough. Groups that 
wanted to do it couldn't make the books balance. They could not prove 
that the thing was practical without greater subsidy. 

In the second place, it was given to an agency which had pretty 
well deteriorated in the 1950's, was short handed, understaffed. 

The Congress began to dump additional increments of programs 
and new programs on Farmers Home. This is a hard program to 
administer. It is a controversial program to administer. It is a com- 
plex loan to put through. And the program didn't ^et very far. 

On another occasion, I would like for the committee to bring the 
State director of New Jersey in here, if the record does not already 
show it, to tell what happened when a Farmers Home supervisor spent 
2 years trying to set up a migratory labor camp in New Jersey, thought 
everything was set to take care of several hundred families, and sud- 
denly the middle-class community says, "We don't want them to live 
there." 

They were already living in hovels and shacks, but they did not want 
to recognize them enough to create a decent community. This bias runs 
across the land. This is one of the reasons why I don't think local 
communities left to themselves are going to take care of this problem. 
It will take a Federal agency that can say to the local community, 
"We will pay the cost for you. We will pay the cost of the impact on 
the community, providing decent schools. But if you don't do it, we 
will do it for you." 

It is going to take something like that to make it work. 

During all these years. Farmers Home had no funds for research. 
The old Farm Security used to have a fair-to-good research depart- 
ment. We knew where the migrant streams were and where the con- 
centrations were and where the housing was worst. We had a pretty 
good picture of what was going on in the field. 

I am sure there is nobody in the Farmers Home Administration 
today that knows that because they have nobody assigned to it. So 
they do it on an ad hoc basis from the information furnished by the 
applicant. 

Only 16 organizations have received grants since the inception of 
the program. The rents are generally over $50 a month plus utilities. 
At least one project is $85 a month plus utilities. 



5532 

Eecently, Farmers Home had such bad luck with nonprofit bodies 
that it announced it would not make grants to any more of them. It 
would only make grants to public bodies. 

Not much of a program. Although there are two great things in the 
bill that was put in last week, one increases the subsidy, but not enough, 
and the other authorizes Farmers Home to lend that money to orga- 
nizations of farmworkers themselves. If farmworkers could receive, 
not 90 percent but 100 percent of the cost of housing, they could build 
communities, and we might see something happen in some of the areas 
of the country. 

The main problem on the existing program is legislative. The law 
was defective. The agency was undermanned. The Appropriations 
Committees inhibited the agency, and they knew they were operating 
like a poor country bank under the surveillance of the Subcommittees 
on Appropriations and of Agriculture, knowing they had better not 
get in trouble subsidizing farmworkers. 

With reference to the migrant NBC white paper, sadly enough, in 
Florida, organizations and individuals have received over $14 million 
under this program, which is 51 percent of all the farm labor housing 
loans under the program. Nearly 2,000 units, 50 percent of the U.S. 
total, have been built. 

In other words, half of the total of a totally inadequate program 
leaves housing conditions still deplorable, which should not be sur- 
prising. 

Since I saw a press release from one of the Coca-Cola front groups, 
giving these same figures here, I will point out that over a period of 9 
years, the life of the program, the average per worker outlay is $85.35 
or less than $10 per worker per year ; $10 per worker. That would not 
supply the kids with the caffeine they get out of Coca-Cola, let alone 
housing. 

Incidentally, why could you not legislate and prohibit any corpora- 
tion selling drugs to children from owning agricultural land? That 
might take care of one problem. 

The Florida State OEO office says there are still a third of a million 
substandard units in the State's 17 counties, where substandard hous- 
ing comprises over 40 percent of the total. 

Professor Kleinert of the University of Miami, in a study of 9,000 
migrants, came up with such figures as you can imagine. I will leave 
them to be read into the record. 

But 41 percent of them did not have a toilet that would work, and 
42 percent did not have a place to take a bath. 

No wonder that kid in the documentary, stood and shuffled his feet in 
shame and described himself as a bum. He probably went to school 
dirty or ragged and then slugged the first kid that said something to 
him about it. 

One has to talk about nailing down the responsibility for this. In 
our society you can talk about the growers being delinquent and the 
corporations being greedy, but when it comes to law and order in the 
community and some sense of justice, the responsibility is right here. 

The buck has to stop somewhere, and the Congress is the place that 
it ought to stop. 

If Coca-Cola is getting rich out of lousy housing and low wages, 
sure, they may go to bed uneasily at night, which I doubt, or load the 



5533 

plate down a little more on Christmas gifts, which I doubt. But that is 
not going to solve the problem. The problem has to be solved by the 
Congress making resources available to take care of the problem. It 
doesn't matter whether the grower's conscience is guilty or free. They 
can't do it. This is what we have been up against for years. 

In GEO there is another drop in the bucket on farm laber housing. 
As a matter of fact, when you combine the housing on the west coast 
the Migrant Division there, which has done most of the housing in 
OEO, with some of the better units, the self-help program, it looks like 
they have done something like half or better than half as much with 
their limited funds as the Farmers Home program has done in 9 years. 

I repeat, it is a drop in the bucket. The Migrant Division gets less 
than 1 percent of the total funds in the agency. In case everybody does 
not know it, that division was created by putting a law which this sub- 
committee had worked on into the OEO bill. We were very hopeful 
that at least we had legislation and a nice brand new agency that was 
going to take out and do things. 

Sargent Shriver said, "We will start with $15 million the first year 
and raise it to $300 million the third year. And we will get the 
agricultural workers out of poverty." 

I don't think they ever got above $33 million. That was 1 year. And 
they were cut back to $'25 million. With this, they have been doing day- 
care, education, economic development. Some housing, what they have 
done^ is great (They have pioneered on self-help, and Congress put 
that into permanent legislation, which Farmers Home is now supposed 
to be administering. ) But the Migrant Division has not had the funds 
to do things. 

If the Congress is looking for a place to dump a few hundred million 
dollars worth of conscience money for some quick subsidies for hous- 
ing, it might take a look at what is left of the war on poverty. At least 
the Migrant Division of OEO is the closest thing to an agency in the 
Federal Government today that is concerned with the plight of the 
hired farm labor. 

I have never been able to find anybody in the Labor Department who 
cared. Individuals, sure. But try to get the Labor Department to look 
into this problem. I tried. I found that the vice president of a Chicago 

f)ickle concern showed up as the executive secretary of a family farmers 
abor committee during the summer. He would rest himself in Chicago 
in the winter and play family farmer in the summer. But he still drew 
his vice president's salary. 

I asked the Labor Department under Mr. Goldberg, "Look into this, 
how much of this hanky-panky goes on. What looks like some family 
farmer importing Mexican workers from Texas is actually a Chicago 
pickle corporation. See what the lines are." 

I don't know what they were busy at, but the Labor Department has 
never been veiy profarm labor. It is usually busy with something else. 

Before leaving the OEO program. Senator, I would like to stress one 
point. 

The Congress stipulated that the migrant program was to be a na- 
tional program. They weren't to hack it up and turn one piece over to 
Coca-Cola and another piece over to Governor Kirk. But there is a 
rumor that the new administrator of OEO is contemplating regional- 
izing the migrant program. 



5534 

We hope that you and the Congress will oppose any such plan, be- 
cause it means whatever good they are doing now will cease. 

The migrant problem is not a local problem in terms of its solution 
and the resources to do something about it. If it is regionalized, you 
might as well cancel the program and put the money over in the Penta- 
gon or somewhere where they know how to spend it. 

To touch for just a minute on HUD, I don't see anything you can do 
about HUD on farm labor housing until you can persuade them to get 
interested in rural housing. So far, we have not been able to get them 
interested in the broader problems where two-thirds of the bad housing 
is. 

I don't see how you can get them much interested in a narrow and 
very difficult segment of that problem until their general attitude on 
rural housing changes. 

Under the turnkey III program, if you had some provocateurs or 
somebody out there to stir the local housing authorities, offer some 
leadership, hold some 'field hearings, tighten up in some way on hous- 
ing inspection, turnkey III would be a great program in public hous- 
ing for farmworkers, with or without self-help. But we don't see HUD 
moving in that direction. 

HUD is so overwhelmingly metropolitan oriented that it is difficult 
to get them to even think about the problem out there in the small town 
and rural areas. 

Section 106 (A), in which I think you had a hand, authorized them 
to sponsor self-helf projects. FHA picked up several bucks to staff 
themselves up for something else. Until you called attention to it in 
May, nothing had happened. 

I don't think you have heard from them yet. The lawyers are still 
exchanging letters over there as to what the meaning of the section is. 

Senator Mondale. I had them over here the other day — a remark- 
able nonprofit group working in a deteriorated section. They are doing 
it all on their own — a remarkable group. 

They have a very flexible program of rehabilitating rental housing 
under 235. They have sat on 106 applications now for a year for some 
235 housing. 

I called them over. I said, "Where is that loan ?" It is something like 
$17,000. I think we spent $50,000 in processing letters, and so on. 

Mr. Cochran. The lawyers' letters, you mean ? 

Senator Mondale. That is right. "Well," he said, "as you well know, 
106 was not intended to buy 235 housing." 

I said, "Hell, it is my bill, 106." 

He said, "I never heard of that. That is in our regulation, Thank you 
very much, but we never do it." 

I said, "We passed the bill. So that suggestion is illegal that you have 
here. Don't ever let me hear it again." 

Mr. Cochran. I will touch very briefly on the recommendations that 
we spell out in our written statement. We suggest the Congress setting 
up some kind of new agency giving this as a sole responsibility. 

If you give it to HUD, I am afraid the lawyers will use it up in 
writing memos to each other. The agency is not bent in that direction. 
If you give it to Farmers Home, they will have to go to the Agricul- 
tural Subcommittee on Appropriations for money. And I tell you, 
they won't get it. 



5535 

It should be an independent agency. It should have money for 
research. It should have the authority to provide 100-peroent sub- 
sidy on capital costs and require decent planning and integration in the 
community, so that you are not building company towns or fenced 
ghettos. It should stress permanent housing whenever possible. 

And there are ways of building seasonal housing so that if there is a 
diminishing need for seasonal labor within the community within 3 to 
5 years, by unlocking the door or knocking down the wall, you can con- 
vert it into a pleasant permanent house. What is needed is an inde- 
pendent agency with funds to go out and do the job and do the research, 
subsidize the rent, integrate them into the local community, see that 
they are governed by camp council, see that the people who occupy them 
have the right to be heard on the rules and regulations. This way we 
pick up where we left off 30 years ago on at least part of the problem 
through a specialized program. 

The rest of it is going to have to be met through stepping up the 
public concern over the general housing problem in small towns and 
rural areas and, in the process of meeting that overall need, building 
enough subsidies to take care of the needs of hired farmworkers. 

We are very grateful for a chance to appear here, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much for your written statement 
and for your oral comments. 

You have spent your life in this business. I imagine you have sat in 
on some of these hearings. If you were to do one thing, you had your 
wish, which you felt might bring some hope to the farmworkers of this 
country, what would you do? 

Mr. Cochran. I would give them coverage by NLRB. 

Senator Mondale. What is the second thing ? 

Mr. Cochran. Well, 5 years ago I would have given them the war on 
poverty. But I will take it back now and not charge it up to them. 

Senator Mondale. They might give it to you. 

Mr. Cochran. I am caught here on structuring. What you want to 
get done is so much involved and affected so much by the structure that 
you build around it, and the bureaucracy you establish, and the number 
of vetoes that you will allow the local communities to exercise against 
it. 

So you say, "Give us a decent migrant health program, and give us a 
real farmworker housing program in an independent agency, so that 
with some unionization, with some decent medical care in the mean- 
time, and some kind of a house that has a clean source of water, and the 
kids don't have to wallow in the worms in the yard, we can make do 
while we make the broader approaches." 

The result is that we create the mirgant health program. Immedi- 
ately the bureaucrats want to swallow it up and put it over into some- 
thing where it disappears. Even CEO has not been free on this. You 
give them money for migrant workers, and too much of it gets eaten up 
by nonmigrant workers. 

You gave farmers home housing money — in that case, though, basic- 
ally it was Congress's fault. But medical care, housing, union recogni- 
tion. Of course, the others all follow. But those are the three that it 
seems to me are the most essential things, not only for the children but 
for their parents. 



5536 

Leon Kyserling said a few years ago, "Don't kid yourselves. There is 
not much you can do for the children of the poor unless you are willing 
to do something for their parents at the same time. 

Senator Mondale; What would you think of an adequate program of 
income maintenance, family -assistance program, as a strategy ? 

Mr. Cochran. I think that would be great. They sa}^ the average 
earnings were $900 a year ; $1,600 would seem like heaven if you did not 
cut off their food stamps. 

Senator Mondale. We talk about $1,600 plus food stamps. That 
would amount to something like $2,200. For the average migrant, 
$2,200 a year would be tripling of income. 

Mr. Cochran. That would be wonderful. 

Senator Mondale. You have lived with these programs for 30 or 
35 years? 

Mr. Cochran. Yes, but income maintenance won't build housing, 
Senator. The housing is not there. The housing is not there. They will 
just bid up the price of those rattraps. 

Senator Mondale. If you had that, then housing solutions might be 
easier. That is, if you had a good housing program 

Mr. Cochran. They wouldn't be harder. 

Senator Mondale. There would be some money there at least. 

Mr. Cochran. Yes, of course. But we would not want to take it back 
by rigging them into an $85-a-month house for the $2,400-a-year 
income. 

Senator Mondale. I think the President, perhaps inadvertently, has 
offered us a program (FAP) that really deserves more support than 
it has received, though we would want improvements. It needs to be 
fixed up. 

But I think there is a basic argument for giving the poor enough 
money for a minimum decent life. I think they can do better for 
themselves than we can do for them. 

There may be lots of shortages, like housing, where you have to act. 
Otherwise, the money is lost. 

Mr. Cochran. I would go with you, unionization and income mainte- 
nance. I was thinking more of the traditional programs. No question 
about it. A little cash. 

Senator Mondale. We spend something like $8,200 a year for every 
Indian in this country. But the Indian's income is $1,400 a year. 
Somebody is skimming. 

If you just closed everything down and sent them the money, they 
would be the richest sector in the American population. 

Mr. Cochran. I am not sure, because I don't know how much of that 
$8,200 a year goes for policing the land they have leased out to big 
Anglo ranchers or paying for their own police. They pay for their own 
police forces and road maintenance and schools in some areas, don't 
they ? So I have never been sure that that $1,400 figure was convertible 
into the $8,200. 

Senator Mondale. I think it is fair to say it is an exaggerated figure, 
because there are services being offered of value which are not reflected. 

Mr. Cochran. But it has to be paid for by somebody. 

Senator Mondale. I have been dismayed to see that our first solution 
for virtually all of our human problems is to tool up by hiring a bunch 
of middle-class Americans. 



5537 

Mr. Cochran. In Fauquier County, a few miles from here, the other 
day the head of their planning commission said they were opposed to 
building any house that cost less than $40,000 in the county, because any 
houses that cost less than that would not pay enough taxes to defray 
the cost of public services and they would have to tax the other rich 
people more to take care of the people who lived in the less-than- 
$40,000 houses. 

I don't know what is built into their cost figures, either, but some- 
body has to pay for it. I don't know. I hate to get in a position here of 
defending BIA. I don't know how much of that $8,200 goes into what 
we all agree are essential services such as police protection and that 
sort of thing. 

But it is true that it is a shocking figure. They get $8,200 per Indian, 
and the Indian gets $1,400 of it. It does seem like a poor way of feeding 
the birds. 

Senator Mondale. I did not mean to pick on the BIA, because I 
think that is rather standard strategy. 

I think most of our programs and program administrators assume 
that the poor have no strength and no judgment at all. I think the great 
waste in American life is not to recognize that the poor and powerless 
are an enormously talented and resourceful people. They would be 
dead if they weren't. 

Mr. Cochran. Long since. 

Senator Mondale. They really want the system to work and want 
to be a part of it. We have their loyalty, at least far more than we are 
entitled to. The country has enjoyed their patriotism more than per- 
haps we have a right to ask. 

Mr. Cochran. They are almost an unfortunately patient people. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Cochran, I am most appreciative of your 
efforts. Your many years of experience with the migrant labor prob- 
lem qualifies you as an expert, and I appreciate your sharing that 
knowledge with the subcommittee. 

We will stand in recess until Friday morning. I order printed in the 
record materials that are submitted to the subcommittee that are rele- 
vant to today's hearing at this point. 

(The material referred to follows :) 

'UjS. Senate, 
lck)mmittee on appkopriations, 
Washington, D.C., September 2, 1970. 
Hon. Walter F. Mondale, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, 
Washington, D.C. 

My Dear Senator : I am sending you herewith copy of a letter I have received 
from Mr. George F. >Sorn, Manager of the Labor Division of the Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association, which I believe you will find self explanatory. 

I would appreciate your making a part of your official records and/or hearing 
record the six-part Report from the MIAMI HERALD written by Herald Staff 
Writer John K. deGroot, copy of which I am enclosing herewith, as requested in 
Mr. Som's letter. 

Your advice of what action you can properly take regarding this requesit will be 
appreciated. 

With kindest regards, I remain 
Yours faithfully, 

Spessard L. Holland. 



5538 

Florida Fbtuit and Vegetable Association, 

August 31, 1910. 
Hon. 'Spessard L. Holland, 
U.S. Senate, Old Senwte Office BuUding, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Holland : This Association continues to appreciate all of your 
activities in support Oif Agriculture in the 'State of Florida. 

Recently, this Association — through George H. Wedgworth, Joffre C. David 
and the writer — ^has had conversations and correspondence vpith you and your 
staff concerning the general migrant problem in Florida. This included informa- 
tion about the NBC White Paper — Migrant, and testimony before The Senate 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. 

Included in the over-all migrant problem has been much completely biased 
reporting by nevi'spapers and television. Recently, there appeared a six-part re- 
port in THE MilAMI HERALD written by Herald Staff Writer John K. deGroot. 
The report is highly deserving of note since, in our estimation, It Is extremely 
objective ireporting about the migrant problem. 

We are attaching a copy of the articles for your information. 

In conversation with Joffre, we wondered about the feasibility of submitting 
copies of the six-part report to The Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor to 
be made a part of their official flies. If you thought well of the idea, we wondered 
whether you would be so kind as to submit the six-pairt report by Mr. John 
deGroot to The Senate (Subcommittee on Migratory Labor so that it can be made 
a part of their official records. 
Sincerely yours, 

George F. Sorn, 
Manager, Labor Division. 

Attachment. 

Six-Part Report of the Miami HiaiALD Staff Writer J. K. de Groot on the 
Migrant of South Florida 

[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 16, 1970] 

Most of the Migrants Call Florida Home 

"I'm just trying to get along without shovin' nobody around." 

— Tom Joad, from John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," 1939. 

For a month, reporter J. K. de Groot traveled South Florida's 
farmland talking with more than 200 people, from the impoverished 
to the powerful. He also dealt with more than 25 organizatons con- 
cerned with the migrant and with material from nine independent 
research studies of the migrant for a six-part report that begins 
today. 

(By J. K. de Groot, Herald staff writer) 

Like a tunnel in time. State Road 80 slashes through swamp, desolation and 
history as it moves westward from the gleaming coastal splendor of Palm Beach. 

At one end, the richest citizens of the world's most opulent nation call for 
drinks and deljentures while air conditioners and servants whisper around them. 

Less than 50 miles westward, other citizens nurse wounds of the mind that 
are said to be of greater cruelty than those often found festering on the 
impoverished bodies of their young. 

Officially, Florida numbers them among "our friends in agriculture." 

In a recent greeting to such people, Gov. Claude Kirk Jr., expressed the "hope 
that you will be able to spend a few additional days or weeks with us. Visit our 
winter farm acreage, and enjoy our sun, beaches, fishing, state parks, and many 
other attractions. 

"And most important," concluded the governor, "hurry back to see us. We are 
happy to see you." 

Among others, the governor was addressing a said segment of our society com- 
monly called "migrants." 

The term is anachronistic in an age of rocketry and repose . . . just as the 
governor's statement reflected a certain irony when one considers that it was 
made to many who earn an estimated $1,737 to $2,800 annually as agricultural 
workers. 



5539 

But who are these whom the state numbers among its "friends in agriculture" 
and whom most term "migrants." 

iFirst, they are not "migrants" . . . not in the Steinbeckian sense, not the 
jalopy people of the '30s, the homeless Okies desperate and adrift in a world of 
economic chaos. 

Indeed, many journey by bus from farm to farm and state to sitate. 

But unlike those tractored off their lands to taste the grapes of wrath in the 
Depression years, these people have a home. 

It's Florida — the spawning ground of 81 per cent of the entire population of 
"migrant" workers who move up and down the eastern seaboard of the United 
States. This was revealed in a 1969 study conducted at the request of the Florida 
State Department of Education. 

Hence, the vast majority of them are not homeless. They are Floridians. 

Thus the term "migrant" does not connote someone with a home ; thus the 
anachronism of the word and the irony of the governor's recent welcome to "our 
friends In agriculture." 

The governor's statement would have been more accurate had it been addressed 
to our friends in the Florida agri-ghetto — this based on a diverse gathering of 
studies made by various local, state and federal agencies. 

But who are these people of the Florida agri-ghetto. 

They are a vast portion of what the Florida Farm Labor Department refers to 
as seasonal farm workers. These are people whose numbers rise and fall like some 
vast human tide regulated by the harvest of crops in the vegetable and citrus 
regions of the state. 

Last year, during the peak of the harvest season in February, the Farm Labor 
Department counted 77,9i8 persons gathering Florida produce for the nation's 
stomach. 

By August, with the fields dormant beneath the burning summer sun, their 
number had dwindled to 24,445. For 53,539 men and women of the fields, it was 
impossible to find year-round employment in the Sunshine State. 

These people had two choices : 

They could work elsewhere, move northward to other states and seasons. Or 
they could remain to eke out a precarious life style with day-to-day jobs as 
diverse as the forms of unskilled employment. 

For others, by choice or chance, it was a matter of going jobless, living on 
surplus commodities and the grace of agri-slumlords who let rental payments 
slide until the fields are full once more and the growers require labor. 

It is impossible to number the latter, the people of the precarious summer. 
Mostly they are the old and wasted, the drunken and disordered, the wives and 
children. For the others, the menfolk of healthy mind and body, there is work — 
though they might wander 1,400 miles to find it. 

"What remains significant is the schizophrenia of the Florida farm labor 
demand. 

At one point during the season, it finds itself begging for labor, with fruit and 
vegetables rotting in fields because they cannot be gathered quickly enough. 

And there are other areas of agriculture where the worker refuses to labor. 
For this reason, some 8,000 are fiown in from the Caribbean each year to harvest 
sugar cane. Despite newspaper ads, radio commercials and billboards, the Amer- 
ican farm worker chooses not to sweat and toil in the burnt-out cane field in 
harvest. 

There is paradox in this because the imported "off shore" sugar cane worker is 
offered base pay greater than that of any other field worker in the state. 

And so during the peak of the harvest season, Florida begs for hands and 
bodies to gather its goods of produce. 

But depending on crop and county, the begging quickly ceases — beginning first 
in the southernmost counties and moving northward. 

For this reason, many workers move throughout the state — crop to crop, harvest 
to harvest, week to week. 

But by May, it is finished. And by August, nearly 70 per cent of February's 
treasured hands and bodies have become worthless commodities in a glutted 
market. 

Small wonder that many travel northward from May to September in what 
they call "the stream." 

Who enters this stream? 

The Florida Labor Department believes the number may range from 40,000 to 
45,000. 



5540 

But this is an estimate just as Chet Huntley recently estimated the number of 
Florida "migrants" at 200,000 ... in a nation-wide television special . . . bringing 
cries of outrage from Gov. Kirk on down to Billy Lee, Jim Oadwick who pumps 
gas in Pahokee during the summer after a harvest season behind the wheel of a 
worker-laden truck. 

In truth, there is an impressive collection of agencies, organizations and com 
mittees quick to offer their estimate of the "migrant" population in Florida. 

There are two problems crucial in producing any head count of the State's 
so-called "migrants." 

First, a number of them . . . roughly 20 per cent . . . actually do move from 
county to county and across state lines. 

Second is the matter of defining what constitutes the state of migrancy. 

Nearly every organization counting migrants does so with its own definition of 
what constitutes a state of "migrancy," ranging from anyone who might work on 
a farm during a given year to one who crosses the state line in search of agricul- 
tural employment. 

The agency with the figures most widely accepted is the Farm Labor Depart- 
ment, which has ofllces and staff members in the major farming centers of the 
state. 

The Farm Labor Department staff members obtain a semi-monthly count of 
workers in fields from their employes. 

Analyzing these figures, one comes up with the following — ^based on a peak 
employment figure statewide of 77,984 field workers in February of 1969 : 

First, 7,983 were "off shore" sugar cane workers flown in from Jamaica. 

This leaves 70,001 "domestic" workers toiling in the fields of Florida. lOf these, 
55,813, or nearly 80 percent, listed their home as Florida. 

iFurther, 48,006 described themselves as being "local" in the area where they 
worked, while only 7,803 indicated they had traveled from another point in the 
state to work in the fields. 

In short, only 20 per cent of those in the fields had actually "migrated" from 
another state to support the Florida farm economy. 

So much for the classic Florida "migrant," perched amid bedsprings, children 
and chickens atop a clattering pick-up descending upon the land. 

These folk, with the exception of a handful of 14,188, are Floridians. 

Their trucks, cars and buses bear Florida license plates. Their children while 
their attendance is woefully sporadic, receive the major portion of their education 
in Florida schools before dropping out after the sixth grade. 

And when those who do head north are asked where they're from, they'll say, 
"I'm from Florida." 

Florida is not merely a part of the "migrant stream." It is one of its major 
sources, a point overlooked by the many state legislators who demand federal 
solutions to the migrant problem because "migrants are federal people." 

As indicated earlier, the Farm Labor Department estimates that some 40,000 to 
45,000 souls leave Florida to join the northbound stream at the end of each 
season. 

iBut when the "stream" flowed north. Farm Labor Department flgures indicate 
it bore a human load of nearly 55,000 people. 

Why is the iSunshine 'State a source in this stream of human misery, rather 
than one more branch in its yearly flow along the eastern coast? 

The answer is that Florida has the longest harvest season of any state served 
by the stream. 

It begins at the end of October and closes toward the end of May, nearly eight 
months long. During this period, the movements of the "stream" are minimal. The 
"stream" is at home — at home in the agri-ghetto. 

Times have changed since the days of Tom Joad and the "Grapes of Wrath." 

No longer does the sheriff meet the "migrant" at the state line. 

Now the governor welcomes him, creating the paradox of a resident being 
treated as a visitor, with the genteel invitation to spend some time at the beach. 

Unfortunately, when working, the "migrant spends an average of 10 hours a 
day in the field, six days a week, miles from the beaches. 

And he receives, at highest estimate, $2,800 a year for his services, according 
to the State Department of Education's research project conducted by Uni- 
versity of Miami Professor John E. Kleinert. 

Kleinert's research team also reported that the wife of the average migrant- 
resident-visitor works beside him in the fields or in the packing houses, bringing 
in an additional $1,900 a year for 10 hours a day when the season demands it. 



5541 

The kids pitch in, too, a good thing, according to one Floridian interviewed on 
national television. He opined that the "fresh air did them a lot of good." 

The average migrant child ; according to Professor Kleinert's research team, 
begins working in the fields between his 11th and 12th birthday. 

The boys work longer, averaging 18.20.5 hours a week. The girls only put in 
an average of 16.262 hours in the fields. 

Of course, Florida law requires they cannot work during school time. But 
there is no child labor la«- limiting the number of hours a child can spend in the 
field after school. 

But in any case, such is academic because the average migrant ciiild drops out 
of school shortly after he finishes sixth grade. 

With mom and dad in the field 10 hours a day and the kids hustling along 
beside them after school, the average "migrant" family might earn as much as 
$."(,000 a year — based on the Kleinert study of conditions in Florida. 

To this. Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Robert Coles replies, "I do not believe the 
human mind and body were made to sustain the stresses migrants must face." 

Dr. Coles has si>ent 12 years studying the migrant family unit. He reports, 
"when a migi'ant child is 10, he ceases being a child. 

"These children," he continues, "eventually become dazed and listless, numb 
to anything but immediate sui'vival. 

"When he is 13 or 14, he is already on his way downhill with his teeth in 
trouble, his skin in trouble, heart and lungs and stomach in trouble. 

It is not surprising that Professor Kleinhert's research team found that 75 per 
cent of the migrants wanted.other forms of work. 

Three hundretl times as many migrants die of accidental deaths than the rest of 
their fellow Americans according to the U.S. Department of Public Health. 

Yet while their accidental death rate is 300 i>er cent above the rest of the 
country, in Florida the law does not require their employer to carry workman's 
compensation. Of the 113.000 farms in Florida, only 1,811 carry it on a voluntary 
basis, according to the State Industrial Commission. 

In addition, other studies reveal the migrant consumes less than half the needed 
dietary allowances of nutrients in Florida. 

Most of his children are behind from two to three years in school. 

These same children are 43.6 i>er cent more anti-social than the average child. 

Their chances of death during birth are nearly 2~t per cent greater than other 
children. 

When they grow up, their chances of death from influenza and pneumonia are 
100 per cent above the rest of society. 

In Florida, 30 per cent of tlieir homes lack sinks, 40.60 per cent lack toilets and 
42.67 lack bathing facilities. 

For this, their parents will pay an average of $r)3.43 a month in rent for three 
and one-half unfurnished rooms, with an average of one and one-half bedrooms 
for tlie typical migrant family of five. 

The studies and statistics go on — and so does Life for those who have been num- 
bered from 200.000 to 76,024, for those called "migrants," for those who dwell in 
the Florida agri-ghetto. 

Next : They fought the wilderness. 



[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 17, 1970] 
OLDTiMBai VS. Migrant — Cultures Clash on the Land 

"All of them were caught up in something larger than themselves." 

— From John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, 1939. 

This is the second in a series of six articles on the migrant workers 
in Florida. 

(By J. K. de Groot, Herald staff writer) 

By damn, le.ss than a good spit away in downtown Belle Glade, there's this 
Jesus-haired young lawyer with granny glasses calling him "dinosaur" and 
trying to get a free ride for a bunch of lazy blacks. 

That's the way Lawrence Will sees it. 

Not only that, these young black punks get together every weekend and t-ake 
karate lessons from one of their kind who recently returned from Vietnam with 

36-513 — 71 — pt. SB 11 



5542 

a black belt in judo and hard eyes for just about everyone outside of Colored 
Town. 

And have you heard about them Mexican kids over in Immokalee? They formed 
this club called "Los Chicanos." Lord knows what that means, but they're strut- 
ting around with brown berets, talking about "brown power" and how you 
should stay in college to get smart enough to lead the revolution. 

The old man sighs and his breath comes like a wind from yesterday stirring 
through his room, a cell of monastical simplicity above one of his several 
businesses that include cattle, crops and automotive parts. 

"Sometimes I feel like I'm George Washington, woke up and listening to the 
radio. Nothin' makes sense anymore," he says. 

At 77, Lawrence E. Will, Belle Glade author, historian and pioneer, sits alone, 
surrounded by books and papers that smell of age and yellowing photographs of 
men and women long dead and buried in the muck they conquered. 

It was 57 years and countless dreams and deaths ago that Lawrence Will came 
to a place in Florida called The Glades, a vast area of land spreading out from 
the southern shores of Lake Okeechobee. 

Lawrence Will was one of Florida's first "migrants." 

And like the majority of those who share this name today, he stayed to work 
the land. 

Beneath the Glades was the muck — earth of awesome fertility, a place where 
a man could grow things. That is why the first migrants came to this land. 

They'd been told tomatoes would grow the size of pumpkins and that a man 
could strain himself picking peppers. 'So they came, the men first, walking south- 
ward around the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee and into what the Yankee real 
estate men had said was the Promised Land of the new 20th century. 

Some wept with rage and disbelief when they saw it. 

"It was 1913 when I came here," Lawrence Will recalls. 

"It was wilderness. I went places no white man ever went before ... no 
Indian, either, I'd say. Before we came, we figured it would be paradise year 
round." 

He pauses, searches through years and memories. And suddenly he leaps into 
an age of rocketry and social welfare. 

"These people want to start off where we finished up. It's hard for us to under- 
stand why the federal government wants to do all these things free — ^f ree wages, 
free houses, free food." 

'He spits the words out in sharp bursts tinged with emotion. He is speaking of 
the people of Florida's agri-ghetto. 

"There's good ones. They'll work, pull themselves up, make their lot better, just 
like we did. But look at the others. Trash. Living in filth, working one day so 
they can drink for two." 

Dr. Robert €ole, a Harvard psychiatrist, spent 12 years living with those called 
"migrant," studying the ways of the people of the agri-ghetto. 

He speaks of their childhood years, the time when i)ersonalities and attitudes 
are formed and patterns of life style are created. 

"Migrant children . . . live incredibly uprooted lives such as no other Amer- 
ican children experience. 

"These children eventually become dazed, listless, numb . . . We see children 
with severe depressions, a kind of self-destructiveness that knows no bounds." 

Such children grow to adults. Then, according to Dr. Cole, "many of them lit- 
erally start killing themselves. They take to liquor. They take to violence toward 
either one another of themselves. 

"They do not and cannot take good care of themselves." 

Lawrence Will's father went to Harvard in the 1800's. He followed his son to 
Belle Glade. He created a new type plow that would tear through the savage 
sawgrass. And a stretch of U.S. 27 is named for him, the Thomas E. Will Memo- 
rial Highway, a thin finger of concrete pointing southeast toward Miami from 
South Bay, near Belle Glade. 

There is irony in history and culture. Here is the son of a Harvard graduate, a 
migrant-pioneer born in the 19th Century sitting in Belle Glade sharing mutual 
subject matter with a Harvard psychiatrist of the 20th Century. 

Lawrence Will views the residents of the agri-ghetto as "lazy, living in filth 
spending their money on liquor." 

Dr. Cole uses other terms such as "depression" and "self-destructiveness." 

They disagree on cause and solution. 

Lawrence Will believes a man to be responsible for his condition. "They could 
do something about it if they wanted to," he says. 



5543 

Dr. Cole believes the wasted citizen of the agri-ghetto is the product of his 
environment . . . seasonal farm work migrancy, uncertainty. 

"The kind of life these people lead is destructive," Dr. Cole concludes. They 
are a people incapable of placing a value on anything other than existence on a 
day-to-day basis. They do not value their bodies, their lives or themselves. 

And if a man does not value himsef how can he value the condition of a $12-a- 
week two-room shack soon to be left like so many other faded and filthy quarters 
before. 

"But," says Lawrence Will, "I've lived in shacks a heck of a lot worse than the 
ones those do-gooders are complaining about. Darn near all of us lived in quarters 
worse than the ones you'll find in Colored Town or the camps." 

And he is right. 

Will spent his first year in the Glades in a tent while his days were spent in a 
battle with the land, clearing it of sawgrass with grubhoe and push plow. At the 
end of each day, his hands dripped blood from the wounds of the sharp-edged 
grasses. 

And old Andrew Duda fought the land, too. He created the massive A. Duda 
and Sons Cooperative Association Inc., today a corporate family farm complex 
that numbers acres in the thousands and dollars in the millions. 

Andy Duda came to the Glades with three sons and one mule after having 
worked for a grubstake in the steel mills of the North. 

"He went busted as popcorn," Will remembers. 

So Andy Duda took his sons back North where they worked and saved until 
there was another grubstake and another chance to fight the land of the Glades. 

And Herman Wedgeworth came, too — a new type of "migrant," different than 
Will or Duda, a farm-scientist with a master's degree in plant pathology. 

He started in 1932 with 320 acres of sawgrass and an idea that celery would 
grow. Herman Wedgeworth's house still stands in Belle Glade. It has two rooms. 
It is smaller than most of the now-condemned units of the ancient labor camps. 

In 1932, adults and children slept in one room . . . separated by a cloth drape. 

Horace (Red) Garner is a Negro and was one of the first to work with Herman 
Wedgeworth in 1932. 

Today, he is a 56-year-old stocky gathering of muscles that bunch and shift as 
he moves. He is in charge of harvesting the 1,000 acres of celery that grow on 
Wedgeworth Farms Inc., the end product of Herman's 320 acres and ideas. 

"Back then," says Red Garner, "there was water all over the place. No big 
farms. Just a lot of little people in misery. 

"Mostly, you traveled by boat. Hardly any roads then. You'd push-pole your 
way to town and back." 

By the early '30s, the people of Will's migrant-pioneer generation had estab- 
lished farming in its infancy. They were growing beans, a fast growing crop that 
could be harvested four times a year. This created a demand for harvest labor and 
the word spread. 

"I was a young boy in Georgia and I'd heard you could make yourself some real 
money picking beans in the Glades," Red Garner remembers. "That's why I 
came . . . and so did a lot of others." 

Pay was 121^ cents an hour to pick beans in Belle Glade when Red Garner hit 
town. But he couldn't pick beans too well and he went to work for Herman 
Wedgeworth. 

"Back then, people were sleeping in bushes, right out in the maiden cane." Hell, 
Red continues, "a lot of people were down here to harvest and there just wasn't 
any buildings to live in. That's the way it was." 

Red Garner chose to attack the sawgrass with Herman Wedgeworth. "You'd 
pull sawgrass with a push plow. No mule. Just you and the plow going like hell. 
After one run, your hands dripped blood. By the end of the day, that plow handle 
would be covered with blood . . . mine and Mr. Wedgeworth's. It was all the 
same." 

The land was cleared and the celery grew. Then there was more land and more 
celery. And Herman Wedgeworth branched out and built the first precooler plant 
in Belle Grade to prepare harvest crops for shipment. 

He started a fertilizer firm, a seed company and a crop marketing business for 
other smaller farmers. 

And pretty soon it was a corporate complex of farm-related business, family- 
owned and the biggest in Belle Glade. 

Red Garner saw it all, including the death of Herman Wedgeworth in 1939. 



5544 

"A condenser fell on him while we were building the precooler plant," Red says. 
"It crushed his stomach as flat as that board over there. It took him three hours 
to die and he never passed out the whole time. 

"Just before he died, he said to me, 'If anything goes wrong, you see Mrs. 
Wedgeworth.' Then he died." 

Mrs. Wedgeworth took over the business following her husband's death and it 
grew and prospered. In the early 1950s, her son George assumed management of 
the family-corporate complex after graduating from Michigan State University. 

Today, it represents 5,000 acres of cattle, celery and sugar cane — extending 
into the fields of processing and marketings as well as fertilizer and seed, a multi- 
million dollar business that a passing tourist might casually describe as "a farm." 

"Look out there," says Red Garner. And there are two young men, stripped 
naked to the w^aist, sweat tracing -white streams through the black muck dust on 
their leaning and straining bodies as they hurl 50-pound sacks of fertilizer from 
a farm wagon. 

"Those are Herman Wedgeworth's grandsons. They're working the fields just i 
like their father before them," he says. And there is pride in his voice. 1 

There is another kind of pride in the quiet yet intense words of Jerry Rol>erts, a i 
young black man .seated amid a clutter of folding chairs and hand-made tables — ' 
distant in philosophy and surroundings from Red Garner and the Wedgeworth '} 
farm. 

Jerry Roberts is president of a Belle Glade organization called Cry of Black ij 
Youth (COBY) and its office is located in a faded former-store in what most folks || 
in Belle Glade call Colored Town. l| 

The late Malcom X, in poster form, stares out at the people of Colored Town as jj 
they pass the GOBY office. 

"All power to the people," is lettered near the picture of the slain black leader, a 
catch-phrase created by another black leader. 

Created in April of this year, COBY publishes a weekly newspaper called 
"Muck Rake." The newspaper speaks of "Belle Glade Police Brutality" and 
"Migrant Pride" and the belief that "it's going to take commitment and a .strong 
conviction to mankind to alleviate the agony and despair that exist in every 
migrant family." 

"We started COBY," Roberts explains, "because the time was long overdue. 
Now. for the first time, the blacks are speaking out in Belle Glade and the whites 
are getting more and more uptight." 

George Wedgeworth, Herman's son, serves as one of the board of directors of 
the South Florida Rural Legal Service, an agency funded by a federal grant to 
provide legal aid to those unable to pay for it, including mostly migrants. 

Wedgeworth expres.ses evident dismay that the COBY "Muck Rake" newspaper 
is printed on a mimeograph machine in the Florida Rural Legal Senace offices. 

He considers OOBY to be "revolutionary." 

COBY agrees with him and a recent issue of "Muck Rake" devoted a .section to 
"Revolutionary Quotations by Great Americans." 

"We're trying to get the people together," explains Roberts. "We're not mili- 
tants. We're just here to provide a voice to a i>eople that Belle Glade never 
listened to before. 

"It's time for pride. Back in April, we were sitting around talking about how 
awful things were. Y'ou see, we never knew how bad it was. 

"But those of us who started COBY are either Vietnam vets or college students. 
We've been out and talked to brothers and sisters. We've seen other towns and 
places. 

"And when we came home, we found the 'old home town' was in pretty sad 
shape." 

These COBY people are the sons of beanpickers and field workers. They wear 
Green Berets. Panther buttons and khaki Army shirts. And they are learning 
karate and judo from one of their members. 

"We're out to create changes through established channels," Roberts says. 

But Roberts is skeptical of the "system." He says COBY is willing to try. "I 
don't know why it should work now," he says. "It never worked before. Just look 
at the condition of those people out there." 

He was speaking of the people outside the COBY office, the i>eople whose sub- 
culture .spawns an environment of "self-destruction." 

And the irony of the agri-ghetto subculture is that it exists side-by-side with 
the subculture of the migrant-pioneer, the subculture of Lawrence E. Will who 
will tell you : 



5545 

"You've got to nmlerstand our people. They don't like it when someone comes 
iilong and wants something for nothing. 

•These people are used to working l)y themselves. They don't expect any help 
from any man. They've had to work hard and come up the hard way, fighting the 
land, fighting floods, fighting freezes. 

T don't know anyone around here who hasn't been wiped out at least once and 
had to fight to get back on his feet." 

Lawrence Will continues: "When a man has had to earn his way with sweat 
and long years of fighting the land, lie just hates to see somebody get a free ride." 

But Dr. Cole, the psychiatrist and a scholar of the agri-ghetto mind, replies, 
"these people cannot and do not take care of themselves." 

Next: Trends in Farming in Florida. 



[From the Miami Herald, An?. 18, 1970] 

Can't Improve Lot, Migrants Believe 

"Gradually, the greatest terror of them all came along. They ain't gonna be no 
kind of work for three months." 

— From John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," 1039. 

( Third of a Series by J. K. de Groot, Herald staff writer) 

Gerard Crawford fights time and flies in a small patch of shade in his stalag- 
like farm labor quarters in Delray Beach and explains, "Farmin's all I ever 
kno'wed." 

He is unable to read and barely can write his name. He exists on surplus com- 
modities, a landlord who lets the rent slide, and the .$11.70 a day that his wife 
earns when times are good. 10 hours a day, five months a year. 

He is unable to woirk because he broke his leg while driving a tractor for a man 
"up the way" two years ago and the leg never was properly set. 

But his wife Doll is still part of the gathering of Floridians who live in financial 
uncertaint.v as unskilled seasonal farm workers who do not "migrate." 

It might come as small satisfaction to the Crawfords that their luimber is 
dwindling. For there are three di.stinct trends in Florida agriculture : 

Tliere is a decreasing demand for unskilled labor on the Florida farm. 

There is an increasing demand for skilled labor to work the machines that are 
eliminating the unskilled. 

But the grower is finding it increasingly difficult to meet the increased compe- 
tition of higher wages offered to skilled labor in the urban job market. 

In short, the numbers of "migrant" and "seasonal" farm workers will continue 
to diminish. But the level of unemployment will continue to grow in the agri- 
ghetto. 

iSpokesmen for Florida agriculture aTid many other quarters find, hope in the 
fact that in South Florida alone, the luimber of "seasonal" farm workers dropped 
27 per cent in a five-year period from 1063 to 1900 (from a seven county total of 
33..S73 to 24,531 ) . 

According to spokesmen for tlie Florida Department of Agiiculture, the greatest 
loss is found in the ranks of the least skilled, such as the "day haul" worker. 

As his description implies, the "day haul" worker is one wlio arrives in pre- 
dawn darkness at a dusty gathering place hoping that someone will hire him for 
the day, liauling him to the fields and hauling him back shortly after sunset. 

According to Farm l^abor Department reports, I'alm Beach County is the cap- 
ital of day-haul labor in the Sunshine State, with more than twice as many day 
haul ix)ints as any other county. 

During the 10-year period fr(mi lO.'.S to 1008, the number of day haul workers 
in Palm Beach County was slashed in half. 

In 19r>S, an average of more than 4,0(M) in the county worked on a day-to-day 
basis during the liarvest season, never sure where they would work, never sure 
what they would harvest. 

In 1908, these i)eople of uncertainty were reduced to a daily average of slightly 
more than 2,000 during the harvest season, with more than one-half of their 
number swarming each moniing to a bare-earth covered city block in Belle Glade 
that is called the "loading ramp" and i*esembles a slave market. 



5546 

The number of those called "migirant" also is diminishing. In the United States, 
it dropped from 447,000 in 1958 to 236,000 in 1968, according to the U.S. Senate 
Subcommittee on Migratory Affairs. 

Tlie Florida Farm Labor Department reports the Sunshine State's amount was 
reduced in similar fashion. 

In 1960, the Farm Labor Department referred 54,524 "migrants" to jobs in and 
out of the state. Last year, the number had dropped by 51 per cent to 27,193. 

Similarly, 10 years ago, 1,437 crew leaders asked for job assignments for their 
"migrant" work teams. Last year, only 872 sought help. 

Yet while the "migrant" work force has been reduced by 50 per cent and the 
"seasonal" labor pool by 27 per cent, it is significant to note that the total number 
of those working in Florida agriculture has increased. 

In 1957, the Florida Department of Commerce reported a total farm work force 
(seasonal, year round and families of farm owners) of 135,000. In 1968, the 
number was reported as 150,000, an increase of 12 per cent. 

Agriculture Department spokesmen find two basic causes for the drop in "sea- 
sonal" and "migrant" labor and the increase in the state's total agricultural work 
force. 

First, farming techniques and operations have become more sophisticated. 
Today, there is a greater demand for skilled farm labor — men able to work with 
machines, chemical fertilizers and the like. And there is much less demand for 
the unskilled, the illiterate and the day-to-day drifter. 

Second, today's modern farm demands more year round workers. 

******* 

All this would seem to portend a possible agri-utopia with "seasonal" and 
"migrant" farm workers no longer living a precarious, day-to-day, crop-to-crop 
existence, working instead on a year round basis for supersophisticated farms 
of the future. 

The day-to-day life style and farm labor subculture is hardly fertile ground for 
the "upward mobility" philosophy inherent in skilled labor : i.e. — you learn a 
skill to improve your lot. 

In the agri-ghetto, one is raised with the belief that it is impossible to improve 
one's lot. As Greneral Crawford says, "Farmin's all I ever knowed." 

And as the personnel manager of the Sugar Cane Growers Co-op in Belle Glade 
says: 

"We'll start a job training program this fall. We'll train bulldozer drivers, 
truck drivers and men needed to work around our refining machines. We won't 
be able to fill the program." 

iBut migrant leaders maintain that if the growers paid "a living wage," they'd 
"get all the skilled workers they need." 

Growers counter by saying they are paying all the market (that which they 
can sell tJieir crops for) will allow. 

But in any case, those in the seasonal work force who are skilled, or capable of 
being trained for skilled work, have been leaving the agri-ghetto steadily, moving 
to the cities and industry, construction and other job areas. 

The balance remain to face a diminishing un.skilled labor demand as the farms 
become more mechanized and sophisticated. 

Paekett, of the iState Agriculture Department, reports, "I don't know of a single 
crop in Florida that doesn't have an extensive research and development pro- 
gram going, trying to figure out how to harvest it with machinery instead of with 
men. 

"Today," he continues, "it's the trend in farms, just as it is the trend in any 
other field where you have people doing something that a machine could do at less 
cost, or with greater efficiency." 

In Florida, bean picking is almost completely mechanized. Fifteen years ago it 
was done by hand. Celery is planted and harvested by machine-bearing crews. 

Last year, a machine was developed to harvest tomatoes. But it is still consid- 
ered in the "test" stage. The state's major sugar cane growers are spending 
thousands in support of projects that will develop mechanical cane harvesters to 
replace the 8,000 "off shore" workers imported each year to cut cane. 

iln citrus, major research projects are considering tree-shaking machines and 
chemicals that will cause the fruit to separate from the tree more easily. 

WHY? 

While the wages for field workers are low in comparison to other wages (the top 
base figure was $1.75 an hour last year), growers maintain they are paying more 
than they can afford. 



5547 

"I wouldn't care if I paid a field worker $50 a day if I could pass the cost on to 
the guy who buys my crops," one grower says. 

******* 

The State Agriculture Department supports him. In a five-year study conducted 
by University of Florida Agriculture Economist Donald L. Brook, the following 
was revealed : 

One acre of snap beans cost an average of $350.54 to produce and sold for an 
average of $370.70, resulting in earnings of $20.16, or a 5 per cent return on the 
investment. 

The average acre of tomatoes cost $799.04 and sold for $788.22, resulting in an 
average loss of $10.82. 

Green pepper production cost was $1,237.39 per average acre. This same acre 
sold for an average of $1,302, producing a profit of $65.43 for a $1,237.39 invest- 
ment, or a 4 per cent return. 

The average acre of celery required an investment of $1,451.92 and sold for an 
average of $1,623.35, producing an 11 per cent return. 

"Florida agriculture is in the most chaotic position it has ever been in," reports 
Charles Long, general manager of the Farmers Production Credit Assn. 

"The problem is created by three factors," he continues. "First, the produce 
market is controlled by the major chain store buyers. There's damn little com- 
petitive buying anymore. Years ago, you had hundreds bidding on a crop. Now 
you have dozens. 

"Second is the weather and the weather is the weather. The farmer knows that. 

"The third factor is increased production costs and a big hunk of that is labor." 

"In short, the farmer today has less control over his selling price and his pro- 
duction cost than he did 15 years ago," concludes Long. "That's a bad situation 
for any business be it hammers or cucumbers. 

Long's Farmers Production Credit Association loans nearly 50 per cent of all 
the money borrowed by South Florida farmers from lending institutions. 

By its name, the firm (a co-op of major farmers) loans money to meet antici- 
pated productions costs. 

And based on Long's figures, today's South Florida farmer is borrowing nearly 
three times the amount he did 10 years ago. 

In 1959, 191 farmers borrowed $6,287,711 to plant their crops. Last year, 219 
borrowed $16,262,021 to plant and harvest their ci-ops. 

"Today's farmer," Long says, "has become almost completely dependent upon 
the credit system. That's fine if you're in a business that has some control over 
expenditures and earnings. 

'^But when the typical farmer plants his crops, he has no idea what they'll sell 
for. That's like Ford setting out to build a car without knowing its retail price." 

Long's greatest area of concern is the awesome growth of his unbankable (high 
risk) loans. "Ten years ago we didn't have any. This year, we have nearly a mil- 
lion dollars worth. 

"^And," he continues, "we closed 1959 with $300,000 in loans outstanding, while 
we ended 1969 with some $3 million. These are loans that should have been paid 
that year, but weren't." 

(The vast majority of the loans are made on an annual basis at 9 per cent. ) 

■rhiLS, if a farmer borrows money at 9 per cent to plant snap beans, which have 
a five-year average return of 5 per cent, "he just may be in trouble," concludes 
Long. 

"I can name you five big farms that went bankrupt in South Florida last year," 
he adds. "And we're probably going to be forced to foreclose on five or six major 
loans this year, loans to members of our co-op. 

"Times have changed," he says. 

True. In 1954, there were 57,000 farms in Florida, according to the Department 
of Agriculture. Today there are 35,000 — a drop of 47 per cent in 14 years. 

At the same time, the average farm investment cost has jumped from $33,627 
to $142,800. 

Today, because the amount of acreage being farmed in Florida has remained 
relatively the same since 1954, the typical farm increased in size and doubled in 
investment cost. 

"When you're talking about a business you're not talking about 'Old Mac- 
Donald'," says Packett, State Department of Agriculture aide. "You're talking 
about a business, in a damn risky business." 

"Look," admits Long, of the Production Credit Association, "the only reason 
we're here is because the farmers had to form a co-op to create a credit source. 



5548 

That's because the conventional credit sources consider farming to be the worst 
loan risk imaginable." 

But all this is meaningless to Gerard Crawford and his fellow citizens of the 
agri-ghetto. 

Next : The Housing Controversy. 

[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 19, 1970] 

Housing fob Many Migrant Workers May Worsen Before It Gets Better 

"If a man owns a little property, that property is him." 

—From John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, 1939. 

( One of a series by J. K. de Groot, Herald staff writer) 

Current multi-million dollar efforts to meet the critical housing needs of the 
people of the Florida agri-ghetto are little more than stopgap measures designed 
to replace grossly substandard public housing. 

And there is every indication that the current housing crisis will get worse 
before it ever gets better for more than 100,000 Florida "seasonal" and "migrant" 
farm workers. 

Farm workers are now sheltered in public housing, private labor camps and 
the agri-slums found in Florida cities and towns. 

The year-round farm worker pre-empts public housing, and a crackdown by 
local health departments is closing some of the private camps. So more and 
more of the seasonal and migrant workers are being forced into the agri-slums. 

But to understand the causes of this growing problem, you must go back, to 
another period in time: 

Thirty years ago, you would find the workers sleeping in the fields and ditches, 
dark bunches of weary humaniry clustered in the cane stand or snoring in bat- 
tered cars and trucks. 

This was the common condition of the "migrant" in those times. 

The state's farm industry had demanded labor. But like most industry then 
and now, it did not necessarily believe itself bound to supply this labfrt- with 
housing. 

For this reason, the federal govenunent moved to establish labor camps to 
shelter those huddled in fields and Hoovervilles. 

Eight of these camps were built in south Florida: one in Pompano ; two in 
Homestead, and five in and around Belle Glade and Pahokee. 

The labor camps were considered to be the finest of their kind when they were 
built in the early 1940's. 

They lacked indoor plumbing and cooking facilities. They were oflicially segre- 
gated. They had inadequate sewage systems and water supplies. They were 
crowded together, pathetically meager in living space and poorly ventilated. < 



Today, onl.v one of the original eight labor camps exi.sts as it did 30 years ago, a 
sad and shabby monument to another time. It is in Pahokee and is scheduled for 
demolition this year. 

iSurprisingly, this was the labor camp presented as "typical" on a recent nation- 
wide NBC television special dealing with tlie "migrant" in Florida. 

The narrator — newscaster Chet Huntley — ^failed to tell the nation that in the 
past two years alone, the federal government has loaned or given local housing 
authorities operating the camps a total of $17.6 million to destroy, convert or 
replace the 1,984 Avoeful living units that lined the dusty streets. 

Nor did the newscaster reveal to the viewers stunned by the shabby buildings 
on his screen that the federal government has also provided nearly $10 million 
more in grants and loans to build additional low income housing for some 19,000 
farm workers in South Florida since 1968. 

And so the nation sat and watched a staggering collection of Tobacco Road 
shacks and hovels, the major portion of which were either scheduled for destmC- 
tion OT condemned by the Palm Beach County Health Department. At the same 
time, viewers heard Huntley observe this was .iust how bad things were when it 
came to migrants. 

NBC could have mentioned the $27 million that has been poured into low 
income housing for South Florida fariQworkers. 



5549 

It could have omitted film footage of soon-to-be-destroyed farm labor camps 
houses and condemned Tobacco Road shacks. 

It might have even mentioned the fact that during the past five years, two 
major Florida sugar companies have spent more than $6 million in private funds 
to pi'ovide new housing for 4,296 people (2,618 "offshore" cane cutters and 398 
"domestic" year round workers and families). 

NBC could have told its viewers all this and still reported that the vast portion 
of Florida's agri-ghetto remains unaffected by what state officials describe as "all 
the good things being done here that NBC didn't show." 

But there is a grim irony in all this. 



First, while $17,685,000 was spent to eliminate the foul living units in the pre- 
war labor camps, this money increased the number of available living units in the 
camps by only 95. 

The eight pre-war camps had a total of 1,984 units. When the last of the old are 
gone, 2,079 will take their place. 

In addition, the vast majority of iiersons that are moving from old units into 
the new are not "seasonal" or "migrant" farm workers. They are employed 
year-round. 

At Belle Glade, where there are 647 new, or converted units. Housing Authority 
Director Fred Simmons reports, "I hope to have about 75 units for 'seasonal' 
farmworkers this Fall." 

The balance of the housing (89 per cent) is rented year around, he adds. 

At the Fahokee Housing Authority, Director James Vann admits, "over the 
years, permanent residents have all but taken over our facilities. 

"But," he adds, "we can't shove them into the fields. And in addition, the only 
way we could get federal aid to improve what admittedly was a bad, unforgivable 
situation, was to adhere to FHA permanent occupancy requirements." 

In short, the rebuilt camps at Fahokee with 400 new units, have "little to offer 
the migrant," Vann says. 

At the rebuilt Pompano Labor Camp, only 20 per cent of the 400 new units "will 
be available to migrants this Fall," Housing Authority spokesmen say. 

At the two camps in Dade County's Homestead, officials say 40 per cent of the 
515 new units will be available to migrants. 

"But." one adds, "this kind of thing is damn expensive. Like the other Hous- 
ing Authorities in South Florida, we have to pay back a good chunk of the 
federal money that enabled us to build these new units. We have to do this with 
i-ental income. That's rough when we have to keep 40 per cent of our units vacant 
part of the year for the migrants." 

In Pahokee, Housing Authority Director Vann adds, "we could never have re- 
ceived the FHA funding for our rebuilding program if we had included a 25 per 
cent vacancy factor in our request." 

All this is not to minimize the importance of the $17-million program that 
ended what one team of doctoi's recently described as "little better than slave 
quarters, or cages." 

In the near future, the eight pre-war camps will he little more than memory to 
those who operated them or lived in them. 

And the new units, with rental fees based on low income payment abilities, will 
provide a life style previously unknown to the people living there. 

But even with an investment of $27 million in the area of low income farm 
worker housing, more than 100,000 — the seasonal laborer and the "migrant" — 
will continue their current existence. 

There are two other major sources of shelter. 

The first is the i)rivate farm labor camp owned by farmers, or agri-slumlords. 

Tht' second is tlie agri-slum within the towns and cities. 

There were 408 of the.se camps at the end of 1989, according to the annual 
report of the Florida State Board of Health Department's Migrant Health 
Project. 

These 408 camps offered housing to some 33,500 seasonal farmworkers and their 
families. 

. Among these are eight "villages" owned by the U.S. Sugar Co., all brand new 
"agri-communities" that are tlie end product of a five-year $5 million program 
that has resultetl in modern housing for 2,618 imported "off-shore" can cutters 
and 1.67S "domestic" workers and their dependents. 



5550 

U.S. sugar "rents" these modern duplex housing units to its year round 
"domestic" employes for a service fee of $1.25 a week (one bedroom duplex) to a 
maximum of $5.00 a week (an entire double duplex) . 

Another of the "modern" private camps is that owned by the Talisman Sugar 
Co. of Belle Glade. Here, 25 new trailers are provided for" domestic" year round 
employes, while a modern, three-story dormitory has been built for 1,100 "off 
shore" cane workers. The firm spent $1 million to develop this facility. 

Unfortunately, these are the only ones of their kind among the 408 private 
camps. 

Still, they stand as what could be. 

There remain 406 private farm labor camps. These camps house an estimated 
30,000 seasonal workers. 

Forty percent of this housing is considered unacceptable by the State Health 
Department under provisions of a state code requiring Health Department per- 
mits for the operation of farm labor camps. 

Enforcement of the farm labor camp permit code is handled by local county 
health departments. Recently, many of these departments began a strict cam- 
paign to crack down on camps without permits. 

This has resulted in an increasing number of camps being closed by their 
owners. 

On Monday the owners of the South Dade Princeton Labor Camp announced 
the closing of the camp — which will result in the loss of shelter to some 500 during 
the peak harvest season. 

The owners say they are closing the camps because they cannot afford the cost 
of improvements required by the code. 

And so a steadily increasing number of "seasonal" farmworkers and migrants 
are being forced to find shelter in the only source available to them : the agri- 
slum. 

In tovFus like Belle Glade, Delray Beach and Pahokee, the agri-slum bears the 
name "Colored Town." In other areas where there is a strong concentration of 
Mexican farm labor, the agri-slums take on Spanish nicknames. Or they are simply 
called "Mexican Town." 

In either case, the majority of the buildings in the agri-slum are owned by ab- 
sentee landlords. These are old buildings, usually wood-frame and dark. Often, 
as in South Bay and Belle Glade, their exteriors are freshly painted, while the 
walls inside are worn and stained by a legion of tenants and their children. 

Typical of this sort of housing is the apartment building owned by Pahokee 
City Commissioner Raymond Crosby in South Bay. 

Here, you can rent two meager, unfurnished rooms for $44 a month, plus utili- 
ties. In addition, you receive all the cold water you can use and the right to an 
outdoor toilet. 

The bedroom is barely large enough to hold a double bed. 

Or you may rent two rooms in Belle Glade from this city's Police Chief, 
Charles Goodlett. Chief Goodlett supplies hot and cold running water, but the 
bathing and toilet facilities remain outside. You pay for the electricity in the 
unfurnished rooms and supply you own cooking facilities. The chief will rent 
these "apartments" for $31.52 a month, which is a bargain compared to Crosby's 
rental rate. 

Such housing can be considered average. 

"There's a lot worse around here than what I rent," Chief Goodlett says. 

And he is correct, according to a State Department of Education research 
project which revealed nearly half the agri-ghetto housing lacks toilets, tub, or 
shower, while one-third lack indoor running water. 

Moreover, the State Health Department's Migrant Health Project report for 
1969 found an awesome amount of housing lacks adequate cooking facilties. 

In Palm Beach County alone, 76 per cent of the "rooming houses" offered to 
migrants and seasonal farm-workers lacked cooking facilities. 

The migrant health project report concluded that the well-known diet de- 
ficiency of the migrant in Florida is the product of "generally poor facilities for 
food preparation and food storage in available housing." (The average migrant 
consumes less than half the minimum daily requirement of nutrients). 

Last year, an estimated 60 per cent of the more than 100.000 seasonal and 
migrant farmworkers family members were forced to find housing in the 
agri-slum. 

This year, an even greater percentage will turn to the agri-slum for shelter as 
more and more private farm labor camps are closed due to pressures brought on 
by local health departments. 

Next : Attempts at health, education and welfare programs for the migrant. 



5551 

[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 20, 1970] 

State Shifts Migrant Mess to Washington 

(By J. K. deGroot) 

Migrant Turner James was 56 years old and working upstream in the north 
when they cut his left lung out because it was full of cancer. 

That was back in 1968. Migrant Turner James is dead now. 

He had gone upstream because there was no work for a man in Florida. The 
land was fallow, the crops were harvested. 

After his lung was gone and Turner James was taped up and moving, they 
gave him three $1 bills and a bus ticket to Broward County. 

The same day the people at the hospital up north called the Broward County 
Health Department. 

They told the Health Department to meet Turner James at the bus station be- 
cause he'd just had his left lung cut out and might need some looking after. 

The Health Department folks were a little puzzled by this, but the northern 
hospital people said the staff at the Broward Migrant Health Center, where 
migrants go for medical help, knew all about Turner James. 

Trouble was, the Broward Migrant Health Center had never heard of migrant 
Tuner James until he showed up at the bus station, the three dollars gone and 
his chest hurting. 

They found him shelter in a Halfway House and finally put him in a hospital 
where there wasn't anything else they could do for him except make him com- 
fortable. He died early last year. 

It's hard to say what would have happened to Turner James in his last days 
before the Migrant Health Project was created in 1963. It's not a nice thing to 
think about. 

Last year, Migrant Health Project Clinics took care of 17,870 seasonal farm 
workers in seven counties of South Florida (Dade, Palm Beach, Glades, Hendry, 
Lee, Broward and Collier counties). 

The Migrant Health Project was supported with a Federal grant of $1,()04,15J 
from the U.S. Public Health Service. 

The State of Florida didn't give the folks helping people like Turner James 
a nickle. Just ask them. They'll tell you. 

What does the state of Florida do for people like Turner James? 

Last year, some $12 million was spent in 13 major health and educational 
programs in Florida geared to ease the precarious life style of the more than 
100,000 called "migrant." These people are among the state's most disadvantaged 
citizens and the backbone of its agriculture industry. 

Included in the $12 million was the grant that enabled the Migrant Health 
Project to operate. 

But in virtually every one of the 13 major programs, the Sunshine State's fiscal 
participation consisted of little more than a pat on the back. 

When it came to any comprehensive effort to solve the health and education 
problems of the migrant, Tallahassee shifted the responsibility to Washington. 

But at the same time, Tallahassee is the capital of the state that serves as 
home for the major portion of the migrants in the eastern United States. 

Last year, Gov. Claude Kirk Jr. proudly issued a report on the "Action Plan 
for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Labor in Florida." 

The "Action Plan" report listed each of the 13 major efforts under way to aid 
the migrant in Florida and described their function in detail. 

The report indicated that the state had not appropriated any funds to support 
its "Action Plan." 

In fact, the entire Florida "Action Plan" was supported by the federal gov- 
ernment, with the exception of the Florida Migrant Ministry. This organization, 
by far the smallest of the 13 in dollar volume ($60,000), is supported by church 
contributions, as well as funds from the United Church Women and the National 
Council of Churches. 

In short. Gov. Kirk's "Action Plan" received greater fiscal support from neigh- 
borhood churches than it did from the state government. 

So much for the "Action Plan" of 1969. 

In 1970, the Legislature created two new agencies to deal with the plight of 
tlie migrant and seasonal farm workers. 



5552 

And although the amount was far less than the entire 1969 operating budget 
of the Florida Migrant Ministry ($60,000), it did appropriate some money for 
one of the agencies. 

The tirst of the two new organizations is the Florida Legislative Commission 
and its Advisory Committee. The commission held its organization meeting in 
Miami Wednesday. 

While bemoaning its boycott by a coalition of migrant organizations, the T^egis- 
lative Commission Wednesday agreed to request approval of a hoped-for annual 
budget of $43,500 that would be granted by the Joint Legislative Management 
Committee. 

The requested budget would include a $12,000 salary for a staff director. 

The commission has been boycotted by the migrant Rural Organization Coali- 
tion (ROC) because the member migrants felt its Advisory Committee, to be 
named in the near future, "is stacked against them." 

The commission has no established budget and must olvtain its operating funds 
from the Legislature. Its powers are advisory, as are the powers of its Advisory 
Committee. 

The second state-backed effort to ease the plight of the seasonal farm worker 
is the Division of Migrant Labor in the Depa^rtment of Community Affairs. 

The division has a staff of two (director and secretary) and a 1970 budget of 
$4r>.000. Its powers are advisory. 

Thus, while the Legislature created two more organizations to deal with the 
problem of the seasonal and migrant workers, neither organization has any teeth 
and one lacks a f(vrmal Itudget and the other lioasts a staff of two who are to 
"coordinate" and "c(>oi>erat.e" with "all federal, state and local programs" dealing 
with the woes of 100,000 people. 

It should be noted that this same Legislature failed to act on four bills intro- 
duced by Miami Sen. Lee AVeissenborTi to improve the lot of the seasonal farm 
worker. 

Tlie tirst bill would have provided for unemployment compensation to farm 
workers. At jiresent, while the federal government recognizes the need for this, 
the state of Florida does n(,'t. Jobless farm workers are not eligible for unemploy- 
ment compensation in the Sun.shine iState. 

'Weissenborn has attempted the passage of this bill at least four times. The 
last three times, it was rejected by the Senate Agriculture Committee. 

In addition, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted against a Weis.^enborn 
bill to tighten child labor laws in the area of farm work. At present, there is no 
limit on how long a child may work in the farm field after school is out . . . be it 
one hour, or 10. 

The Senate Agriculture Committee also rejected a Weissenborn ))ill to recjuire 
state registration of migrant crew leaders — men who organize iiools of labor that 
travel throughout the state and along the East Coast in gypsy caravan fashion to 
work the farm fields, men, women, children and all. 

At present, crew leaders (under federal law), must regi.ster in Florida — but 
only if they cross the state line. Intrastate crew leaders need not register. And 
the number of intra.state migrants is increasing in Florida, just as the number 
of out-of-state is dropping. 

The last of Weissenborn's four bills died on the calendar. This bill would have 
put more teeth into the State health code governing the operation and conditions 
of Florida's labor camps. In 1969, the Migrant Health Project reported 40S "i)ri- 
vate" labor camps in the state. Of these, 40 percent did not meet the re(iuire- 
ments of the labor camp code. 

In any event, the sum of the 1970 Legislature's efforts in the area of seasonal 
farmworkers was two "advisory" organizations. $4."'),000 and the rejection of four 
bills proposed to improve their way of life. 

But what of the 13 major projects outlined in Gov. Kirk's migrant "Actinn 
Plan" * * * projects totally devoid of state funds, according to the reoortV 

The most heavily funded program is the Florida Migratory Child Cnm- 
pen.satory Program (MCCP). The agency's 1969-70 budget was $6,592 million, all 
of which came from the IT.S. Office of Kducation. 

The needs of the migrant and seasonal farm worker in the area of education 
are awe!?ome. as indicated in the findings of a recent research project conducted 
by a ITniversity of Miami team led by Prof. E. John Kleinert. 

In his report, Kleinert found the children of the agri-ghetto attend schools only 

intermittently and only when it .serves the immediate convenienfe of the family. 

"Failure," he said, " is what the school offers the migratory child in most 



5553 

cases. These children cannot compete with the middle class child, but successful 
comi)etition is the only way to avoid failure in the American school." 

Kleinert found that tlie "drop-out" factor of the agri-glietto child is 42 percent 
above that of the other children. At the same time, he discovered the seasonal 
farm worker child is 30 percent below the "normal" child in school environment. 

In addition, he learned tliat the typical parent of the agri-ghetto left school in 
the sixth grade. Thus, the child was found to be following in the parents' 
footsteps. 

The agri-ghetto child is the product of his subculture of apathy, transition, in- 
security and "self-de.structiveness." 

The child, Kleinert said "adapts (to the subculture) until the day he goes to 
school. At school, he finds that he is one of a disliked minority. In school, he 
confronts the rest of the world for the first time." 

And so the child withdraws and turns inward. 

Concluded Kleinert, the school "cannot make them feel wanted. Therefore it 
cannot educate them." 

In short, unless the school can relate to the child of the agri-ghetto and offer 
him something more meaningful than that offered to his parents, the apathy 
and ignorance of a self-detructive subculture will continue. 

The Federal Migratory Child Compensatory Program is just what its name 
implies. It is attempting to "compensate" for the fact that our schools are 
middle-class oriented. 

In many cases, it is only able to work with the children a brief time — often, 
only weeks. 

In September of 1968, Kleinert reported an estimated school population of 
7,057 "migrant' children in Florida. By February of 1969, his research indicated 
the number has grown by nearly six times to 43,138. 

As if transition and a self-destructive subculture were not problems enough, 
the educator must also deal with a population composed of one-third of its num- 
ber indicating Spanish as its primary language. These are the Mexican Ameri- 
can migrants. 

Kleinert reports the general ethnic break down of the "migrant" to be 33.4 
per cent Mexican American, 54..j1 black American, and 10.57 Anglo-American. 

Hence, the educator must address himself to the problems created by a sub- 
culture primarily composed of the separate ethnic cultural qualities. 

The program has focused its efforts in three basic areas : 

An early childhood education program, with 140 mobile teaching units, each 
staffed by one teacher and two aides. These oi)erate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during 
the week. Their primary purpose is to bridge the huge gap between the agri- 
ghetto subculture and the middle-class school . . . working with children from 
4 to 5. 

A reading program designed to augment standard classroom literacy teaching 
techniques. 

An earn and learn program, which encourages older migrant youth to learn 
new job skills that will take them away from a labor pool currently facing in- 
creased unemployment due to farm mechanization. 

Are these programs working? 

Educators believe they are. 

But without special programs to meet the particular needs of the agri- 
gheto child. Kleinert warns that our exi.«iting school system "cannot educate 
them." 

And again, the entire effort to meet the inability of the Florida schools to edu- 
cate these children is being financed by the federal government and not the 
state, or local governments. 

The same holds true for adult education programs, and job training projects 
that might take the adult out of the precarious, day-to-day world of seasonal 
farm work. Last year, the federal government provided $2,409 million for six 
projects of this kind in Florida. 

In addition, the federal Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) provided 
$804,000 in funds last year to support the entire budget of the 'South Florida 
Rural Legal Services, an agency geared to meet legal needs of a people all but 
totally ignorant of their rights and the law. 

But while legal rights are crucial to a subculture virtually overwhelmed by 
the complexities of modern living, tliey are rivaled by the needs of these people 
in the areas of health and welfare. 

And the needs are great : 

Fifty percent more migrant children die at birth than other infants. 



5554 

The risk of death during birth is 25 percent greater for migrant mothers. 
Death from pneumonia and influenza is 100 percent greater among migrants 
than the rest of the population. 

(Seasonal farmworkers suffer from malnutrition, taking in less than half their 
daily minimum requirements of nutrients. 

And while Florida does not require workman's compensation for farm workers 
the accident rate among such people is 200 percent greater than all other types' 
of work. 

In short, those like Turner James are in dire need of health care. 

The migrant health project is attempting to supply this with funds provided 
entirely by the federal government. 

But it is woefully underbudgeted and under staffed. 

The Migrant Health Project in Palm Beach County reports, "patients with 
emergency conditions are usually admitted to the hospital, but those needing 
elective preventive care are commonly refused." 

In Lee County, project spokesmen say, "Physicians are not reimbursed in 
Florida for in patient hospital care of migrants and this has caused some prob- 
lems. Our surgery is limited to emergency for this reason." 

So the medical care offered to the seasonal farm worker in Florida is "emer- 
gency" only, with a woeful lack of preventive and post-illness care. 

It is difficult to say what minimal form this medical care would take if it 
weren't for the efforts of the Migrant Health Project— especially when you con- 
sider these people lack hospitalization insurance, the ability to obtain credit and 
access to doctors and hospitals (nearly all are in rural areas, far from the medical 
facilities offered by urban communities). 

The last area that might offer comfort to the plight of the seasonal farm 
worker is that of public welfare. 

In his research, Kleinert found, "almost no migrants have even heard of any 
kind of social assistance program, much less availed themselves of the advantage's 
of them. 

"The nomads of this state are almost totally alienated from our society." 

And until recently, when the U.S. Supreme Court threw out year round resi- 
dency requirements, virtually all of Florida's "seasonal" work force was in- 
eligible for county welfare programs because they cross county lines to earn 
their living countless times each year. 

Concludes Kleinert, "one who studies (these people) is often tempted to com- 
pare them for sheer misery with the occupants of America's urban ghettos— the 
unemployed and partly employed black inhabitants of the rotting central citv 
areas. 

"When this comparison is made," Kleinert says, "the ghetto-dweller comes out 
ahead, both in terms of (his) level of education and terms of economic 
measurements." 

Warns Kleinert, "for our governmental agencies to attack the problems of the 
American migratory worker with exactly the same health and education pro- 
grams that they have used in the urban ghetto would be to consign their efforts 
to failure." 

Because the federal government is footing the bill, this is not the case in 
Florida. But spokesmen for the various projects attempting to solve the crucial 
problems of the agri-ghetto say they lack the funds they need to do a more 
meaningful job. 

To date, Florida has chosen not to appropriate these funds. Instead, the state 
continues to depend upon the federal government to solve what has become a 
Florida problem. 

[From the Miami Herald, Aug. 21, 1970] 

A Migrant Life — Like Thet Told Him : "Your Lot's Hard and You Got to 

Bear the Load" 

"Only a baby can start. You and me — why we're all that's been " 

From John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, 1939. 

Ttf Child.— He didn't just up and quit school. It was just that one day he 
didn't go. It was the same the next day. The school didn't care. They figured 
lie'd just moved on down the road. 



5555 

The Mem. — He turned and spit in anger, saying, "Hell, I ain't going to work 
today." His wife heard him, but said nothing. He didn't work that day or the 
next. And soon it was just as it was when he left school. 

(By J. K. de Groot) 

She was a good oV truck. She was safe. She was home. You could climb inside 
the truck and hide. The inside of the truck smelled like his Daddy. He liked that. 

His Daddy used to say, "That ol' truck has seen some years, but so have I." 

He was a migrant child and this is the story of his life. 

Very early, he learned that camps and fields come and go, but there's always 
the truck. 

Nights in the truck were the best, the engine sweet and steady up front, his 
Daddy easy behind the wheel, his mother soft beside him. 

Years later, as a man, he would feel a bewildering tightness whenever he saw 
a 1934 Dodge truck in his travels. 

His earliest memory is that of a vast field, fiat and open. It is hot. The sun is 
bright. There are many people working in the field. He can hear their hands rus- 
tling among the leaves Like the sound of countless imprisoned birds. 

He is with other children beside a small stream. A very old woman is watching 
them. She has fallen asleep in the heat, her aged body leaning like a half-filled 
sack against a tree. 

He watches as one of the children walks into the stream. The child falls, eyes 
open in disbelief, one arm outstretched, his mouth wide and soundless. 

He sees the child vanish beneath the water. 

Later that night, everyone was very sad. There was no money to bury the 
dead child. They sang hymns in the camp. The other women hit the old woman 
with sticks because she was stupid, allowing the child to drown. The old woman 
screamed through her gums. 

They put the dead child in a hole outside the camp. Then the men filled in the 
hole. His Daddy helped. 

"I don't want to go down in the ground," he told his mother afterwards. "Hush 
up and go to sleep," she said. 

He doesn't know the name of the town where he first went to school. He didn't 
want to leave the truck. He didn't want to leave his people. Every since he 
could remember, his mother had told him, "We stick to our own." 

The teacher smelled good. She smelled like fancy fiowers. He told his mother 
about that later. The teacher said he talked funny. He didn't tell his mother 
about that. The teacher said his clothing wasn't right and she made him wash 
his feet. Then she told him to sit still so that he could learn. 

He sat still. He didn't say anything because he didn't want to talk funny, even 
though the boy next to him tried to make him say something. 

Later he fought the boy next to him outside the school because he called him 
"trash." 

"No matter what, we ain't trash," his Daddy had said. "Your granddaddy had 
a farm before the 'Crash'. We were land people." 

He did not understand what his father had meant. He knew a "crash" was a 
bad thing. A "crash" happened to trucks on the road sometimes. He couldn't 
understand how his granddaddy had "crashed" his farm. 

Anyway, he wasn't "trash" and he gave the boy a bloody nose for it. The 
teacher got mad and didn't give him a cookie. This made him sad. His mother 
had told him school would be nice because they gave you cookies. He didn't like 
school. 

That night, he told his mother that the teacher said his clothes were bad and 
that he had to wear shoes. He also told her how nice the teacher smelled. 

His mother said, "hush." 

Later he heard his mother shouting at his Daddy about money for shoes and 
clothing. They had a fight. Hie daddy hit his mother. His mother cried. His 
daddy left. 

"Don't worry," he told his mother. "When I get big, I'll pick more hampers 
of beans than any man in the camp. I'll give you money." 

His mother cried herself to sleep. He lay beside her, the other children of the 
family already quiet in the night. 

He was still awake when his Daddy came home, drimk and running on a flat 
tire. 

Then his daddy sat down on the rickety wooden steps of the camp house where 
they lived. And he cried. His mother got out of bed and went to him. She sat 



5556 

beside liim and held his daddy in her arms. He could see his father's broad 
shoulders moving as he sobbed. 

He couldn't understand why his daddy was crying. Then he started crying, 
too. He didn't know why. 

The next morning, his mother said he didn't have to go to school if he didn't 
want to. Her voice was very hard. 

From then on, he went to school when it suited him and the family. He went 
to a lot of schools. It didn't matter. When he went, he kept quiet and didn't talk 
funny. Most of the time, he tried to wear shoes. Usually they gave him a cookie. 
They stopped giving him cookies when he was older. It didn't matter. The 
people in school were funny. He knew they couldn't pick 18 hampers of beans a 
day like his Daddy. 

School wasn't one of the good times like when he was with his family and the 
people, in the fields, or sitting around the camp at the end of the day. 

When there was work, the people were happy. Oh, they'd talk about the Man 
and how cheap he was. But there was food and his Daddy would buy things 
for the truck. Once in awhile, he'd even buy a few pretties for his mother, or 
sweets for the kids. 

When there was work, his Daddy worked, his mother worked and he'd join in 
with them, helping, just like he was grown and big. It made him very proud to 
work beside them. 

His Daddy didn't say much working. But sometimes, his mother would hum 
something from a long time ago. He liked that. And sometimes, his Daddy'd stop 
and straighten up, looking down at him to say, "Mother, we've got a fine little 
man working beside us." He liked that, too. 

He quit going to school in the sixth grade. It didn't matter. He knew his letters 
and he could figure sums, even though he sure couldn't luaderstand all the com- 
ments. 

of teachers, or the number of strange children beside him * * * so many faces, 
so many strange people, so many strange days. 

He didn't just up and quit school. It was just that one day, he didn't go. It 
was the same the next day. The school didn't care. They figured he'd just moved 
on down the road. 

About two weeks later, his Daddy noticed it and said, "You ain't been in school." 
And he said, "I ain't going back." And his Daddy said, "I guess it's right." His 
mother didn't say anything. There was work to be done. 

When they were lucky and had a good Bossman Foreman, he would work in 
the fields all day right with his parents. That was good because he made fair 
money, getting paid by the hamper, or the row. 'Course he didn't make as much 
as his folks, but it was a help. They'd let him keep the silver of his earnings. He 
got paid at the end of each day, just like his mother and Daddy. He felt proud 
giving his Daddy the money. Sometimes his Daddy'd punch him' in the shoulder 
and they'd wrestle, his mother looking on and laughing with the younger chil- 
dren. He was getting stronger and he'd test his muscles against his Daddy. 

And so the years passed like signboards on the highway. One day, he heaved 
his Daddy to the ground while wrestling on the dusty ground of a camp in 
New York State. His Daddy lay there and laughed with pride. 

By then, the good ol' truck was gone. They didn't travel as much. They were 
living in South Bay in western Palm Beach County about seven or eight months 
of the year. His mother stayed thei'e year-round with the younger children. He 
and his Daddy went upstream around the first of June with his younger brother. 
They traveled with a Crew Chief who got them work and had seats for them in 
a bus. They'd come back home around the end of September. It was better than 
before. 

He got marriM when he was 18. He met her in Griff's Bar, which is where you 
go in South Bay. She Avas fine. He loved to hear her laugh. For a long time,' he 
was afraid to touch her. She was so tiny, even though she'd always worked the 
fields with her Daddy and mother just like him. 

They had a fine party the day of their wedding. There was whisky and wine and 
cake and ribs and all kinds of fine things. His mother cried and he was surprised 
at how worn she had become. 

That was back in the late 50's. He and his wife got a two-room place for $6 
a week. It didn't have any furniture, but their families gave them a bed and a 
few things. The water was outside with the toilets. His wife cooked on an ol' 
bottle gas stove an uncle had sold them for $12. The bottle gas was extra. It 
worked fine. 



5557 

They left the two-rooms that June to go upstream for work. His wife liad 
joined the crew with him and she worked tlie fields at his side, just like his 
mother, just like hers. 

They were in Virginia when his wife said there was a baby coming. He ran 
over to where his Daddy and his younger brother were staying with some of the 
others. AVe all then went to the store and bought some beer and had a fine niglit. 

Her time came the next year when they were in New York. She was big and 
panting next to him, working beneath the sun. Suddenly she groaned and he 
understood. There were other women working in the field. They helped. She 
screamed a lot and the Bossman Foreman came running to ask the Crew Chief 
what the hell was going on. The Crew Chief told him and the Bossman Foreman 
went away quiet. 

When they returned to South Bay the following fall, they carried their son. 
And he was the first of four. Two of the others were born in hospitals, but that 
was a hard thing because he had no credit or cash. 

Their voices were harsh in the hospital. But it was clean and he couldn't 
hear the screams. That's why he didn't say anything the times they called his 
wife a "charity case." He just took it, like his mother and Daddy had told him 
so many times, "Your lot's hard and you got to bear the load." 

He wasn't sure why, but somewhere along the line, things began to change. 
Pay was better and he was getting a lot better than a dollar an hour. And with 
his wife working beside him, tliere was pretty good money. His mother watched 
the kids now because she was hurt she couldn't work too well. But something 
was wrong. Sometimes, he'd shake his head like a horse shooing flies . . . trying 
to figure it out. But he couldn't. 

The stream moved on, flowing northward each spring and south each fall. He 
floated with the stream, pushed along by the tide of people . . . moving from 
field to field and camp to camp in the summer, rising in the pre-dawn darkness, 
moving out, working the fields, returning at the end of the day. 

Pretty soon the years didn't matter and his life became measured by the flow 
of the stream . . . north and south, day-to-day. 

His wife traveled with him to work because they needed the money. His 
children remained with his mother in South Bay. He sent money home to pay the 
rent. And he paid the Crew Chief for the countless rooms he and his wife slept 
in when the stream was moving north. He also paid the Crew Chief a portion of 
their earnings because he had found them jobs and taken them there in his bus. 
That was fair. That was part of being in the stream. 

And so the stream flowed. When it stopped, they worked. When there was no 
work, they waited for the stream to flow . . . nervous about food, fearful of 
unpaid rent, fretful over clothing. At times like this, it was hard to sleep. Maybe 
that's when he took to dropping by the bar to settle himself and ease his mind. 
Maybe it was earlier than that. He wasn't siire. If a man didn't work and he 
didn't sleep and he didn't eat, a man usually dropped by the bar ... or so it 
seemed. 

The bars were a help. 

By day, they sat baking beneath the sun, battered by time and humanity, 
stained, sagging and empty while the people worked the fields. 

At night, they became temples of magic and refuge. 

These are not Main St. bars, air conditioned w^orlds of comfort, with gleaming 
cars silent and waiting for their pink and polished owners. 

These are places back aways and down the road. 

And always inside is the odor of countless yesterdays and people . . . the 
smell of a hard day's work and a long road traveled. 

He could come here with a day's worth of l)ills in his pocket and the dirt 
of the fields on his back. He could get himself a quart-of-45 or a bottle of Ripple- 
wine, with pai)er cup and a dish of ice thrown in. 

He could put some silver in the juke box and hear some fine James Brown 
sounds. 

And after awhile, a magic thing would happen. He could lean back and hiugli, 
now the baddest dud in town, now among friends, now strong and handsome. 
He'd found the music and the magic always works. 
Tomorrow will vanish and yesterday will disappear. 

Doesn't matter if the Bossman Foreman's truck passes outside, farm letters 
stenciled neatly on its side, the sleek barrel of a 12-gauge pump glistening from 
a gun rack mounted over the rear window of the cab. 



36-513 — 71— pt. 8B 12 



5558 

Doesn't matter at all if the truck slows and stops while a figure peers from 
the cab to shake its head in disgust and spit in the dust of the street. 

Doesn't matter at all if the figure mutters. "Damn fools ain't got no sense at 
all," before the truck moves away into the darkness beyond the pool of magic 
light around the bar. 

Doesn't matter at all because everything's fine-as-wine and tomorrow will 
never come. 

But tomorrow does come and the trucks rumble to the loading ramp, always 
there to take him to the fields for another 10 hours . . . sunup to sundown, 
$11.70 a day. 

Through it all, the stream moves and stops and moves on. But always, the 
stream returns to Florida, because this is the home of the stream. 

And this is his home. 

He knows this. It is part of his world. It is the end of the stream. So he moves 
with the stream, but always, there are the magic nights and the bars, times of 
when it doesn't matter. 

Why should it matter? He stopped asking that question a long time ago. His 
parents taught him. The schools taught him. His marriage taught him. The birth 
of his children taught him. His endless parade of employers taught him. Everyone 
taught him. He accepted. It was part of his world. 

Finally, there came a morning. His Daddy was dead when it came. His mother 
was spending most of her days singing songs from long ago. Her nights were 
spent in moaning. 

His wife had come to look at him with fearful eyes. 

He awoke to taste the dregs of night in the pre-dawn darkness. He turned 
and spit in anger, saying "Hell, I ain't going to work today." 

His wife heard him, but said nothing. 

He didn't work that day, or the next. And soon, it was just as it was when he 
left school. 

It just seemed to be the natural thing for a man to do. Nothing mattered any 
more . . . nothing at all. 

That first morning of dregs, a Bossman Foreman might have noticed his ab- 
sence. He might have wondered once more, "why all these workers are such 
lazy no good folk, unable to put in a decent day's work." 

He would shake his head in disgust, turning back to the figures bent in the 
fields. 

If the Bossman Foreman had noticed, this might have happened. 

But in any case, there remained one more body, defiantly choosing not to care 
lying in a bed that had known a legion of similar bodies. 

Born and raised to manhood, he is of the Florida agri-ghetto. And there are 
more than 100,000 of his world. 

This is one story of that world. But the Sioux Indians have a saying : "There Is 
only one man and his name is all men. "For this reason, this story has no end. 



The Ledger, 
Lakeland, Fla., July 18, 1970. 
Sen. Walter F. Mondale, 
U.S. Senate Office Building, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Sen. Mondale: Polk County, Florida, is the world's citrus center. Our 
county produces more oranges than all of California. 

The industry's headquarters is here and it is the backbone of our economy. 

For most people who live here, citrus means Anita Bryant's smiling face on 
television commercials talking about the '^Sunshine Tree" and explaining that "A 
day without Florida orange juice is like a day without sunshine." 

But there is something else here that most people are not aware of — 25.000 
men, women and children who are the industry's major labor force and who live 
in despair and poverty that should shock the conscience of all Americans. 

The migrant workers have been with us for many years, but for the greater 
majority of Polk Coxintians and most of the rest of the nation, they have been 
invisible. 

They live on nameless dusty roads behind the massive citrus groves — far from 
the mainstream of life. Few people realize that behind those beautiful rows 
of trees live "the poorest people in America," as Edward R. Murrow described 
them in 1960. 



5559 

One year ago our newspaper began a study of the migrant workers. We con- 
cluded it this spring by accompanying NBC's documentary crew on a two-week 
tour of migrant camps in Polk County. 

NBC aired its report, "Migrant: An NBC White Paper," last Tliursday. 

We choose the week preceding the show to present our report, "Migrants : 
Society's Invisible Victims." We believe NBC accomplished a courageous public 
service in accurately portraying the plight of the migrant. 

In our report we tried to go farther. We showed the migrant's condition, the 
history of attempts to improve his life and discussed possible solutions to this 
national problem. 

We are enclosing a copy of our report because we believe you may be in a 
position to influence the future of the migrant worker's life. 

If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. 
Sincerely, 

Otis O. Wragg, III, 

Managing Editor. 

[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 13, 1970] 

Migrants : An Invisible Army of 25,000 Languishes in Poverty in Polk 

(By Ed Domaingue) 

"I'm a bum, nothing but a bum. 

"That's why I left school and I won't go back for nothing. It makes you feel 
cheap when you can't buy lunch at school, it makes you feel like a bum. 

"I ain't like other kids. I don't have the things they do. Kids make fun of me 
when I had to go barefoot 'cause I didn't have any shoes. It makes you feel 
different. 

"There was too much fights all the time, too much trouble. We have to change 
schools too much. I was older than the other kids, they was only 13 and some 14. 

"I hate Florida, it's a bad state. A lot of other people hate Florida. Every 
person here hates Florida. We came here to pick oranges. We were way up in 
Michigan and we were living real good until we came here. 

"I'm just a bum." 

Jackson Bowers is 15-years-old. He lives in Eloise with his family, in a fly- 
covered, dirt-encrusted, two-room duplex apartment renting for $20 a week. 

Eight persons share the apartment at the end of the road on the wrong side 
of the railroad tracks. 

Jackson's parents are migrant fruit-pickers. They follow the crops, moving 
from north to south and back with the change of seasons. 

He and his parents are members of the invisible army of workers who labored 
to harvest the 179,300,000 boxes of citrus fruit produced in Florida last year. 

Ernest Jarvis is 39-years-old. He looks 60. He lives in one room of a three-room, 
crumbling, filthy concrete block structure. He shares the building with two other 
men. It has no windows and the front door is broken off the hinges. 

NO ELECTRICITY 

The room is five-feet by 12-feet. Roaches and spiders are everywhere. The 
only light is in Jarvis' room, but there is no electricity. An extension cord from 
a nearby dwelling furnishes power to the bare bulb. 

Jarvis lives in the middle room. In order to get from his room to the rear room, 
it is necessary to climb over the cushion-less sofa he sits on when he reads his 
paperback novels. 

The room is furnished sparsely, with only a bed devoid of linen and the broken- 
down sofa. 

He i)ays $20 a week for his room, and as an added dividend, the landlord sup- 
plies one meal a day — generally beans, grits or porridge. 

He worked three days last week "because that's all the work there was." 

For his back-breaking, nine-hour-a-day labor, he earned $38.50— before 
deductions. 

He is in debt. He owes his "bossman" $55 and his landlord $100 because "times 
'been pretty bad. I ain't been able to get a lot of work." 

Of his situation, he says philosophically, "I ain't been able to pay my board 
money for the past four weeks. I only worked one day this week and if I'm 
lucky, I might be able to work tomorrow. 



5560 

"Maybe I'll make $30 this week, but I could wind up with only $15 — you never 
know in advance what you're going: to have. If we don't work, if there isn't ftny 
work, you just don't get paid. 

WELFARE DISLIKED 

'•I never tried welfare. I have always been able to take care of my.self. I prefer 
to work, I like to earn my own living. I'm going to try and work and earn my 
own way as long as I can," he said. 

Ernest Jarvis is one of the 25,200 migrants who were re.sponsible for removing 
44,683,000 boxes of citrus fruit from trees in Polk County last year. 

He, like the Bowers family, lives at the end of the road — this time, Hobbs Road 
in Auburndale. 

His posse.ssions are few ; his bank account non-existant. He does not drive a 
car ; own a television set ; or live in the suburbs. 

There are, according to The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative 
Services, 25.000 migrant workers living in Polk County during the height of the 
citrus harvesting season. 

With little variation, they live in conditions of unbelievable squalor and 
deprivation well outside the mainstream of American affluence in the 1970's. 

It is impossible to draw a portrait of the "average" migrant family — ^but more 
often than not, they have too many children ; live in too .small an apartment or 
deteriorating mobile home ; pay too much rent : have neither enough clothes nor 
enough food ; and have less than $5 in their pocket.s. 

They are much written and talked about, but little is ever actually done to 
help them. 

Exposes on the conditions forced upon migrant workers have shocked and 
saddened the nation with almost monotonous regularity — but conditions today 
remain virtually the same as they were 10 and 20 years ago. 

VIRTUAL SLAVERY 

The migrant lives in virtual slavery, or, at best, serfdom. 

During the first session of the 91st Congre.ss last year, a "shocked and sad- 
dened" U.S. Sen. George McGovem (D-S.D. ) rose on the Senate floor after a tour 
of migrant country in South Florida and said : 

"I think we have .seen once again that many of our citizens are existing without 
the barest necessities of life, including the most urgent need of all — a decent 
daily diet. 

"Some have survived on bad diets so long that they don't even know what it is 
to be free from hunger and malnutrition. 

"We have seen diets and living conditions . . . that one might expect to find 
in Asia not in America. Most of the cattle and hogs in America are better fed 
and sheltered than the families we have visited . . . 

"We saw families with six, eight, or 10 children living in one or two-room 
shacks, not fit for animals — windowless — rat-infested — without water, plumbing 
or electricity — shacks for which the landlord collects $12-$15 a week rent each. 

"We saw empty iceboxes and iceboxes that didn't work, with fatback, beans 
and lard the only thing stored in them. 

"We saw children with the blank, expressionless .stare of hunger on their 
faces — children not yet old enough to go to school who, when asked what they had 
for breakfast said 'grits and coffee' — for lunch, 'beans and coffee' — for supper, 
"beans and coffee". Many could not remember when they'd last had milk," he said. 

U.S. Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D-Minn. ) accompanied McGovern on his tour. 

SHOCKING POVERTY 

On the floor of the Senate upon his return, he said, "Tliere are times in the 
life of a public oflicial when he is brought face to face with the shocking reality 
of Imnger and dire poverty. I have just had such an experience . . . 

"The people I talked with travel the length and breadth of our land in search 
of jobs. They do not know what it means to have a place called home, or to have 
their children enrolled in no fewer than three or four different schools every 
school year. 

"They're the dispossessed and the disoriented — people who are chasing the 
American dream, but destroying themselves and their families in the process. 

". . . It is the faces of listless and undersized children that I can not get out 
of my mind — faces which stared straight ahead, indicating no comprehension of 
the world around them. 



5561 

"I could see the result of many years of malnutrition and sordid living con- 
ditions in the parents of these children. It is not over-dramatic to characterize 
their existance as a shadow-life — hemmed in by poverty in its most extreme form 
and yet too weak, too ill and simply too worn down to press for change," he told 
his colleagues. 

Hunger in America. Illness in America. Poverty in America. Desperation in 
America. Fear in America. 

It sounds like a picture of someplace else, far away — indeed, as Sen. McGovern 
said, like conditions one might expect in Asia, but not in America. 

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT 

But it is here — right here in Polk County. — There is desperation and destitu- 
tion on a scale staggering belief. 

Tlie story of the migrant worker in middle-class, rural Polk County is not p 
happy one, nor is it even a sad one with a happy ending, for there appears t/< 
be no relief in sight. 

Polk 'County is often billed the "Phosphate Capital of the World." Many 
people work for a meager living in that industry, but few are without the in- 
come for the necessities of life. 

Tlie situation is not the same for another segment of the economy — the or-' 
which produces more citrus than any other place in the world. 

Few Polk Countians pick fruit. Most of the labor is done by "outsiders " 

Even those who actually live in Polk seldom are considered an integral part o" 
the community. 

They are ix)or : they are dirty ; they are uneducated ; they are invisible and 
many people think they are lazy — they are there to be exploited. 

In more than a year of research The Ledger has been unable to find one 
migrant worker that lives comfortably the year 'round by picking and harvest- 
ing the citrus crop. 

The story of the migrant worker and the parallel story of the migrant stream, 
descriptions of desperation and despair — stories that often begin and end in Polk 
County. 

The invisible world of the migrant worker exists in Lakeland, Winter Haven ; 
Frostproof, Eloise, Wahneta, Eagle Lake and in uncounted unincorporated areas 
and in migrant labor camps virtually every nook and cranny of the county. 

It is hard to imagine tlie degre<;> of poverty that exists because the average 
citizen seldom enters the migrant world. It is hidden from public view down 
dusty roads and behind citrus groves miles fnmi major highways, cities or towns. 
Few would believe the structures, without running water, toilet facilities, paved 
streets, windows, screens or doors were inhabited by human beings. 

Government officials have long turned a deaf ear to the problems of migrant 
workers, and the citrus industry often paints a picture far rosier than is factual. 

The attitude most commonly expressed is, "I worked for everything I got, so 
why can't they?" 

Many reasons are obvious, others are not. 

Tlie average migrant worker interviewed by The Ledger was almost illiterate — 
few finished high school and the majority were born into the migrant stream, 
even as their children have been. 

FOLLOW THE SUN 

When the crops are in, it is necessary to move on, to follow the sun. 

'•I ain't got no choice, my family and me just got to keep going. We ain't 
got no money saved when we're done picking fruit, we can't never get ahead. We 
got to keep going or we'll starve," Norton Brown .said. 

Brown lives in Haines City, when he is in Polk County and when he can find 
work. He is married. He and his wife have 11 children. They are migrant work- 
ers, looking for some way to get ahead, hoping someday to find a little better 
life for themselves and their children. 

For many, the search is endless . . . and futile. 

One person in 10 in Polk County during the height of the citrus season — from 
November to January and from late February to mid-June — is a migrant 
worker. 

The statii«tical picture projected by state agencies and "assistance" groujis 
is sterile — it tells nothing of the individual, of the families, or of the actual 
conditions. 



5562 

Roughly 65 per cent of the state's agricultural labor force is migratory ; 17 
per cent is seasonal ; and about 17 per cent is permanent, according to prelim- 
inary figures of the Florida Migratory Child Survey Project, sponsored by the 
State Department of Education. 

The white migrant family has a male head of the household 80 per cent of 
the time, while the Negro family has a male head only 51 per cent of the time 
The average migrant worker has been following the stream 11 years and 
frequently stays in Polk County six to eight months of the year. 

Because children of migrants are likely to drop out of school at an early age, 
illiteracy combines with poverty and dispair to overpower them. 

HEALTH PROBLEMS 

Health problems among migrants are severe. The Polk County Health Depart- 
ment wages a continual battle against tuberculosis, syphilis, nutritional and 
general health disorders— but language and cultural barriers are often unbrid- 
able. 

Migrants are victims of a society that is moving in a direction different from 
their own ; all that supports them today are the swirls and eddies created beside 
the mainstream. 

Superstitions and curiosity boil around him because precious little is really 
known about him, his family, or his life-style. 

Being poor and \vith little education, he is easy prey for unscrupulous ped- 
dlers, landlords, crew leaders and employers. He is concurrentlv the fabric of 
a social structure that gives little emphasis to respect of property and contracts. 

He is elusive and a poor credit risk, so he pays high prices for everything. He 
is generally cut off from legal recourse, so he may never see the wages or con- 
ditions promised him by recruiters in the north and south— the ones who fre- 
quently most benefit from his servitude. 

Employers and governmental agencies say the migrant worker is unreliable- 
that he is likely to walk away from a job or a payment book without explanation 
or advance warning. 

The citrus industry and state oflScials claim the migrant is better off in Polk 
County than anywhere else in Florida. 

Citrus is the best paying crop still harvested by hand and it accounts for ap- 
proximately 40 per cent of Florida's ployed migrant population. 

Employers can earn up to $19.50 a day if they are men, $10.50 a dav if they 
are women — three dollars above the average agricultural wage for women and 
four dollars higher than the average income for male migrants. 

FIGURES UNRELIABLE 

But, the realibility of the figures is questionable; migrants interviewed oc- 
casionally admitted it was possible to earn that much in a day, but few admitted 
ever coming close. 

Few said they ever earned as much as $15 a day, "and only then when things 
was good." 

Life among the migrant workers is hard. 

"This country couldn't be no rottener," 64-year-old Carl McElvery said between 
chomps on a plug of tobacco. The old man lives in Eloise. 

"Hit's about to blow now. Been holding the little man down too long," he said. 

Who really is the migrant worker? And what is he all about? Is he just a man 
without a face who picks the fruit served on the ocean front terraces of posh 
summer resort hotels or is packaged neatly in long, colorful freezer rows at the 
neighborhood supermarket ? 

He is Jackson Bowers; Jackson's parents; Ernest Jarvis ; Carl McElvey a 
pensioner; four-year-old Terry Heflin of Dunnersville, Ala.; and two-year-old 
Bridgit Hayes of Lake Hamilton, who sleeps with her seven brothers and sisters 
in two rickety beds in a three room flat with no inside plumbing. 

The migrant worker is a man of the earth, picker of everything, possessor of 
nothing. He is a man without a home in a countryside whose rich harvest he 
gathers but seldom does he share the benefits. 

SORROW, FAILURE 

John Steinbeck, in the "Grapes of Wrath," said : 

"There is a crime that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that 
weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success." 



5563 

This is the story of the migrant worker : why he is, what he is, where he is, 
what is being done to eliminate his plight, and what needs to be done before the 
weeping and anger can subside. 

The Migrant Stream in Polk 

The typical Polk resident has a full-time, year-round job, has lived in the same 
home for several years and owns his own automobile. 

He has electricity, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and at least 
one charge account with a big department store. His children do not have 
everything they want, but they have everything he thinks they need. 

The family laundry is done at least weekly in the automatic washer at home. 
It may be dried in an electric dryer. This home has rugs, maybe carpets, windows 
and screens. If the toilet won't flush everyone expects it to be fixed within 24 
hours. 

Children in this house go to school all day, every day, unless they are sick. 
In that case, they see a doctor and faithfully take the medicine he prescribes. 

Any man who heads such a household is rightfully proud of the fact that he 
works hard to provide for his family. He is secure in his belief that his children's 
lives will be at least as comfortable and rewarding as his own. 

He knows that the migrant worker often does not have all of these advan- 
tages, but he may not realize that many migrants yearn for the stable, secure 
life of the typical Polk citizen. 

Permanent residents normally have little understanding of the forces which 
hold workers in the migrant stream. No one who spent his entire childhood in 
one community can grasp the desperation of a boy who, at 15, is already con- 
vinced that life is a hopeless struggle. 

Middle class people underestimate the overwhelming tendency of childern 
to live the same kind of life as their parents. The insurance man's son is no more 
likely to become a fruit picker than the migrant's son is likely to become an 
insurance salesman. 

If migrant crew chiefs recruited middle class teenagers to work the groves 
and follow the season, average adults would be vitally interested in conditions 
in labor camps. This is not the case, however. Average citizens know little and 
care less about the 25,000 men, women and children who harvest Polk's annual 
citrus crop. These workers might as well not exist as far as most of Polk is 
concerned. 

They do exist, however. They are the foundation on which Polk's prosperous 
citrus industry rests. Without them, Anita Bryant would have little to sing 
about in the lilting orange juice commercials. 

The Ledger has studied the migrant situation for a year. Today we present 
the first of a five-part series on that study. We are committed to the principle 
that each citizen has the right and the du^ to know as much as possible about 
every aspect of his community. 

We hope this report will add to the average citizen's knowledge of the little- 
known problems of the migrant worker in Polk. Only with such broad informa- 
tion can the voter intelligently choose among the candidates and programs which 
vitally affect him and his neighbors. 



[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 13, 19701 
Fear, Mistrust Greet the Law 

The call to the Polk County Sheriff's Department from the emergency room 
of Polk General Hospital was typical. It began an inquiry which ended abruptly 
against the roadblock of misunderstanding and fear. 

"Please send a deputy to investigate a possible aggravated assault." 

The victim was Juan, a 28-year-old migrant worker. He had been beaten and 
stabbed several times. His wife and a friend brought him to the county hospital. 

Juan had a bad cut under his left eye and a very deep gash in his back. Part 
of one ear was hanging on a slender strip of flesh. The medical report was not 
encouraging. 

His wife, Marie, waited in silent fear for the deputy sheriff to arrive. She was 
very pretty, with black hair and a soft complexion. She was soft-spoken and 
illiterate. 



5564 

Because she was unable to .si>ell her last name, the deputy copied it from an 
identification card she carried. She was terrified of the deputy, but she told 
hiui haltingly of what had happened. 

Juan was playing cards with her brother and another man in the "singles" 
cabin (if a Lake Hamilton migrant camp, when, according to Marie, her brother 
and the other man .set upon her husband. 

Juan was brought to the hospital by Michael, a friend, in an old broken down 
red labor bus used to carry workers to and from the groves. 

Michael substantiated Maria's story. He said he was called to bring her hus- 
band to the hospital. 

T\\e deputy asked Maria if she would sign a warrant so he could arrest the 
two men who attacked her husband. She didn't understand the question. The 
friend translated. 

"I don't know," she said, quietly suspicious. She said she should ask Juan 
first. 

"Do you want these men to go free and hurt other people . . . maybe you'll 
be the next one," the deputy said. 

"No, I don't know . . . Yes, I'll sign," she said haltingly, in broken English. 

She made a move for the deputy's pad, thinking she only had to sign the 
report he was filling out. The deputy stopped her. He explained she would have 
to see a judge to swear out the warrant. 

(hie of the emergency room nurses interrupted, Juan has passed out in X-ray. 
His blood pressure had droppetl. The nurse said Juan might not recover. 

After liearing this, the deputy decided to arrest the two accused men imme- 
diately. He asked Michael if he would accompany him to the labor camp and 
identify the two accused men. Michael refused. 

He said he "couldn't take sides." While the crew leader was in Texas, Michael 
had to keep order and do nothing to divide the crew. If he told the law what 
happened, his workers would be angry. They would probably lose faith in him. 

Juan regained consciousness. He was allowed to talk to his wie. She then 
told the deputy she wouldn't sign the warrant. It was her husband's order. 

The deputy talked with Juan. Juan said he felt fine, did not know what had 
happened to him, did not know who had beaten him up. 

"Who was it?" 

"I don't know, leave me alone." 

No complaint was signed, no warrants issued, no arrests made — Juan re- 
covered. But by all odds, the attack on Juan was avenged and the guilty suffered. 

This kind of violence rules the life of a migrant farm laborer ; a different sys- 
tem of law and order prevails. There is distrust of the uniformed lawman. 

During the fruit season, Polk County's migrant labor force accounts for a 
higher i.ercentage of law violations and arrests per capita than does the rest 
of the county. 

In an average two month period, records kept by the Polk County Sheriff's 
Department last year showed 406 bookings at the county jail at Bartow out of 
1,321 arrests were of people who listed their occupation as "citrus" workers. 

That's 30 percent of the bookings from less than 10 percent of the population. 

The percejitage may be higher. The jail records only show what occupation 
the prisoner may want to have put down, and many "laborers" may actually be 
migrant or farm workers. 

"I'd guess about 35 per cent of our calls on a year-round basis are from what 
you'd call migrant or citrus workers," Polk County Sheriff Monroe Brannen 
said. 

Most migrants are arrested Friday and Saturday night.s — for drunkenness and 
related offenses. 

Crimes of violence are also far more frequently committed by the migrant- — 
the law of the knife and the gun prevails in the close proximity of labor camps, 
shal)by hotels, closely packed, run-down shacks. 



[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 14, 1970] 

Some Days You Work and Eat — Some Days Y'^ou Don't 

(By Ed Domaingue) 

Zebe D. Bonner is a migrant worker. He picks oranges and grapefruit for one 
of the largest fruit processors and concentrate producers in Polk Coimty — the 
Minute Maid-Coca Cola Company. 



5565 

He labors from 10 to 12 hours a day on a ladder in a grove, picking oranges 
under a boiling, brutal sun. He works four, five and seven days a week . . . 
wlien there is work. Often though, there is none. 

When that happens, he is simply informed not to report to work that day — 
the fruit isn't ready to be picked ; too much was picked the day before and the 
plant is "loaded down" ; it is raining. 

He lives at the Minute Maid-Coca Cola Company labor camp in Frostproof. 
He is invisible to most Polk Countians. 

Bonner furnished Tlie Ledger copies of his pay slip for three successive weeks 
ill March. Each pay slip identified Bonner and carried the Coca Cola Company 
Food Processing Division trademark. 

<_)ne week Bonner worked 32 hours, earned .$30.47 and, after deductions for 
•hoard," took home $14.82 — for 32 hours work. 

The following week, Bonner worked 33.35 hours — "Because that was all the 
work there was" — earning 31.75. After deductions for board, he took home $6.10. 
The third week he worked 25.5 hours, earned $24.47, stopped having deductions 
for board taken from his pay check — "because I couldn't live" — and took home 
the $24.27. 

Bonner considers himself lucky — at least he doesn't have to pay rent. The liv- 
ing quarters furnished him during the picking season by Minute Maid-Coca Cola 
are little more than a bunkbed surrounded by three feet of space on either side. 

The building is well kept, clean and attended 24 hours a day. The barracks- 
style structure is not pretty, but it is adequate. 

Last year, 44,000,000 boxes of citrus fruit were picked from Polk County trees. 
Polk led its closest competitor in citrus production, Lake County, by almost twice 
the volume. 

The five top processing plants in the county are Minute Maid-Coca Cola in 
Auburndale; B. C. Cook and Sons in Haines City: Adams Brothers in Auburn- 
dale; Mutual (Edward's) Harvesting; and the Haines City Growers Cooperative. 
There are more than a dozen others. 

Minute Maid is one of the largest fruit processing ajid i-oncentrate companies in 
the country and the company owns the largest lalior camp in Polk County. The 
reason is obvious. 

Minute Maid needs approximately 2.000 fruit pickers every single day there is 
fruit on the trees to pick the 1.5 million oranges processed by the Auburndale 
plant every day. 

The company uses 14 million gallons of water washing and processing G0,000 
boxes of fruit — fresh from the tree to your neighborhood grocer — every single 
day during the height of the citrus season. 

HAND PICKED 

Every single one of those oranges must be picked by liaud — there is no mechani- 
zation in fruit picking. 

Men like Zebe Bonner earn 35 cents per box — and a box usually contains 300 
oranges. They work when the company says work ; they stay home when the 
company says stay home. 

There is no predictability in either living or working conditions if you are 
a migrant laborer — one day you might have work — and food — the next ilay you 
might not. 

One week you might work six days, earning $75. and the next week there 
might not be any oranges to pick or only one or two days work — if you're lucky 
you might earn $30. 

Mrs. Leith Ann Bridges and her husband are Iwth migrant workers and they 
live with their family in Coca Cola's Frostproof labor camp — in a section set 
aside for families, separated from the barracks Zebe Bonner lives in. 

Mrs. Bridges and her husband have worked for Minute Maid-Coca Cola for 
12 years. They live in a small house, a drab green, four-room wooden-frame 
structure. 

NO PLACE TO GO 

They share the bouse with their seven children and grandchildren — ^a married 
daughter, pregnant and separated from her husband, lives with them. She has 
no place else to go. 

At 49, Mr.s. Bridges said she can no longer go into the fields seven days a week 
like she used to. She has been forced to cut down, to four or five days a week 



5566 

now,^and she can only pick live or ten baskets of fruit per day at .35 cents per 

Of ref SSt-n^o^'anTtrreTn^f ^ bTsf ^ ^anVo^t IZlT'^ f • "' 
^don't know how much longer we-il he ahll t1 h'^ldTp ^n^u"^^^ iMTS 

thJJi^s;tr=rd--^at¥re^i/»t"c"^^^^^^ 



JUST TOO SMALL 



lnck';;7;anl\r„S"we pmtrmSch'Inl?!?"'' r™^" '"<"'• ""' "-" ■"'^"^ 
grease and bread to 4^^ in ft „r^™„t" ''"'' ""^ something-either some 
always get what you want l™f ^^^ „J '"" "S '»"'' "»*''«'<' Potatoes. Ton can't 
your helfy," The "afd ' '^ " '='"' "''''"'■ S«'"'rallr get something to fill 

chMren, can lahlf In'ttI S?fo%?nute llardio'ca Cola" '"'*'""'• " '"<■" 

typ' "^r'n^c Sl.t?r4e"°;?„S3„ToVaTir -^^'^^-n in il. barracks- 
according tnr r n-J^^ ^ ?I quarters, men like Zebe Bonner. The barracks 

^tT:TrVZoiye!Z'^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^-"' ^-^ also provided 

and showers! The company also nrnvSi«f..^ f ??^^ l"" ^^ntrally located bath 
city of their recruitTeSt to Slk rnnifv ^n^^vf^T'^*'^'' ^^^ '^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^o^" t^^e 

A similar labor camLowne^daMo^^^^^^ f'""' '^^ ^' *,^^ «^a««"- 

Aubunidale, near the co^mpany's processFnTand 'onclntra?e S '' '"'^''^ '" 

Giddmgs said men like Bonner, for their $15 rifp^l ar-ff ^ ^ ^ . 
morning and night, with a bae lunch nff^L* ^ • t ' ^^^ ^^^ cafeteria-style 
milk in the fields ^ ""^ ^""""^ sandwiches and a sweet cake and 

NO WOMEN ALLOWED 

frlendTndThe^VntsTo'piikht un™™'.?"/!; ^T'^' « " '«■">" "'•'' « ^^■••- 
she isn't allow'ed7o.CgTrouu™thTcamp"' """"• '"'''■"'^'''" «'«'"^'' ^^l"' ""' 

Maid-Coca Cola's FrostpScaSp who «f^,nl!, 11 "*'''' residents of Minute 
Mrs. Bridges' with a lot o^chlMr"? a?dVsm''aTfn?omr''' "^^ """'^ """""^^ '"^^ 

mlfrrw\rs'S^extS!n'?o"SS'ntr°' ''""'^ "^ " "" "^'"^^ ""^ "-' 

They 1 ve m squalor; in shoddy, vermin-infected shackrunfit for anini«ls 
no?;Slll^^?rillTS ?^?£ ?<;TarSr^^-l^ -educat'ed,"??4?;ntr;^fitate. 
no recourse but to1ubm1t,'mo?e'oVoTfrhun"gV^^^^ ^' '' ''''''' victimized; he has 



5567 

HOBBS ROAD 

In Auburndale, at the ends of Hobbs Road where Ernest Jarvis lives, there 
are two rows of seven concrete block buildings. Each of the structures has fallen 
into a state of disrepair. Many of the outside toilets do not work ; few of the 
buildings have either electricity or running water. 

Both families and individuals, both men and women, live in the vermin- 
infested shacks. A man or a woman, living alone, pays $15 per month for one 
room — five feet wide by 12 feet long. All the rooms contain is one bed. The 
mattresses, like the rooms, are damp and musty. 

Spiders and roaches are everyhere. The doors don't work — most are off their 
hinges. There are no windows. During the day, when the temperatures rises 
it is impossible to stay in the rooms. The mercury creeps past the 100 degree 
mark daily. 

But at least the roof doesn't leak — "It's a roof over our heads. We ain't got 
no place else to go, we gotta stay here. But don't use my name please, the landlord, 
he's a mean man," one male migrant fruit picker said. 

He comes back to Hobbs Road year after year — it is the closest thing to a 
home he has. 

In Eloise only the town and the street are different — ^housing conditions and 
rents are the same. Deteriorating house trailers, are renting for $20 a week to 
migrant fruit pickers. Most lack inside plumbing, adequate sanitary conditions, 
screens on tlie windows, and often doors. 

RAILROAD ALLEY 

In Haines City, the name of the street is Railroad Alley. The two-iroom cabins, 
without toilets, running water or electricity, have been condemned for more than 
a year, yet people are still living in them, still paying from $15 to $20 per week 
to an absentee landlord who has not been in Florida for several years. 

The late James P. Mitchell, a former U.S. 'Secretary of Labor, often expressed 
concern over the conditions imposed on the migrant labor force. 

He once said, "Migrant workers . . . (are) caught up in a cycle of life in 
which poverty breeds poverty, their children are denied the educational and 
other opportunities to improve their status. To this end, the migrant worker and 
his family must be given the same protection of the same type of social and 
lahor legislation that now applies to all his brothers." 

But the cycle of exploitation and poverty goes on — and the examples in Polk 
County are endless. 

Last Janiiary, Clifford "Slim" Herndon made an agreement with M. R. Mizell, 
owner of the Rifle Range Bar in Wahneta and of 10 dilapidated dwellings out 
back. He agreed to be the handyman about the place to work off his $12.50 per 
week rent and "earn a little extra money." 

'ain't paid me' 

Herndon said of the deal, "He agreed to pay me a dollar and a quarter an hour 
but he ain't paid me a god-damned thing, not since January 5th." 

He's been eating with another camp resident, Sid A. DeNike, who rents one of 
the better shelters in the place for $12 a week. After seven years as a resident 
of the camp, DeNike has the place he wants. 

It has plumbing, a kitchen and a bedroom separated by a bath. The shoddy 
structure, is of concrete block — more durable than the tarpaper and tin shacks 
so frequently found in migrant camps. 

DeNike, who claims he is a retired etymologist — and knows how to pronounce 
it — picks fruit when he can. He speaks disdainfully of the other residents of the 
camp. 

"They lived like god-damned hogs. I keep this place clean," he said. 

Several of the units in Mizell's camp have stinking toilets — they stink, because 
the toilets have inadequate septic tanks and do not clear when fluished. 

Even though this is strictly against State Board of Health rules governing 
sanitary conditions for labor camps, nothing can be done. The law defines a 
labor camp as having 15 or more residents, and for Mizell's camp this would be 
hard to prove. 

There are only 10 dwellings in the camp and most people living there stay 
alone. 



5568 

SLIPPED DISK 

Across the way from DeNike's, Lester T. Troupe of Opa Locka, Ala., languished 
with a slipped disk, in a trailer body eight by sixteen feet. He fell from a grove 
ladder last Spring and "messed myself up real bad." 

A painter and carpenter by trade, Troupe came to Florida last year to pick 
fruit. Prior to that, he "and another boy had us a place way out in the swamp" 
in Alabama, where they poached deer and were scraping out a fair living, avoid- 
ing the game wardens and eating venison. 

He talked to a stranger while lying flat on his back, a brace resting on a ratty 
chair next to his bed. Don Specks of Lanier Fruit Co. was due to take him to the 
doctor again later in the day and the company would take care of the cost. 

Lester T. Troupe was lucky ; a number of companies would have abandoned 
him. He still was not protected by either unemployment or workmen's 
compensation. 

But housing and wages are not the only area in which migrant workers are 
exploited. 

Many people living in ghettoes and migrant camps often can't leave the area 
to go to the store because they lack transportation. 

They shop in neighborhood stores were prices are usually higher but where 
credit is more likely to be available to the poor. 

Mrs. Netti Hayes shops outside the ghetto. Merchants like Conroy's of Daven- 
port and Russ Bargain House in Haines City. 

She pays Conroy's $29 per month on a refrigerator which sits in her bedroom, 
since the kitchen also serves as the family room and is too small to hold the 
refrigerator and the television set. 

At first, she said, she paid a $50 down payment. Then she was charged $12.50 
for delivery when it arrived and they told her she could not get a receipt for 
her down payment. After it was in her home, .she was told her balance due was 
$487, she said. She paid another $50, skipped a payment, and wlien she talked 
to representatives of tlie Polk County Christian Migrant Ministry, she figured 
her balance was $437 — for a good refrigerator, not a great one. 

Other payments include $26 i>er month for a stove and washing machine, $15 
for the television, and $5 per week on her bedroom furniture, which was chipped 
and had a slide panel on the headboard missing when she got it for $200 from 
Russ Bargain House. 

EIGHT CHILOREX 

Mrs. Hayes is 31. She has no husband and eight cliildren. who share two broken 
down bed.s in a crumbling three-room shack in Lake Hamilton. She pays $15 a 
week for the rooms and the landlord is pressuring for an increase. 

She receives welfare a.ssistance under Aid to Dependent Children — but lier 
allotment is shrinking. In December li>G8, she was receiving $221. Then it dropped 
to $194 per month. Now it is $179 per month. 

She has attempted to help herself by picking fruit, cleaning house, whatever 
she can do and whatever she can get. As she woi'ks, her benefits are decreased 
and unfortunately, the work isn't .steady. 

Mrs. Hayes receives food commodities for herself and her children — but she 
must pay $5 for a ride to Bartow, where they are distributed, to pick them up. 

Though Mrs. Hayes no longer follows the migrant stream North each year, 
she mu.st care for her younger children. Her two oldest sons Ixave already began 
the annual trek. 

Picking fruit is something a child can do. Tliey make the trip with their 
grandmother. 

vICTI^[IZEn 

The migrant is victimized where lie works, where he lives and where he shops. 

He is often cheated the day he is born, by the fact his birth may be unrecorded. 
Many migrant children born in Poly County or in some shack off the beaten 
track halfway from here to the next place may never be able to go to .schohl, 
because their parents failed to record their birth. 

The same is true as the migrant grows old. 'When he can no longer work and 
applies for the Social Security he has been paying for over the years, he often 
finds he does not have enough time credited to his account. 

One of the favorite ruses, employed )>y some companies and crooked crew 
chiefs, is to deduct Social Security payments from a man's paycheck without 
ever botliering to ask him for his .social security number. 



5569 

More tlian one man has been fired when he raised questions about the Social 
Security deductions being taken from hi.s paycheclv wlien he doesn't even have 
a social security card. 

Ernest Jarvis wasn't afraid to tallv about it though. He has worked for more 
tlian one company that reguhirly made deductions for Social Security. 

•'I'm lucky now, as long as I stay with the man I'm working witli. I may 
liave something coming from tlie government when I retire. It ain't always l»een 
tliat way. 

PAY DEDUCTIONS 

"I worked for a lot of companies and a lot of crew chiefs tliat took tliem Social 
Security deductions out of my jxiy each day or each week and never bothered 
to get my number. They sure weren't sending that money where it was supposed 
to go. 

"My guess is that they was getting it for themselves, a little something extra. 
Ain't much you can do. If you try to do anytliing, tliey kin just tell you to move 
on and you gotta go," he said. 

In one respect, migrant workers in Polk County are more fortunate than those 
in some neighboring areas, like Hardee County. 

In Polk, emergency medical service is available free with tlie only problems 
being transportation and distance to the county charity hospital. Even though 
the medical service at Polk General has sometimes been criticized, it is there 
in time of emergencies. 

The same isn't true in a number of neigliboring counties. 

Wliere there is no public charity hospital, patients are often required to pay 
before even emergency treatment is administered. 

CONSCIENCE NEEDED 

In late 1964. just prior to his deatli, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Mitchell 
said, "The shameful migrant problem will finally be solved when there are enongh 
Americans with wisdom, compassion and good sense to save their final censure 
for those who stand by and seem unable to find within their economy a place 
for conscience." 

Apparently that time still has not come — the migrant worker was in the spot- 
light of national attention during the 1960's, many recommendations to improve 
his h>t were made and many laws were pas.sed to help him. Still little has changed. 



Migrants : How To Escape Thap 

, .Why doesn't the migrant "work his way iip like everybody else instead of 
asking for handouts?" 

This oft-aske<l que.stion de-serves an answer. 

The simplest explanation is that, for migrant workers, the Great Depression 
never ended. Workman's compensation, social security, unemployment com- 
pensation, free (high school) education, minimum wage and FHxV loans are 
virtually non-existent for fruitpickers. They did not get a New Deal like most 
otiier Americans. 

Through a combination of political, economic and social factors, farm labor 
was exempted from almost all the public henefits listed above. Some, like public 
education, are theoretically available, but the migratory life itself prevents their 
taking full advantage of it. 

Social security is supposed to l)e paid, but often is not. Accurate recoirds are 
difiicult to keep; cheating is temptingly easy. Many migrants do not have social 
security numbers. 

Until last year even welfare required 12 consecutive months' residence to be 
eligible for benefits. 

Having no protection, the farm laborer is little better off than a beast of burden, 
living in a closed economic system which has no exits. Generally ignored or 
misunderstood, he receives little sympathy and even less help from the community 
in which he lives. 

The common image of the migrant as an "outsider" is erroneous. Most of 
Polk's 2ri,0(X) fruitpickers consider themselves Polk residents. They may be here 
through Winter and Spring, for six to eight months. If their children attend 
school at all, they go to Polk schools. 

In summer, when the citrus crop is in, they may go "up on the season," North, 
for other fruit crops. Many never leave Florida, going South for the summer to 



5570 

harvest watermelons. Vegetables come in Autumn, and then the workers con- 
verge in Polk again for the long citrus season. 

The exi)ense of maintaining three or four different homes is, of course, pro- 
hibitive. Only wealthy families can afford such a luxury. Few families can even 
keep up mortgage payments here while paying rent in labor camps elsewhere. 
They rarely achieve homeownership. 

Wages are low. Very little saving is possible. Tlie unsettled migratory life is 
expensive. If the income were dependable as it is for most people, more migrants 
might be able to move to a better way of life. 

The fruitpicker, however, is incredibly vulnerable. Bad weather means finan- 
cial disaster. A flood or drought can bring real hunger, near starvation. In 
addition, he can be disabled by even minor injuries or ailments. Heavy sacks, 
10-foot ladders and 100 degree temperature quickly weed out workers with 
high blood pressure, weak heart, sprained angle, arthritis, bad back, pulled 
muscle or anemia. Dust and pesticides hamper those with respiratory troubles. 

There is no "sick leave" in the groves, no pay for those who cannot work. 

The disrupted, disadvantaged life does not produce many scholars. Typical 
pickers were born into the migrant stream and have little education. Their in- 
come is so low and so irregular that they cannot start a new life. Rarely is there 
enough money to pay the debts, put down a whole month's rent in advance, stock 
the pantry, buy clothes and go job-hunting. 

They would like to get out of their trap, but cannot. As one picker succinctly 
explained it : 

"We got to keep on going, or we'll starve." 



[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 15, 1970] 
Ten Yeabs Go Past but Lnri^B Changes 

(By Ed Domaingue) 

The plight of the migrant worker became a cause celebre during the early 
1960's. Much was written about him during the decade ; scores of recommenda- 
tions were made to improve his condition. 

Little, however, was accomplished on a local, state or national level even 
though many of the programs recommended then have since become law. 

In 1960 CBS News created a nationwide furor with a special report on the 
plight of the migrant and his family as he follows the crops from one end of the 
nation to the other. 

"The Harvest of Shame," was narrated by the late Edward R. Murrow. Dur- 
ing the .show, Murrow said, "The migrant worker occupies the lowest level of any 
group in the American economy. The soil has produced no Samuel Gompers or 
John L. Lewis." 

That is virtually the only thing that changed during the decade. 

In the concluding moments of the documentary Murrow was standing in Belle 
Glade, Florida. He said : 

"The migrants are back in Belle Glade, winter quarter after months of travel 
and work. One said he brought back a dollar and sixty-five cents ; another said 
six dollars. 

Another said, "we broke even, we were broke when we left; broke when we 
got back." 

Murrow asked the rhetorical question, what can you do for yourself? The 
answer was not unexpected — ^nothing. 

The week before the show was aired nationwide, a special Presidential Com- 
mission, composed of the secretaries of labor, agriculture, interior and health, 
education and welfare made certain recommendations to improve the conditions 
and life-style of the migrant worker. 

Murrow ended the telecast with them. 

IMPROVEMENTS LISTED 

Here are some of them : Extend child labor laws to cover agricultural workers. 
Eliminate residency requirements so that migrants will be eligible for health, 
education and welfare programs. A Federal law requiring crew leaders to register, 
thus protecting migrants from exploitation — extension of Workmen's Compensa- 



5571 

tiou Laws to agriculture. New housing regulations — states to pay local boards 
for the education of migrant children. 

"There will, of course, be opposition to these recommendations ; too much 
government interference, too expensive, socialism. Similar proposals have been 
made before. In fact, 1.50 different attempts have been made in Congress to do 
something about the plight of the migrants. 

"All except one has failed." The migrants have no lobby. 

"Only an enlightened, aroused, and perhaps angered, public opinion can do 
anything about the migrants. The people you have seen have the strength to 
harvest your fruit and vegetables. They do not have the strength to influence 
legislation," he said. 

That was 10 years ago. Very little has changed. Many of the conditions remain 
the same. Some of the recommendations have been enacted, but even worse now 
on the books have failed to relieve the misery of the nation's migrant work 
force — a force as important to agriculture as the soil the harvest is grown from. 

Living conditions today are still deplorable. Hunger among migrant families 
is still widespread. Migrant children are still dropping out of school as soon as 
they are old enough and many still cannot get in because their parents do not 
have the money for a birth certificate — or can't remember where the child was 
born. 

MIGRANT STREAM REMAINS 

' Today, 10 years after CBS rocked the nation, nine years after a series on the 
plight of the migrant worker by Dale Wright of the late New York "VVorld-Tele- 
gram and Sun rocked official Washington, the migrant stream is still winding 
its way throiighout the country with every change in season. 

Dale Wright lived and worked in the field with the migrants. He found crude 
exploitation, dreadful living conditions and futility of life 30 miles south of 
glittering Miami Beach and 30 miles from the neon lights of Times Square in 
New York City. 

Ten years ago ; nine years ago ; five years ago, today — ^What is being done for 
the migrant worker on a National, State and Local level? 

A number of the recommendations made by the special Presidential Commis- 
sion have become law, but for a variety of reasons they have failed to have an 
important, or lasting effect on the migrant problem. 

Labor laws covering children have been extended, in many instances, to agri- 
cultural workers and, in addition, virtually all states have laws in the books 
requiring children to remain in school until their 16th birthday. 

But children continue to drop out of school and the law is circumvented by 
growers, harvesters and crew leaders. Both the state and federal government 
have far too few investigators to catch all offenders — and in many instances 
parents themselves are responsible for violations. 

DROP OUT OF SCHOOL 

When the family is large, the children must drop out of school, if not to work 
in the fields, then to stay home and babysit for younger brothers and sisters. 

Many young children do not have birth certificates — they were born in labor 
camps or were delivered by midwives, who have little concern over whether the 
birth is properly recorded. 

Parents and children lie, simply because to lie is expedient — the more mem- 
bers of the family working, the easier it is to provide the basic necessities of life. 

Crew leaders are little concerned how old a child is when they are in need of 
workers to harvest the crop. 

The second recommendation, the elimination of residency requirements govern- 
ing eligibility for health, welfare and education programs, was too controversial 
for Congress to tackle. 

It took a decision of the United States Supreme Court— made during the 
Court's last session this year — to strike down residency requirements as uncon- 
stitutional. Hence, it took 10 long years for the Presidential Commission's recom- 
mendation to become effective. 

It will still be many months before the full effects of the decision can be 
realized, but there will definitely be farreaching benefits for the poor as a result 
of the action. 

No longer will a health or welfare agency, generally funded at least partially 
with federal monies, be able to deny services to any poor family whether migrant 



5572 

or otherwise because the family is not a resident of the state or county admin- 
istering the program. 

The third recommendation, a federal law requiring crew leaders to register, 
was enacted by the U.S. Congress in the mid-1960's, several years after the com- 
mission recommended it. 

EFFECT IS LIMITED 

However, the effect of the law is limited — it only requires the registration of 
crew leaders engaging in interstate transportation of migrant workers, but it has 
been beneficial in weeding out crew leaders with lengthy criminal records. 

It has also been beneficial in eliminating a small portion of the victimization 
migrant work crews have been subjected to by giving the federal government a 
weapon. The government can now always refuse to register or re-register a crew 
leader subject to frequent complaints. 

In conjunction with the Federal Crew Leader Registration Act, the State of 
Florida requires registration of all crew leaders engaged in intra-state trans- 
portation of migrant workers. 

The law has been less than effective in many respects — a shortage of inspectors 
makes strict enforcement impossible. 

FOURTH RECOMMENDATION 

The fourth recommendation, the extension of Workmen's Compensation Law 
to cover agricultural workers, is still only optional. Participation in the program 
is not required by law and as a result, many migrants injured on the job are left 
on their own. 

Even if the accident is clearly a case of the grove owner being at fault, the 
migrant has little recourse — he has neither the money nor the inclination to go to 
an attorney for help. 

Housing regulations governing migrant camps and migrant living conditions 
have been enacted on both the state and federal levels, but in many cases they're 
not enforced. 

The same living conditions described by Edward R. Murrow 10 years ago still 
exists today. 

The State Board of Health has stringent regulations governing conditions 
tolerable in migrant camps, but then the law defines a migrant camp as having 
ir» or more residents and establishes other restrictions. 

Few migrants in Polk County live in labor camps. Those who do are frequently 
better off than those that do not. 

Migrants living "out in the community" often are protected by only a few 
regulations governing health and sanitary conditions. 

Again the problem is one of the enforcement and a shortage of investigators. 

The final recommendation — states to pay local school boards for the education 
of migrant children, is also a reality. The programs are funded with federal 
money. 

The Polk County iSehool System has enacted a number of programs designed 
to help children of migrants. Kindergartens have been established and extra 
teachers are provided for schools which receive a large number of migrant 
children. Due to the high dropout rate of migrant children and the frequent 
movement of their families, large numbers of these children are never reached 
by these means. 

FAIR WAGES MISSING 

While the Presidential Commission's recommendations fared well, tiie recom- 
mendations Dale Wright made after considerable study of the problem did not. 

He said the fann worker must be guaranteed a fair wage for his labor — the 
migrant still is not covered effectively by the federal minimum wage law. 

He said the migrant and his children must be provided with adequate edu- 
cational facilities "so they can prepare themselves to compete for jobs and 
careers . . ." 

They still do not have a fair opportunity to obtain an education. 

He said the migrants many ailments must be cured so that he can perfonn 
"his honest day's work and be assured of reward for that labor." 

And here, perhaps, is the greatest failure, for the federally-funded and State 
Board of Health-administered Migrant Health Project in Polk County was dis- 
continued in November of 1968, five years after it came here with the express 
purpose of providing basic health services to migrant workers and their families. 






I 



5573 

The state chose to abdicate a portion of its responsibility to the 25,200 migrants 
estimated to be in the county during the height of the citrus season, because 
Dr. William Hill, director of the county's health department, refused to segregate 
the services being provided for migrants from those being provided for 
non-migrants. 

The project had provided needed funds for birth control devices, nurses and 
sanitarians. Its purpose had been threefold : 

To improve preventive care and medical services to agriculture migrants and 
their der>endents. 

To improve and upgrade general sanitation and housing. 

To coordinate and cooperate with community agencies in assisting with pro- 
grams for the betterment of agricultural workers and their families. 

As a result of the state abdication, the Polk County Health Department now 
has two less nurses and no sanitarian. 

During the county's brief tenure in the Migrant Health Project, a major area 
of concentration was on sanitation services. The project objectives, aimed at 
assisting the migrant worker and his family toward better community health, 
were : 

Instill some aspects of community pride to stabilize their environment. 

Assist in the development of a housing program, obtaining compliance with 
state statutes. 

Provide guidance and consultation to growers and other agencies concerned 
with migrant sanitation. 

Inspect, consult and evaUiate findings on periodic visits to camps, food estab- 
lishments, child care centers and other places of concern. 

Provide consultation to industry in the development of model liousing projects. 

Provide orientation and in-service training to interested groups. 

Assist in the development of a generalized program of health education for 
migrants. 

In the report. Hill said, "Plans were made for sanitary surveys beginning in 
the Negro section of Florence Villa (Winter Haven). One hundred, forty -three 
(143) living units were replaced or brought up to minimum housing standards. 

CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN 

"A clean-up campaign was begun by the public works department (of Winter 
Haven) with additional trucks scheduled for trash pick-up at specific points. A 
total of 550 tons of debris has already been removed with the program still in 
action. 

"Polk County labor camps began to show significant changes in operation 
and management. Three large labor camps formerly operated by lai'ge citrus 
co-ops (Haines City Growers Cooperative) were subleased to crew leaders as 
individuals. 

"These crew leaders are now in the process of obtaining permits to operate 
camps. (Permits have been obtained) This action on the part of the large citrus 
co-ops has presented a completely new set of problems. 

"Crew leaders are not used for maintaining sanitary standards set forth in 
the Florida statutes. Physical or structural violations take longer to correct 
due to the inherent 'chain of command.' Food service has deteriorated since the 
withdrawal of catering companies in camp kitchens. 

"Many camp defects seemingly are not corrected because they recur at such 
rapid rate," Hill said. 

But all that is no more. All migrant services, the most critically needed, have 
been cut back. Many have been eliminated, from the standpoint of reasonable 
achievement. 

MALNUTRITION A PROBLEM 

Elimination of health problems in the groves, in the ghettoes, in the labor 
camps, are essential to improving the lot of the migrant worker. 

But health services are not the only critical problem migrant workers in Polk 
face on a day to day basis — just as Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D. ) and his 
special U.S. Senate sub-committee probing hunger and malnutrition in America 
discovered the underfed and the undernourished in two South Florida counties^ 
so they exist here. 

U.S. Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D-Minn.) accompanied McGovern. On returning 
to the Senate, he said : 



36-513—71 — pt. SB 13 



5574 . 

I 

"We saw children and old people who regularly missed one or two meals a day j 
and who depended on grits and fatback to survive. I could see many years of | 
malnutrition and sordid living conditions ... | 

". . . The effects of hunger and malnutrition are even more severe than the i 
testimony of experts would have you believe. I am convinced that the malnu- j 
trition and primitive living conditions have a direct casual relationship with the j 
shadow-lifee existence of so many people we saw," he said. 

There is hunger in Florida ; hunger in Polk County. Men, women and children I 
go to bed hungry, or undernourished. ! 

Thus far. the state's answer here has been the commodities food program, 
funded by the federal government. In April, approximately 10,500 Polk Countians 
received food commodities. The suri)lus food is sufficient to keep a family alive — 
often its nutritional value can be questioned. 

The commodities may consist of dried beans, butter, cheese, corn meal, flour, 
shortening, canned meats, dry milk, peanut butter, rice, rolled oats or wheat, 
grits, prunes or raisins, split peas, instant potatoes, canned fowl, fruit juice, 
egg mix, canned beef or pork, a beverage mix with a milk base and macaroni. 

FOOD FOB SURVIVAL 

County officials claim that even though the surplus food program was not 
intended to supply a balanced diet, it does — as long as the food lasts. 

Only one Polk migrant family receiving surplus food said the supply lasts the 
family the month it is intended to. 

Sens. Mondale and McGovern urgently recommended the federal government 
immediately take the following steps to eliminate hunger in America : 

Free food stamps (to enable the poor to purchase their food directly from the 
supermarket, giving them a choice of staples available to the rest of us) must be 
made available to those under the poverty level, as well as to those whose income 
prevents them from obtaining a fully adequate and nutritious diet. 

A county should be able to participate simultaneously in the food stami) pro- 
gram and the direct food (commodities) distribution program. 

The Federal Government should distribute all commodities, whether or not in 
surplus, to supplement the food stamp program. 

An applicant should be eligible for these programs after submitting an affi- 
davit, with no onerous red tape. 

"In addition, the school lunch program must be expanded to provide every 
needy child with a free lunch ; at the present time, the school lunch program 
reaches less than half the nation's school children. 

BREAKFAST IN SCHOOLS 

"Even more importantly, the school breakfast program, which has only been 
established on a pilot basis, must be explained to reach all children from poor 
families. 

"And finally, we must devise a food distribution system which will enable 
pregnant mothers and pre-school age children to have an adequate and nutritious 
diet. Such a period to age five that hunger and malnutrition are most devastat- 
ing to the mental and physical condition of a young child," Sen. Mondale said. 

The State Legislature recently passed a bill that will abolish the commodities 
distribution program throughout the state and make mandatory participation 
in the food stamp program. 

The action has met with widespread opposition — both in Polk County and 
throughout the state. 

Marvin Brice, director of the Polk Welfare and Rehabilitative Services De- 
partment, said, "These people will not get a balanced diet. It is good for the 
retail merchant. He gets full price for the stamps in the program. But, I'm 
concerned with the individuals, not merchants. 

"I want to look out for the people — which is my job," Brice said. 

COMMODITIES PROGRAM 

Polk's commodities food program presently reaches into 3,097 households- 
316,114 pounds of surplus food were distributed throughout the county in April. 

The Polk County Commission has opposed participation in the food stamp 
program in the past, on the grounds participation would be "too expensive." 
Now participation will become mandatory — but the problem will not be solved. 



5575 

The government's — federal, state and local — attack on the plight of the migrant 
worker is three-fold : health and welfare services ; food to stop hunger and 
malnutrition: and education. 

The effort being made to educate the migrant child is at best a poor beginning : 
it is attempting to relieve the problems created by a lifetime of misery, hunger 
and despair in an eight-hour school day. It is attempting to teach the migrant 
to integrate himself into a system alien to him. 

Some school administrators are attempting to stabilize the migrant through 
work-study programs in the high school — attempting to wrench youngsters from 
the endless fields, groves and orchards, where the future holds less promise 
than a more skilled job in the commercial world. 

The State Department of Education's Migrant Program has also undertaken 
a school record transfer project with a number of states along the eastern 
migrant stream. 

RECOBDS FOLLOW STUDENTS 

Children beginning school in Ohio, New York or Pennsylvania can have their 
records transferred from school to school as they move south, or north, with their 
families. Though the disadvantages of moving from school to school still far 
outweigh the advantages, it is at least a beginning. 

Under the record transfer system, Polk County schools are providing the 
families of migrant children with a computer card when they move on. The 
card contains the child's school record. 

It can work well, if the migrant family assumes a set pattern of travel with 
the seasons. 

But usually the migrant is oblivions to the agencies that seek to help him. He 
is consumed by farm laborer and the day-to-day struggle between citrus ladder 
and landlord : packinghouse, jailhouse and tavern. 

He worries about the law, prices, and weather ; he falls prey to all three. He 
is proud and he works long hours doing back-breaking labor for insignificant 
wages. 

The government's efforts to help him, without making a thorough effort to 
understand him, have fallen short. But now there are leaders rising from the 
soil, men of the earth born into the migrant stream. 

They know "where it's at" and what must be done. They are prepared to 
"rock the boat" if that becomes necessary. The nomadic migrant w^orker is their 
"people" they feel for him and they understand him. 



Cuban Nurse Aids Migrants 

"At first I don't know how to approach them because they're very suspicious." 
said Mrs. Alicia Sanchez. A county health nurse, she visits the poor in tlieir homes 
and checks on problems she sees indicated on children at school. 

She is vibrant and enthusiastic. As she approaches the house of a Mexican- 
American fruit picker, with eyes peering unseen at her through windows and 
around corners, she calls the woman of the house by her first name. 

"Theresa ! Theresa ! Buenos dias," she calls. She raps loudly on the screen 
door thfu opens it and has her head inside before a quieter "l)uenos dias" floats 
back to her from the kitchen. At least Mrs. Alicia Sanchez speaks the language. 
She's been here three years. 

"In this time I have many of those Mexican and Puerto Rican families and they 
don't speak English. I don't know why, Spanish only," .she says. 

The Sanchez family left Cuba shortly after the Castro government seized 
power. Her husband, a medical doctor, had to undergo an American internship 
in Virginia and he is now a public health doctor for the county in Bartow. Tlieir 
only daughter is 13 now, and she avoids speaking Spanish whenever possible. 

PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES BIG AID TO MIGRANTS 

Overcoming suspicion and building confidence, is one of Mrs. Sanchez' first 
challenges with a new family. She finds the migrant worker of Spanish extraction 
a different breed altogether from w^hite and Negro Americans. Most often the 
families are close-knit, have a strong father figure who works in the fields and 
a mother who cares for up to a dozen children. 

She told of discovering one mother of a dozen : 



5576 

"When I explained to her about family planning she didn't even know about it 
. . . she didn't even know about it," repeated for emphasis. That was two years 
ago. Now the mother does know about family planning. She uses a intra-uterine 
device for birth control which the Health Department provided, and has a free 
physical examination every six months. 

The woman, now 40, has had no more children. 

A boy in school whose parents both speak Spanish at home may find the two 
different worlds between which he alternates hard to reconcile. On the one hand 
the Mexican-American mother labors under old traditions and might not part 
with her youngsters to enter first grade until they are 10 or 11 years old. On 
the other, children of that age may be in fourth or fifth grade. 

Alfonso complained of headaches and while he was in the same grade as 
children his age, his work began to fall off. 

"I talked to him and find he needs a doctor examination," Mrs. Sanchez said. 
"We applied through the Lions Club for an eye examination because they can't 
afford it. Tliey are fruit pickers." 

On the day of the appointment, Mrs. Sanchez visited Alfonso's home to make 
sure he was going to be taken to be helped. At the modest concrete block house 
in northwest Winter Haven there is a five-year-old car in the carport and the large 
family all live in a two-bedroom facility. The living room couch makes an addi- 
tional bed for small children and its cover retains the sour odor of dampness and 
small children's urine. Alfonso was home from school, ready for the doctor. 

To look at the house inside or out, you wouldn't think the family lived for 
the season and followed crops north. They are buying, IMrs. Sanchez explained. 
Summertimes they close the house when they go to pick other fruits. Several of 
her clients are doing the same. 

The Inggest problem is suspicion. People don't understand the germ theory 
of disease. They may never have had access to information about birth control. 
They may need nutritional training. 

I have none with commoflities (food) so far," Mrs. Sanchez said. "This kind 
of family they don't want to ask for anything. Never 'give me, give me' — They 
live with what they make." 

In late April Mrs. Sanchez asked Teresa, "Cuando se mudan? Mayo? o Junio?" 

"No sabemos todavia . . ." the woman answered. Her husband hadn't decided 
yet which would be the best place for them to go to pick summer fruit. 



Time To Face Responsibility 

The problem of Polk's 25,000 citrus fruit pickers cannot all be solved locally. 
Some help from state and federal sources is necessary. 

However, Polk must not shrug off its share of responsibility for the deplorable 
conditions which exist here. Some problems can and should be solved at the local 
level. 

Citrus is one of the prime supports of the area's economy. Every Polk resident 
benefits, directly or indirectly, from the annual harvest of 44,000 boxes of citrus 
fruit. Certainly Polk citizens use and enjoy oranges and grapefruit. 

Whoever profits from a situation must share the responsibility for it. Imperial 
Polk extracts the maximum possible benefits from migrant labor. We must like- 
wise exert maximum effort to improve workers' lives. 

The hovels which are rented to farm laborers are intolerable. They can and 
must be eliminated. Stinking, unsafe shacks with exorbitant rental prices are 
an affront to the conscience of every Polk citizen. Their continued existence lends 
a bitter after-taste to our morning juice. 

Minimum health and safety standards for rental property in the county should 
be enacted by the County Commission. Strict enforcement of such regulations 
could quickly end the current profiteering in human misery. 

County commissioners, by failure to take such steps, give approval to the 
shameless exploitation of helpless migrants. Polk is not ready for a complete 
minimum housing code to affect all homes in unincorporated areas. It should 
be possible, however to enact an interim ordinance only to rental units. 

Education is another area where local action can be effective. State and 
federal help is needed, but the initiative must come from the school system which 
must do the job. 

Because of the relatively long citrus season, migrant children spend more 
time in Polk schools than in any other. This is where the problems must be 



5577 

faced. A recently announced vocational program for migrant youngsters is a 
step in the right direction. 

Many more steps are needed. Polk schools must develop complete programs 
for migrant children, programs designed to fit the average length of their stay. 
A special team of attendance officers is needed to improve the attendance pat- 
terns of migrant children while they are in Polk. 

Health services must be expanded. County immunization programs must be 
carried into migrant living quarters. Mobile units are needed to visit labor 
camps. Polk citizens must recognize that festering sores on migrant children 
are dangerous to the entire community. 

Efforts should be made to regain state aid for migrant health services, and 
requests for help should go to every appropriate federal agency. 

Polk cannot solve all the problems of the migrant workers, hut it can alleviate 
some of the worst ones. If we take our responsibility seriously at the county 
level there will be a greater likelihood of help from state and national sources. 

We have thrived on the sweat of the farm workers. Now it is time to pay the 
piper. 

[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 16. 19701 

Community Organizes : Migrants Begin Struggle 

(By Ed Domaingue) 

In Polk County, the migrant worker is permanent resident on the lowest rung 
of the economic ladder. He is not there because he wants to be, or because he 
likes it. 

Many Federal, state and local government programs have failed to reach him— 
partially because they have been content to offer scraps from the table of plenty 
as they did with the Negro : partially because public officials can't afford to offend 
the major money interests who would like to keep the migrant right where he is : 
at the bottom. 

With no one to turn to for assistance from outside, many migrants are now 
turning to the leaders rising from among their own ranks. There are finally 
appearing in Polk County and across the state, men and organizations gravely 
concerned about the problems of the migrant. 

Until recently, the only agency in Polk County not responsible to local or state 
politico's was the Christian Migrant Ministry. Headed jointly by an ordained 
minister and a former migrant worker-crew chief, a goal has been set of 
power through community organization. 

Several months ago, Rueben S. Mitchell, regional director for the Federal 
Office of Economic lOpportunlty -funded Community Action Migrant Program, ap- 
peared before the County Commis.sion in Bartow and informed commissioners his 
organization would "appreciate" Iheir cooperation. He asked for a vote of moral 
"support" ; it was given. 

Mitchell said the organization was bringing its program into Polk County in 
an effort to help the county's 2.5,000 migrant workers "better themselves" and to 
enable them to leave the migrant stream if they so desire. 

In South Florida, there are other migrant-oriented agencies and leaders 
grappling with the problems — Rodolfo Juarez, head of the Organized Migrants 
for Community Action and perhaps one of the first and most effective of the 
former migrant laborers turned commimity organizers, and the federally-funded 
South Florida Migrant Legal Services Program. 

minister, former migrant 

The Polk County Migrant Ministry is headed jointly by the Rev. Paul F. 
Wilson, an ordained minnster, and Newlon Lloyd, a former migrant worker and 
crew chief who came to the United States from the Bahama Islands 14 years ago. 

Wilson and Lloyd have both been on the Migrant Ministry's payroll since 
December 1968, shortly after the agency's work was partially funded by the 
National Ministeries. Other contributions come from local churches, member- 
ships, and the Westminister Presbytery. 

Three years ago, the Migrant Minister moved away from service orientation, 
according to Wilson, in favor of community organization — "in which the farm 
workers can identify and solve their own problems through their common 
strength." 



5578 

The multi -faceted purpose of the group is to : 

Establish indigenous, democratic farm work associations which seek to define 
their own goals and uncover and develop leadership from within. 

Mediate between the farm worker community and the various agencies and 
programs available for conusel and guidance in all areas of private and com- 
munity life. 

Support activities of self-help and community improvement among the farm 
workers. 

Recruit, train, coordinate and supervise volunteers from the churches and 
community to assist in programs of social service and self-help. 

Dr. Herman F. Reissig of Lakeland, a consultant in Human Relations and 
strong supporter of the Migrant Mini-stry, said in the organization's application 
to the National Ministries : 

SHAKE DECISION-MAKING 

"In terms of the farm workers, a greater measure of justice and opportunity 
will prevail as they are enabled to share in the decision-making about their 
destiny. Many will find new ways of achieving some of the most basic desires 
they have for personal and corporate fulfillment, esiJecially as it relates to health, 
education, housing, home improvement, public works facilities and job 
opportunities. 

"Many will find a new sense of dignity, as well as respect and admiration 
for their friends and fellow workers . . ." he said. 

Wilson said, "The chief problem is that they (the migrants) are forced to 
reside outside the mainstream of American life — they have no control over the 
programs directed at them. They lack the power, the voice and representation 
to help themselves. 

"That leaves the farm worker with things being done for him, instead of 
doing the things himself," he said. 

Wilson and Lloyd function primarily in two different areas: the minister's 
responsibility is to organize the middle-class support necessary to fund and 
assist the ministry's program and Lloyd works primarily in community 
organization. 

Lloyd, for his part in the program, was overwhelmed when he first began his 
work here. The problem of organizing 25,000 migrant workers scattered across 
the country was staggering. 

As a result, the Migrant Ministry picked three principle target areas — Lake 
Hamilton, Haines City and Winter Haven. 

Two self-help groups have already been successfully organized in the Lake 
Hamilton-Haines City area. They are the Florida Farm Workers Organization 
with headquarters in Lake Hamilton and several hundred members and the 
Black Youth Organization for Power, an attempt to draw the young people into 
the organizational efforts. 

"Even though both organizations are primarily the results of the Polk County 
Christian Migrant Ministry's efforts," Wilson said, "they have their own separate 
organizations and leaders. We can not dictate to them what they can and can 
not do." 

"At times we might make suggestions or point out possible alternative forms 
of action, but the final decision rests with the members. They have to help 
themselves get what they want," Wilson said. 

SEVERAL BATTLES WON 

The Florida Farm Workers Organization has already won several battles for 
migrant farm workers in the Lake Hamilton area. 

Wilson said last year the organization decided it was interested in arranging 
work at the Lake Hamilton Packing House for the wives of several of the 
members. In the past, the employees of the packing house had all been white. 
Members of the farm workers organization were Black. 

"They got together with officials of the packing company and sat down and 
talked about the problems and what they wanted. As a result of the discussions 
two Blacks were hired by the company. 

"Things were pretty bad for a while and eventually the two women were fired, 
but not before a precedent was established — it was a major break-through for 
them," Wilson said. 

On another occasion. Black farm workers and migrants got upset over medical 
care for poor people at the Heart of Florida Hospital in Haines City. 



5579 

They wrote a letter to the hospital's administrator and set up a meeting with 
him to provide him with an opportunity to present his side of the story. 

"Well, he attended the meeting and made an effort to interpret the hospital's 
policy and to try and work out some of the problems. These things wouldn't have 
happened if the workers hadn't banded together in a single community organiza- 
tion geared to improving their living and working condition," Wilson said. 

The Florida Farm Workers Organization has also made initial strides forward 
in blending itself with the total Lake Hamilton Community. 

"One of the organization's big concerns was over the lack of recreational 
facilities for their children in the city, and particularly in their area. They set 
up a meeting with the mayor and city manager and everyone got together to dis- 
cuss their problems. 

A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH 

"The very fact that the mayor came down into the Black community to meet 
with them and to deal with their own organization was a major breakthrough. 

"They asked him for a playground and the mayor to everyone's surprise, said 
we already have one in the city. They have a very nice recreational area but in the 
past Blacks had been barred from using it. 

"Now they are allowed to use it two nights a week. It meant a great deal to 
those families living in the Lake Haminton ghetto area," the minister said. 

Wilson said the organization's efforts to bring the people together to help 
themselves here are extremely important — "Polk County has the second highest 
concentration of migrant workers in the state. Palm Beach county is first, with 
38,000." 

Both Wilson and Lloyd get angry when they talk of justice for the migrant 
in Polk County and both are quick to criticize both the law enforcement agencies 
responsible for enforcing the law and the court system. 

"They (the migrants and farm laborers) have to band together and demand 
that the laws on the books be enforced adequately. 

"There are three kinds of justice in Polk County — -white to white ; white to 
Black ; and Black to Black. Many incidents aren't even investigated if they 
happen in a labor camp or ghetto. If Sheriff's deputies bother to come at all 
when they are called, it takes them several hours to get there. 

"But the general attitude of the majority of people in Polk County must change, 
too. Even now, the migrant is still referred to as 'those people down there' or 
'it's just those people down in the quarters acting up again.' 

"Everybody is responsible and everybody is going to have to act together to 
bring about the necessary changes," Wilson said. 

Both Wilson and Lloyd have indicated they are prepared to be tough if that 
is what's going to be necesi?ary to get results. Both would prefer a different 
approach. 

"Everyone is conceirned about oranges, we are concerned about people," Wilson 
said. 

Mitchell and the Community Action Migrant Program are new to Polk 
County — but they have long been active in Lee, Hendry and Collier Counties. In 
Collier County they were handed administration of the commodities food dis- 
tribution program by the Office of Economic Opportunity after local governmental 
officials refused to take responsibility. 

". . . It must be emphasized that the people whom we serve represent that 
.segment of society who fear to protest or challenge — ^for they fear retaliation. 
Only as the vast majority of people become aware of the dramatic plight of the 
migrant and seasonal farm laborers, and become involved fully in both seeking 
and providing solutions to his problems, will truly long-range, massive and effec- 
tive results be had," Mitchell told U.S. Senator George McGovern's (D-^S.D.) 
Select Senate Investigating Committee in March of 1968. 

Little has changed. 

RURAL MANPOWER PROGRAM 

The Community Action Migrant Program is primarily a rural manpower pro- 
gram, working cooperatively with the private sector of the economy and industry 
in job training, job placement and job development, according to Mitchell. 

What impact the program will have in the coming months cannot be deter- 
mined, but job training and placement will be essential in order to alleviate many 
of the problems the migrant population is heir to. 

One leader though more than any other is rapidly coming to the forefront of 
migrant worker organizational efforts in the state. He is frequently compared 



5580 

to Cesar Chavez, who is a hero of epic proportions among grape-piclvers in 
California. 

Rudolfo Juarez, head of the Organized Migrants in Community Action in 
South Florida, is a Mexican-American, a former migrant worlver and farm 
laboi'er. 

Mexican-Americans comprise almost half the state's population of migrant 
workers. Juarez's story is typical : 

"I was born in South Texas, in San Benito, and when I was about 15 I was 
sold. That's right. They came and got a whole group of us and told us there 
was a lot of money to make up North and over in Florida if we went along with 
them, and they'd take us and feed us. 

"I now know they got .so much money from the growers for each body they 
brought up from Texas. Well, we w^ere living like animals where we were, and 
getting practically nothing for doing crop work in south Texas, so we thought, 
why not? 

"I was taken up to Indiana and Oliio to work on the fairms there, and then we 
tx'ied to break out, but it's hard. They tell you that you owe them for food and 
transportation and the mattress on the floor you use for sleeping, and they tell 
you that if you try to leave, they'll get you thrown in jail and you'll never get out 
until you pay your bills. 

"How else can you pay them but by going l)ack to work for them and when you 
do that, you have to eat and you have to sleep somewhere and a lot of the time 
there's no work, until its time to harvest and so you're their property . . . 

". . . I'll tell you the truth, a lot of migrants — you know, they're Mexican- 
Americans like me, or black people, and a few are white, yes, but not many — 
they're not aware of their rights, and they're scared and they should be. 

"Have you seen them patrolling some of those camps? The men will ride 
around with guns, and the crew leaders will herd people into the trucks to go 
picking. They stand them up and they look like cattle going to the market . . ." 

Juarez's story is not a pretty one — but it is true and he has pulled himself out 
of the fields. His efforts now, unlike many migrants who escape, are aimed at 
assisting his brothers still trapped in the migrant stream. 

Organized Migrants in Community Action (OMICA) has drawn in a picture 
of the structure of poverty . . ." denoting the reasons ". . . . why we have been 
living in the misery that we have been living in through generation after 
generation." 

Citing the reasons for the migrant and fann workers poverty, OMICA has 
isolated these causes : 

Exclusion of farm workers from the National Labor Relations Act. 

No protection under Workmen's Compensation and Unemployment Compensa- 
tion Laws. 

Importation of foreign labor. 

General exclusion of the very poor from participation in housing, small busi- 
ness and loan |)rograms. 

Unconstitutional residency requirements for receiving welfare and health 
service.s. 

Discriminatory and humiliating welfare system. 

A lack of individual power. 

A lack of group power. 

Bad working conditions and low wages, creating a slave labor system which 
insures that the farm workers children will have to live the same way he did. 

A lack of hope in the ability to escape the migrant stream or the farm for a 
better way of life. 

But it is far easier to identify the problems than to attempt to find the suitable 
solutions. 

STATE LEGAL SERVICES 

Among things needed to approach solutions, Wilson said, is for "South Florida 
Migrant Legal Services needs to become Florida Migrant Legal Services." The 
OEO-funded organization employes 16 attorneys in the sugar cane and truck corp 
counties. It has been the subject of repeated assignation by Congressman like 
Rep. Paul Rogers, himself a land baron. 

It has been attacked by U.S. Sen. Spessard Holland, a staunch supporter of 
crop subsidy legislation which has seen $1.5 million in Federal money given 
carte blanch to U.S. Sugar Corporation of Clewiston in the past two years (1968 
and '69), with le.s.ser, but sizable lumps of Federal sweetener to other sugar 
cooperatives. 



5581 

The Washingtonians frequently criticized the legal service organization's 
$800,000 annual budget, while handing out huge farm subsidies to the very com- 
panies and combines that help make the work of organization's such as Florida 
Migrant Legal Services necessary. 

Legal aid is of primary significauce in making a man feel he is a man — a 
citizen ; protected by law instead of victimized by it. A proposal that the Florida 
Bar Association take over a statewide legal aid program has been criticized 
because of the belief it would be staffed with young and inexperienced attorneys 
who would be using the position only as a stepping-stone. 

Organizations like the Polk Coimty Christian Migrant Ministry : Community 
Action Migrant Program ; South Florida Migrant Legal Services ; and Organized 
Migrants in Community Action are on the right track — all attempting to or- 
ganize the farm laborer into cohesive group strong enough to fight for him- 
self; strong enough to demand his rights; strong enough to be heard by the 
County Commission in Bartow, the Governor and State Legislature in Talla- 
hassee, the Congress and the Senate of the United States in Washington. 

The road will not be easy. 



Migrant Report Toxight 

A nationwide television spotlight will be focused on the plight of Florida's 
migrant workers at 7 :30 tonight when Channels 2 and 8 broadcast "Migrant : An 
NBC White Paper." 

The special report, a sequel to Edward R. Murrow's documentary on the 
migrant work force, "Harvest of Shame," broadcast in 1960, was filmed in part 
in citrus groves and labor camps in Polk County. 

Martin Carr. producer-director of the special report, spent more than six weeks 
in Florida — two of them in Polk — filming the show with a six-man television 
crew. 

Sequences in the show, narrated by veteran newsman Chet Huntley, were 
filmed in Eloise, Lake Hamilton, Frostproof and Lakeland. 

Since announcement the documentary would be telecast tonight, state officials 
and administrators of the national farm bureau have attacked NBC, claiming 
the show they all acknowledge they haven't seen only presents "one side of the 
story." 

Gov. Claude Kirk refused to be interviewed by the show's producer. He claimed 
the show was "biased" and had no intention of presenting the "true facts." 

Carr, who also acted as the show's chief reporter, was choked with emotion 
more than once during the show's filming. 

In Eloise, tears came to his eyes when one 15-year-old, Jackson Bowers, told 
Carr he was a "bum." 

"I was shaken when I left him," the producer said. 

Two weeks ago the producer told The Ledger he felt the show was "dynamite." 

"It's about time the entire nation realized what it's really like to be a migrant 
wtirker," Carr said. 

Carr is no stranger to controversy over documentaries he has produced. 

In 19G8, he stirred the nation's conscience v/ith a special report for CBS on 
"Hunger in America." the show depicted malnutrition across the nation and 
its affect on .small children. 

One sequence captured on film showed several children dying from under- 
nourishment in a Louisiana Hospital. Reaction prompted a United States Senate 
investigation still underway. 



The Pinch op Conscience 

Every time the press explores migrant misery, growers react loudly and in 
unison. Their cries of "Unfair" and "One-sided picture" stretch all the way back 
to the publication of John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath." 

We can understand the dismay of the corporate farmer when his neighbors 
start equating him with Simon Legree. Growers, after all, are people. They are 
operating clean, honest businesses as well as they can. Few, if any. Polk 
citrusmen would deliberately or maliciously mistreat workers or deny food or 
education to children. 

The current system does exploit farm workers, but the system is older than 
most current growers. They did not create it — they inherited it. 



5582 

Why, then, should today's big farmers react so defensively to the negative 
publicity? Obviously, if they did not feel responsible, they would not find it 
necessary to defend the indefensible conditions. 

Growers are not responsible for the creation of the migrant exploitation, but 
they definitely must shoulder much of the blame for its continuance. This is 
where the conscience pinches, and it is why they are so vulnerable to the accus- 
ing fingers. 

With their representatives and lobbyists, the farmers and growers of Polk, 
Florida and the nation have fought tooth and nail against every legislative 
effort to improve the lot of their employees. Without their opposition the mini- 
mum wage, workmen's compensation and other normal benefits would have come 
to the farm worker as to other laborers. 

By opposing these efforts, by deliberately seeking to exempt agricultural 
workers from protective labor legislation, growers have assumed full respon- 
sibility for the plight of their employes. 

Some grove owners would probably like to rid their conscience of its present 
burden. Unfortunately, these men could not suddenly begin paying the minimum 
wage and offering other standard benefits to fruit pickers. Such a unilateral 
action would price the company's product out of the competitive market. 

The men of good conscience can, however, immediately cease their opposition 
to reform programs. Without grower and farmer objections, the weight of public 
opinion would quickly carry corrective legislation through Congress. All com- 
panies would have to follow the provisions, so no individual grower would be 
unduly harmed. 

Naturally, the consumer will have to bear the cost of reform in increased 
prices. Tliis is normal in a free enterprise system. Americans will not stop 
drinking orange juice because of a price increase. 

Citrusmen who are sincere in their concern for the well-being of the pickers 
will not react defensively to this week's local and national publicity. Instead, 
they will acknowledge that problems exist and they will stop trying to block 
efforts for improvements. 

[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 17, 1970] 

TV Snow Criticism — A Repeat 

(By Hubert Mizell) 

National television judgment against Florida's migrant labor setup incurred 
the wrath of the state's chief executive, but tlie words hardly differed after a 
decade. 

". . . did a great injustice." 
Farris Bryant, governor of Florida, following the 1900 CBS-TV expose 
"Harvest of Shame" with Edward R. Murrow. 

". . . completely biased, bigoted and one-sided." 

Claude Kirk, governor of Florida, following Thursday night's NBC-TV expose 
"Migrant" with Chet Huntley. 

While state political leaders cried of unfairness, members of Congress from 
elsewhere expressed concern for the low-paid field and grove workers who harvest 
Florida's rich citrus and vegetable crops. 

"No group is more in need of justice," said Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., 
regarding the migrant work force. He said his hopes are that "this will arouse 
Americans so that justice will finally come to our migrant workers." 

Sen. Harrison Williams, D-N..T., said significant strides have been made in ten 
year.^ in this field, but that it's "still far short of being fully a part of the 
American dream." 

As the plight of the laborers was shown nationally, migrant worker Dora Mae 
Dorn sat on her bed with her family and watched on a TV set as yet unpaid 
for. 

"I bought clothes for my children this week," she smiled, "but I had to u.?e my 
welfare check to do it." Mrs. Dorn is jobless at present since the picking season 
is over. 

Sad faces dominated the hour-long show narrated by Huntley and produced 
by youthful Martin Carr. 

"Poor iieople like us just don't have a chance," said a black woman on the 
film. 



5583 

Families Wage Uphill Battle to Escape Stream 

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Trammell and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Farmer have 
a lot in common. They are migrant worlcers, they want a better life for them- 
selves and their children. 

Mr. and Mrs. Trammell are both 24 years old. They live in Lake Hamilton. 
They were born into the migrant stream and they are fighting with every 
weapon they have to get out. 

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Farmer are both 2G years old. They live in Eloise. 
Benji Farmer had a brief respite from picking fruit ; he served a tour of duty 
in the Navy, discovered a better life, wants some of it for himself and his family. 

Mary Jean and Raymond Trammell are much better off than most young 
migrant worker families, even though they are Negro and believe much of their 
plight is caused by their race. 

They both have high school educations — rare for migrant workers, even rarer 
for the children of migrant workers. They both have a fierce determination to 
escape the migrant stream and are do'ng something about it. 

The Farmers, both white, are still looking for a way to escape. They, too, were 
born into the nomadic life, but they weren't fortunate enough to graduate from 
high school. They were forced to quit school so tliey could work in the fields 
alongside their parents. 

"Picking fruit is like a disease," Benji Farmer says. "You can never get enough 
money saved to get out. It's like a trap you never get out of. 

"I want to get out, but I don't know how. The only possible way I see is to go 
back up Nortli. We are going to try our best to get out. I've done some selling 
and repairing of television sets and someday I want to own my own shop." 

Mary Jean Trammell's determination for a better life has .stood her well in the 
past — she "aus one of the first Negro women ever to v>ork in the Lake Hamilton 
Packing House. 

She got the job — and the racial problems that ensued — through the efforts 
of the Polk County Ciiristian Migrant Ministry and its subs'diary organization 
Florida Farm Workers Organizatic^n, based in Lake Hamilton. 

She is not afraid to fight for what she wants. In April, Mrs. Trammell enrolled 
in an IBM Keypunch cour.se being given by an evening school in Lakeland. 

The course requires that she attend classes two nights a week. It costs $350 — 
steep for the Trammell's, but worth it if it becomes the key to the door that will 
let them find a lietter life. 

"We'v«» tried to get out before. I worked in the Lake Hamilton Packing House. 
I was the first Black to ever work there. It was terrible. I hope I never have to 
go through that experience again," she said. 

It's tough to get out. 

•It takes all our money just to pay our bills. You don't make anything and 
you don't have anything to waste," Mr.s. Trammell says. 

"T dream all the time of better things to come for myself and my family. I 
have a hope and I have set a goal. I'm going to attain that goal one way or 
another." 

When you listen to Mary Jean and Raymond Trammell and to Benji Farmer 
and his wife, their determination is absolute. 

"I'm sick and tired of looking at oranges," Mrs. Farmer says, "You can pick 
oranges, but you can't afford to buy them. They cost 69 cents a dozen in the store, 
but you can sure bet you don't get no 69 cents for picking them." 



Solutions To Problem Available 
(By Ed Domaingue) 

New bridges and roads must be constructed over which the migrant and farm 
laborer can travel. There is a hopelessness in the cycle of poverty that cannot be 
eliminated through legislation alone. 

Vast quantities of time and money have been invested over the past decade 
in programs aimed at helping the migrant worker and his family. 

But still there is poverty. 

The programs enacted have not been futile ; many will be essential to relieving 
the plight of the migrant. The failure has been in not going far enough, of not 
reaching the heart of the problem. 



5584 

Groundwork for the new roads has been laid, but the construction has not 
been completed. 

One of the problems is the migrant's lack of knowledge of aid available to him. 

COMMXJNIQA.TIONS INADEQUATE 

Conventional forms of communication fall short — as in cases where parents 
are told by school oflOicials they must obtain a birth certificate before they can ; 
enroll their children in school. \ 

Taking officials at their word and unable to obtain a birth certificate, the 
parent assumes the child can not be enrolled. But this rule can be waived. 

Education and job training programs are good. In fact, they must be greatly 
expanded. Courses in food preparation, sanitation and money management arc 
essential. School assistance has been helpful, but is still only a beginning. 

Housing codes and sanitation requirements are on the books in some areas, 
but they have not been effective in eliminating substandard housing. 

Health and welfare programs, particularly in the areas of food commodities 
and emergency medical service, are sufficient to sustain life and relieve some of 
the hunger pains. But they, like most things being offered, only treat the symp- 
toms of misery. 

BASIC FRAMEWORK HERE 

The federal-state-local programs already in existence provide a basic frame 
work for building the structure which will change living conditions of migrant 
workers. They provide the means to attack many of the problems, but are rol 
solutions. 

Job training and development programs such as those being undertaken by 
the Community Action Migrant Program must be expanded. 

Local business leaders could play a major role. With cooperation of business- 
men in Polk County and throughout Florida, thousands of migrant workers can 
escape the cycle of poverty. 

Polk has many businesses in need of skilled and somi-skilled laborers. More 
concentrated efforts could be made on the local level to train the predominately 
unskilled migrants and provide them job opportunities. 

The State Board of Health can do its share by stringently enforcing housing 
and sanitation codes already enacted. Regulations which are weak and areas 
still improtected will require new attention. 

HOUSING NEEDS IMPROVEMENT 

In the area of migrant housing, much work needs to be done. Regulations 
governing migrant camps require reevaluation. New state legislation is probably 
needed to achieve progress in this area. 

A dedicated effort by government, business, concerned citizens and the migrants 
themselves is essential to any long-range improvement. 

The nature of the migrant is of primary importance in improving conditions. 
They are nomadic, forced to wander from county to county and state to state 
with the change in seasons. They must move to work at all. 

In Florida, the fruit picking season generally extends from November to 
mid-June. Work begins tai^ering off in mid-May and many workers are already 
on the road. 

Traditionally, in May, the migrant stream is winding its way through the 
Carolinas, and by June through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York— 
where there is work until October. Then it's back to Florida again. 

migrants' worst enemy 

The migrant's worst enemy in the past has been the need for this movement. 
But the nature of Florida agriculture tends to bring migrants back to the same 
area year after year. 

This has been good for the migrant and bad for industry and government in 
several ways. 

The length of the growing season in Florida, particularly in Polk, where the 
citrus season is nine months long, has made this home for many migrant workers 

With the growth of community organizational efforts the desire to return to 
home ground has increased. 

The impact of this can not be underestimated. 



5585 

Where federal and state programs make no effort to help the migrant, com- 
munity organizations do. They provide the pride of accomplishment — and with 
power to effect change. 

Community organizations are just beginning to take hold throughout the state, 
but already many of the young migrants-turned-organizers po.nt with a warning 
finger to the accomplishments of leaders like Cesar Chavez, a man of the soil 
responsible for organizing the grape pickers in Southern California and forcing 
bargaining with the industry. 

The signs are ominous to growers who have fought unionizing attempts in 
the past. The philosophy of the organizers is simple. In order for the migrant to 
be able to help himself he needs power. Power only comes through group action. 

The migrant knows that in order to improve his life, basic changes are neces- 
sary. His working and living conditions must be brought up to standards com- 
parable with the rest of America ; he must be provided with steady year-round 
employment ; and his wages must be increased. 

The pressure originating from these pioneer organizational efforts has focused 
on several alternatives available now to change the life-style and condition of 
the migrant worker. While no one has offered a guess at which will prevail, 
almost everyone close to the migrant population contends vigorously that some 
change is inevitable soon. 

Two of the three alternatives can be implemented by the grower; the third, 
essentially a last resort, will be forced by the frustration of the migrants 
themselves. 

SEVERAL 0PP0BTUNITE8 

The citrus growers in Polk County is in a unique position — the winds of 
change are sweeping his industry, but he still has several opportunities to choose 
his own future. 

The alternatives are : 

Mechanization of fruit and vegetable harvesting, ending the migrant stream 
and forcing development of aggressive programs aimed at assimilating the 
migrant and farm laborer into the mainstream of American life. 

Grower-initiated programs to improve living and working conditions and to 
increase salaries of migrants. 

Leaving the situation as is and forcing great expanded pressure from the 
labor force itself and the ultimate appearance of union organizations. 

Most experts believe mechanization will eventually come to Polk's citrus 
industry. Intensive efforts are already being made to develop a functional orange 
and grapefruit picker which will reduce the need for migrant laborers. Effective 
implementation of this alternative is still several years away. 

Should mechanization occur, the citrus industry would hire some former 
migrant workers to operate the harvesting machine's and there would be a greatly 
diminished demand for fruit pickers. 

GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY 

With mechanization, the state and federal governments would be required to 
assume a large responsibility in developing educational and job assistance pro- 
grams to allow the migrant to be absorbed into society in productive capacities. 

Government initiated action in areas of minimum wage extension and work- 
men's compensation coverage could force industry to quicken efforts toward 
mechanization. 

The second alternative provides the most immediate solution, but it requires a 
decision by the citrus industry that the price of orange juice will go up. On the 
other hand, it may be the only way the industry will be able to discourage 
organizational efforts by migrants. 

The growers could increase wages, improve labor conditions in the groves, 
improve living conditions in labor camps and put pressure on authorities respon- 
sible for health, sanitation and housing code enforcement 

Growers, through their own organizations, could lobby for inclusion of migrant 
workers under provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Act and Work- 
mens Compensation laws. They could make giant strides in arranging year 
around employment for the migrant and could participate in improved and more 
effective social services for migrant families. 



3&-513 O— <71— pt. 8B 14 



5586 

UNIONS WILL APPEAB 

The third alternative — doing nothing — means the pressure from the bottom 
will continue to build. As the pressure grows, almost inevitable a situation 
similiar to the one that made national headlines in Southern California will 
occur in Florida. 

Workers are discontent ; they are beginning to become aware of Chavezs' suc- 
cess in California. Community action program oflBcials here and across the state 
indicate strongly the mood of the migrant is changing. Labor organizers, after 
a long lull, are again showing interest in Florida's farm workers. 

Should the migrant become organized the pressure placed on the industry 
might be overwhelming. 

From the migrants point of view unionization may hold the only answer to 
problems which have frustrated and beaten him for many years. 

The course chosen depends on the growers and the harvestors ; on the action 
or inaction by federal and state governments ; and the actions of concerned 
individuals who have the power to bring about changes. 

Only one thing is certain — the migrant worker and his living conditions are 
headed for a confrontation and the confrontation will lead to change . . . one 
way or another. 

Changes Are Inevitable 

Changes on the migrant scene are as inevitable as they are desirable. 

After decades of neglect and exploitation, the workers themselves have begun 
to realize that they, like most other American laborers, could band together for 
mutual benefit. As this organization movement grows, our own citrus companies 
will begin to feel pressure. 

Their reaction will spell the difference between a smooth, industry-wide transi- 
tion or a long, bloody series of strikes and boycotts. Either way, changes will 
come which allow the farm worker to join the mainstream of American life. 

In spite of the knee-jerk negative reactions of some industry leaders, the 
worker organization movement will grow. The inspiration of Cesar Chavez' Cali- 
fornia grape strike and boycott is incalculable. After years of seemingly hopeless 
struggle, Chavez is now winning union contracts for his people — contracts which 
cover working conditions and pesticide restrictions as well as wages. 

This example is not lost on Polk's citrus workers. Leaders are now developing 
who will be able to capitalize on the broad public sympathy which already exists 
for the fruit pickers. When the workers are sufficiently strong to institute a 
Chavez-style strike and boycott, the effect on the industry could be catastrophic. 

Growers and public officials must understand that these are the only alterna- 
tives : orderly changes or chaotic changes. Serfdom is already several hundred 
years out of date ; it cannot last much longer. The end of this decade will see the 
end of the migrant stream as we know it, one way or another. 

Among the necessary changes will be increased mechanization. Other industries 
have found better methods when their pool of cheap, docile labor vanished. 
Citrus will do likewise. Fewer workers will be needed and they will receive 
higher wages. 

Many migrants will drop out of the stream, seeking a more permanent life. 
State and federal help may be essential to help these families make the transition 
successfully. Housing and employment will have to be found or created, or else 
the welfare rolls will soar. 

Mechanization, stability, higher wages and other benefits will come into the 
life of the migrant worker. We hope the employers and public officials will help, 
not hinder, efforts to attain these changes. 

Polk need not be wracked by disruption and distrust. Workers, officials, em- 
ployers and civic leaders, working together, can help fruit pickers without ruining 
the industry. We have the opportunity to lead the state and nation toward the 
solutions for age-old migrant problems. 

Let us begin. 



5587 

[From the Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., July 18, 1970] 
MiGBANT StOEM EXPOSURE "BlAS" CLAIMS DISPUTED 

(By Ed Domaingue, Ledger Staff Writer) 

"Florida stiould hang its head in shame" — Stan Tait, Democratic 
candidate for Secretary of State. 

"The growers feel they were cut down by the special, but really 
NBC did them a service by not showing the worst conditions" — 
Newlon Lloyd, co-director of the Polk County Christian Migrant 
Ministry. 

"Now I am worried about the big growers and others in power for 
fear they will try to harm me or my family" — Benjamin Farmer, 
26, a migrant fruit picker featured in The Ledger's series and by 
NBC. 

"Again the Northern liberal press has invaded our state in an 
attempt to run our lives" — Harrold Carswell, a candidate for the 
Republican U.S. Senatorial nomination. 

The Polk County Christian Migrant Ministry and a Democratic candidate's 
Secretary of State Friday disputed charges that reports on the plight of the 
migrant worker on NBC last night and in The Ledger this week were "biased." 

Newlon Lloyd, co-director of the Migrant Ministry said, "The growers feel 
they were cut down on the special, but really NBC did them a service by not 
showing the worst conditions." 

Stan Tait, seeking the Democratic party's nomination for Secretary of State, 
said, "Florida should hang its head in shame." 

Controversy over the television news special, "Migrant : An NBC White Paper," 
telecast Thursday evening, is sweeping the state. 

Critics, including Gov. Claude Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Doyle 
Conner, have charged conditions depicted did not present a true picture of the 
migrant worker's living and working conditions. 

Lloyd, a former migrant fruit picker and labor crew dhiet himself said, "Every 
day I run across problems right here in Polk County worse than NBC showed. 
It could have been stronger, but in the final analysis, I think it was a great 
show." 

In answer to charges both the show and The Ledger failed to present "both 
sides of the story," the Rev. Paul Wilson coordinator of the Migrant Ministry 
here, said: 

"What is the other side of a hungry baby ? What is the other side of a 15-year- 
old boy like Jackson Bowers or a middle-aged couple so beaten down they can't 
do anything to help themselves? 

"I don't think the s'how was biased. I do think that the fact one-third of the 
show was filmed in Polk County should give us all a great deal to think about," 
Wilson said. 

Lloyd and Wilson were both with Martin Carr and his NBC television crew 
during filming of "Migrant." Tait said, "Bravo to NBC and The Ledger for 
having enough guts to call a spade a spade on the migrant problem. 

"Florida should hang its head in shame," he said. 

He said he hoped the NBC documentary and The Ledger's special report 
would "shock us into doing something" about the migrant's plight. 

"As long as the lobbyists call the shots on migrant reform legislation, as long 
as politicians go along with ithe theory that profits are more important than 
people, I don't see much hope than anything will be done." 

Tait used the occasion to strike out at one of his opponents, state Sen. Richard 
Stone. 

"If Sen. Stone was watching, I wonder how proud he is of the fact that during 
the last Legislature he single-handedly killed the only bill put forth to help the 
migrant vporker. 

"I wonder if he is proud of the fact that he switched his vote in committee to 
kill the bill to bring migrants under the "Workmen's Compensation Adt," Tait 
said. 

The candidate said, "I've got a suggestion to settle this dispute quickly. Let 
those who say it was biased and untrue try living the life of a migrant for just 
one week. 



5688 

"Let them work in the fields with migrants, eat what the migrants eat, sleep 
where the migrants sleep, then let them tell us how good the migrant has it," 
he said. 

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Harrold Carswell felt otherwise. 

Carswell said, "Again the .Northern liberal press has invaded our state in an 
attempt to run our lives. The NBC program on migrants, narrated by that pre- 
judiced liberal, Chet Huntley, who considers our President 'shallow' is another 
example of the Northern power barons constant attack on the conservative 
South." 

"Certainly Florida has a problem with its migrants," he said, "This vital labor 
force is accompanied by the same problems from (U.S. Sen. Edmund) Muskie's 
(D-Me.) Maine to (Sen. Alan) Cranston's (R-Cal.) California. 

"For more than 20 years newspapers of Florida have documented the attendant 
problems of housing, education and insecurity of migrants. Over the years, 27 
separate federal agencies have swarmed over the problem like so many bureau- 
cratic bugs — but still the problem exists," he said. 

Carswell charged that the show was biased because ". . . the NBC crew refused 
to film the improvements." 

The TV show, as The Ledger's special report had earlier in the week, featured 
several Polk County migrant fruit pickers. 

Jackson Bowers, one of those featured, had lived with his family in Eloise for 
several months. He quit school because he felt he wasn't like other kids, because 
he thought he was a bum. 

Bowers and his family, along with Ernest Jarvis, a 39-year-old Aubumdale 
fruit picker who looks 15 years older, were not in Polk County when attempts to 
locate them for reaction to the show were made Friday. 

The Bowers family and Jarvis were reported in Michigan, picking fruit and 
vegetables. Neighbors said they left several weeks ago. 

Benjamin Farmer, his wife and five children, however, did not follow the 
stream this year. They watched themselves on television and read about them- 
selves in the newspaper from their home in Eloise. 

Farmer, 26, said Friday he was "scared" for himself and his family. 

He said, "After the show was over, I was glad I had told the truth, as I have 
had to live it I hope that people will get the right idea that there are some of us 
who can help ourselves and others who can't. 

"Now I am worried about the big growers and the others in power for fear they 
will try to harm me or my family," Farmer said. 

John Ramsom, a retired 74-year-old fruit picker, said, "It was a heap of a 
show. It was on the right track to getting something done. I just hope I live 
to see it." 

Ramsom picked fruit for 22 years. He lives in Aubumdale and was a neighbor 
of Jarvis' on Hobbs Lane, where a five-foot by 12-foot roach-infested shack rents 
for $15 to $20 per week. 

A Winter Haven woman who works in the Florence Villa section of the city and 
often comes in contact with migrant workers said, "It was a true picture and no 
lies in that. 

"But you can find worse housing than was shown on television in the Peasville 
section of V^inter Haven. What I want to know is what will happen now?" she 
asked. 

There were many people who expressed shock over the conditions portrayed. 
Some wanted to know what they could do to help the migrant. 

Mrs. Jean Bryson of Lakeland called The Ledger Thursday. 

She asked The Ledger to launch a campaign to collect second-hand clothes and 
toys for the young migrant children described both by the paper and during the 
NBC telecast. 

"I live in a nice home and I've never been hungry. I just want to do something 
to help. I have been making my children read the series to see how good off they 
are," she said. 

The owner of a beauty shop, Mrs. Bryant said Friday, "Until The Ledger's 
stories and the television show, many of my customers didn't even know what it 
was like here. They were shocked at some of the conditions described." 



5589 

She said, "I believe every bit of it. I believe those people are desperate. When I 
was young in junior high school, some migrant children were in my classes. They 
came to school hungry, without shoes in the winter — things haven't changed at 
all." 

The mother of three children, she said Jackson Bowers' appearance on tele- 
vision last night upset her. 

"He seemed to be about the same size as my 12-year-old son. He could have 
been my little boy. It really tore me up," she said. 

Mrs. Bryant, however, was not the only local resident concerned over what she 
could do to help the county's 25,200 migrant workers. 

A registered nurse and a medical assistant visited The Ledger oflSces Friday 
afternoon and said they and a doctor they worked for were interested in giving 
up their day off to operate a free clinic for migrant workers. 

They said the doctor had suggested the project and they were all "extremely 
enthusiastic about it." They inquired who they could contact to assist them with 
making the arrangements. 

Chuck Woodson, executive secretary of the Lakeland United Fund, also ex- 
pressed concern over the plight of the migrant worker. 

"I can't help but feel that we have a responsibility to be concerned ... I am 
one of those who was vaguely aware they were here, just as there are other 
people here at the poverty level, but I didn't really know anything of their living 
or working conditions. 

"You are concerned about it, you know about it, but you don't really address 
yourself to it . . ." he said. 

Bax Vows Housing Help 
(By The Associated Press) 

Florida's top health oflScial vowed Friday to force counties to meet housing re- 
strictions for migrants as other state officials condemned as biased and one-sided 
an NBC documentary on the state's roving farm workers. 

"We're going to hold their (the counties') feet to the fire and make sure these 
regulations are strictly enforced," said Dr. James Bax, secretary of Florida's 
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. 

Bax said Gov. Claude Kirk has recommended cutting $1 million from the $1.5 
million legislative appropriations for a statewide food stamp program for the 
poor. 

"I don't have the responsibility nor the resources to solve the problems," Bax 
said. 

Governor Kirk called the special narrated by newscaster Chet Huntley ". . . 
completely biased, bigoted, and one-sided." He explained his absence in the film 
by saying he "soon discovered that Mr. Huntley was making absolutely no effort 
to give viewers a balanced story." 

Sen. Edward Gurney, R-Fla., called it "just another example of one-sided re- 
porting of the big television networks," and said it was "consistent with NBC's 
policy of pointing out only the bad and ignoring the good." 

Sen. George McGovern, who headed a Congressional committee which toured 
Florida's migrant camps last year during an investigation, said the documentary 
"will arouse Americans so that Justice will finally come to our migrant workers." 

As controversy arose over the special, a Senate subcommittee on migratory 
labor released a report from a team of doctors investigating conditions in Texas 
and Florida migrant camps. 

The team said it found "thousands of our fellow citizens manipulated and 
managed in such a way as to reduce them to subhumans." 

The doctors, part of the Field Foundation group that startled the nation three 
years ago with a report of malnutrition and hunger in Mississippi, said, "This 
time in Florida, we find destitution we would be ashamed to describe were we not 
so horrified by their presence." 



5590 

Dr. Ray Wheeler said one Florida camp on the edge of a swamp "was, I am 
certain, the closest equivalent to slave quarters that could exist in what we con- 
sider to be a free society." 

Dr. Allan C Hermann compared the living quarters in a camp near Homestead 
with the prisons of the Spanish Inquisition. 

After Thursday night special, Sen. Walter F. Mondale, D-Minn., said he will 
investigate the conditions as chairman of the subcommittee on migratory labor. 

"America has its own version of the tiger cages in Vietnam," Mondale said, "in 
the migrant camps of Florida and Texas." 

Florida Agriculture Secretary Doyle Conner had criticized the program even 
before he saw it. After viewing the film, Conner said he was disappointed NBC 
"spent the majority of the time showing what was wrong and very little time 
showing the improvements that have been made." 

"As I have said before," Conner said, "there is no excuse for migrants or city 
ghetto dwellers to have to live in substandard housing." 

Conner said he hoped NBC could "cut the red tape in Washington" that causes 
delays up to 18 months in processing loans for migrant housing. 



Deletions Made in TV Show 
( Special to the Ledger from the New York Times) | 

New York — National Broadcasting Company oflBcials, following an angry meet- 
ing with representatives of the Coca Cola Company altered an N.B.C. documen- 
tary on migrant farm workers before the program was broadcast over the N.B.C. 
television network Thursday night. 

Coca Cola was represented in the report as one of the contributors to the mar- 
ginal conditions under which migrant citrus workers live and labor in Florida. 
An addition and a deletion in the script of the program, entitled, "Migrant — An 
NBC White Paper," were made late Thursday afternoon, according to its producer 
Martin Carr. 

Carr said, "The pressure from Coke was enormous." 

Reuven Frank, president of N.B.C. News, said "There was no pressure. They 
(Coca Cola representatives) brought us facts we did not have before. We heard 
them out. 

"After they left, we felt maybe we had singled them out for blame in a situation 
where so many companies are involved. We removed the onus from them." 

Frank said that "We made no promises" to the Coca Cola representatives. He 
characterized the meeting, which was also attended by Julian Goodman, president 
of N.B.C, as "angry. They expressed themselves," he said. 

The alterations involved two statements made by Carr on the program's track. 
At one point he is shown interviewing a woman who lives in a shack near a citrus 
grove, and the woman asserts that the shack is owned by Coca Cola. Over her 
voice, Carr added this phrase, "Coca Cola is at work on a major plan which it 
claims will correct the failings it has found in its citrus operation." 

At another point in the program, Carr asserts that Coca Cola and other "giants" 
of the Florida citrus industry, "set the standards for citrus workers in Florida 
together with smaller growers." This was deleted. 

Senator Mondalj:. Th'ank you all very much. 

I order printed in the hearing record at this point documents that 
pertain to mformation considered during these hearings. 
(The information referred to follows :) 



5591 

THE EXCEPTED PEOPLE 

THE MIGRANT WORKERS IN 
WASHINGTON STATE 



BY 

DR. TOM J. CHAMBERS, JR. 



PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY 
WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES 
2005 FIFTH AVENUE ROOM 210 
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98121 



HX)TN0TE5 VERIFYING DATA INCLUDED IN THIS REPORT ARE AVAILABLE 
AT THE OFFICES OF THE WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES. 



5592 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Chapter I An Introduction to Washington Migrants 1 

A. "Migrant" Defined 1 

B. The Migrant Trail and Patterns of Employment 1 

1. The Migrant Stream 1 

2. The Mexican-American 1 

3. .Washington State Seasonal Employment . . . , 1 

k. The Composition of Washington's Migrant Force .... 2 

C. The Great Depression — Public Indifference 2 

Chapter II Migrant Education 3 

A. The Educational Achievement of the Washington Migrant 3 

B. Causes of Illiteracy and Low Education Achievement Among Migrants . . .3 

1. History of Discrimination in the South West States 3 

2. The Mexican-American Language Barrier ^ 

3. Migratory Travel - School Attendance k 

k. Inadequate Pre-School Preparation ..5 

5. Child Labor 5 

6. Inadequate Adxilt Education 6 

C. Washington State and Migrant Education , . . . .6 

Chapter III - Migrant Wages and Income 7 

A. Existing Wage Conditions 7 

1. Below the Poverty Level .7 

2. Wages 7 

3. Bonus System 7 

h. Wage Legislation 7 

(a) Wage Collection Laws .7 

(b) State Minimum Wage Legislation 8 

(c) Federal Minimum Wage Legislation 8 

(i) Coverage 8 

(ii) Ineffectiveness 8 

B. Causes of Low Migrant Income 9 

1. Unavailability of Steady Employment 9 

2. Mechanization . 9 

3. The Labor Contractor 10 

(a) Abusive Practices 10 

(b) Labor Contractor Regulations 10 

(i) Provisions of the Federal Farm Labor 

Contractor Registration Act 10 

(ii) Inadequacies of the Federal Farm Labor 

Contractor Registration Act 11 

(iii) The Washington State Farm Contractor Act .... 11 
h. Department of^ Employment Security — A Majcimum Wage Limit . . . .12 

(a) The SeVvices and Activities of the Department of 
Employment Security 12 

(b) The Maximiim Wage Limit 12 

5. A Disadvantaged Bargaining Position .... ... .13 



5593 



(a) Lack of Leadership — The Labor Contractor 13 

(b) lUack of Free Market -.13 

(c) Inability to Organize 13 

(i) Desire to Organize 13 

(ii) Poverty and Lack of.j;xpectations lU 

(d) Lack of Labor Relations Legislation Ik 

(i) The National Labor Relations Act ll+ 

(ii) Washington State Labor Relations Act lU 

(e) Disenfranchisement and Political Impotence l'* 

(i) Inadequate Lobby , li| 

(ii) Washington State's Literacy Requirement lU 

(iii) Discriminatory Purpose of Literacy Requirements . . .15 

Chapter IV Migrant Health l6 

■A. Lack of General Health Care l6 

1. Life Expectancy .16 

2. Infant Mortality and Prenatal Care l6 

3. Health Education — Sanitation, Sicknese, Disease l6 

h. Health Costs and Other Health Problems . . .16 

5- Federal Migrant Health Programs in Washington 17 

' B. Farm Accidents IT 

1. Frequency and Magnitude .17 

2. State Industrial Insurance ..... 17 

(a) Limited Coverage 17 

(b) Inadequacies of Coverage 17 

C. Female and Child Labor l8 

1. Number of Women and Children in the Fields l8 

2. The Costs of Having Women and Children in the Fields l8 

, . (a) Farm Accidents l8 

(b) General Health l8 

(c) Education 19 

3. Female and Child Labor Laws 19 

(a) The Federal Fair Labor Standards 19 

(b) Washington State Female and Child Labor Act 19 

. D. Migrant Housing 19 

1. Migrant Housing Generally 19 

2. Migrant Housing in Washington State 20 

(a) The Numbers and Condition of Washington 

Farm Labor Camps 20 

(b) Inadequate Housing and Migrant Health . .20 

(c) The Farmer Bears the Burden ■. •. . ,20 

3. Migrant Housing Laws ..,•..•. ..-21 

(a) Federal Regulations . -. . .21 

(i) Housing Programs 21 

(ii) Federal Minimum Housing Regulations 21 

(iii) Weaknesses of the Federal Minimum 

Housing Regulations 21 

(b) Washington State Labor Camp Health Regulations 21 

(i) The Regulations 21 

(ii) Enforcement Problems 22 



5594 

CHAPTER I M INTRODUCTION TO WASHINGTOrT MIGRAHTS 

A. "migrant" defined i 

While the migrant has been variously defined, the currently accepted and most j 

appropriate definition of a migrant is "someone who has left his home coionty, some I 

time during the year, to live away from home to do farm work."l It should be noted 1 
that the definition includes "intrastate" workers as well as the nomadic "interstate" 
farm workers. In addition, agriciiltural employment is the migrant's princip&l source 

of income; he is not a "casual" farm worker. I 

B. THE ^a:GRANT TRAIL AND PATTERISIS OF EMPLOYMENT ' 

1. THE MIGRANT STREAM 

There were about 1+66,000 persons who left their home counties to work in the fieldsl 
in 1967 ;2 the number of migrants in the United States has remained relatively stable, i 
fluctuating around UOO.OOO since World War II.- ^ While migrants constitute only about ] 
15 percent of the wage farm force nationally,^ they constitute a very large share of | 
the labor force in labor-intensive crops located where there is no large metropolitan 
area from which to draw the quantity of labor demanded. 

The bulk of American migrants follow three major routes from along the southern 
border of the country, northward. The main stream and the stream that serves the 
State of Washington flows north and west from Texas , beginning in the Spring and 
covering most of the North Central, Mountain and Pacific Coast States before the sea- 
son ends around December. 5 

2. THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN 



Although the exact number is uncertain, about half of the workers in the mi(- 
grant stream are Americans of Mexican descent. There are approximately 10 million Span- 
ish surnamed citizens in this country and two-thirds of them reside in the southwest 
states. ' The Mexican-American Community has clung to its traditional language and 
culture with remarkable tenacity. "If anything, the Mexican-American sense of identity 
is probably stronger now than it ever was, in spite of the general tendency of the do- 
minant society to ignore or suppress it and in spite of (or because of) many years of 
overt and covert discrimination."" The Mexican-American, with his \inique cultural back- 
ground appears to be more permanently attached to the migrant stream than his white 
or "Anglo" counter-part9 and his unique problems that deserve special attention. 

3. WASHINGTON STATE SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT 

Washington State characteristically has two seasonal peaks that differ in loca- 
tion and activity. According to the Department of Employment Security, hiring of signi- 
ficant numbers of workers begins early in the Spring and rises gradually until late June 
or mid-Jiay when the first employment peak is reached at the height of the berry har- 
vest in Western Washington. The second peak is reached in September or early October 
when the harvests of soft fruits, potatoes, sweet corn, and tomatoes take place in East- 
ern Washington. Western Washington contributes to the second peak by harvesting string 
beans, sweet corn, and other vegetables. 

Nationally, Washington State ranked fifth among the United States in the use of 
man-months of migrant labor,-'--'- and during the month of October, Washington ranked 
third in migrant employment behind California and North Carolina. While data on 
when and where peak employment was reached in; Washington is inconclusive, more than 
2l»,500 migrants, excluding depen4ents .were employed in Washington agriculture in the 
latter half of September of I966.I'* There were approximately two non-working depen- 
dents for every three migrant workers. 15 Yakima County, ysing about one third of the 



-i-)v_ ust^--^ 



5595 



state's migrant force, proved to be the largest user of migrant labor; Chelan 
County, using about one-sixth of the state's supply, was the second largest mi- 
grant employer in 1966 followed by Okanogan, Grant, and Benton Counties. 

h. THE COMPOSITION OF WASHINGTON'S ^Q:GRMT FORCE 

In 1966, less than half, U9 percent, of Washington's migrant laborers were Anglos; 
Mexican-Americans represented Ul percent; about 3 percent were American Indians: Cana- 
dian Indians 5 percent and Negroes represented about 2 percent . I8 Females constitute 
31 percent of the Washington labor force /^ Migrants for the most part are young; a- 
bout one-fourth of the nation's migrants are teen-agers between the ages of lU and IT 
years and persons 55 years old and older account for only l/lO of the migrant work 
force. 

C. THE GREAT DEPRESSION PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE 

In 1929, the United States was plunged into a great depression. To a great ex- 
tent this nation was able to recover from the economic chaos of that depression by the 
enactment of enlightened social welfare and labor programs. What was calledthe New 
Deal" in the 1930 's is now accepted as a basic foundation of American economic and 
social prosperity. 

The migrant fam worker, however, has not recovered from that great depression of 
1929. The plight of the migrant was described in 1968, by the United States Senate 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor: 

The statistics throughout this report indicating the low wages, unemploy- 
ment, lack of education, poor housing, malnutrition, disease, and lack of ade- 
quate medical and dental care tell^only part of the story of the shocking degree 
of impoverishment of the migrant. 

The migrant farm worker, to this day, ha^ not been reached by the old "New Deal." 
For the most part, migrant workers and their families have been expressly excepted from 
or only minimally included in all of the conventional social welfare and workman's bene- 
fits enacted by the Federal and State Governments; such legislation includes unemploy- 
ment insurance, workman's compensation, social security insurance, °^^™^^^f P^°- 
tection. child labor protection, collective bargaining protection, and general welfare 
assistance . 

The reasons that migrants 'have been excluded from --^l/^^^f ^*i°^„^" "^hr ' 
including lack of political organization or political identity, alienation from the 
politSal system, Ld lack of bargaining power. Public indifference ^---^.^^^f ^" 
the greatest obstacle to efforts to cure the social and economic -^^iff^ TxZTrei 
worker. Corrective proposals, usually very modest in ^f -,f-^= '^^^^^f.^.^^.^f ^^ 
and supported by do-good lobbies with little success. In 1952, ^^^.^'^S,^^^^^^^^^^ 
migrant labor before the Senate Subcommittee on Labor ^\^f ^^^^^^^^ ' . ^^^f °^ C^^ess 
phrey of Minnesota commented that fewer than 200 letters had '^^^\ll%llll^''J, fl^glll 
either lauding or condemning efforts to help the migrant; it was the Senator s opinion 
that the American Public was not interested in the migrant farm worker. 



5596 



CHAPTER II MIGRANT EDUCATION { 

. I 

I 

A. THE EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE WASHINGTON MIGRANT I 

While the average Washington State adult resident has a median of 12.1 years of j 
education, the Washington migrant farm worker has a median of 8.8 years of educa- 
tion. ■'■ To a great extent the lower educational level of the migrant can be attri- 
buted to the special problems of the Mexican-American farm worker. Mexican-American 
migrants have a median of only 5.4 years of education while the median years of 
education for an Anglo migrant is 10.0 years. 2 of those Washington migrants who 
usually sgeak Spanish at home, about 78 percent of Washington's Mexican-American 
migrants, the median years of education is 4.9. Furthermore, 41 percent of Wash- 
ington's Mexican-American migrants cannot read English and 30 percent cannot speak 
English.^ 

B. CAUSES OF ILLITERACY AND LOW EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT AMONG MIGRANTS 

1. HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION IN THE SOUTH WEST STATES 

Mexican-Americans have historically been discriminated against and educationally 
deprived, particularly in the southwestern states from which most of the adult 
Mexican-Americans now living in Washington came. In 1853, a great many Mexicans 
became Americans when they and their land became the possession of the United 
States as the result of the Gadsden Purchase. The effect of the Gadsden Purchase 
was aptly described, in 1967, by the associate director of a state migrant council: 

They had all the disadvantages of a vanquished nation they were now 

subject to impositions of a new and powerful nation whose cultural 
orientation and social and legal systems were diametrically opposed 
to theirs. The new government proceeded to exploit what was benefi- 
cial to it, and to ignore what was not. A new language was introduced, 
but little effort was made to provide instruction in it. Then the new 
economy which was superimposed was different, but no effort was made 
to educate people to relate to it. 

Perhaps the best illustrations of educational discrimination in the Southwest 
are found in court reports. Suits attacking the physical segregation of Mexican- 
American students from White students were begun in Texas as early as 1930.^ 
In 1946, in Mendez v. Westminster School District of Orange County , ^ the court 
found that Spanish-speaking children were being retarded in learning English be- 
cause the segregated system reduced their exposure to English. In Gonzalez v. 
Sheely ,9 the court found that the defendant school district's policy of segrega- 
tion fostered antagonism in the Mexican-American children and suggested inferiori- 
ty among them. Another case illustrating racial discrimination against Mexican- 
Americans is Hernandez v. Texas -^^where no Mexican-Americans had been summoned to 
jury duty in 25 years although Jackson County, Texas had a substantial Mexican- 
American population. 

Whether because of discriminatory practices, indifference, or sheer inability to 
cope with the magnitude of the problem, southwestern schools have failed to meet 
the educational needs of the rural Mexican-American population. One-sixth of the 
Mexican-Americans in the rural Southwest have completed no years of education; 
the Mexican-Americans with no years of school out-number the high school graduates.-'-^ 

When Mexican-American children are not segregated, the educational system often 
reflects the hostile attitude of the dominant society. "'It's the way the school 
feels, the attitude of the schools toward the Mexican-American,' a parent said in 

-3- 



5597 



Los Angeles in 1967. "•'•^ To the migrant children, both Anglo and Mexican-American, 
schools often seem irrelevant and the atmosphere insensitive or hostile. The long 
history of educational failure among migrants and their children has made them sus- 
picious of both education and educators. 

Southwest school districts are often accused of failure to take advantage of Federal 
Grant-In-Aid Programs. The superintendent of a district in Texas which is about 
70 percent Mexican-American explained that the school had not accepted federal 
funds because, "We feel like we are doing a pretty good job"; the median years com- 
pleted by Mexican-Americans in that county are 2.1.-^^ Other complaints made by 
Mexican-Americans include crowded and run-down facilities, large class size, poor 
couiiseling, poor vocational training, inappropriate teaching materials, and testing 
practices that isolate Mexican-Americans even with-in integrated schools.-'-^ 

2. THE MEXICAN -AMERICAN LANGUAGE BARRIER 



While the language problem of Mexican-Americans can not logically be separated 
from the historical suppression of the Mexican ethnic group in the Southwest, the 
impact of language difficulties on the Mexican-American migrant deserves special 
emphasis . 

The tremendous learning disadvantage of a Spanish-speaking child placed in an edu- 
cational institution where the only language of instruction is English can hardly 
be over-stated. In an effort to teach Spanish-speaking children English, Mexican- 
American children are often punished by spankings, by being forced to stand in a 
"black square", or by being fined a penny for every Spanish word spoken. ■'•^ The 
result of such policies has been frustration, lack of self-esteem, and a high rate 
of school drop-outs. One educator was led to conclude, "the school districts of 
the Southwest have the unique honor of graduating students functionally illiterate 
in two languages."-'-^ 

In June and July of 1967, hearings were held before the Special Subcommittee on 
Bilingual Education, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public 
Welfare. The result of those hearings was the enactment of the Bilingual Educa- 
tion Act-^'' authorizing federal grants to local schools to develop and operate 
bilingual educational programs, particularly for elementary years, for Spanish- 
speaking students. 18 

3. MIGRATORY TRAVEL - SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 

By definition the migratory worker is required to travel. The dilemma of the 
traveling migrant may have been best illustrated by the case of Roberto Valenzuela 
who was anxious for his oldest son to learn English. He attempted to take his 
son out of the special school for migrants, where instruction was exclusively in 
Spanish, and tried to enroll him in regular public school where he could learn 
English. Roberto , however, could not enroll his son in regular school until he 
lived in the permanent section of the Colorado Labor Camp and, although there 
were units available in the permanent section of the camp, he could not live in 
that section until he had lived at the camp for six months — a policy that ef- 
fectively encourages migrants to move on. Roberto was soon forced to leave the 
camp to seek his meager livelihood elsewhere; he might never live anywhere for 
six months. 20 

Nationally, approximately 300,000 children accompany their migrant parents in the 
annual treck for work. 21 In Washington, Mexican-American migrant children out- 
number the Anglo migrant children by a ratio of almost two to one. ^ The high 

-k- 



5598 



proportion of Mexican-American children is not surprising in view of the relatively 
large family unit in which Mexican-American families migrate; the median Mexican- 
American migrant family size in Washington is 6.2 persons while the median Anglo 
migrant family size is 3.2 persons. ^^ The difference in school attendance patterns 
of migrant children also varied by ethnic group. Mexican-American migrant children 
in Washington attended an average of 17 weeks of school in various schools arid in 
various states each year, as compared with an average of almost 27 weeks for Anglo 
children. ^^ All migrant children averaged 21.3 weeks per year; the average school 
year usually lasts for 36 weeks. 

4. INADEQUATE PRE-SCHOOL PREPARATION 

Indirectly related to the effects of migrant travel is the problem of both parents 
working in the fields. About 54 percent of all female migrants in Washington 
worked in agriculture and about three-quarters of all female migrants above the 
age of 15 were engaged in agricultural labor. 26 Thus, the woman's role in the 
migrant family is primarily as a money-earner rather than as a house-keeper. Chil- 
dren are often cared for in the field or in the family car. It has been suggested 
by one author that many migrant children are retarded as a result of the migratory 
life;^^ because no one patiently answers his questions, because no one gives him 
basic instructions about sounds, shapes, and colors, and because he fails to re- 
ceive other stimuli which the maturation process requires, the migrant child is 
likely to be deficient in the equipment of learning. ^8 Migrant Day Care Centers 
offer great potential for providing migrant children with proper pre-school ex- 
periences; however, most day care centers have been primarily custodial, as op- 
posed to educational, in approach. 

5. CHILD LABOR 



Opportunities for education are significantly reduced for children who work in 
the fields and for those who suffer from farm accidents. More than 12 percent of 
Washington's migrant labor force in 1966 was contributed by migrants under 15 
years of age.^' Almost 10 percent of all migrant children under the age of 10 
worked in the crops; the percentage was about the same for both boys and girls. 
However, for the age group from 10 to 15 years, over one-half the male migrant 
children toiled in the fields while only about 5 percent of the female migrants 
worked in agriculture. In the age group of 16 to 19, 97 percent of the male 
migrants and 70 percent of the female migrants worked in the fields. 3-'- It is clear 
from this data that migrant children often traveled and worked with their parents 
to supplement the family income. ''Moreover, many migrants expect that their chil- 
dren -will make their living in the fields. Hence they fail to see the purpose of 
education. "22 

Farm accidents and hard work reduce educational opportunities of migrant children. 
Beginning January of 1964, 28 states were surveyed for an 18 month period; of 
those accidents reported, 1,849 were to children under 18 employed in agriculture. ^^ 
"The California Department of Industrial Relations reports that each year 500 
children of school age in California suffer lost schooltime due to farm injuries. 
More than half of these children are under 16 years of age."^^ Moreover, there is 
evidence that constant labor in the fields is harmful to the health of young chil- 
dren; chronic fatigue and under-nourishment lowers the child's resistance to in- 
fectuous diseases. The impact of agricultural labor on the health of migrant 
children will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 4. 

-5- 



5599 



6. INADEQUATE ADULT EDUCATION 

There are inadequate opportunities for adult migrants to receive free or low- 
coot education or training. Mexican-Americans in particular are unable to find 
free instruction in the English language. As one educator put it, "odd as it may 
=eem the United States Government has done more to help citizens of other countries 
to learn English in their own lands than it has done for non-English-speaking Ameri- 
can citizens in this country. "^^ Special instruction in the English language is an 
e='=ential prerequisite to any job retraining or expanded employment program. ^7 For 
example, in 1967, of the very few Washington migrants (16 percent) who had received 
any vocational training, 88 percent were Anglos and only 6 percent were Mexican- 
American= 38 As will be discussed in Chapter 3, the future holds less-and-less 
agricultural employment for Mexican-American laborers; consequently, massive train- 
ing programs will be necessary to move these people into other occupations. 

C. WASHINGTON STATE AND MIGRANT EDUCATION 

The problems of migrant education are not peculiar to the southwestern states. Of 
all migrant families in Washington during the 1967 harvest, 28 percent had wintered 
in Washington. ^9 While on]v 7 percent of the Mexican-American families wintered m 
Washington, 40 those families are large averaging 6.2 persons per family. 41 During 
the pact ten years over 10,000 Mexican-Americans, whose lack of skills and education 
make them ideal as farm laborers have been recruited by the State for the southern 
part of the Yakima Valley alone. ^2 Consequently, several Mexican-American farm worker 
communities have been established in the State of Washington; the population of the 
Mexican-American Farm Labor Community in the southern part of the YakimaValley has 
been variously estimated between 8,000 and 12,000. 

As previously stated, basic education and instruction in the English language are 
■b;=L pre-requisites to vocational training; Washington State's Adult Education Pro- 
gram is painfully inadequate. The Washington State Migrant Education Program, sup- 
ported by federal appropriation, is administered by six community colleges 44 3nd has 
a maximum capacity of 600 adult students. 45 Forty-two Washington State school dis- 
tricts administer federally funded special migrant education programs for school age 
migrant children; it is estimated that these programs serve approximately 7,000 stu- 
dents. 46 At the pre-school level, plans are being formulated to provide some sort 
of educational curriculum for migrant day care centers in Washington State. 

Neither Washington's efforts nor its successes in migrant education have been spec- 
tacular. According to a 1968 report by the Washington State Joint-Committee on 
Education: 

No over-all attack has yet been launched in Washington on the 
education deprivations suffered by the migrant child. Some efforts 
are being made by the Superintendent of Public Instruction s of- _ 
?ice buf what programs do exist are operated by the school districts 
servicing migrant populations and are financed Primarily through 
federal appropriations. It is the Subcommittee's belief that, with 
few exceptions, these efforts are inadequate. 

The Subcommittee expressed concern that local school authorities fail to account for 

i?ke^:ti:r-s^t:^ ^sr r s: :^^:^^^ -Fr "^ n; 
-LtiJitrsr^^^^ 

^^^ iS^ffrmig^St Slldr- ^-n-hoS-undf ^l^ ^^S^^^r 
that purpose. 49 

-6- 



5600 



CHAPTER III MIGRMT WAGES ANXl INCOME 



A. EXISTING WAGE CONDITIONS 

1. BELOW THE POVERTY LE'/EL 

"Migrant workers do not become poor because they work in agriculture; rather 
they become migrants because they have already become poor."-'- Nationally, in 
196^*, 83 percent of the non-White migrant families had incomes below $3,000. 
While the average Washington State family had an income of about $7,000 in 1966, 
the typical Washington migrant family had a family income of only $2,300.3 

Consulting Services Corporation, after a survey of I8 Washington counties which 
use approximately 90 to 95 percent of the Washington migrant work force, was brought 
to the following conclusion: 

Perhaps the most striking conclusion of the survey was that the typical family 
income was well below that level by which we normally define "poverty." There 
is probably no statistic which so clearly differentiated the migrant population 
from the total population as that which states that the average total annual 'in- 
come for a migrant family was about one-third that of the average family resid- 
ing in Washington State. When one considers fringe benefits available to most 
employees in Washington State such as paid sick-leave, holiday^, vacations, anc 
health insurance, the income difference is even more striking. 



2. WAGES 



Not only is farm work seasonal and sporadic, but the fan', vorkers' wage rate is 
the lowest of all our nation's occupational groups; the national c.verage in 1967 
was $1.33 per hour.^ In I967, V.'ashington ' s avei;age wage for farm workers, at $1.59 
per hour, was the fourth highest in the nation." Most i:d/rrant3, however, do not 
work for an hourly wage; in I966, 72 percent of V/ashington' s migrants reported that 
they were being hired on a "piece rate" and not an hourly wage. ' In I966, for all 
migrants in Washington, the median number of hours worked per day was 8.6 and the 
median daily wage was $13.10. Migrant heads-of-household worked a median of 8.9 
hours and earned an average wage of $11*. 20 per day. 

Stoop labor in Washington, mostly the hoeing and picking of row crops, received 
the lowest median wage in I966 at about $1.'(1 per hour.' Mexican-Americans, who 
provide most of the stoop labor, on an average receive slightly less incone th^i^ 
Anglo migrants. 

3. THE BONUS SYSTEM 

The "bonus system", used by abo^t one-half of Washington growers, is an ar- 
rangement whereby a worker who remains in the grower's fields until the crop harvest 
is finished receives a certain amount of money or a "bonus" based on his previous 
earnings. The grower views the bonus as extra remuneration above the promised rate 
to assure himself of s-afficient labor to complete his harvest. The farm worker views 
the bonus as the amount with-held from the wage promised by the grower to prevent 
him from moving to where the crops and wages are better. '/liichever view is cor- 

rect, the bonus system may be easily abused. Farn workers tell of growers who find 
excuses to fire whole families or purposely provoke migrants into quitinfi; before 
the end of the harvest; in either case, the migrant loses his acciomulated bonus. 

h. WAGE LEGISLATION 

(a) WAGE COLLECT I O-1 LAWS 

■^ — 13 

A Washington statute allows employees to recover wrongfully withheld 



5601 



wages together with double damages and costs in a civil action. The 
statute, however, offers little relief to the typical migremt who 
lacks the knowledge, money, and time to pursue such a remedy in court. 

Another statute-*-^ authorizes the Department of Labor and Industries 
to collect wages for employees who are financially unable to employ 
counsel. However, the Department of Labor and Industries does not 
pursue wage claims when the issue boils down to the employer's word 
against that of the employee, which is almost always the case in typi- 
caJ. casual contracts for farm labor. 

(b] STATE MINIMUM WAGE LEGISLATION ' 

Seven states provide some sort of minimum wage protection for farm work- 
ers. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and New Mexico have 
statutes covering farm employees . 1° Administrative agencies in Cali- 
fornia and Wisconsin have issued minimum wage orders covering women and 
minors employed in agriculture.-'-' California's order is currently in 
abayance while legal issues are judicially resolved.-'-" (Note: The mini- 
mum wage and overtime pay provisions of California's Industrial Welfare 
Commission orders 8-68 (Commercial Packing Sheds) and 13-68 (Packing 
Sheds on Farms ) and the minimxim wage requirements of Industrial Wel- 
fare Commission order lh-68 (Agricultural Work in the Fields) have been 
ruled valid by the California Courts and the Division of Industrial Wel- 
fare is enforcing these provisions as of November 13, 1968.) 

Washington State's Minimum Wage Act specifically exludes agricultural 
employees .-'-9 The Washington State Female and Child Labor Act author- 
izes the Industrial Welfare Committee to establish minimum wages for 
women and children; however, no minimum wages have been established 
for Washington farm workers . 

(c) FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE LEGISLATION 

(i) COVERAGE 

In 1966, Congress amended the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act to 
extend, for the first time, federal minimum wage coverage to farm 
workers. ^•'^ The minimum wage increased over a three year period; 
a minimum of $1.00 during 196T, a minimum of $1.15 per hour during 
1968, and from Februaiy 1, 1969 and thereafter, the minimum wage is 
$1.30 per hour.^ 

(ii) INEFFECTIVENESS 

While the minimum wage coverage is a bold step toward extending fed- 
eral labor protection to fdrm workers, the new minimum wage laws will 
not have the desired beneficial impact on the economy of the Washington 
migrant . 

First, the minimum wage is too low to help migrants. Even if a migrant 
could work a steady 50 weeks a year at Uo hours per week, an impossible 
feat for any migrant, his annual income, at $1.30 per hour would be 
$2,600, still below the poverty level. Moreover, the typical migrant ^3 

worker in Washington earned about $1.50 per hour during the I967 harvest. 

Second, extensive exceptions have been built into the minimum wage cover- 
age for farm workers. The most important exception is that the regulations 
do not appy to growers who did not, during any calendar quarter of the 

-a- 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 15 



5602 



preceding year, use more than 500 man-days of agricultural labor. ^^ Thus, 
only about 33,000 or 1 percent of all farms in this county are large enough 
to be affected by the new wage law. Coverage will reach about 390,000 

of the I.I4 million hired farm workers in the United States. 2" Even a 100 
man-day test would not mean total coverage since only about 7 percent of 
our nation's farm employers would be covered.^' 

Certain other employees are excluded from coverage. Hand-harvest workers 
who are paid on a piece-rate basis, and who commute daily from their per- 
manent homes, and who were employed in agriculture for Igss than 13 tJ'eeks 
during the preceding_ q^uarter are exempt from coverage. Furthermore, 

the cost of lodging and services customarily furnished to the employee 
may be deducted for the minimum wage. ^9 

Third, there is inadequate enforcement of the minimum wage act by the 
Wages and Hours Division of the United States Department of Labor. The 
Division only has 8 field representatives to cover the entire nation and 
complaints must be in the proper form and brought to the attention of the 
proper authorities or they are never acted upon. 30 One author concluded: 

Given Wages and Hours present attitude, it would be better not to 
have agricultural labor covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act 

o-i 

than to have coverage which is meaningless.-" 
B. CAUSES OF LOW MIGRANT INCOME 



1. UNAVAILABILITY OF STEADY EMPLOYMENT 

One of the principal problems faced by the migrant worker is his inability 
to work steadily. Nationally the average migratory worker was employed for only 
82 days at farm work in I965. Non-casual migratory workers — those that worked 

more than 25 days a year — worked an average of 121 days in 1966.33 in 1965, a- 
bout half of the nation's migrants did non-farm work during the year; those who did 
non-farm work during the year averaged about I58 days of paid employment while those 
who did only farm work were able to average only lOU work days. 3^ 

Not only do migrants find themselves unemployed because of off-seasons and travel 
time, but there are indications that mechanization of certain agricultural industries 
has left employment gaps and delays in the former harvest cycle . 3' Moreover, it is 
the employee and not ,the employer who must bear the employment loss due to bad weather 
or other unforeseen harvest problems; once the migrant has been recruite^, he has no 
alternative course of employment during unfavorable harvest conditions. 



36' 



Consulting Services Corporation calculated that to raise the migrants to an in- 
come level approximating the state average — and assuming that the migrant can only 
work the same number of hours as he did during 1965 — the grower, would have to pay 
an equivalent of roughly $5-1*0 per hour.3T The above calculati^p should suggest 
that minimum wage legislation alone will not solve the poverty of the migrant; on 
the contrary, efforts to assure more continous agricultural employment and more non- 
agricultural employment are necessary. 

2. MECHANIZATION 



Agriculture is one of the most increasingly efficient sectors of our nation- 
al economy. Farm output per man-hour climbed 61 percent between 1957 and 1967.3° 
In Washington, the State Employment Security Department reports that machines are 
being tested for the harvest of asparagus, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, sind a 
machine is being developed to effect substantial labor savings in the hop industry. 39 
Machines are also being tested in the soft fruit industry; however, no extensive re- 
duction in labor needs are seen in the immediate future for the soft fruit industry 



5603 



becausej^gf expected increased production of Washington apples and other soft 
fruits. An actual incjjjase of 15 to 20 percent in farm labor demands by 

1975 has been predicted. 

It seems certain that the long range result of mechanization will be to re- 
duce the demand for migratory labor. The Mexican-American migrant is experiencing 
the effects of mechanization already; primarily because the greatest advances in 
mechanization have been in crops requiring stoop labor, work usually done by Mexi- 
can-Americans. 2 The effect of mechanization also weighs heaviest on the Mexican- 
American because he possesses less education and skill. '*3 "The worker who is dis- 
placed is more likely to be unskilled, while the worker who moves into industry is 
quite likely to have some skills and is the type most needed to operate the machinery .*''*'* 

3. THE LABOR CONTRACTOR 

(a) ABUSIVE PRACTICES 

The labor contractor plays an important role in the lives of many migrants. 
He often arranges transportation and lodging for migrants; arranges employ- 
ment terms with the employer , acts as a crew leader in the fields and per- 
sonally collects and distributes wages to the migrants. Thus, the contract- 
or has tremendous control over his workers and the system is inherently sub- 
ject to abuses. Reports are common of farm labor contractors recruiting mi- 
grants with promises of high wages, good working conditions, and other mis- 
representations . ^5 There are frequent reports of contractors taking double 
collections from both the farmer and the migrants for travel expenses, for 
handling the employment arrangements, and for being a crew leader in the 
fields. ° Contractors are also accused of renting the farmers' housing to 
the workers at extraordinary mark-ups, and of keeping the workers in a con- 
dition of peonage by loaning them money for transportation and food at extra- 
ordinarily high rates of interest. ' 

Perhaps the best illustration of the contractor system was provided by an 
Eissistant professor of law who hired himself to a labor contractor while he 
gathered material for a seminar class. Unknown to the professor, for every 
acre of beets that he hoed, the farmer paid llU.OO; the professor got $7.20 
and the contractor got $6.80. 

(b) LABOR CONTRACTOR REGULATIONS 

(i) PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL FARM LABOR CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION ACT 

In I96I+, Congress decided to regulate "irresponsible contractors — who 
exploit producers of agricultural products, migrant agricultural labor- 
ers, and the public generally.' " The Act requires that any person who 
recruits, hires, or transports 10 or more migrants in interstate com- 
merce must register with the Department of Labor's State Employment 
Service.-' The applicant must submit proof of motor vehicle insurance, 
information concerning his contracting operations , and a set of his 
finger prints. 51 The registration certificate may be revoked or sus- 
pended if the registrant: (a) knowingly gives false or misleading in- 
formation to migrant workers concerning the terms, conditions, or exist- 
ence of employment; (b) unjustifiably fails to carry out his agreement 
with either the growers or the migrants; or (c) is convicted of certain 
crimes P 

Furthermore, the contractor is required to disclose to each worker, to 
the best of his knowledge, the area of employment, the crops and opera- 
tions of employment, the transportation and housing to be provided, the 
wage rate to be paid, and charges for the contractor's services. 



5604 



The contractor is also to keep certain payroll and employment 
records . 

( ii) INADEQUACIES OF THE FEDERAL FAEM LABOR CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION 
ACT 

The Federal Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act does not suffici- 
ently regulate the conduct of labor contractors. The act should have 
required that the contractor not only "disclose" information about em- 
ployment terms and conditions but should also have required that the 
disclosure be in writing and that a copy be served upon each recruit. 
A written record is the only effective means of establishing what com- 
munications were given and preventing fraudulent misrepresentations. 
When non-English-speaking persons are employed, the information should 
be in their mother tongue. 

The contractor shoiild be required to convert piece rates and hourly 
rates into weekly income, thereby requiring the contractor to esti- 
mate the condition of the crops and the number of hours of employ- 
ment available. Moreover, the contractor who imports workers across 
state lines should be required to file proof that he has prearranged 
employment with growers so that each recruited worker is assured a 
minimiim number of hours of work per day and per week at a given wage 
rate. Fraud could be reduced simply by requiring that each farmer 
pay wages directly to each employee. 

The regulations that do exist under the Farm Labor Contractor Act 
are not adequately enforced. While it is estimated that 8,000 to 
12,000 farm labor contractors will eventually be registered, as of 
1967 only 2,lUl contractors were registered. ^'^ in I96T, only 3 
applications were denied and only I8 registrations suspended. 55 
The United States Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor reported 
in 1967 : 

The enforcement of the registration provisions of the Act 
(Farm Labor Contractor Registration) continues to be a 
serious problem due largely to the difficulty of finding 
and identifying the crew leader after he has departed from 
his State of residence, and because many crew leaders sub- 
ject to the Act endeavor to evade its registration pro- 
visions. This problem is further compoimded by the field 
staff of the Labor Department's Farm Labor Contractor Re- 
gistration Section being limited in 196T to five profesi- 
sional employees. 5° 

(iii) THE WASHINGTON STATE FARM CONTRACTOR ACT 

Only California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, 
Pennsylvania and Washington have laws regulating farm labor con- 
tractors . The Washington State Farm Contractor Act is primari- 
ly a licensing act with a $10 annual fee. 5° The Act requires, as 
a condition to receiving a license, that an applicant furnish proof 
of motor vehicle insurance. 59 The Director of the Department of 
Labor may require a surety bond from the applicant to assure com- 
pliance with the Act.r The license may be suspended or revoked 
for certain violations of the law, for making fraudulent misrepre- 
sentations to workers regarding the terms and conditions of em- 
ployment, or for supplying labor where he knows a strike or lock- 
out to exist. 

-11- 



5605 



The criticisms of the inadequacies of the Federal Farm Labor Con- 
tractor Registration Act provisions apply with equal force to 'the 
Washington State Act. Enforcement of the State Provision leaves 
a great deal to be desired. Only 51 contractors had been licensed 
under the Act by July of 1968,^ and reports of notorious abuses 
by labor contractors continue. -^ 

h. DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY -- A MAXIMUM WAGE LIMIT 

(a) THE SERVICES AMD ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY 

A federal statute enables states to establish a network of employment offices 
throughout the nation." Pursuant to the act, the State of Washington provides 

for the cooperative recruitment of farm laborers. ' The Employment Security 
Department staffs local farm labor offices throughout the State. Upon requests by 
farmers, migrants are referred to farmers who want to hire agricultural workers. 66 
In 1967, about 22 percent of Washington's migrants reported that they used the 
State's Employment Service sometime during the year and approximately 23 percent 
of the growers reported using the Employment Service."" 

In addition to local farm placement offices, under the "Annual Worker Plaji," 
the State Department of Employment Security recruits workers from other states to 
work on Washington farms. Local growers place orders for a specific number of 
seasonal workers for a specified date; the orders are transmitted through fed- 
eral channels to the appropriate state. The principal state of Washington's re- 
cruitment is Texas; in I968, "plans were made with the Texas State Employment Com- 
mission for the recruitment of nearly S.OOO workers under the orderly scheduling 
procedures of the Annual Worker Plan.""° Each year the Washington State Employ- 
ment Security Department sends two men to Texas to personally handle recruitment 
arrangements . 'i'O 

To protect the recruited worker. Employment Security requires that the em- 
ployer provide a bona fide Job, wages at the prevailing rate, adequate housing 
arrangements, and advance $30 for transportation costs which can later be de- 
ducted from the worker's wages. "^1 

To protect the local farm worker, federal regulations prohibit interstate 
recruitment of agricultural workers without assurances from the state that there 
is an inadequate local labor available at the prevailing wage rate.'^^ According- 
ly, the State's Employment Security Department, at the beginning of each year, 
makes pre-season estimates of the State's seasonal labor requirements. '3 Ar- 
rangements for workers needed for asparagus cutting in April are often made as 
early as January. "^^ 

(b) THE MAXIMUM WAGE LIMIT 

Assuming that a reasonably free market exists, wages will be established at 
a level sufficient to attract the amount of labor demanded; i.e., where supply 
equals demand. There are two ways in which wages may be artificiaUy adjusted to 
vary from the supply-demand rate: (a) by artificially placing a ceiling or a 
floor on the legal wage;and (b) by artificially adjusting the supply of labor to 
maintain the fixed rate. 

The higher the wage level, the more people in the local wage force will be in- 
duced to hire baby sitters, find transportation, leave other sectors of employment, 
and otherwise overcome the current barriers to their working in agriculture. No 
accurate estimate of the local labor supply can be made until a wage rate is settled 
upon. The Department of Employment Security bases its estimated supply of local 
labor at the "prevailing" wage rate. The "prevailing" wage is not based upon a 
free market; in fact, the employees are hardly consulted. When more than^^lOO inter- 
state workers are recruited for an agricultural industry, the "prevailing wage is 

-12- 



5606 



determined by surveying farmers in that industry; when fewer than 100 inter- 
state workers are recruited for a particular crop, the "prevailing" wage is 
determined by what the going rate was during the previous season. "^^5 The en- 
tire system of importing out-of-state workers to work at the "prevailing" rate 
necessarily operates to suppress any natural rise of farm worker wages. 
The farm worker has no opportunity to negotiate a supply-demand wage; by chang- 
ing the supply factor, the Department of Employment Security maintains the maxi- 
mum wage at the pre-determined "prevailing" wage.'" 

The above analysis of Washington State's "Annual Worker Plan" is admittedly 
superficial and it is possible that if the State terminated the interstate recruit- 
ment of farm workers, growers would merely tiu*n to unscrupulous labor contractors 
who would provide the recruitment service. However, the State should re-examine 
its role of depressing farm labor wages by artificially adjusting the labor supply. 
The interests of both the farmer and the farm worker may be best served by the care- 
ful control and regulation of independent recruitment eind migration. 

3. A DISADVANTAGED BARGAINING POSITION 

So much has been written about the disadvantaged status of the agricultur- 
al worker that the wretchedness of his position needs no elaboration. Some at- 
tention should be given, however, to the migrant's ability to improve his own lot. 

( a) LACK OF LEADERSHIP THE LABOR CONTRACTOR 

Those migrants who are able to acquire the training and skills of leadership 
are quickly syphoned off the ranks of the field workers. Many of those with leader- 
ship potential become labor contractors. The labor contractors are in business for 
themselves — not for the workers."^' There is ample evidence that the labor con- 
tractor abuses his position of control. Indeed, the labor contractor may prevent 
the workers from taking advantage of what little social legislation is available^ 



to migrants so that he might better keep his workers indebted to him with loans. 



78 



Clearly the labor contractor, whose economic interest is entrenched with the status 
quo, will not be the leader of change. 

( b) LACK OF FREE MARKET 

It is sometimes said that, "no one forces a migrant^ to work in the fields, 
he can work elsewhere if he chooses." The fallacy of that statement is that it 
assumes that the migrant is free to change occupations. A free labor market re- 
quires that the worker have knowledge of other employment opportunities, that the 
worker has the skills and mobility to move to the alternate employment, and that 
the worker can freely negotiate; between alternative employers. The typical mi- 
grant lacks the knowledge, the skill and mobility, and the bargaining position 
to take advantage of other employment opportunities. Many migrants, because of 
racial discrimination and lack of education, are permanently tied to the migrant 
stream. "^9 

( c) INABILITY TO ORGANIZE 

( i) DESIRE TO ORGANIZE 

That farm workers, if given the opportunity, would choose to organize 
seems beyond question. On Angu0 30, 19^6, elections set up by Gover- 
nor Brown of California were held to determine bargaining representa- 
tives of agricultural field workers on the Di Georgio properties near 
Delano and Borrego Springs, California. Of 8t8 unchallenged votes only 
12, fewer than 1-1/2 %, voted for no union; thus illustrating that when 
given an opportunity to express their choice, farm workers will vote 

-13- 



5607 

to organize and bargain collectively. 

(ii) POVERTY AND LACK OF EXPECTATIONS 

When the typical total annual income of a migrant fetmily is well below 
$3,000 each year,ol the migrant must work at every opportunity just to stay 
alive — there is little opportunity to organize. Moreover, the migrant's 
expectations must rise to a level at which he feels the chances of success 
Justify the risks of organization. 

(d) LACK OF LABOR RELATIONS LEGISLATION 

(i) THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT 

The lack of farm labor organization can be traced to a significant de- 
gree to the exclusion of farm labor employees from the collective bargaining 
protection of the National Labor Relations Act . ° According to the United 
States Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor: 

The agricultural industry exclusion is specifically incorporated into 
Federal and State Labor Relations laws which have covered most other 
American workers for three decades, so that denial of the basic right 
of association and collective bargaining constitutes a most pernicious 
form of legal discrimination. Not only is the industry denied the pro- 
tection of such laws, but the farm workers (and particularly the migrant 
workers) freedom of association and organization is further impeded in 
many instances by state and local laws and ordinances which constitute 



insiirmountable barriers to organizational activities. 
( ii ) WASHINGTON STATE LABOR RELATIONS LAW 



83 



Washington does not have a labor relation law similar to the National La- 
bor Relations Act. However, the Washington State Supreme Court has held that, 
not withstanding exclusion from federal coverage, a Washington employer may 
not fire employees because of their union activities. If an employee is fired 
for unionizing, the employee is entitled to reinstatement and recovery of back 
wages. "^ One author believes that the Washington Coiort , would, if the issue • 
were raised, extend this protection to agricultural labor organizers. 

(e) DISENFRANCHISEMENT AND POLITICAL IMPOTENCE 

( i) INADEQUATE LOBBY 

The farm interest and the grower lobbies have been one of the most signi- gg 
ficant political influences in America since the Grange Movement in the ISTO's. 
By contrast, the migrant has only do-good lobbyists to look after his interests. 

( ii) WASHINGTON STATE'S LITERACY REQUIREMENT 

Migrants, particularly Mexican-American migrants, are excluded from the 
political arena. Many of those who must travel from state to state to eek out g^ 

an existence are denied the right to vote because of local residency requirements. 



Furthermore, while only 18 states in our luiion require literacy as a pre-condi- 
long the Pacific Coast Migrant Stream; therefore, many Spanish-speaking migrants 



lermore, while only 18 states in our luiior 
iion to voting,"" three of those states, California, Oregon, and Washington, are 

g the Pacific Coast Migrant Stream; thergi 

are precluded from exercising the franchise."" 



In Washington, there are several large communities of Mexican-American farm 
workers; in the southern portion of the Yakima Valley alone, the Mexican-American 

-li^- 



5608 



population has been estimated at between 8,000 and 12,000? Many of these 
Mexican-Americans are denied the franchise solely because they cannot "read 
and speak the English language so as to comprehend the meaning of ordinary 
English prose," as required by Washington law. 91 While the Washington law 
also requires the registration officer to satisfy himself that a voting 
applicant can read and speak English by having the applicant read aloud, ^ 
the Washington State Attorney General has issued an opinion that the read- 
ing test violates the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.^^ 

Migrants often find it difficult to assert their rights in a commimity 
that is antagonistic and sometimes hostile toward them. The registration 
procedure itself may be a humiliating experience for a Mexican -American who 
lacks confidence in his English language ability. The result of the Attorney 
General's opinion requires that a Mexican-American registration applicant 
swear under oath that he can read and speak ordinary English prose. ^'^ The 
Yakima County Auditor has refused to exercise his statutory authority?? to 
appoint a Spanish-speaking deputy registrar or to allow mobile deputy regi- 



strars to go from home-to-home to register voters 



96 



When a significant ethnic group or other class of persons with similar 
economic and social interests are not allowed a voice in determining public 
issues and selecting those who govern, the legitimacy of the government, 
particularly local government where political decisions will have the great- 
est direct effect, is weakened. To the excluded ethnic group, the law be- 
comes a foreign thing imposed by foreign people. When there are no votes 
to attract, politicians are less likely to develop programs responsive to 
the needs of that ethnic or other socio-economic class. Predictably, the 
disenfranchised group is likely to be alienated from the normal political 
process . 

(iii) DISCRIMIMATORY PURPOSE OF LITERACY REQtflREMENTS 

While the Washington literacy requirement currently has the effect 
of suppressing Mexican-Americans, there is ample evidence that W&shington 
and other West Coast States initially imposed a literacy qualification to 
suppress people of Chinese origin; Just as East Coast States enacted liter- 
acy requirements to suppress Irish and Southern European immigrants and 
Southern States Used literacy qualifications to suppress Negroes. 9T of 
the l8 states that condition the right to vote on some sort of literacy, 
all but one, Wyoming, are boarder states that receive immigrants. 



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5609 



CHAPTER IV MIGRANT HEALTH 



A. LACK OF GENERAL HEALTH CARE 



LIFE EXPECTANCY 



The amount of sickness, infectuous diseases, and injuries borne by the migrant 
worker and particularly the Mexican-American migrant is absolutely staggering. 
While the average American in the United States can expect to reach 70 years of 
age, the Mexican-American migrant in the State of Washington has a life-expectancy 
of only 38 years. Anglo migrants in Washington, with a life expectancy of 55 
years, survive significantly longer than the Mexican-Americans. 

2. INFANT MORTALITY AND PRENATAL CARE 



To a great extent the incredibly short life-expectancy of the Mexican-American 
migrant can be attributed to the fact that 36 percent of their children die at 
birth. The one-third infant mortality rate is not due solely to lack of medical 
attention at the time of birth. According to a recent survey, approximately 92 
percent of migrant mothers went to the hospital and were attended by a physician 
when giving birth; another 3 percent had their babies delivered by physicians; 
3 percent were attended by midwives; and only about 2 percent had no help at all 
or were helped by an unidentified source.^ 

The Mexican-American migrant infant mortality rate can best be explained by the 
effects of travel, work, and lack of proper prenatal care during pregnancy which 
are discussed elsewhere in this report. 

3. HEALTH EDUCATION — SANITATION, SICKNESS, DISEASE 

The principal cause of the low level of migrant health is poverty and the related 
lack of health education. In 1966, 74 percent of the Washington migrants reported 
that they had never been exposed to preventative innoculations and about 39 percent 
of the Mexican-American migrant children had never received immunizations. ^ The 
Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor has reported that migrant mortality rates 
from tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia and other infectuous diseases are more than 
twice the national rate. 6 

The two most prevalent illnesses reported by Washington migrants in 1966 were 
gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.^ These illnesses are likely to be 
caused by improper sanitation and nutrition. Because of inadequate health edu- 
cation, migrants are probably not able to properly recognize the nature of their 
illnesses and probably more likely to use home preparations. 

4. HEALTH COSTS AND OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS 



Poverty handicaps the migrant's health welfare. While the average per capita 
health-care expenditure in 1967 for the entire national population was approxi- 
mately $200, the average per capita health-care expenditure for migrants was 
$7.20.8 Lack of transportation and fear of local community hostilities undoubtedly 
deter some migrants from seeking the medical care they need. The very communities 
which demand the services of the unskilled and impoverished migrant tend to reject 
the migrants with restrictive state and local welfare practices. 

Many of the major causes of the general low level of migrant health are so impor- 
tant that they deserve special -emphasis and will be discussed separately: Those 

-16- 



5610 



major causes include farm accidents, the employment of women and children in the 
fields, and the condition of migrant housing. 

5. FEDERAL MIGRANT HEALTH PROGRAMS IN WASHINGTON 

Under the Federal Migrant Health Act, initially enacted in 1962, federal grants 
are awarded to state migrant health projects. The State of Washington currently 
has three, principally federally funded, migrant health projects.^ Two county 
health departments, in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, have migrant health projects 
that are funded directly by the federal government. Four other counties, Chelan, 
Yakima, Okanogan, and Douglas, operate migrant health programs under a state 
administered project. 

It is difficult to analyze the quality and effectiveness of Washington's migrant 
health efforts; however, by comparing the number of Washington's migrant health 
projects and the size of Washington's federal appropriation to that of other states, 
doubts are raised as to whether Washington is doing its share. While Washington 
ranks about fifth in the nation for the total use of migrant workers and ranked 
about third during the month of September, 11 Washington ranked only twelfth in the 
size of its Federal Migrant Health Project appropriation in 1967. -"-^ 

B. FARM ACCIDENTS 

1. FREQUENCY AND MAGNITUDE 

Agricultural work is a hazardous occupation by American standards. In 1964, when 
agriculture accounted for only 7 percent of the total employment, 13.2 percent of 
all disabling injuries and 22.5 percent of all fatalities from work occurred in 
■ agriculture. The accident mortality rate for migrants was nearly three times 
the rate for American workers as a whole. -'■* The accident death rate for agricul- 
tural workers is exceeded only by those for miners and construction workers. -'-^ 

In Washington, migrants pick fruit while perched on ladders and harvest row crops 
with sharp cutting tools and machines. More than 2 percent of the Washington 
migrants interviewed in 1966 had been injured on the job during the previous 30 
day period. 

2. STATE INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE 



(a) LIMITED COVERAGE 

Twenty-three states provide some form of workman's compensation for agricultural 
workers; however, until 1969, Washington did not require compulsory State 
Industrial Insurance coverage for any agricultural worker. As the result of 
hearings conducted by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, man- 
datory Industrial Insurance coverage has recently been provided for workers 
planting, cultivating, pruning and harvesting fruit trees on farms with twenty 
or more fruit trees and workers planting, cultivating, pruning and harvesting 
hops.^^ 

(b) INADEQUACIES OF COVERAGE 

The first and most obvious inadequacy of Washington's limited coverage of 
agricultural workers under the State's Industrial Insurance plan is that 
employees in only two of Washington's many agricultural industries are protected. 

-17- 



5611 



Second, even in the hop and tree-fruit industries "casual employees" are not 
covered;-'-^ a casual employee is defined as one who has received less than $150 
cash remuneration from the employer. 20 a casual employee is no more immune 
to on-the-job accidents than non-casual workers. Moreover, the exclusion means 
that every migrant worker will have to work approximately 2 to 2\ weeks, assum- 
ing a 40 hour week and $1.60 per hour pay rate, with each employer for whom he 
works before he will become covered by the Industrial Insurance plan. More 
information is needed to determine approximately what percentage of the time 
the typical migrant will be covered by the Industrial Insurance plan. While 
avoiding undue paperwork for the farmer may justify excluding some level of 
casual workers, the $150 level seems to place an unreasonable burden upon the 
farm worker. 

FEMALE AND CHILD LABOR 



1. NUMBER OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE FIELDS 

Available data suggests that the role of the female migrant is primarily that of 
a wage-earner rather than a homemaker. Female workers contributed 31 percent of 
the total Washington migrant labor force in 1966.^1 Fifty-four percent of all 
female migrants worked in agriculture, and about three-quarters of all female 
migrants above the age of 15 were engaged in farm work. ^2 

Migrant children are also engaged in agricultural employment to a significant ex- 
tent. According to the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, about 800,000 or 
one-fourth of the nation's paid farm labor force are children under the age of 16.23 
In 1966, more than 12 percent of Washington's migrant labor force was contributed 
by children under 15 years of age. About 10 percent of the children under 10 
years of age worked in the fields ;25 over one-half of the male migrant children 
worked in the fields while only 5 percent of the female migrant children were in 
the fields. 2° About 97 percent of all male and about 70 percent of all female 
migrant children between the ages of 15 to 19 years toiled in the fields. 27 

2. THE COSTS OF HAVING WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE FIELDS 



(a) FARM ACCIDENTS 

Women and children are not spared from accidents in the fields. A recent De- 
partment of Labor study covering only seven states, and incomplete even in 
those states, showed nearly 4,000 injuries in 2 years to farm workers 10 to 
17 years old. 28 While there is no data on the number or seriousness of injur- 
ies sustained by female migrants, the mere fact that they labor in the fields 
would indicate that many women fall prey to farm mishaps. 

(b) GENERAL HEALTH 

Several leading physicians have concluded that arduous farm work is harmful 
to the health and natural development of migrant children: 

First, a child early in life must grow and gain weight. 

Agricultural labor requires constant bending and 

stooping and frequent lifting. This excessive muscular 
activity expends the child's energy which should be used 
in the natural process of growth. Consequently, children 
who engage in much arduous labor become undernourished 
and undersized. Second, chronic fatigue lowers a child's 
-18- 



5612 



resistance to disease. Infections, which are everywhere 
lying in wait for the growing child can find an easy vic- 
tim in those who are overfatigued and undernourished. ^9 

When working in the fields, both expectant mothers and mothers who already have 
families, are limited in their opportunities to provide proper health care for 
themselves and their children. Until recently, the State of Washington neither 
required farmers to provide adequate and safe potable water nor adequate sani- 
tary toilet facilities to the workers in the fields. 30 Farm workers, both men 
and women, have often been forced to squat and deficate in the very fields in 
which they are working. The State Board of Health, on October 29, 1968, pro- 
mulgated regulations requiring that potable water and sanitary toilets be pro- 
vided to workers in the field ;31 but the implementation and enforcement of 
the regulation remain to be done. 

(c) EDUCATION 

The impact of travel and work on the educational opportunities of migrant chil- 
dren was examined extensively in Chapter 2. It shall suffice for this section 
to emphasize the relationship between child farm labor and the very low educa- 
tional attainment average of the migrant worker. 

FEMALE AND CHILD LABOR LAWS 



(a) THE FEDERAL FAIR LABOR STANDARDS 

In recognition of extensive injury rates to children in agriculture, the Secre- 
tary of Labor on July 1, 1967 issued regulations declaring certain farm activi- 
ties too hazardous for children under 16 years old. 32 xhe regulations, however, 
do not preclude children from farm work customarily performed by children. Chil- 
dren are still engaged in many dangerous activities and little has been done to 
enforce the regulations. As for female migrants, the Secretary of Labor has 
not yet issued protective orders related to female farm workers. 

(b) WASHINGTON STATE FEMALE AND CHILD LABOR ACT 

Like much of Washington's social legislation, the Female Child Labor Act speci- 
fically excludes agricultural workers from its coverage. 33 However, the De- 
partment of Labor and Industry has not exercised its administrative discretion 
to provide protection for the women and children who do farm work. The Indus- 
trial Welfare Committee has the power to establish standards "demanded for the 
health and morals of the employees." Most industries in which a significant 
number of women and children are employed are required to meet certain minimum 
standards of wages, rest periods, and eating, washing, and other facilities; 
however, women and children in agriculture are not similarly protected. 3^ In 
view of the above discretion of the effects of field labor on women and children, 
coverage should be extended to protect migrant women and children. 

D. MIGRANT HOUSING 

1. MIGRANT HOUSING GENERALLY 

Lack of adequate low-cost housing for the poor is a national problem. The migrant 
worker, however, faces a particularly acute housing problem. One Mexican-American 
in Colorado put it this way: "On various places they just run out the chickens 
and the migratory worker moves in. When he moves out the chickens move back in. "36 

-19- 



5613 



A professor of law at the University of Colorado decided that the chickens were 
not so well off either. Not all migrant housing is as bad as these comments 
would indicate and there seems to be mounting evidence for the proposition 
that the better the housing provided the migrant, the better the migrant per- 
forms on the job. 

2. MIGRANT HOUSING IN WASHINGTO N STATE 

(a) THE NUMBERS A ND C(MriflON OF WASHINGTON FARM LABOR CAMPS 

While not all of the camps are in operation at the same time, Washington 
State has a capacity for nearly 25,000 migrant occupants. About 52 
percent of Washington's housing units for migrant workers were built 
almost 20 years ago and 34 percent were built btfore 1946. 

Consulting Services Corporation concluded that most of Washington's mi- 
grant housing satisfied the housing regulations that existed in 1967; 
however, significant deficiencies were found in the communal facilities 
in the farm labor camps. In 37 percent of the camps, toilets were not 
working properly, and in 15 percent of the camps they were unclean. 
In 21 percent of the camps, communal toilet facilities were not separated 
for |exes and in 36 percent of the camps there was inadequate fly screen- 
ing. Some of the most critical descriptions of Washington S'ate labor 
camps are directed at housing administered by county government. 

(b) INADEQUATE HOUSING AND MIGRANT HEALTH 

Substandard housing clearly contributes to the low level of migrant health. 
Toilet and washing facilities are often unclean. It has been reported 
that the storage of garbage is inadequate in about half of the camps, that 
row cabins frequently do not provide sufficient ventilation or fly screening 
and that migrants have no place to keep foods fresh. ° All of these condi- 
tions increase the potential of infectuous diseases and other health problems. 

Reports of physical injuries suffered from camp conditions due to broken 
glass, poisonous materials, collapsing cabin floorboards, wood stoves, fire 
hazards and other conditions are frequent. In one incident, a child 
was burned to death when a one room cabin with newspapers stuffed in the 
open cracks caught fire. 

(c) THE FARMER BEARS THE BURDEN 

Everyone in agricultural communities and, indeed, everyone in Washington State 
shares directly or indirectly in the prosperity that results from the use of 
migrant labor. It is estimated that nearly $6 million was spent by all mi- 
grants for food in Washington State during the 1966 harvest season. They 
spent approximately $675,000 for rent.'*^ Of all migrant families, 60 per- 
cent owned autgmobiles and 32 percent had purchased their vehicles in Wash- 
ington State. 

In spite of the shared benefits, the farmers alone bear the burden of pro- 
viding adequate housing for migrants during peak periods of harvest. Farm 
housing for migrant workers is provided by 64 percent of the Washington 
State growers; this housing accounted for 86 percent of Washington's mi- 
grant housing.^" Only 1 percent of the State's migrant housing is govern- 
ment owned. County governments should take a leading role in solving 
the migrant housing problem; county governments are better able to take 
advantage of federal matching programs and to make the necessary capital 
out- lays required to provide adequate migrant housing. 

-20- 



5614 



MIGRANT HOUSING LAWS 

(a) FEDERAL REGULATION 

(i) HOUSING PROGRAMS 

Agricultural worker housing aids are available from many federal govern- 
ment sources. In 1964, Congress authorized direct financial assistance 
to any state or political subdivision or any public or private non-profit 
corporation to provide low-rent housing fcr farm laborers. ^2 xhe Depart- 
ment of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Economic Opportuni- 
ty, the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Adminis- 
tration, and the USDA Rural Community Development Service all administer 
programs for low-income rural housing. ^^ The Senate Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor observed that perhaps too many agencies are administering 
programs : 

There is an obvious overlapping of jurisdictions between the 
various agencies, and in given situations each department may 
apply different criteria. There are frequent delays; and the 
maze of red tape is frustrating to the applicant. With authority 
divided, there is always the danger that none of the departments 
will adequately fund a program. ^^ 

Despite the administrative problems, the fact remains that there are 
numerous federal programs, ranging from direct grants to low-cost loans, 
to aid in and encourage the construction and maintenance of adequate 
migrant housing. 

(ii) FEDERAL MINIMUM HOUSING REGULATIONS 

The United States Department of Labor, pursuant to the Wagner-Peyson 
Act, 55 jias promulgated housing standards which must be met before orders 
for interstate recruitment of farm workers will be processed by the United 
States Employment Service. The regulations cover water supply, waste 
disposal, structural conditions, space, ventilation, lighting, screening, 
egress and heating standards, garbage disposal, insect and rodent control, 
fire protection, toilets, washing and laundry facilities, as well as 
other matters. 56 

(iii) WEAKNESSES OF THE FEDERAL MINIMUM HOUSING REGULATIONS 

First, the standards only apply to camps used by growers who are utiliz- 
ing the United States Employment Service to recruit interstate migrants. 
Second, for those growers who do use the Employment Service, refusal 
to assist is a very weak sanction. Third, enforcement is left up to lo- 
cal officials and unlimited compliance waivers are permitted. 57 it has 
been reported that, in at least one Washington county, compliance waivers 
were issued by state officials to every labor camp in the county for the 
harvest of 1968.58 

(b) WASHINGTON STATE LABOR CAMP HEALTH REGULATIONS 

(i) THE REGULATIONS 

In October of 1968, the Washington State Department of Health issued 
new labor camp sanitation regulations and standards. 59 The regulations 



5615 



allow the grower to comply with the regulations on a five year, 20 
percent annual implementation schedule. Running water and sinks with 
plumbing are required. A sleeping room for the parents, separate from 
a room for children over six years of age, is required in all family 
units in accordance with the five year plan. Food preparation facili- 
ties, including refrigeration, are required for dwelling units unless 
a central food service facility is provided. Flush toilets, at a ratio 
of one for every fifteen occupants, must be located with-in 200 feet of 
the dwelling units. Minimal structural standards must be observed in 
addition to ventilation, heating, lighting, refuse disposal, and rodent 
and insect control requirements. The regulations do not require what 
Americans normally consider "decent" housing; however, if properly en- 
forced, the new sanitation regulation could result in significant in- 
roads on the causes of migrant sickness and injuries. 

(ii) ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS 

Labor camps are not to be operated in Washington without a permit from 
a local health officer; 60 presumable, the health officer will make an 
inspection. The State Department of Employment Security has made a 
preliminary decision not to refer farm workers to a grower until the 
employer has been issued a permit by the State Department of Health. 61 

The potential of the new labor camp regulations deserves cautious op- 
timism. First, the regulations are subject to administrative review 
and the State Department of Health is currently re-examing the regula- 
tions which may result in lower standards.^ Second, local inspectors 
who have lived in an area for a long period of time may be unwilling to 
"crackdown" on their neighbors. Indeed, they may share the community's 
unfavorable attitudes towards the migrant. An Indiana health official 
recently testified before an Indiana State Advisory Committee that of 
329 labor camps in the State only 4 were certifiable by state standards; 
however, not one camp was closed and the Department of Labor continued 
to recruit inter-state migrant workers for all growers. "^ 



-22- 



5616 

THE EXCEPTED PEOPLE - THE MIGRANT WORKERS IN WASHINGTON STATE 
by Dr. Tom J. Chambers, Jr. 

FOOTNOTES 
CHAPTER I An Introduction to Washington Migrants 

1. United States Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare - Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor, "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States," 1968 Report 
to the 90th Cong.; 1st., Sess., at 3. 

2. Id. , at 3 

3. Id. , at 3. 

4. Id. , at 3. 

5. Id., at 2. 

6. One report estimates more than one-half; Inter-agency Committee on Mexican-Americai 
Affairs, "The Mexican-American — A New Focus on Opportunity," 1968, at 2. Another 
report estimated the number to be twenty-five percent in 1960; supra, note 1, at 4. 

7. Inter-agency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs, supra, note 6, at 2. 

8. U.S. Commission pn Civil Rights, "The Mexican-American," A Paper Prepared for the 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1968, at 1. 

9. Of Washington's Mexican American migrants, 26 percent had worked in Washington for 
5 years or more while only 16 percent of the Anglo migrants had worked in Washing- 
ton for 5 years or more; Consulting Services Corporation, Seattle and St. Paul, 
"Migrant Farm Workers in the State of Washington," 

Vol. II, "Economic and Social Characteristics," 1967 (A study based on extensive 
surveys of 18 Washington counties which are estimated to utilize 90 to 95 percent 
of Washington's migrant force) at 23. 

10. Employment Security Department, State of Washington, "Annual Farm Labor Report, " 
1968, at 11. 

11. United States Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 1, at 6: 
Thousands of man-months of migratory labor in 1967. 

California 338.5 

Michigan 136,8 

Florida 129.5 

Texas 71.0 

Washington 69.1 

New York 62.1 

New Jersey 57.6 

12. Id. , at 9. 

13. Consulting Services Corporation reported that the peak was reached in September; 
Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 9, at 1. The Department of Employment 
reports that the peak was reached in July; Employment Security Department, supra, 
note 10, at 11. 

14. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 9, at 1. 



5617 



15. Id. , at 11. 

16. Id. , at 1. 

17. Of the 18 counties representing 95 percent of the migrant employers surveyed by 
Consulting Services Corporation, these five counties accounted for 87 percent of 
the migrant employment in those 18 counties, supra, note 9, at 1. 

18. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 9, at 27. 

19. Id. , at 9. 

20. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 1, at 4. 

21. Id. , at 2. 

22. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Labor and Public Welfare, 82nd Cong., 2nd. 
Bess. Pt. , 1952, at 431. 

CHAPTER II Migrant Education 

1. Consulting Services Corporation, Seatt!J.p & St. Paul, "Migrant Farm Workers in 
the State of Washington", Vol, II, "Economic and Social Characteristics", 1967, 
(A study based on extensive surveys of 18 Washington counties which are estimated 
to utilize 90 to 95 percent of Washington's migrant force) at 32. 



2. 


Id. , at 32. 


3. 


Id. , at 30. 


4. 


Id. , at 30 


5. 


Consulting 



Consulting Services Corporation, Seattle & St. Paul, "Migrant Farm Workers in the 
State of Washington," Vol. Ill and "An Analysis of Migrant Agricultural Workers," 

1967, at 28. 

6. A Paper Prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "The Mexican-American," 

1968, at 1. 

7. Independent School District v. Salvatierra , 33 S.W. 2d 790 (Tex. Cir. App. 1930). 

8. 64 F. Supp. 544 (S.C. S.S. Cal. 1946), Aff'd. 161 F.2d 774 (9th Cir. 1947). 

9. 96 F. Supp. 1004 (D.C. Ariz. 1951). 

10. 347 U.S. 475 (1954). 

11. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Economic 
Report No. 101, "Rural People in the American Economy," October 1966, at 55. 

12. A Paper Prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, supra, note 6, at 27. 

13. Id. , at 58. 

14. Id. , at 27. 

15. Id. , at 29. 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 16 



5618 

16. Id. , at 34. 

17. Bilingual Education Act. 20 U.S.C. Sec. 880 b to b-6. 

18. Formerly, Washington law required that "all common schools shall be t&ught in 
the English language." R.C.W. 28.05.010. However, H.B. 153, 41st Sess. (1969), 
was enacted and became Chapter 71 Washington Laws, 1969; it provides in part 
"that nothing in this section shall preclude the teaching of students in a 
language other than English when such instruction will aid the educational ad- 
vancement of the student.'" 

19. Roberto Valenzuale became the friend of Jonathon B. Chase, an assistant professor 
of law at the University of Colorado School of Law, who became a migrant to col- 
lect material on law and poverty. See Chase, J., "The Migrant Farm Worker in 
Colorado - The Life and The Law," 40 U. of Colo. L. Rev. 45, (1967), at 62. 

20 Id. , at 62. 

21. United States Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare — Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor, "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States," 1968 Report 
to the 90th Cong., 1st., Sess., at 9. 

22. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, Vol. Ill "An Analysis of Migrant 
Agricultural Workers," at 16. 

23. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 29. 

24. Id. , at 38. 

25. Id. , at 38. 

26. Id. , at 9. 

27. Comment, "Migrant Farm Labor in Upstate N.Y.," Columbia Journal of Law and 
Social Problems, Vol. 4, 1968, p. 2, at 43. 

28. Id. , at 43. 

29. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 9. 

30. Id. , at 9. 

31. Id., at 9. 

32. Joint Committee on Education, State of Washington, "Education in Washington," 
The Fifth Biennial Report Submitted to the 41st Session - Washington State Legis- 
lature, 1968, at 41. 

33. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 21, at 31. 

34. Id., at 31. 

35. Id. , at 34. 

36. A Paper Prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, supra, note 6, at 35. 



5619 

37. Joint Committee on Education, supra, note 32, at 42. 

38. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 32. 

39. Id. , at 21. 

40. Id. , at 21. 

41. Id. , at 29. 

42. Washington State Employment Security Department, "Thirtieth Report to the Gover- 
nor", December 31, 1967, at 24. 

43. The Yakima Valley Council for Community Action (a local anti-poverty program) 

has estimated 8,000; the Washington State Mexican-American Federation has estimated 
12,000. 

44. A telephone interview with J. 0. Click, Supervisor of Migrant Programs, Washington 
State Department of Public Instruction, May 19, 1969. 

45. Id. 

46. Id. 

47. Joint Committee on Education, supra, note 32, at 40. 

48. Id. , at 42. 

49. Id. , at 45. 

CHAPTER III Migrant Wages and Income 

1. President's Committee on Migratory Labor, "Report to the President on Domestic 
Migratory Labor," Sept. 1956, at 24. 

2. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Rural People in the 
American Economy," Agricultural Economic Report No. 101, October, 1966, at 47. 

3. Consulting Services Corporation, Seattle & St. Paul, "Migrant Farm Workers in 
the State of Washington," Vol. II, "Economic and Social Characteristics," 1967, 

at 13. 

4. Consulting Services Corporation, supra note 3, Vol. Ill, "An Analysis of Migrant 
Agricultural Workers," at 8. 

5. U.S. Senate Committee on Labor & Public Welfare — Subcommittee on Migratory 
Labor, "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States, Report to the 90th 
Cong., 1st. Sess., 1968, at 27: 

AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS IN AGRICULTURE AND OTHER SELECTED INDUSTRIES 

Contract construction $4.09 

Mining 3.20 

All manufacturing 2.83 

Lumber and wood products 2.38 

Canning, cured and frozen foods 2.21 

Apparel and related products 2.93^' 

Laundries and dry cleaning 1.73 

Agriculture farmworker (w/o room or board) 1.33 



5620 

6. Id., at 27. 

7. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 4, at 27. 

8. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 3, at 14. 

9. Id., at 15 ; 

I 

10. Id. , at 17. j 

11. Ehlert, Charles E. , "Report of the Yakima Valley Project and Proposal for Yakima 
Valley Legal Services, Inc.," 1969, at 24. | 

I 

12. Id. , at 24. j 

13. R.C.W. 49.52.070. 

14. R.C.W. 49.48.040. \ 

I 

15. Interview with Harry Popp, Sr., District Manager, Washington State Department of I 
Labor and Industries, Yakima, July, 1968. 

16. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 26. ] 

17. Id. , at 26. 

18. See Rivera v. State Division of Industrial Welfare , 265 A.C.A. 639, 71 A.C.R. 739, 
(Cal. Ct. of App. 1968); actions brought by three growers associations to prevent 
implementation of the minimum wage order. 

19. R.C.W. 49.46.010(5) (a). 

20. R.C.W. 49.12, et. seq. 

21. 29 U.S.C. 213(a) (6). 

22. 29 U.S.C. 206(a) (5). 

23. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 27. ' 

24. 29 U.S.C. 213(6)(A) 

25. Kovarsky, Irving, "Increased Labor Costs and The American Farmer — A Need For 
Remedial Legislation," 12 St. Louis L. Journal 564, 1968, at 571. 

26. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 25. 

27. Id. , at 30. 

28. 29 U.S.C, 213(6)(C). 

29. 29 U.S.C. 203(M). 

30. Chase, J. , "The Migrant Farm Worker in Colorado — The Life and the Law," 
40 University of Colo. L. Rev. 45, 1967, at 61. 

31. Id. , at 70. 



5621 

32. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 29. 

33. Id. , at 30. 

34. Id. , at 29. 

35. Comment, "Migrant Farm Labor in Upstate N.Y.," Columbia Journal of Law and So- 
cial Problems, Vol. 4, p. 2, 1968, at 16. 

36. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 4, at 27. 

37. Id. , at 8. 

38. Wall Street Journal; January 14, 1968, at 14 - col. 4. 

39. Washington State Department of Employment Security, "Annual Farm Labor Report, " 
1968, at 12. 

40. Id. , at 13. 

41. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 4, at 34. 

42. Id. , at 5. 

43. See Chapter II. 

44. Washington State Department of Employment Security, supra, note 39, at 12. 

45. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, supra, note 35. at 8. 

46. Symposium: "The War on Poverty — Legal Services and the Rural Poor," 15 Kansas 
Law Review, 1967 at 462. 

47. Id. , at 462. 

48. Chase, J., supra, note 30, at 59. 

49. 7 U.S.C. 2041. 

50. 7 U.S.C. 2043(b). 

51. 7 U.S.C. 2044. 

52. 7 U.S.C. 2044. 

53. 7 U.S.C. 2045. 

54. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 36. 

55. Id. , at 36. 

56. Id. , at 36. 

57. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 3, at 21. 

58. R.C.W. 19.30.030. 

59. Id. 



5622 



60. R.C.W. 19.30.040. 

61. R.CW. 19.30.120. 

62. Letter from Harold J. Petrie, Director, Washington State Department of Labor and 
Industries, to William Mathias, Yakima Valley Project, July, 24, 1968. 

63. Ehlert, Charles, E., supra, note 11, at 29. 

64. 29 U.S.C, 29. 

65. R.C.W. 50.12.180. 

66. Washington State Department of Employment Security, supra, note 39, at 4. 

67. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 3, at 24. 

68. Id. , at 60. 

69. Washington State Department of Employment Security, supra, note 39, at 8. 

70. Telephone interview with G. W. Rowland, Chief of Placement Services, Washington 
Employment Security Department ,, May 20, 1969. 

71. Id. 

72. 20 C.F.R. 609.9 (1968). 

73. Washington State Departmant of Employment Security, supra, note 39, at 8. 

74. Telephone interview with G. W. Rowland, supra, note 70. 

75. Id. 

76. The impact of imported farm workers on the wages and working conditions of domestic 
farm workers was adequately explored during the Bracero controversy. See generally, 
Kovarsky, I, "Congress and Migrant Labor," 9 St. Louis Law Journal 293, 1964. 

The Bracero program allowed the importation into the United States of Mexican 
nationals to work at the "prevailing" wage rate when there was an inadequate supply 
of domestic farm labor. See 7 U.S.C. Sec. 1461 - 1468. Congress allowed the 
Bracero program to lapse in 1966. 89th Cong., 1st Sess., 17, 1965. While the 
flow of Mexican nationals into the United States has been reduced from 233,000 
in 1959 to only a few who enter illegally today, guowers have not experienced the 
labor crisis they predicted. 

77. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, supra, note 35, at 3. 

78. Id. , at 41- 

79. Kovarsky, Irving, "Congress and Migrant Labor," 9 St. Louis Law Journal 293, 
1964, at 302. 

80. Morris, "Agricultural Labor and National Labor Legislation ," 54 Calif. Law 
Review 1939, 1966, at 1987. 

81. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 3, at 13. 



i 



5623 



29 U.S.C. 152(3), 1935; for an excellent historical treatment of the National 
Labor Relations Act see Morris, supra, note 80. 

Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 5, at 40. 

Krystad v. Lau, 65 Wn.2d 827, 400 P. 2d 72 (1965). 

Peck, "Judicial Creativity and State Labor Law," 40 Washington Law Review 743. 
1965, at 777. 

Kovarsky, supra, note 79, at 322. 

In 1967, the Washington State legislature lowered the residency qualification 
for voter registration from one year to 60 days — for those who wish to vote for 
the president and vice president in national elections only. 

States that have some form of literacy requirement as a prerequisite to the right 
to vote: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, 
Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North 
Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Wyoming, 

Almost one-half of Washington's Mexican American migrants can not read English at 
all; Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 4, at 27. 

The Yakima Valley Council for Community Action (a local anti-poverty program) 

has estimated 8,000; the Washington State Mexican-American Federation has estimated 

12,000. 

R.C.W. 29.07.070. 

Id. 

Washington State Attorney General's Opinion, 1967, No. 21. 

Id. 

R.C.W. 29.07.010; R.C.W. 29.070.100. 

Ehlert, Charles, supra, note 11, at 59. 

Following a tremendous influx of Irish iinmigrants into the New England States during 
the mid-eighteen hundreds, Connecticut, inspired by the Know Nothing Party, ob- 
tained passage of the first literacy qualification in the United States in 1855. 
Other New England states quickly followed Connecticut's example and, when slaves 
were emancipated as a result of the Civil War, the South was equally quick to im- 
pose literacy qualifications. See Bromage, "Literacy and the Electorate," 24 Am. 
Pol. Soc. Rev. 946 (1930). 

On the West Coast, literacy requirements were directed against Orientals who had 
been brought into the United States as cheap labor to work on the railroads and 
in the minefields. In California, Nativists successfully lobbied for passage of 
a literacy requirement in the Constitutional Convention of 1892. In Washington, 
anti-Chinese sentiment led to violent anti-Chinese riots in 1885-86; subsequently, 
bills were introduced into the Washington Territorial Legislature to prohibit the 
Chinese from owning land in Washington, from operating laundries and from being 
hired — all designed to harass the Chinese population and encourage them to leave. 
See Comment, "Washington's Alien Land Law - Its Constitutionality," 39 Wash. Law 
Review 115, 1964, at 115-116. 



5624 



During the Washington State Constitutional Convention, on July 11, 1889, Mr. 
Weisenburger unsuccessfully proposed the following voting provision: "Provided 
that no native of China, no idiot, insane person , . . . shall ever exercise the 
privilege of an elector of this state." See Journal of the Washington State Con - 
stitutional Convention - 1889 , Rosenow, ed.. Book Publishing Co., Seattle, (1962) 
at 61. Washington's present literacy provision was enacted as the Second Amendment 
to the State's Constitution just seven years later in 1896. The constitutional 
change was proposed in House Bill no. 57 by Representative 0. B. Nelson in 1895. 
While little background is known about House Bill No. 57, it was reported by the 
press that the same day that the bill passed the House, Senate Bill No. 247 was 
introduced which would have fixed "a penalty of $100 to $500 for any male person 
who wears a queue." See Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 19, 1895, at 1. 

98. Supra, note 88. 

CHAPTER IV Migrant Health 

1. Consulting Services Corporation, Seattle & St. Paul, "Migrant Farm Workers in 
the State of Washington," Vol. II, "Economic and Social Characteristics," 1967, 
at 45-46. 



2. 


Id. , at 44 


3. 


Id. , at 46 


4. 


Id., at 44 


5. 


Id. , at 42 


6. 


United Sta' 



United States Senate Committee on Labor and PublicWelf are , Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor, "Migrant Health Program - Current Operations and Additional 
Needs," 1967, at 15. 

7. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 19. 

8. United States Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare — Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor, "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States," 1968 Report 
to the 90th Cong., 1st. Sess., 1968, at 14. 

9. Telephone interview with William Franklin, Washington State Department of Health, 
Olympia, May 26, 1969. 

10. Id. 

11. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Worker, supra, note 8, at 9. 

12. Id. at 81. 

13. Sellers, "Farm Accidents and Workman's Compensation," Farm Labor Developments , 
October, 1966, at 33. 

14. Senate Subcommittee report on Migrant Health, supra, note 6, at 15. 

15. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 8, at 32. 

16. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 43. 

17. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra',, note 8, at 53. 



5625 



18. W.A.C. 296-17-020. 

19. Id. 

20. W.A.C. 296-17-030. 

21. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 9. 

22. Id., at 9. 

23. Id. , at 9. 

24. Id., at 9 

25. Id. , at 9 

26. Id. , at 9 



27. 



Id. , at 9 



28. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 8, at 32. 

29. Id. , at 34. 

30. W.A.C. 248-62-030; adopted October 29, 1968. 

31. W.A.C. 248-62-030-031; adopted October, 1968. 

32. F.L.S.A.; 29 U.S.C. 213; The following categories of farm activities, with certain 
exceptions, were declared to be too hazardous for persons under the age of 16: 

1. Handling or applying certain pesticides and other dangerous chemicals; 

2. Handling or using blasting agents; 3. Serving as flagman for aircraft; 4. Driver 
of vehicles on highways; 5. Operating tractors and other power equipment; 6. Operat- 
ing certain self -unloading equipment; 7. Operating forklift, rotary tiller, dump 

or hoist wagon; 8. Operating combine, field baler, cornpicker, and other power 
harvesting equipment; 9. Feeding materials into blower or auger conveyor; 10. Op- 
erating power-driven post hole digger or driver; 11. Operating power saw; 12. Log- 
ging timber with a butt diameter of more than 6 inches; 13. Working from a ladder 
or scaffold at a height over 20 feet; 14. Working inside a gas-tight-type fruit, 
grain, forage or other enclosure; 15. Working in a yard, pen, or stall occupied 
by a dairy bull, boar, or stud horse. 

33. R.C.W. 49.12, et seq. 

34. R.C.W. 49.12.080. 

35. A Federal District Court recently cast a shadow on the use of regulations designed 
to protect women by holding that such lavis may violate the Civil Rights Act. 

In Rosenfeld v. Southern Pacific Company , 293 F. Supp. 1219, (D.C. Calif. 1969), 
Judge Ferguson held that denying plaintiff, a female employee, an agent-telegraph 
position constituted a discrimination solely because of her sex in violation of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1965, notwithstanding that the employer relied on an order of 
the California Industrial Welfare Commission relating to the number of pounds 
that a woman could be required to lift. The Court found that the regulation was 
not a "bor.a fide occupational qualification" within the meaning in the Civil 
Rights Act. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(e). 



36. A Paper Prepared for the U.S. 
1968, at 51. 



Commission on Civil Rights; "The Mexican-American, 



5626 



37. Chase, J., "The Migrant Farm Worker in Colorado - The Life and the Law," 
40 U. of Colorado Law Review 45, 1967, at 45. 

38. Symposium, "The War on Poverty - Legal Services and the Rural Poor," 15 Kanss^s 
Law Review, 1967, at 464. 

39. State of Washington Employment Security Department, "Annual Farm Labor Report," 
1968, at 16. 

40. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 47. 

41. Id. , at 55. 

42. Id. , at 55. 

43. Ehlert, Charles, "Report of the Yakima Valley Project and Proposal for Yakima 
Valley Legal Services, Inc.," 1969, the following description of Ahtanum Labor 
Camp operated by the Yakima County Housing Authority at 37: 

Said cabins are constructed of unpainted and unfinished wooden boards and each 
contains one room with no interior partitions, approximately 15' 6"X 13' 8" in 
size, with a floor of rough unfinished wooden boards, some of which were full of 
splinters and were rotten, defective, full of holes and gaps and unable to support 
the weight of a three year old child. Each cabin contains a single electrical 
outlet, a light socket hanging from the ceiling. The electricail viring is not 
substantial enough to carry sufficient current for normal household uses. 

There is no running water or plumbing in either of the cabins, and the nearest 
running water is obtained from an outdoor pipe, located within the garbage dis- 
posal area and surrounded by garbage cans. Community toilet, laundry and shower 
facilities are located in a separate building. Hot water is not available at 
all times and the showers are locked at night to prevent tenants from using them. 
Plumbing in the showers and toilets leak, and water and slime accumulate on the 
cement floor, creating conditions dangerous to health and safety. Laundry faci- 
lities are not provided in sufficient quantities and tenants are sometimes re- 
quired to vjait two or three days to wash clothing. 

Each of said cabins were furnishe'd with a table and two chairs, two steel bed 
frames, springs, and burning "Pride" model stove for heating and cooking purposes. 
Each stove is located approximately 2 to 3 feet from the only door in the cabin, 
and rests directly on the wooden floor, about one foot out from the cabin wall. 
There is no protective nonflammable material on the floor or wall under or around 
the stove, and the flue is not properly vented, causing smoke to leak into the 
cabin. 

The grounds around said cabins and in the Ahtanum Farm Labor Camp contain ex- 
tensive areas of weeds and grass a foot or more high, where infant children play, 
with scattered broken glass and refuse; the grounds are not adequately drained 
and collect standing puddles of mud and water and are infested with flies and 
mosquitoes during the summer months. 

44. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 55. 

45. Id. , at 53. 

46. Ehlert, Charles, supra, note 43, at 22. 

47. Id. , at 22. 



i 



5627 

48. Consulting Services Corporation, supra, note 1, at 17. 

49. Id. , at 18. 

50. Id. , at 47. 

51. Id. , at 48. 

52. 42 U.S.C. 1484. 

53. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, supra, note 8, at 19. 

54. Id., at 19. 

55. 29 U.S.C. 49, et seq. 

56. 20 C.F.R. 602.9. 

57. Id. 

58. Ehlert, Charles, supra, note 43, at 31. 

59. W.A.C. 248-60 et seq. ; the issuance of the regulation met with grejit opposition 
and attempts were made to overturn the regulation by statute. The regulation is 
currently being re-examined by the State Department of Health which may result 
in lower standards. Franklin, William, supra, note 9. 

60. W.A.C, 248-60-020. 

61. State of Washington Employment Security Department, supra, note 39, at 17. 

62. Franklin, William, supra, note 9. 

63. A Paper prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, supra, note 36, at 50. 



5628 



REPORT OF THE NUGRANT LABOR TASK FORCE 
of the State Human Rights Advisory Council 
Herbert L. Amerson, Council Chairmein 
William Gadbreath, Task Force Chairman 



to the 



Oregon Bureau of Labor 
Normein O. Nilsen, Commissioner 
John R. Gustafson, Asst. Comimissioner 



to the 



MIGRANT LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE 
Willamette University 
Putnam University Center 
. Sadem, Oregon 
Saturday, Dec. 12, 1970 



Carlos A. Rivera 
Conference Co-ordihator 



5629 
CONFERENCE SPONSORS 



Alianza 

Archbishop's Socizil Action Commission 

Centro Chicano Cviltural 

DEMOFORUM 

Eugene Human Relations Council 

Governor's Advisory Committee on Chicano Affairs 

Intergroup Human Relations Comnnission 

Japanese Americein Citizens League of Portland 

Kennedy Action Corps 

National Conference of Christians and Jews 

Oregon AFL-CIO 

Oregon Board of Education 

Oregon Bureau of Labor 

Oregon Council of Churches 

Portland Metropolitan Humsui Relations Commission 

RIPON Society 

Salem Area Human Rights Commission 

State Human Rights Advisory "Council 

Urban League of Portland 

Valley Migrant League 

Willamette University 



5630 



STATE HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS 

Mr. Herbert L. Amerson, Chairman 
Mr. Clennente Atkinson, Vice Chairmaua 
Mr. James A. Meyer, Vice Chairman 
Mr. Carlos A. Rivera, Executive Secretary- 



Mr. Dwain Abbott, Milwaukie Mr 

Dr. Joe Alman, Eugene Mr 

*Mr. Herbert L. Amerson, Portland Mr 

*Mr. Clemente Atkinson, Salem Miss 

*Mr. Ted Baugh, Portland Hon. 

Mr. Dick Bogle, Portland *Mr. 

Mr. J. Kenneth Brody, Portland Mr. 

*Mr. Kevin Collins, Portland Mr. 

Mrs. Regina Flowers, Portletnd Mrs 

Mr. Mike Forrester, Astoria Mr. 

Mr. Walter N. Fuchigami, Portland *Mr. 
*Mr. William Galbreath, Milton -Freewater Mr. 

*Mrs. Betty Golding, Portland Mr. 

♦Mr. Ben Graham, Daillas Mr. 



Norman Lindstedt, Portland 
Ernesto Lopez, Eugene 
Louis Marquez, Nyssa 

Donna Mashia, Portletnd 

Pat McCarthy, Salem 
James A. Meyer, Portlzind 
Richard Nanstoll, Portland 
Nathan W. Nickerson, Portland 

Marie Norris, Klamath Feills 
Ross Ragland, Klamath Falls 
Carlos A. Rivera, Portland 
Don Robinson, Eugene 
Trigve Vik, Eugene 
Harry Ward, Portland 



MIGRANT LABOR TASK FORCE 
Herbert L. Amerson 

Clemente Atkinson 

Kevin Collins 

Walter N. Fuchigami 

William Galbreath 

Donna Mashia 

Carlos A. Rivera 

Harry Ward 



* Executive Committee 



5631 



PROGRAM 

8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. Registration 

9:00 a.m. -9:30 a.m. Introductory Remarks : 

The Honorable Don Wilner, Moderator 

Welcome by Norman O. Nilsen, Commissioner 
Oregon Bureau of Labor 

Introduction of the guest speaker by Carlos A. 
Rivera, Conference Co -ordinator 

9:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m. Remarks by Cong. Edward R. RoybJtl 

"The National Scene" 

10:00 a.m. -10:20 a.m. Morning break 

10:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m. Remarks by Philip Montez, U. S. Connmia- 

sioner on Civil Rights, Los Angeles 
"Observations on the Regionail Scene" 

11:00 a.m. -11:20 a.m. History of Migrant Legislation in Oregon 

by Don Wilner 

11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. History of the Mexican American Migrcuit 

*" by Frank Martinez 

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch break 

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Education Workshop, Gilbert Anzaldua, 

Chairman. Hecilth & Housing Workshop, 
David Aguilar, Chairman. Farm Labor & 
Civil Rights Workshop, Pablo Ciddi 
Chairman. 

3:00 p.m. -3:20 p.m. Afternoon break 

3:30 p.m. -4:00 p.m. Finzil workshop reports & recommendations 



I 



5632 




STATE HUMAN RIGHTS 
ADVISORY COUNCIL 

403 STATE OFFICE BLDG. • PORTLAND, OREGON • 97201 • Ph. 226-2161, Ext. 555 



NORMAN O. NILSEN 

Commiuloncr of Labor 

RUSSELL ROGERS 

Admtniltratof, 
Civil Sight! DIvlilon 



HERBERT L. AMERSON 

Council Chairman 

CLEMENTE ATKINSON 

NORMAN LINOSTEDT 

VIca-Chalrman 



December 9, 1970 

The Honorable Norman O. Nilsen 
Oregon Bureau of Labor 
State Office Building 
Portland, Oregon 972 01 

Dear Commissioner Nilsen: 

It is my privilege to transmit to you the Report of the Migrant 
Labor Task Force. 

Since the Task Force's first nneeting on July 10, 1970, the nnembers 
have been actively engaged in fulfilling their responsibilities under 
the law and in attempting to meet the charge which you set before 
them. They have been reviewing the social and economic conditions 
faced by the agricultural labor force, and they have now offered 
recomnnendations which they deem to be appropriate. 

The Council Task Force Members appreciate the cooperation from 
the Bureau of Labor Staff which made every effort to provide the 
Members with information on labor legislation and conditions in 
Oregon so that the members would have a firm foundation for their 
r econnmendations . 

I sincerely hope that the governmentcil and private agencies with whom 
they have cooperated, as well as the agricultural community, have 
benefited from their efforts. 



Sincerely, 



Herbert L. Amerson 
Chairman 



5633 




STATE HUMAN RIGHTS 
ADVISORY COUNCIL 

403 STATE OFFICE BLDG. • PORTLAND, OREGON • 97201 • Ph. 226-2161 , Ext. 555 



NORMAN O NILSEN 

Commiiiioner of libct 

RUSSEIL SOGERS 

Admini.li.lor. 

Civil RIghli Division 

HERBERT L AMERSON 

Council Chairman 



December 9, 1970 



Mr. Herbert L. Amerson, Chairman 
State Human Rights Advisory Council 
c/o Pacific Northwest Bell 
1900 S. W. 4th 
Portland, Oregon 97201 

Dear Mr. Amerson: 



CARLOS A. RIVERA The Migrant Labor Task Force of the State Human Rights Advisory Council 

Executive secrei.ry j^j^g asked me to transmit this Report to you for your consideration. 

The Task Force meetings and Hearings have proved a forum for Advisory Council members 
and others to exchange ideas on the problems of migrant farm labor in the state of Oregon. 
The multifaceted nature of these problems and the seemingly conflicting views held by 
different citizen groups underscores the need for such forums to assist in arriving at 
acceptable solutions. 

A number of recommendations have been considered by the Task Force; they are detailed 
in this report. While they are all important, I would like to draw special attention to four 
of the recomnnendations of the Task Force: 

(1) Extension of the right of collective bargaining to agriculturcil labor; 

(2) Extension of the mininnum wage to all agricultural workers; 

(3) Extension of unemployment compensation coverage to agricultural labor; 

(4) Establishment of Government financed centred farm camp housing. 

The assistance of the Oregon Bureau of Labor Stsiff in providing a climate in which the Task 
Force can be most effective is greatly appreciated. No request has gone unheeded. Parti- 
cularly important to the functioning of the Task Force has been the assistance from the Wage 
and Hour Division of the Bureau. 

I am very grateful to the individusil Task Force Members not only for their time and energies, 
but also for the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect which has pervaded our deliberations. 

Sincerely, 



0<***-^ ><?^i!^2«**fc^ 



Carlos A. Rivera 
Executive Secretary 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 17 



RALTH TAfWOKOUOH, TCX.. CHAIRMAN 



HAROLD K. HUOHU. U 



5634 



QlCwiicb Alette* r£>enaie 



IS, sr*rw Diiixcn>R 

. acNUUu. couNsD. WASHINGTON. D.C. ZOStO 

December 1, 1970 



Mr. Carlos Rivera, Executive Director 
Oregon State Human Relations Advisory Council 
403 State Office Building 
Portland, Oregon 

Dear Mr. Rivera: 

Thank you very much for your kind invitation to attend your 
Migrant Conference. I deeply regret that the press of Senate 
business and schedule conflicts and complications make it 
impossible for me to come out to Oregon at this time. 

Hearings before the Migratory Labor Subcommittee have well 
documented the economic and political powerlessness that is the 
plight of the migrant and seasonal farmworker, and the myriad of 
problems has been documented throughout the country a thousand 
times over. Now is the time for constructive action at the federal, 
state and local level. In this regard, the State of Oregon is to be 
commended for its efforts to involve all interested parties as par- 
ticipants in the development of a positive program to solve the 
problems of wages, housing, bi-lingual education, health, and coverage 
under various social and worker benefit programs. 

I wish you success in your endeavors, for the guarantee of 
Justice and human dignity for the farmworker will reflect favorably 
on the entire agriculture industry in Oregon and the Nation. 



With warm regards* 



Sincerely, 

Walter F. Handale 

Chairman 

Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 



5635 

NOTE: 

The testimony on the following pages has been submitted 
to the Conference by the Honorable Joe J. Bernal, of 
the 26th Senatorial District of Texas, including the city 
of San Antonio, Texas. He regrets the fact that he 
could not be with us today but asked that his statement 
be included as part of the record of the proceedings. 
Senator Bernal is one of the outstanding leaders of the 
Chicano Movement in the United States today. 



5636 



Speech by: State Senator Joe J. Bernal 

District 26, San Antonio, Texas 
TO: Migrant-Labor Conference 

Portland, Oregon 

Saludes a todos Ustedes conferencistas que estan asistiendo a 
esta junta de migrantes. Los felicito por su inter^ indicado por su 
presencia aqui . 

Tambien des6o expresar grefcias al Oregon Bureau of Labor tanto como 
a Carlos Rivera por el inter^ que este departamento, as i" como el Sr. 
Rivera han desenpenado en promo ver esta conferencia. Pero, porque hay 
entre Ustedes algunos desafortunados que no hablan o entienden la lengua 
de los ahgeles y de los santos - le sigo pues^en ingles: 1 

A conference is as good as the results it brings. Nothing, of 
course, will be accomplished if you have come here just to have a good J 
time. Along with good times, don't forget we have a "causa" that 
should mobilize all of us to speak against the many bad things wrong with 
the treatment agricultural workers are getting. I would like to enumerate 
some recent adverse occurences, as well as mention those bad situations that 
have been around for a long time. I'll mention the following, which 
I don't like now, yesterday , or ever, and which we need to correct if we 
are to have a good life for ourselves and our children to follow: 

1. I don't like Cesar Chavez being put in jail. He is protecting 
the best interests of our people - in attempting to do what is recognized 
as very American - to bargain collectively. We need to support him... 
thereby supporting ourselves. 



5637 



2. I don't like what the Nixon Administration has done to our 
Chicanes. The resignations of Hilary Sandoval, Henry Quevedo, and Martfn 
Castillo are indicative of the Chicano's position (which seems to be 
opposed by the Administration) that equal opportunity and social justice 
cannot and should not be negotiated. We should not be satisfied with 
just a handful of Chicanos being named to positions of trust. Our 
satisfaction should come with government-supported programs which 

would meet the needs of our people. 

3. Our food programs are in a mess. A survey by University of 
Texas Medical School at Galveston found that in Texas - su'casa, y 
mrcasa, they found a return of "endemic goiter," a disease that was 
virtually eradicated thirty years ago. They also found an "alarming 
prevalence" of diseases commonly associated with undernourishment. We 
need a nationally supported Food Stamp Program, so that our children 
won't suffer from brain injury caused by mal nourishment. 

4. I don't like to see 147,000 farm migrants leave Texas each 
year because "Chicanos like to wander." We should correct the situation 
by making sure, through national law, that aliens crossing the border 
into the United States do not affect the wages and working conditions 

of Chicanos similarly employed. Good neighborliness with Mexico should 
begin with dissolving the competition growers and government cause 
among the very low wage earner from Mexico with Chicano migrants from 
the United States. (Forty-two percent of Mexican commuters are in 
farm labor.) 

But we are not going to do or accomplish much if we take the 
attitude taken by Glen E. Garrett, Executive Director of the so-called 



5638 



Texas Good Neighbor Commission, which has the charge: "to survey 
conditions and study problems related to migrant labor in Texas." In his 
annual report of 1969, he states the following concerning the complex 
commuter problem: "This is a difficult question to answer since we do 
not really know who or what to blame and since we are so poorly informed 
on the socio-economic implication of the situation." The growers and 
mamby-pamby politicians, who are afraid of the Texas Farm Bureau, as well 
as the United States Farm Bureau, are the reason. They have wanted, 
demanded, and maintained a cheap labor pool which is beneficial to them 
and their special interests. 

5. Dr. Jose" Cardenas , Superintendent of the Edgewood Independent 
School District in San Antonio, two years ago in his report to the 
United States Commission on Civil Rights, estimated the school drop-out 
rate of Texas migrants close to ninety percent. He also stated that 
"school administrators in the ninety school districts in Texas with the 
largest migrant enrollment estimate that one-fifth of migrant children 
NEVER enroll in any school..." I don't think the situation has changed 
measurably since that report in 1968. And it won't change, if legislation 
presently in Congress, does not go beyond its hearing stages. 

6. We all recognize that the migrant farm worker is the lowest paid 
worker in the United States. The partial reason for this is that migrant 
work is seasonal or part-time. The other reason is more real and more 
complex. I think migrants have been looked at as non-people, like the 
old plantation "nigger" who wasn't quite people. This is one of the 
reasons why the farm worker nationally makes $1.59 per hour compared to 
the factory worker at $3.28 per hour. 



5639 



There are so many areas of concern when one thinks of migrants that 
it i£ difficult to provide an easy out. 

To each of you as migrants, I would say, voice your concerns 
politically. Register to vote in Edingburg, in San Antonio, in Crystal 
City, in Cotulla, etc. And when you are home, vote for your friends 
and against your enemies. The enemy includes los mal inches. Sometime 
they are the worst because they are wolves in MEXICANO clothing. They 
are raza with a little "r." They don't speak about our problems. And 
they don't go to our political rallies. They will tell you they are 
Americans and not Chicanes because the word Chicano offends them. Their 
last names are like yours and mine. Vote against them like you would 
vote against a Mexican-hating gringo - and you know him well. 

The power of your vote means that you can have a real voice city, 
county, state, and federal government. The people in these offices can 
provide meaningful governmental programs which will give you a just 
minimum wage, unemployment compensation, workmen's compensation, and a 
real equal opportunity for employment and for your children, equality of 
opportunity in the schools. Or they can sit on their brains and do 
nothing because you aren't going to vote them out of office. 

The other suggestion I have is for you to unite whenever and 
wherever you can. The thought of being a united people is beautiful. 
And the first step to bring our people into a united effort, is to join 
together, and bargain collectively. Join up with the United Farm Workers 
Organizing Committee. United we stand and divided we fall - is not 
only a good saying for the United Fifty States, but for our RAZA. 
One of the reasons why we are in the situation we have been in, is^ 
that we have been divided. The UFWOC would provide you that essential 
unity. 



5640 



While you vote and try to change adult life that way - the other 
half would be concern for our children. For them, I would suggest we 
try to keep them in school as long as possible. We should sacrifice 
all we need to sacrifice to better their lives and their opportunities. 
I don't think there are too many of us who can't look at our parents 
who, as mine, went only to the fourth grade, - nuestros padrecitos y 
madrecitas que por el sacrificio del sudor, lagrimas, y muchos 
coscorones nos dieron ma's qu^'lo^que ellos habian tenido. 

A la misma vez no hay que olvidar - tenemos una historia, una 
idioma, una musica, en total, una cultura que debemos preservar. Aunque 
todos somos Amiercanos - y aunque tenemos orgullo por serlo - sabemos que" 
somos de descendencia Mexicana. Que somos Chicanes - dedicados a lo 
mejor de dos mundos, y que nadie no los va a qui tar. 

HojalaTy tengan gran exito en ^sta conferencia. 



5641 



INTRODUCTION 

Severcil times in past years commissions, task forces and interagency committees 
have been formed dealing with specific problems in the nnigrant farm labor area 
and studies have been conducted to solve these problems. The problems have not 
been solved; the time for studies is over; the time for action is now. 

Oregon has no proud record of leadership in the area of agricultural farm labor. 
Since 1959 when a package of five Bills were passed, a totaJ. of 18 Bills have been 
introduced in the legislature having to do with migrant labor problems. Of these 
18 only 7 have been passed; 4 of these 7 worked against the best interests of nnig- 
rants, dealing with unemiployment compensation, collective bargaining, anti-picket- 
ing and labor relations. The three Bills that did pass do not adequately provide any 
remedy or any marked improvement of migrant worker conditions in the state of 
Oregon. 

The Migrant Labor Task Force recognizes that agriculture is vital to the well- 
being of the whole state of Oregon. We are also aware that the protection and 
encouragement of the agricultureil industry, where necessary, is an obligation of 
the state. It is that form of protection that is in question. The discriminatory 
exclusion of the agricultural worker from coverage of legislation that would give 
him the power to improve his economic and social condition is in effect assisting 
the farmer in keeping his costs down. In actuality the Oregon legislature has 
been subsidizing the individual farmer at the cost of the farnnworker. 

Legislation must focus on much more basic humanitarian interests in insuring 
the farmworker a decent life as measured by the currently accepted minimum 
standards of our society. The well-being of all Oregoniajis, including farmworkers. 



5642 

( 

should be the primary goal of our Legislature. Unfortunately, this has not been | 
the case. Those employed in agricultural labor are entitled to the same rights 
and privileges as other workers and the laws of the state of Oregon should not 
discriminate against such individuals. 

At this time ajid place in history, Mexican Americans constitute the largest 
minority group in the state of Oregon numbering well over 35, 000. The majority 
of these Oregonians were at one time if not now employed in seasonal agricultural 
work. During the peak of harvest time, an approximate 40 to 50, 000 migrant 
farmworkers come into our state. The majority of these farmworkers are also 
Mexican Americaji. They bring with them a great culture, a great heritage cind 
a great language. It is to our shame that to date, we continue to reject their 
valuable contribution not only towards building a better Oregon, but a greater 
country as well. 

Oregon is at a crossroads. The people of Oregon must make a decision; and that 
decision is whether or not to support the forces of chajige for a better Oregon or 
to support the status quo. The people of Oregon as reflected by their Legislators 
must make that decision. In the final analysis, they must decide whether or not 
every Oregonian regardless of his national origin or native language is entitled 
as is any other citizen to the American promise of a full and equcil opportunity to 
share in the good life that can be offered by a dynamic, prosperous ► democratic 
society. 



5643 



Composition, Role and Responsibilities 

The Migrant Labor Task Force was created by the State Human Rights 
Advisory Council on July 10, 1970, by the Chairman. It consists of 
eight members. The Chairman provided that the Task Force sheill: 

a. cooperate with all governmental agencies and committees 
concerned with agricultural labor. 

b. cooperate with private voluntary or community groups having 
as their prime concern problems involving agricultural labor. 

c. seek effective methods for the improvement of living, working 
and related problems of agricultursil workers. 

d. recommend policies to be adopted to achieve these purposes. 
The Task Force held a series of formal meetings since the date of 
their inception of which the majority were in the mid -Willamette valley 
and one in Eastern Oregon. Several of the meetings were scheduled 

to personally view farm labor housing and educational facilities design- 
ed specifically to benefit migrant workers. 

Ontario - A tour of Malheur County Farnn Labor Camps and a 

Public Hearing was held at which time testimony was 
presented by the following organizations: 



Oregon State Employment Service 
Malheur County Farm Bureau 
Onion Growers Association 
Wheat Growers Association 
Amalgamated Sugar Company 
National Farmers Organization 
Oregon Potato Commission 
Sugar Beet Growers Association 
Treasure Valley Migrant Program 
American G.I. Forum 



5644 

Woodburn - A public meeting was held with the stsiff of the Valley 

Migrant League to educate the Task Force members on . 
the workings of this OEO funded migrant project. This 
included a tour of migrant labor camps in Marion and 
Yamhill Counties. 

Salem - A public Hearing was held at which time testimony was 

taken from representatives from the following groups: 

Oregon Farm Bureau Federation 

Valley Migrant League 

Yamhill County Human Relations Council 

Medford Pear Growers Association 

Hood River Growers 

Diamond Canners 

Portlaind - A meeting was held with various state agencies charged 

with the responsibility of enforcing farm labor caunp statutes. 

Among those agencies in attendaince were: 

The Oregon Bureau of Labor 
The Oregon Board of Health 
The Oregon Employment Service 

In addition to this, several meetings were held with the 
Wage and Hour Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor as well as a represen- 
tative of the U. S. Department of Labor to report on enforcement of state 
cind federcil statutes pertaining to migrant workers in the state of Oregon. 

The following members of the Oregon Bureau of Labor staff have 
participated in the proceedings of the Migrant Labor Task Force at various 

times: 

John R. Gustaison, Assistant Commissioner of Labor 

Edward J. Hawes, Administrator, Wage and Hour Division 



5645 



A. W. (Bud) Gardner, Asst. Administrator, Wage & Hour 
Division. 

H. J. Belton Hamilton, Assistant Attorney General and 

Russ Rogers, Administrator, Civil Rights Division 

In order to expand their own base of information and to promote better 

understanding of the conditions faced by agricultural workers, the Task Force 

encouraged the active involvement of public officieils ctnd representatives of 

various private agencies in the affairs of the Task Force. During this time, 

the following individuals were consulted by the Task Force on the nneauis of 

program improvement: 



Gilbert Anzaldua 

Oregon Board of Education 

Boren Chertkov 

U. S. Senate Migratory 

Labor Subcommittee 

Pablo Ciddio 

Governor's Advisory Committee 

on Chicano Affairs 

Epifanio CoUazo 
Alianza 

Rev. Ted Crouch 
Council of Churches 

Jose de la Isla. 
American Association of 
Junior Colleges 

Kin-i Frankel 
Alianza 

Carolyn Jackson 
Demoforum 



Vera Katz 

Kennedy Action Corps 

Jeff Kilnner 
Alianza 

John Little 

Valley Migrant League 

Frank Martinez 
Valley Migrant League 

Molly Miller 
Alianza 

John Perry 
Alianza 

Margot Perry 
Kennedy Action Corps 

Jose Rios 

Centro Chicano Cultural 

Hon. Don Wilner 
State Senator 



Recommendations 



During the course of its proceedings, the Task Force has adopted 
recommendations with regard to various programs, activities and 



5646 



proposals having an impact upon the migrajit worker ajid the agri- 
cultural community. Included are recommendations pertaining to the 
coordination of government services; labor standards and civil rights; 
migrajit housing; health, education and welfare services and equity of 
services. 
Coordination of Government Services 

1. We recommend that the Labor Commissioner urge the Governor and 
the Legislature to re-establish an Inter -Agency Committee on Migra- 
tory Labor consisting of representatives of all agencies deeding with 
migrant or ex-migrant workers. 

2. We recommend to the Labor Commissioner that he urge the Governor 
to assign a member of his principal executive staff the specific 
responsibility for staffing and coordinating an Inter -Agency Committee. 

3. We recommend that the Labor Commissioner urge the Governor to 
direct the Head of each appropriate department or agency dealing 
with migrant workers to formally designate one individual who would 
be particularly responsible for departmental activity concerning mig- 
rants and ex-migrants. Such an individual should himself be Spanish- 
speaking and should be qualified as a result of national origin or 
personal experience to deal directly with migrant workers. 

Labor Standards ajnd Civil Rights 

4. We recommend the extension of the state minimum wage statute to 
cover all agricultural workers paid on a piece rate basis. Repeal 

of this exclusionary section of the statute will only mean that farmers 
will have to pay their agricultural labor, 18 years of age or over. 



J 



5647 



at least the applicable minimum wage whether they work on a piece 
rate or hourly rate. 

5. We recommend that the activities of the Wage and Hour Division of 
the Oregon Bureau of Labor be endorsed and that additional budgetary 
support be given this Division for enforcement purposes. 

6. We recommend the repeal of the anti -picketing provision of ORS 
662.815 which prohibits anyone not a "regular employe" from 
picketing "any farm, ranch or orchard where perishable crops are 
being harvested. " The Attorney General of the state of Oregon stated 
on November 17, 1970, in a 23 page Opinion (No. 6780) that the 
constitutionality of this statute is "uncertain. " 

7. We recommend the extension of the right of collective bargaining 
to agricultural labor. 

8. We recommend the extension of unemployment compensation coverage 
to agricultural labor. 

9. We recommend the adoption of more stringent child labor laws for 
those employed in agriculture. 

10. We recommend that the agriculturad industry provide handwashing and 
drinking water facilities for farmworkers in the fields. 

11. We reconnmend that a surety bond be required of each Farm Labor 
Contractor licensed by the state of Oregon. 

12. We recommend the licensing of crew leaders by the state of Oregon. 
Migrant Housing 

13. We recommend that the sum of at least $150, 000 be requested in the 

Executive Budget for migrant housing for the planning and implementa- 



5648 



tion of a statewide program for utilizing available federal facilities. 
The state should assume control of these facilities, upgrade their 
qucility and convert them for use as agricultural labor housing and 
rest camps. An example of such a facility would be Camp Adair in 
Benton County. 

14. We reconnmend the establishment of federal/state financed centred, 
farm labor camp housing. 

15. We recommend the adoption of the Federal minimum standards as 
set by the U. S. Department of Labor by the Oregon Board of Health 
for Oregon farm labor cannps. 

16. We recommend the enforcement of existing farm labor camp housing 
and sanitation codes be transferred from the county sanitarian to the 
Migrajit Health Project sponsored by the Oregon Board of Health. 

17. We recommend that the staff of the Wage and Hour Division of the 
Oregon Bureau of Labor be augmented in the next biennium by the 
addition of at least six additional seasoned camp inspectors. They 
should all be Spanish -speaking. 

Health, Education zmd Welfare Services 

18. We recommend that the continued operation of the Federed Migrant 
Health Act Program in Oregon be endorsed. 

19. We reconnmend that special programs of bilingual instruction be 
undertaken by school systems wherever migrants settle and that ORS 
336. 078 which limits classroom instruction to English be revised to 
allow bilingucd education. This will make certain that migreint school 
children are given equal opportunity to secure a quality education. 



^ 
i 



5649 



20. We recommend support for the special migrant education program 
under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
administered by the Oregon Board of Education. 

2 1. We recommend changes in the U. S. Department of Agriculture 's 
Food Stamp Program such as: (a) income computation on an annual 
basis; (b) combination food-stamp - commodity programs; (c) 
simplified certification procedures. 
Equity of Services 

22. We recommend that all materials designed for or concerning 
migrants be printed in both English eind Spanish. 

2 3. We reconnmend that the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Bureau of 
Labor expand its compliance programs to make certain that Mexican 
Americans are given equal opportunity in all areas of endeavor; and 
that the State Human Rights Advisory Council implement and expajid 
its affirmative action programs to assure the spirit as well as the 
letter of the law. 

24. We recommend that the Labor Commissioner urge the Department of 

Employment which is also charged by the legislature with aji area of 

responsibility for migrant workers to utilize their Rural Manpower 

Service Division to develop and implement a program of information 

to growers on the rights as well as the responsibilities of seasonal 

workers; through such a program, migrant workers could be more 

fully informed of their rights and the services available to them under 

the law. Furthermore, we recommend that the Labor Commissioner 

transmit a copy of this Report to the Department of Employment for 
its consideration of the recommendation. 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 18 



5650 



R. P. (Bob) Sanchez 

ATTORNEY AND COUNSELLOR AT LAW 
aaa so. i7n iouirra) btrsst 
MCALUEN. TSXAS 78301 



July 22, 1970 



Senator Walter Mondale 
United States Senate 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 
Washington, D. C. 20510 

Dear Senator Mondale: 

As you know, the chairman of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare 
Committee, our distinguished Senator Yarborough, was defeated in 
the recent Texas elections by Lloyd M. Bejitsen, Jr. I note in the 
Texas press t6da.y that Mr. Bentsen has offered his support and endorse- 
ment to your subcommittee hearings. 

As a Mexican- American, a Valley resident and a Democrat, 1 am 
deeply grateful for the energy and courage which you and your 
Subcommittee have shown in focusing national attention on the plight of 
the Mexican- American migrant. And as you further know, the greatest 
single concentration of migrant farm workers in the nation is in South 
Texas. 

But before you burden yourself with Mr. Bentsen, let me point out a few 
things about this man who now professes such sympathy for our cause: 

1. Mr. Bentsen 's business interests include banks, hotels and tremendous 
land holdings in South Texas. Some of his holdings have been exploitative 
and discriminatory, profiting from the near-enslavement of Mexican- 
American workers in the Valley. 

2. While in Congress during the fifties, Mr. Bentsen opposed legislation 
which would have stepped up law enforcement efforts, to curtail illegal 
"wetback" immigration. Mr. Bentsen supported extension of the infamous 
bracero labor program, and bracero workers were employed on the 
Bentsen properties. 



i 



i 



5651 



3. Mr. Bentsen, as a Congressman, fought efforts to establish wage 
minimums for farm workers. 

4. He opposed legislation which would have given the U. S. Border Patrol 
the right to pursue and arrest illegal immigrants who were hiding and 
working on Valley ranches (and who were thus competing with and 
lowering the employment opportunities for our own migrants). 

5. He opposed legislation to end discrimination in federal hiring, which 
would have meapt a great deal to Mexican- Americans. 

In summary, may I respectfully suggest that Mr. Bentsen 's record speaks 
eloquently of his concern for migrants and Mexican-Americans in general. 
He has consistently preyed on our political and economic weakness and 
exploited our people cynically and apparently without regret. 

The Bentsen stance is not unique; it is characteristic of a monolithic 
power structure which exists in this State. Governor Preston Smith's 
callous disregard of state police brutality against Mexican- Americans, 
the frequent use of Texas Rangers to intimidate our people and the blatant 
discrimination a'gainst Mexican-Americans by the state government are 
everyday products of a political machine which has victimized the poor in 
this State for decades. Until that structure is altered, I have little hope 
for meaningful improvement in the lives of farm workers or other Mexican- 
Americans. 

Really, 1 would be grateful if this letter could be incorporated with your 
other testimony and made a part of your Subcommittee hearings. 

Sincerely, 

R. P. (Bob) Sanchez 
RPS/an 

SPliCiAI. iiM,l\'iJ<Y 



Pieces 

and 



Farm Labor Housing in the United States 



5653 



Pieces 

tfi and 

Scraps 



Farm Labor Housing in the United States 



by LEE P. RENO 



September 1970 




RURAL HOUSING ALLIANCE 

Suite 500 Dupont Circle Building 

1346 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. 

Washington. D.C. 20036 

202/659-1680 



5654 



THE 

TION 

ucat 

and 

prov 

to p 

and 

to r 

memb 

buti 

Off i 

comm 

RHA 

of E 

Stat 



RURAL 
AL SE 
i ona I 
adv i s 
i de h 
rov i d 
data 
u ra I 
ersh i 
ons , 
ce of 
endat 
and d 
conom 
es Go 



HOUSIN 
LF-HELP 

organ i 
ory ser 
omes fo 
e a cen 
can be 
I ow- i nc 
p organ 
g rants 

Econom 
ions in 
o not n 
ic Oppo 
vernmen 



G ALL 
HOUS 
zati o 
V i ces 
r I ow 
tral 
CO I I e 
ome h 
i zati 
f rom 
i c Op 
this 
ecess 
rtun I 
t. 



lANCE, forme 
ING ASSOCIAT 
n, organized 

to i nd i V i du 
- i ncome f ami 
i nf ormat i on 
cted and eva 
ous i ng group 
on, supDorte 
f oundat i ons 
portun i ty . 

report are 
ari I y ref I ec 
ty or any ot 



d i n 


1966 a 


ION, 


i s a n 


to 


provi de 


ais 


and gro 


i ies 


in run 


poi n 


t where 


luat 


ed and 


s an 


d spons 


d by 


i nd i V i 


and 


grants 


The 


cone 1 us 


those of th 


t th 


e V i ews 


her 


agency 



s the INTERNA- 
on-p rof i t ,ed- 

tech n i ca I 
ups seeking to 
a I areas ; and 

exper i ence 
made available 
ors . RHA i s a 
dual contr i - 
from the 
ions and re- 
e author and 

of the Office 
of the Un i ted 



Copyright 1970 by 
Rural Housing Alliance 
1346 Connecticut Avenue, N.W 
Washington, D.C. 20036 



Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 79-141814 



5655 



There ie a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There 
ia a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize . There ie a 
failure here that topples all our success. 



John Steinbeck 

The Grapes of Wrath 



5656 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



I would like to express my gratitude to the entire staff 
of the Rural Housing Alliance, without whose support this 
study could not have been completed. I am especially 
grateful to George Rucker and Phil Brown for their gen- 
eral knowledge and assistance in research. I am obli- 
gated to Clay L. Cochran for his invaluable criticism and 
interest and help in the formation of the details and 
thrust of the study. I am also extremely grateful to 
Robert Hiatt and Lucy Norman for their editorial assis- 
tance. 

Beyond the staff of RHA, my obligations are too numerous 
to list. However, special thanks must go to Elinor Blake, 
who at the time was doing volunteer work for the Stani- 
slaus County Community Action Commission and to John 
Kelly, directing attorney at the Modesto office of Cali- 
fornia Rural Legal Assistance for their help In locating 
people and documents which contributed to my understand- 
ing of the farm labor housing situation In that part of 
the country. In the State of Washington, I am Indebted 
to Robert Wiley and Ray Seaman, County Supervisors, Farm- 
ers Home Administration, for their cooperation. 

Lee P. Reno 
September 1970 



Photo Credits 



George Ba II i s - Cover, 10, 34 

Farmers Home Administration - 88, 93 

Rural Housing Alliance - All Others 



5657 



CONTENTS 



LIST OF TABLES 
INTRODUCTION 



Part 
1 . 


THE NEED 






The Home Base 


States 




Florida 






Texas 






Ca 1 i f orn i a 





The Stream States 

11. AN EFFECTIVE PROGRAM, NOW HISTORY 
The Farm Security Administration 

III. MINOR PROGRAMS AFFECTING FARM LABOR 
HOUSING 

Migrant Housing Codes and Code 
Enforcement 

The Office of Economic Opportunity 
Se I f -He I p Hou s i ng 
Hous i ng Services 
Temporary Housing -■ California 

IV. THE FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION FARM 
LABOR HOUSING LOANS AND GRANTS 

The Agency 

The Leg i s I at i on 

The Loan Program 
Expanding the Program 

The Regu I at i on s 

Eligibility for Loans and Grants 
Loan and Grant Purposes 
Amount of Loans and Grants 
Some Limitations on Loans and 

Gra nts 
Financing Rates and Terms 



25 

35 
35 

49 

49 
54 



67 
67 
69 

77 



5658 



Technical and Other Services 
Construction and Development 

Po I i c i es 
Application and Process for Loans 
and Grants 

Results of the Program 
Funds 
Where the Funds Have Gone - by 

State 
Who in the States Get the Funds 
Effect of Grants on the Program 
Restrictions on the Grant Program 
New Restrictions on Eligibility 

for Grants 

Some Examples of Projects 

Background and Need - Stanislaus 

Cou nty , Ca I i f orn i a 
Farm Labor Housing Project •- 

Stanislaus County, California 
Background and Need - Othello and 

Royal City, Washington 
Farm Labor Housing Project - 

Othello, Wash i ngton 
Farm Labor Housing Project - 

Royal City, Washington 
The Cost of Projects Built With 

Grant Funds 
The Cost of Operating and Maintain- 
ing the Pro j ects 
The Effect of an Inadequate Subsidy 

Other Problem Areas 



07 



126 



SOME CONCLUSIONS, 
RECOMMENDATIONS 



SUGGESTIONS AND 



What Ultimately Must be Done 

The Need for Direct Federal Action 
The Need for a New Agency 

The Need for Immediate Action 

FmHA Farm Labor Housing Amendments 
Creating a Strict National Standard 

for Migrant Labor Camps 
Broaden and Balance the Office of 
Economic Opportunity Migrant 
Division's Approach in the Field 
of Housing for Migrant and 
Seasonal Farm Workers 



I 3! 

I 32 

137 



1 



1 



5659 



A Final Note 



14 



APPENDIX A - Federal Regulations for 
Housing for Agricultural Workers 



APPENDIX B - California Temporary 
Hou s i ng Stat i st i cs 



5660 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table 

I Housing Conditions in Rural Areas - 

Florida Economic Sub Region 39. 

II Housing Conditions in Rural Areas - 

Texas Economic Sub Region 99. 

III Housing Conditions in Rural Areas - 

Texas Economic Sub Region 98. 

IV Type of Permanent Housing by Stability. 

V Number of Rooms by Size of Family Unit. 

VI States With More Than 10,000 Migrants 

and Dependants in 1967-1968 
(Excluding Calif., Tex., and Fla.). 

VII Defects in Labor Camps in Michigan and 

Fou r Other States . 

VIM Number and Location of Farm Security 
Administration Camps in 1942. 

IX Obligation of Funds for Farm Security 

Administration's Migratory Labor 
Camps. 

X Number and Amount of Self-Help Housing 

Loans Obligated by State Cumulative 
From Inception Through June 30, 1970, 

XI Appropriations Made by Congress for 

Farm Labor Housing Insured Loans, 
Funds Actually Obligated by FmHA, 
by Fiscal Year 1962-1969. 

XII Appropriations Approved by Congress for 

Farm Labor Housing Grants and Funds 
Actually Obligated by FmHA by Fiscal 
Year 1966-1970. 



Page 



16 

17 
22 
24 



30-3 



42 



56 



89 



90 



5661 



Table 
XI I I 

XIV 
XV 

XVI 
XVI I 
XVI I I 



XIX 



Number of Loan and Grant Applications 
Received, Rejected and On Hand, 
From Inception of the FmHA Labor 
Housing Programs to March 31, 1970. 

Labor Housing Loans and Grants Approved 
Cumulative as of March 31, 1970. 

Dollars Loaned and Granted Through FmHA 
Labor Housing Program Per Migrant 
and Seasonal Farm Worker by State 
From Inception to March 31, 1970. 

Number and Amount of Grants Obligated 
by Year, Under FmHA Farm Labor 
Hou s i ng Prog ram . 

Distribution of Costs of FmHA Labor 
Housing Projects in Royal City, 
Washington, and Granada, Colorado. 

Comparison of Average Income and Expen- 
ditures of Selected FmHA Farm Labor 
Housing Projects (Dollars Per Unit 
Per Month ) . 

Total Per Unit Cost, Size of Grant, and 
Amount of Rent Per Unit Per Month 
Used to Retire Debt In Selected FmHA- 
Farm Labor Housing Projects. 



Page 



92 



94 



96 



00 



I 20 



122-123 



25 



5662 



INTRODUCTION 



Two-thl 


rds o 


and sma 


1 1 tO' 


farm workers 


the mos 


t poo 


averag i 


ng $ 1 


work in 


1969 


only of 


1 ow 


of the 


work. 


other g 


roups 


insurance, w^ 


laws; are on 


Act and 


M i n i 1 


c 1 uded 


from 1 


we 1 fare 


, and 


emp loye 


d in 


United 


State 



f the 
wns an 

I i ve 
r I y pa 
,435 p 
. ' Lo 
hour I y 
They 
, i.e. 
orkmen 
I y par 
mum wa 
catego 

manpo 
the th 
s. 



Natio 
d mos 
i n pa 
i d wo 
er wo 
w ann 
wage 
are 
, mos 
' S CO 
tial I 
ge la 
r i ca I 
wer t 
i rd m 



n's 
t of 
rt o 
rk i n 
rker 
ua I 
s, b 
af fo 
t ar 
mpen 
y CO 
ws; 

ass 
ra i n 
ost 



bad h 

the 
f it. 
g gro 

for 
ea rn i 
ut a! 
rded 
e not 
sat i o 
vered 
and m 
I stan 
ing p 
hazar 



ou s i ng 
Nation 
Farm 
ups in 
both f 
ngs ar 
so of 
fewer 

cover 
nor I 

by th 
any a r 
ce pro 
rogram 
dous o 



I s 
's 2 
wor 
the 
a rm 
e a 
the 
bene 
ed b 
a bor 
e So 
e ef 
gram 
s . 
ccup 



I n r 
. 6 m 
kers 

cou 
and 
resu 
seas 
fits 
y un 

re I 
c i a I 
feet 
s, g 
They 
at io 



una I a rea s 
i I I i on 

are among 
ntry , 
non-fa rm 
It not 
ona I nature' 

than most 
emp I oyment 
at i ons 

Secur i ty 
i ve I y ex- 
enera I 

are 
n in the 



I . U 
Serv i 
Stati 
Apr i I 
days 
and h 
from 
of fa 
and h 
$575 
to 24 
worke 
which 
Worke 
of wh 



. S. 
ce, " 
st i ca 
, 197 
of fa 
ad an 
f a rm 
rm wo 
ad an 
came 
9 day 
rs an 
$2,3 
rs" ( 
ich $ 



Depa 
The 
I Re 
0, T 
rm w 

ave 
wage 
rk) 

ave 
from 
s of 
d ha 
78 c 
more 
3,48 



rtme 
Hi re 
port 
able 
ork) 
rage 

won 
acco 
rage 

far 

far 
d an 
ame 

tha 
5 ca 



nt of Agr i 

d Farm Wor 

, " Agr i cu I 

7. "Casua 

accou nted 

i ncome i n 

k. "Seaso 

unted for 

i ncome i n 
m wage wor 
m Work) ac 
average i 
from farm 
n 250 days 
me from fa 



cult 
ki ng 
tura 



ure. 

For 

I Ec 



Eco 
ce o 
onom 



nomic Research 

f 1969, A 

ic Report No. 180 , 



I Workers" (less than 25 
for 43 percent of the workers 
1969 of $880 of which $8 1 was 
na I Workers" (25 to 149 days 
28 percent of the workers 

1969 of $1 ,238.28, of which 
k. "Regular Workers" ( I 50 
counted for 10 percent of the 
ncome in 1969 of $2,827 of 
wage work. "Year-round 

of farm work) averaged $3,594, 
rm wage work. 



• ;/ 



5663 



About ten percent of the farm workers are classified as 
"migratory." These workers travel outside the county 
where they usually live, not returning home each 
evening. Many travel great distances seeking employment, 
often existing under the worse circumstances immaginable. 
Their reward is small. In 1969 their income averaged 
$1,732, of which $891 came from farm wage work. 
Dr. Robert Coles of Harvard University, vividly describes 
the i r cond i t ion : -^ 



No group of .people I have worked with--in the South, 
in Appalachia, and in our northern ghettoes--tr i es 
harder to work, indeed travels all over the country 
working, working from sunrise to sunset, seven 
days a week when the crops are there to be harvested, 

There Is something ironic and special about that, 
too: in exchange for the desire to work, for th.e 
terribly hard work of bending and stooping to 
harvest our food, these workers are kept apart I ike 
no others, denied rights and privileges no others 
are denied, denied even halfway decent wages, asked 
to live homeless and vagabond lives, lives of virtual 
peonage, . . . 

I do not be I ieve the human body and the human mind 
were made to sustain the stresses migrants must 
face--worse stresses, I must say, than any I have 
seen anywhere in the world, and utterly unrecognized 
by most of us. Nor do I believe that a rich and 
powerful nation like ours, in the second half of the 
20th century, ought tolerate what was an outrage 
even centuries ago: child labor; forms of peonage; 
large-scale migrancy that resembles the social and 
political statelessness that European and Asian 



I bid 



3. Testimony of Dr. Robert Coles, in Hearings befor e 
the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor . 91st 
Congress, 1st Session, "The Migrant Subculture," 
Ju ly 28, I 969, Part 2, p. 335. 



5664 



refugees have known; and, finally, be it emphasized, 
for people who seek work and do the hardest possible 
work, a kind of primitive living that has to be 
seen, I fear, to be understood for what it does 
to men, women and most especially, children. 

The study that follows looks at the condition of housing 
in which farm workers live, with special emphasis on 
migrant housing. The brief descriptions document that a 
tremendous need for improved facilities exists. The study 
presents in some detail past and present programs designed 
to meet that tremendous need. It is a study of the pieces 
and scraps used by farm workers for shelter. It is a 
study of the pieces and scraps, called programs designed 
by the government to improve that shelter. 

Above all, the study should be read in context--the resources 
devoted by the government to assist and protect a terribly 
impoverished group of workers is an Indicting reflection 
of our system and institutions: a system that has pumped 
billions of dollars for direct subsidies and research into 
the agricultural industry which has gone far in eliminating 
family farms; a system which has caused commercial farms 
to flourish, blessed with the existence of a cheap, in- 
dentured and powerless labor supply. 



5665 



PARTI 



The Need 



In discussfng the need for more and better housing for our 
farmworker population in this paper no precise statistical 
showing is attempted, A showing of that sort would re- 
quire time and resources far beyond those available. Al- 
though that type of study is needed, i.e., one which would 
indicate precisely how many units are needed, where they 
should be located, their size and cost, it is recommended 
that it not be undertaken until there is a reasonable 
commitment to actually solve the problem. In short, there 
has been study enough. The need is undeniable. Therefore, 
this section will summarize studies done in the past and 
present views of individuals and groups who have seen and 
experienced farmworker housing conditions first hand. 



THE HOME BASE STATES 



A home base state is a state which the migrant farm worker 
claims as his domicile. He may live there only a few 
months out of the year, but when he is working elsewhere 
his ties are there. He may own a house, although this 
is rare. More likely he is a renter. Those possessions 
he has gathered which are too cumbersome to take on the 
trek away to the fields are left at the home base. If 
he has children, most of their schooling is received there, 
although they will probably be enrolled in schools in other 
states if school is in session when they are there. The 
home base is where his family ties are. He probably grew 
up there. When he dies fie will expect to be buried there; 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 19 



5666 



that Is, if he dies there or, if not, someone will pay 
the freight to get the body back. in short, the home base 
state is what the migrant calls home. 

Three home base states, Florida, Texas and California, are 
the biggest suppliers of migrant labor. Other southern 
and southwestern states also contribute. Migrants from 
Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky travel to the 
midwest and eastern seaboard in search of employment each 
year. Arizona and New Mexico are suppliers of farm labor 
for the western and mountain states. 



I ncr 

Stat 

supp 

larg 

some 

gran 

lod 

"set 

stre 

ma i n 

Some 

ba se 

Wash 

sea s 

ingt 



ea s i 
e re 
I ler 
est 

po i 
ts a 
by u 
tl in 
am s 

as 

eve 
. F 
ingt 
on i 
on a 



ngiy, 

I at i on 
s of m 
users, 
nt du r 
nd Ca I 
sing I 
g out" 
tates . 
agr i cu 
n m i gr 
or exa 
on may 
n sear 
t the 



the ho 

ship i 

i gra nt 

Flor 

i ng 19 

i f orn i 

33,386 

i n st 

Ma ny 

Itural 

ate se 

mp I e, 

trave 

ch of 

end of 



me base 
s becom 

farm I 
i da rep 
67-1 968 
a I ed a 

m i gra n 
ates fo 

of the 

or agr 
a sona I I 
farm wo 
I to Ca 
higher 

the wo 



-stream 
i ng mudd 
a borers 
orted us 
. ' Texa 
I I state 
ts.3 Al 
rmer I y c 
se "sett 
i cu I tu ra 
y from t 
rkers I i 
I i f orn i a 
wages . 
rk seaso 



state o 
led. T 
are a I s 
ing 77, 
s repor 
s du r i n 
so, man 
ons i der 
led out 
My re I 
heir ne 
V i ng in 
during 
Yet the 
n . 



r supp 
he thr 
o amon 
159 mi 
ted 96 
g the 
y migr 
ed to 
" n i g r 
ated I 
w I y aq 
the s 
the h 
y retu 



I i er-u ser 
ee largest 
g the 
grants at 
,3042 mi- 
same per- 
ants are 
be strictly 
ants re- 
a borers . 
u i red home 
tate of 
arvest 
rn to Wash- 



The housing problem for farmworkers in the traditional home 



I. U. S. Senate, Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. "The 
Migratory Labor Problem in the United States: 1969 report." 
91st Congress, 1st session; report No. 91-83. February 19, 
1969. Appendix A, p. 117. Migrants are defined as workers 
"...and family dependants who establish a temporary resi- 
dence while performing seasonal agricultural work at I or 
more locations away from the place he ca I I s home or home 
base. It does not include 'day haul' agricultural workers 
whose travels are limited to work areas within I day of his 
work I ocat ion." 



2 . I b i d-. 



128. 



Ibid. 



I 6 



5667 



base states is, in its simplest forrr, two-fold. First 
there is the problem that any rural area has with a large 
low-income population. Under our present system poor 
people can not afford housing on the open market. Most 
government housing programs don't reach them because of 
their extreme poverty. Programs designed to reach the 
poor through local institutions have most often failed 
because local governments are not responsive to the poors' 
needs. The second problem facing home base states is 
similar to that in stream states, i.e., one of providing 
adequate housing for an itinerant population that is 
needed for relatively short periods each year. The prob- 
lem, stated so simply, is actually enormous in economic 
terms . 



Florida 



Of the 92,000^ migrant farm laborers who call Florida 
their home, 99 percent live below a line forming the 
northern borders of Citrus, Marion, Volusia, and Flagler 
Counties. The I960 Census gives some indication of the 
condition of housing in that area. Of all rural non- 
farm housing units, 27 percent were substandard^ (see 
Table I). One can get a better idea of housing lived in 
by farm workers by looking at housing occupied by persons 
with earnings of less than $2,000.^ Twenty-eight per- 



4. Ibid ., p. I 17. Figure for number of home based migrants 
"inculdes migrants and family dependents who may, or may 
not, migrate with the worker in a given year." 

5. Substandard units include all units lacking some plumb- 
ing facilities, have no piped water, or are considered 
deteriorating or dilapidated. It does not include over- 
crowded living conditions which contribute significantly 

to the misery of many migrant families. 

6. Persons performing more than 25 days of farm work av- 
eraged a total of $1,793 from both farm and non-farm labor 
in 1968. In the South, this average was $ I , 4 I 5--$ I , 094 
for non-whites. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic 



5668 







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5669 



cent of the housing occupied by owners earning less than 
$2,000 was substandard and over 65 percent of the housing 
occupied by renters earning less than $2,000 was substand- 
a rd . 



Journalist Peter Kramer , wrote a series of articles that 
appeared in the St. Petersburg Times in 1965 and 1966, 
based upon his 
hou sing, he 



own experiences as 
wrote : ^ 



a m i grant worker 



On 



The pickers live in housing rented by the week, 
since they rarely can be sure where they'll be 
from month to month. "And you should see some 
of the places they call home," said the foreman, 
"Why them congressmen from Washington wouldn't 
even keep their dogs in them." 

I sought a room in several privately run camps 
inhabited by pickers to see the situation for 
myself. 

At Allen's Court, near the Cypress Citrus Plant 
in Eloise, I was offered a very small room with 
no bathroom or hot water and an ice box instead 
of a refrigerator for $12.50 per week. "We 
ain't got no rooms for single men costs more 
than $15 a week," the owner said proudly. 

Things were equally uninviting and expensive at 
Lewis' Court and Haven Trailer Court in Winter 
Haven, and B;A. Yon's camp in Eloise. 

I finally decided to live in luxury, taking a 
$ I 2 . 50-a-week room on the top floor of the Lake 
Region Hotel in Winter Haven. It was fully e- 
quipped with a sink, hot water and a bathroom 



Economic Research Service, Agricultural Economic Report 
No. 164 . "The Hired Farm Working Force of 1968, A Sta- 
Table 



t i st i ca I Report 



9, p. I 



7. Peter Kramer, "Migrant" Reprinted from The St. Peters - 
burg Times by Community Action Fund, Inc., 1966, p. 3. 



5670 



just down the hall. 

If those particular esta b M shments Fiave ceased to exist, 
or the rents have changed, others have undoubtedly taken 

their place. 




Farm Labor Houa- 
ingj Immokalee, 
Florida. 



Attorneys employed by the OEO funded South Florida Migrant 
Legal Services Program, Inc., which operates In the six 
southernmost counties in Florida, have made some especially 
poignant observations on non-labor camp housing for farm 
workers in their area.^ 



8. "Seasons in the Sun--A Preliminary Study of the Sea- 



10 



5671 



I n m 
you 
res i 
end . 
are 
i s n 
ly d 
w i nt 
as a 
does 
na nt 
cars 
an a 
stag 
I a nd 
f iel 



ost i ns 
are in 
de beca 
I n th 
constan 
ever st 
art i ng 
er (the 
re the 
not en 
poo I s 
with b 
bundanc 
nant po 
and g i 
d. 



tanc 
a ne 
u se 
e su 
tly 
i I I 
a bou 
d ry 
yard 
d at 
surr 
roke 
e of 
ol s 
ve t 



es I 
i g hb 
that 
mmer 
fill 
beca 
ton 

per 
s . 

the 
ound 
n w i 

tra 
of w 
he a 



t i s s 
orhood 

is wh 

the d 
ed wit 
u se of 

the s 
lod) t 
In the 

ditch 
I ng ea 
ndows , 
sh and 
ater a 
ppea ra 



tr i ki ng 

where 
ere the 
i tches 
h water 
the mo 
urf ace . 
he d i tc 

ra i ny 
es but 
ch of t 
tin ca 
garbag 
nd some 
nee of 



I y c 
farm 

pav 
next 

and 
squ i 
Du 
hes 
seas 
sta n 
he h 
ns , 
e st 
t i me 
a va 



I ea r wh 
I a bore 
ed road 
to the 
the wa 
tos con 
ring th 
are dus 
on the 
d s ins 
ome s . 
rags, a 
and in 
son dr 
cated b 



en 
rs 
s 

road 
ter 
stant- 
e 

ty 

water 

tag- 

Old 

nd 

the 

y 

attle- 



There is the constant presence of many children 
darting in and out of the broken glass and bot- 
tles and playing in the stagnant puddles and 
using the broken down cars for trapezes, jungle 
Jims, swings, and any other imaginary object 
that their limited experience would allow them 
to con j ure 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-exist- 
ent. 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 constructed windows. Everything smells 
of mildew. It is impossible to keep a house clean 
because the children track In mud from the out- 
side and it mixes with the water on the inside 
resulting in filth. No matter how diligently 
the residents attempt to maintain cleanliness it 



sonal Farmworker in the South Florida Setting." South 
Florida Migrant Legal Services Program, Inc., 1969. p. 
24-26. 



11 



5672 



is impossible to fight the elements which can- 
not be kept out of shoddy houses in disrepair. 

Upon entering each of the homes the same sme I I 
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 toi- 
lets are present, they frequently are in disre- 
pair 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 rudi- 
ments of health and we I I being. 

When septic tanks overflow the waste bubbles up 
and fills the yard with a rancid smell. Land- 
lords 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 construc- 
ted and placed in such a manner so that they are 
higher than the toilets themselves. There are 
also cases where the pipes from the toilets to 
the septic tanks were too sma I I 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 departments 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 labled "non-usable 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 ceiling 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 the bulb they are rudely startled by 



12 



5673 



a shock from the exposed wiring. This is espe- 
cially 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, mosqultos 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 smal- 
ler but no less annoying insects. All chose 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 cabi- 
nets have been opened to expose the rusted and 
leaky pipes, hundreds and thousands of small 
bugs and rodents scurry away from the I ight of 
day and from the eyes of the onlooker. It is 
not a pretty sight. The residents complain fre- 
quently 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 . 



Ma ny persons 


rent 


I ng f rom 1 a nd 


dollar a week 


for 


ga rba 


ge coll 


In rura 1 area s a s 


a ru 1 


e , coun 


vide garbage 


serv 


i ce . 


It Is t 


who consc i ent 


i ous 


1 y CO 1 


lects t 


week 1 y ba s i s . 


As 


a result, ga 


in cans, and 


dogs 


and c 


hi 1 d ren 


from one end 


of the ya r 


d to th 


are filled w i 


th d 


ebr i s 


and dec 


other remnant 


s of 


huma n 


wa ste . 


a nswer to t he 


pro 


b 1 em I 


s that 


inherently d I 


rty. 


But 


he does 


cans and he d 


oesn 


' t prov I de ga 


which the tenants 


a re p 


ay i ng . 



lords pay an extra 
ect i on services, 
ties do not pro- 
he ra re I a nd I ord 
he garbage on a 
r bage overf lows 

strew the garbage 
e other . Ditches 
ay i ng food and 

The landlord's 
the beop I e a re 
n't provide garbage 
r bage service for 



Rents for the housing described above run from $6.00 to 
$12.00 per week. An interesting footnote Is a comparison 
between the rents paid per square foot of living space 
by migrants and those paid by the Attorneys writing the 



13 



5674 



report. A typical family paid $1.26 per square foot for 
a two bedroom house of 450 square feet, while two miles 
away an MLS attorney rented a two bedroom, a i r-cond I t loned 
house consisting of 1200 square feet, on a quarter acre 
lot for an equivalent of $1.10 per square foot. 



10 



Obviously, most seasonal farmworkers don't live in labor 
camps in Florida. Surprisingly, neither do most migrants. 
Approximately 96 percent of the migrants in Florida, 
including both those groups who call it home and the group 
migrating in each season, are located in the seventeen 
counties which are served by Migrant Health Projects. 
Of the more than 162 thousand migrants' who reside In 
those counties at one time or another during the year 
less than 41 thousand,'^ or about 25 percent live in labor 
camps. If none of the home base migrants lived in camps 
(which is probably not true), still less than 50 percent 
of the migrants coming Into the counties would live in the 
camp s . ' -^ 



During the 1967-68 season, only 276 of 425 camps in the 
seventeen county area had operating permits,'^ i.e. 35 per- 
cent of the camps were operating contrary to law.'^ Most 



Ibid 



footnote I 



26 



10. These counties are Broward, Collier, Dade, Glade, 
Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, 
Polk, Putnam, Flagler, St. Lucie, Sarasota, and Seminole. 

11. Number taken from annual county project reports in 
Florida Migrant Health Project Fifth Annual Progress Re- 



port, 1967-1968 , Florida 
cooperation with the U.S 



State Board of Public Health in 
Public Health Service, 1968. 



12 



bid 



13. Percent Is derived by using In-mlgration figures for 
these seventeen counties found In "The Migratory Labor 
Problems in the United States: 1969 Report." p. 117. 

I 4 . Florida Migrant Health Proj ect--F I f t h Annual Progress 
Report, 1967-1968 . 

15. FSA 381,031 (i) (g), 381,432; Rules of the State Board 



14 



5675 



of the Migrant Health Projects in the seventeen counties 
employed sanitarians who inspected the camps for viola- 
tions of the state health code. 15,225 violations were 
found during 1967-1968, of which 6,236 or 41 percent were 
corrected.'^ The 59 percent which went uncorrected sug- 
gests the condition of many of the camps. 



Texas 



"There has been little evidence of any trend or incentive 
for improved housing for farm labor in Texas. "'^ Very 
little has been written about labor housing in the state 
that supplies the nnost migrant farm labor and is among 
the greatest users.' However, those who have seen the 
living conditions in the ba r r i os and co I on i a s in the Rio 
Grande Va I ley are left with a lasting impression of 
squalor and poverty. 

An estimated 52,500 migrants reside in the two most 
southern counties, Hidalgo and Cameron.'" This accounts 
for nearly 37 percent of all home based migrants in Texas 
The I960 Census gives some idea of the condition of hous- 



of Health, The Sanitary Code of Florida, I706--32.05. 
"170 c-32.04 Permit for Operat i on --bef ore any person shall 
either directly or indirectly operate a camp he sha I I make 
an application for and receive from the board CFIorida 
State Board of HealthH a valid permit for operation of the 
camp . " 

1 6 . Florida Migrant Health ProJect--F i f th Annual Progress 
Report, 1967-1968 . 

17. "No Evident Texas Trend in Housing", The Packer , March 

18. 1967, reprinted in the Congressional Record , March 23, 
1967, p. s 4326. 

IB. "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States: 
i 969 Report", p. 126-128. 

19. Ibid. 



15 



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5678 



i ng available to home based migrants in that area. Of all 
rural, non-farm housing in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy 
County nearly 61 percent were substandard (see Table II). 
In ownef-occu p i ed units occupied by persons with income of 
less than $2,000, 80 percent were substandard and for 
renter-occupied dwellings in the same i ncpme category, 88 
percent were su bsta nda r o . ^^ 

In the area just north of Hildalgo and Willacy Counties 
which is sub-divided into 27 counties, the housing in which 
Texas based migrants are most likely to live is not much 
better than that found in the "Valley". (See Table III) 
Over 60,0002l migrants, about 42 percent of those calling 
Texas their home, live in this area. 

Although the above statistics may be open to question be- 
caus:e of their age and subjectivity, they do indicate that 
most housing in which most migrant farm workers live In 
their- home bas. e area is far below standard, be it some 
objective standard of the building trade or simply a stan- 
dard o-f decency. Perhi-ps tne often heard statement by 
growers that "The housing we furnish to migrants is as 
good as th?y've got back home," is frue. But when it is 
used as a justification for providing bad housing, it does 
not meet the issues, it com poinds it. 



California 



The refusal of the Congress to renew the bracero law in 
1965, 23 years after the importation of foreign labor began, 
generated what was termed a housing crisis for migrant farm 
workers in California. For over two decades much of the 
labor had been male Mexican nationals who were housed in 
relatively inexpensive barracks. Growers realized that 
migrant families would have to be recruited to replace 
the male crews, thus requiring a different kind and unavail- 
able housing unit. 



20. See note 5, above. 

21. See note 18, above 



18 



5679 



California's agricultural industry Is huge, em- 
ploying some 500,000 workers, supplying some 40 
percent of the nation's table food, and taking 
in annual receipts of over $3,600,000,000. The 
average annual Income of seasonal farm families, 
an aggregate of all who are old enough to go out 
1 n the f iel ds, 1 s $2,500. 

Rural housing In general is of dismal quality: 
Governor Brown's Advisory Commission on Housing 
Problems has estimated that there are 200,000 
substandard units in the rural agricultural areas 
of California. Highway 99, running the length 
of the state and lined with farm workers' shan- 
ties, has been termed "the longest slum in the 
world." But for the 5 to 10 percent of Califor- 
nia's farm workers who go on the road, traveling 
up and down the state, following the harvest for 
a living, housing is worse than substandard. 

...(F)amily housing, when available, can cost 
as much as $15 a week, and be considerably above 
the allowable occupancies set for courts and 
camps. The large f am i I i es--f ou r, five, and six 
children are not uncommon--present their own 
problems of overcrowding. 

With no shelter available, many families are 
forced to camp in ditchbanks and under bridges, 
where the most elementary sanitation and comfort 
is lacking. But despite the varied types of 
shelter, the common denominator for migrants 
Is a vast sense of social Isolation. Migrant 
workers do not belong to any community, are not 
wanted by any community. They are herded off 
after the harvest, and while in residence are 
beyond the reach of such basic services as schools, 
day-care centers, clinics. ^2 

In the four years since the above was written some changes 



22. "Short Term Housing for a Long Term Problem," Progres- 
sive Architecture, May 1966, p. 167. 



5680 



have occurred, but essentially it is the same. At best, 
some of the migrants can now find units with "elementary 
sanitation and comfort." Migrant children in several 
areas have access to schools, day-care centers and clinics 
Yet some migrant fami I ies are sti I I forced to camp out on 
riverbanks and many crowd into the motels, hotels, and 
rooming houses available to transients. 




Sughsorij California - Cabins rented by Migrants during 
harvest season. 

It is a wonder that the condition and availability of 
housing for migrants is not worse due to an overall housing 
shortage reaching the crisis stage in much of rural Cali- 
fornia. For example, in Stanislaus County:^^ 

(t)he vacancy rate is estimated at about \%. 
(During December, The San Francisco Chronicle 



23. Elinore Blake, Unpublished background paper on housing 
activities in Stanislaus County, California, Stanislaus 
County Community Action Commission, Inc., Modesto, Califor- 



20 



5681 



featured a story on that city's housing problems 
and reported that officials were in extreme dis- 
tress because the vacancy rate had fa I len to 
2 1/2^.) A vacancy rate of \% means that there 
are essentially no dwellings available to be 
rented. The housing shortage has resulted in a 
seller's market and a rapid rise in rents; fig- 
ures provided by the Welfare Department show that 
lower-priced units have doubled in cost over the 
I a st two yea rs . 




Interior of a Labor Contractor ' s Camp in California 

A survey of the California farm labor force done in 1965 
found :24 

There is no single farm labor housing problem. 



n I a , p . I . 

24, Assembly Committee on Agriculture by its Advisory Com- 
mittee on Farm Labor Research, The Ca I i f orn i a Farm Labor 



21 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 20 



5682 



TABLE IV 



TYPE OF PERMANENT HOUSING BY STABILITY 

(Percentage Distribution of a Weighted 
one Percent Sample of Workers with $100 
or More California Farm Earnings in 1965) . 



Type of Permanent 
Housing 



Total 



STABILITY 
Non-Migrant Migrant 



Total Number 



4,867 
(100%) 



3,417 
(70.2%) 



1,451 
(29. %) 



Total , Permanent 



100.0% 



100.0% 



100.0% 



House 

Trailer 

Apartment 

Hotel or Motel 

Rooming House 

Other 

Unknown 



86.0 


89.7 


77.4 


2.0 


2.1 


2.0 


5.7 


4.6 


8.2 


1.1 


0.7 


2.1 


1.2 


0.8 


2.2 


3.3 


2.0 


6.5 


0.6 


0.2 


1.6 



Source: The California Farm Leibor Force: A Profile, "Assembly Com- 
mittee on Agriculture; Advisory Committee on Farm Labor Re- 
search, April, 1969. Table E, p. 115. 



In one sense, farm labor housing must be con- 
sidered as a part of the broader problem of pro- 



Force: A Prof I I e, April, 1969, p. 112 



22 



1 



5683 



viding adequate housing for low income rural 
people. In the narrower sense, it is an aspect 
of the problem of labor supply for California's 
agriculture. To attract and hold both perma- 
nent local workers and migrant workers, Califor- 
nia growers must be concerned that housing needs, 
of such workers, are being met by the combined 
efforts of the public and private sectors in- 
cluding the growers themselves. 

A part of the survey attempted to identify the type of 
permanent housing lived in by farm workers. As would be 
expected, a greater percentage of local workers were more 
likely to live in houses while migrants were more likely 
to live in other types of units. (See Table IV). 

Overcrowding, always a problem among the poor, is wide- 
spread among California farm workers (see Table V), and 
is undoubtedly critical among migrants (most state labor 
housing codes, and the Federal code require only 60 square 
feet of living space per person in housing where cooking, 
eating and sleeping is permitted). 



25 



Perhaps the most disheartening thing about the housing 
situation in California is that more has been done to meet 
the problem in that state than in any other--and it is 
still critical. To date, the OEO had spent an estimated 
$5,750,000 to build some 2,000 temporary family shelters 
More self-help housing has been built by farmworkers there 
than in any other state. From 1965 to June 1969 the 
Farmers Home Administration loaned $2,779,540 to Public 
Housing Authorities under its s5l4. Farm Labor Housing 
Program, and gave $3,776,900 to the Public Housing Author- 
ities through Its s5l6 Grant program. 25 These funds were 
used to upgrade or construct 843 family units. 



25. Interview by telephone, V. Ralph Gunderson, Chief, 
Migrant Programs, State Office of Economic Opportunity, 
Sacramento, California, May 7, 1970. This amount means 
that just over $43 has been spent per migrant and seasonal 
farmworker on housing. (Based on 1967-1958 migrant and 
seasonal farmworker population.) 



26 



See Table XI, this report. 



23 



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5685 



More must be done in California, if farm workers, be they 
migrant, seasonal, or year round workers, are to be housed 
adequately. Much, much more must be done in other home 
base states to even bring the conditions of farm labor 
housing up to what it is in California. 



THE STREAM STATES 



There is probably no working group in the United States 
today that lives in worse housing than migrants in stream 
states. Traditionally, the growers who hire the migrants 
furnish the housing.^' This has been a point of irrita- 
tion for both growers and migrants over the years. Growers 
complain that they are the only employers in the country 
who are required to furnish housing for their labor force. 
This contention is often used to justify why stricter 
farm labor housing codes should not be enacted or actively 
enforced. Migrants complain that housing provided by 
growers is used as an unreasonable tool by their employer 
to gain an unfair bargaining position and control over 
their private lives. It is well documented that a large 
number of labor camps run by growers, groups of growers, 
or labor contractors often become virtual prisons for the 
employees and families who occupy them. 



27. For example, 75-85 percent of the housing units in 
Oregon and Washington were located on farms where migrants 
worked, "The Migratory Labor Problem in the United States: 
1969 Report.", p. 34. In a sample of 194 growers in 
Michigan, 91 percent of them provided camp housing for 
their workers. (Michigan Civil Rights Commission, "Report 
and Recommendations on the Status of Migratory Farm Labor 
in Michigan," 1968, Appendix, p. 123.) 

28. See: "Opinion on Right of Access to Labor Camps," 
Patrick J. Foley, United States Attorney, District of 
Minnesota, July 26, 1968; Kent Springs, "Access of Visi- 



25 



5686 




Housing available to farmworkers - 
Beverly J Washington. 

Agriculture is a unique industry in several ways. It is 
one of the few basic industries where classic competition 
"works", i.e. where price control is still essentially 
beyond the control of any single producer. It is also 
unique in that it requires a highly fluctuating seasonal 
labor supply. This labor may come as far as 2000 miles 
and be employed by one grower for as short a time as a 
few days. Except for housing furnished by growers, there 
few places, if any, in rural areas of the country which 
have sufficient accommodations to house the large influx 
of migrants each summer. 



tors to Labor Camps on Privately Owned Property," Florida 
Law Review . Vol. 21, No. 3, Winter, 1969, p. 295; Eliza- 
beth J. du Fresne, "Compare this Prison--Lack of Free Ac- 
cess to Labor Camps," unpublished article, 1968. Agri- 
culture is the last stronghold of the "company town" which 
was always an implement of servitude. 



26 



5687 



Although many growers complain about having to house mi- 
grants, they are generally loath to participate in any 
form of central housing over which they do not exercise 
control. The fear of having to bargain in a relatively 
free labor market often offsets their threat of "getting 
out of the housing business". Growers generally put for- 
ward four basic arguments for not wanting to invest sub- 
stantial funds in housing for their workers;29 

1. Mechanical harvesters will replace workers 
in the near future ; 

2. Housing facilities are used for only a few 
weeks out of the year; 

3. Alghough the housing leaves something to be 
desired, it is at least equivalent to what 
workers have in their home base areas; 

4. Al I too often there has been wi I Iful destruc- 
tion of very fine facilities that were pro- 
vided. 

There were 15 states (excluding California, Texas, and 

Florida) that had more than 10,000 migrants and family 

dependents establishing temporary residence during 1967- 
1 968 (see Table VI ) . 

Studies have been conducted, surveys have been made, 
articles have been written, or hearings have been held 
on farm labor housing in most of these 15 states. Most 
of them point to the undeniable conclusion that much of 
the housing provided for migrants is deplorable. 

During the summer of 1969, the Migrant Research Project^O 
surveyed 148 camps in Michigan, or about six percent of 
all the licensed camps in the state. In addition, they 
surveyed 54 camps in four other states (Wisconsin, Iowa, 
Minnesota and Washington). The survey showed the percent 



29, 



Michigan Civil Rights Commission, note 27 above, p. 10, 



30. The Manpower Evaluation and Development Institute, Mi- 
grant Research Project is an Office of Economic Opportuni- 
ty funded program located in Washington, D.C. 



27 



5688 



TABLE VI 

STATES WITH MORE THAN 10,000 MIGRANTS AND DEPENDENTS 
IN 1967-1968 

(Except California, Texas and Florida) 

State Number of Migrants 

and Dependents 

Michigan 83,696 

Oregon 43,233 

Ohio 32,583 

Washington 31,257 

New York 29,280 

Wisconsin 19,687 

Illinois 19,518 

Arizona 19 , 29 2 

Idaho 18,86 8 

North Carolina 17,307 

Colorado 15,532 

New Jersey 15,19 4 

Indiana 14 ,375 

Connecticut 11,672 

Virginia 10,171 

Source: U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. "The Migratory 
Farm Labor Problem in the United States: 1969 Report" 91st 
Congress, 1st Session. Report No. 91-83. Appendix A. 



of camps which had defects based upon the minimal require- 
ments of the (viichigan Labor Camp Code^l and the Federal 
Housing Code For Agricultural Workers. ^^ The results of 
that survey are found in Table VII. 

On Long Island, in Suffolk County, New York, 1170 migrants 
lived in 77 camps in 1969.-^-^ Another 550 seasonal em- 



31. Michigan Public Act 289 of 1965 and regulations. 

32. 20 CFR 620. 

33. "Tabulation of the Numbers of Seasonal Agricultura 
Workers on Farms and Potato Grading Stations in Suffolk 



5689 



ployed agricultural workers lived in housing of less than 
five persons per camp.-^^ The county agricultural agent, H. 
D. Wells, ranked the condition and availability of the mi- 
grant housing as "excellent". ^ Testimony of the Reverend 
Arthur Bryant, pastor of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in 
Greenport, New York and vice chairman of the Suffolk County 
Human Relations Commission before the U.S. Senate Subcom- 
mittee on Migratory Labor, suggested that he would rank at 
least some of the camps d i f f erent I y : ^^ 

Occasionally we get glimpses of migrant life. 
The bullpen (male migrant living barracks) is 
a study in itself. No prison was ever better 
designed to destroy the identity of a human 
being. It is the place where the bully rules, 
where the alcoholic throws up on the floor, 
where the TB victim coughs in everybody's face. 
It Is the dimly lit room without furniture ex- 
cept bed s . 

There Is no place to read a book, no closet to 
lock up one's personal belongings, no family, 
no love, no hope. The State of New York is 
advanced in that it now prescribes 50 square 
feet of floor space per man although there is 
no provision In the State sanitary code for a 



County, N.Y., 1967, 1968, and 1969." Estimated on'January 
7, 1970 by Robert Dietrich, Farm Placement Representative, 
NY State Employment Service, Riverhead, N.Y.; Sidney Beck- 



wlth, Suffolk County Department of Health, Riverhead, N 
and H.D. Weils, Cooperative Extension Agent, Riverhead, 
based on U.S. Census Information, Health Department In- 
spection of Camp and labor referrals made by N.Y. State 
Department of Labor. Unpublished. 



Y 



34 



I bid 



35. Answer in questionnaire for Survey of Farm Labor Hous- 
ing conducted by the Rural Housing Alliance, April, 1970. 

36. Statement by Rev. Arthur Bryant, Hearings Before the 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor of the Committee on Labor 
and Public Welfare, United States Senate, 91st Cong. 1st 
Session on "Who Are the Migrants," June 9 and 10, 1969. 
Part I, p. 30 



29 



5690 



TABLE VII 
DEFECTS IN LABOR CAMPS IN MICHIGAN AND FOUR OTHER STATES 



Percent of camps defective 



Defect 



Michigan* 



Other States** 



Camp Area 

Camp Drainage 

Junk and trash in camp area 

Poisonous weeds and plants 
in camp area 

Inadequate number of garbage 
cans 

Uncovered garbage cans 

No recreation area 
Water Supply, 



Insufficient water 

Water supply believed to be 
unsafe 
Housing Construction 

Leaking roof 

Leaking walls 

Unsafe floors 

Rough floors 

Wet floors 

Uncleanable walls 

Uncloseable windows 

Broken windows 

Inadequate doors 

Inadequate screens 
Fire Protection 



45% 

54% 

11% 

35% 
73% 
39% 



18% 



17% 



43% 
28% 
32% 
42% 
40% 
49% 
23% 
39% 
36% 
40% 



Insufficient fire escapes 43% 

Inadequate fire extinguishing 

equipment 47% 

Furnishings 



No food storage shelves or work 

area 22% 

No place to hang clothing 46% 

No working refrigerator 19% 

Insufficient tables and chairs 43% 

Electricity, 



Electricity not furnished to 

all units 
Not at least one wall plug in 

each room 



48% 

45% 

4% 

11% 
84% 
54% 



6% 
14% 



11% 
16% 
15% 
46% 
24% 
45% 
16% 
29% 
43% 
78% 



60% 
43% 



24% 
40% 
12% 
60% 



1% 10% 

21% 12% 

Continued on next page 



30 



5691 



TABLE VII Cont. 



Percent of camps defective 



Defect 



Michigan* 



Other States** 



Inadequate yard lighting 
Bare electrical wires 
Wires exposed to combustible 
materials 
Overcrowding 



69% 
14% 



Overcrowded units 

People sleeping on floors or 

in cars 
Children sleeping with parents 
Heating 



70% 



26% 
39% 



Unsafe heating system 
Bathing Facilities 



69% 



No bathing facilities 
Laundry Facilities 



32% 



No laundry facilities 
Toilets 



56% 



Inadequate number of toilets 35% 
Separate toilets not furnished 

for men and women 38% 

Toilets not well lighted 83% 

Toilets not well ventilated 71% 
Toilet paper and holder not 

provided 76% 

Privy pits not fly tight 73% 
Privies too close to living 

units 44% 
Toilets too far from living 

units 19% 

Unsanitary toilets and privies 62% 



52% 
18% 



13% 



75% 



25% 

74% 



32% 



39% 

37% 
76% 
49% 

75% 
49% 

29% 

10% 
46% 



Source: Unpublished draft of preliminary findings of conditions in 

Labor Camps in Michigan and Four Other States. Manpower Eval- 
uation and Development Institute, Migrant Research Project. 1968. 



Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington. 
Based on a six percent sample. 



5692 



reading or a recreational room. Most States 
now accept the totally unacceptable standard 
of 40 square feet prescribed by the U.S. Employ- 
ment Serv i ce . 

The city of New York requires 80 square feet of 
space for any chi Id above the age of 2. When 
growers protest the destruct i veness of the mi- 
grant worker in the bullpen, it never seems to 
occur to them that the crowded, undisciplined 
minimal standards for bullpen housing are in 
themselves destructive, violent attacks upon 
humanity which deserves some form of reciproca- 
tion. 

Congressman Allard Lowenstei-n, of New York, also found the 
Labor camps in Suffolk County considerably less than ex- 
cel I e n t : 5 ' 

Rep. Allard Lowenstein, accompanied by repre- 
sentatives of the Suffolk Human Relation Com- 
mission and Seasonal Employees in Agriculture 
(SEA), visited the Agway Inc. and Mort Zahler 
camps on Edgar Avenue, Riverhead. 

Lowenstein, Long Beach Democrat, said later; 
"There exists a large group of Americans living 
under conditions that would not be proper even 
in the most primitive times." 



The House agricultural committee member asked 
the migrants about conditions. Most asked for 
help but their tired faces showed little hope. 

At the Zahler camp, a forgotten string of Christ- 
mas lights hung from the shingleless, leaking 
roof to a spot above a screen door rotted and 
peel i ng . 

The heat inside the two-room shack was oppres- 



37. 
Apri r 



bid 
28, 



, p. 86, 
I 969. 



reprinted from Long Island (N.Y.) Press, 



32 



5693 



sive, even with the windows open and a cool 
breeze blowing. A man Inside spoke briefly with 
Lowenstein but without grasping what the meeting 
wa s all a bout . 

Lowenstein next toured the "bullpen", a building 
housing 21 cots and little else. The blankets 
on the beds were thin and worn. Mattresses 
showed the effects of years without change. 
Stuffing billowed from some; others were so grimy 
and faded, their original color had long since 
d I sappea red . 

Two of the migrants, Frank Funn, 40, and Samuel 
Carter, 58, said they were in the camp because 
this Is the only thing they know. 

One of the workers said the food was "pretty 
good" In response to a question from Lowenstein. 
"We get plenty of rice and beans," he said. He 
made no mention of meat. 

But several other workers said they occasionally 
were fed chicken, pigs knuckles and feet. 

Bathroom facilities consisted of two commodes, 
a sink and a shower.- Water trickled from a pipe 
onto the muddy floor and the room reeked of 
urine. 

At the Agway camp the "bul Ipen" had been newly 
painted. Some of the beds had mattress covers. 

But on the whole it was far below the housing 
standards one has become accustomed to--even In 
the worst areas of Long Island or any place else. 

These descriptions could go on indefinitely as similar con- 
ditions exist in all of the states with any migrant popu- 
lation. In Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, and Washington, 
the record^^ clearly points to a great need for a mass 



38. John M. McClIntock, "Migrant Camps Blur Identities," 
The Ba I t i more Sun , September 22, 1969; Interviews with 



33 



5694 



program to improve the living conditions of migrant and 
seasonal farm workers. The remainder of this study wil 
look at some of the programs designed to do just that. 




Wretched Housing in the shadow of scenic Mt. Baker, 



vo 
Pe 
Ta 
Su 
no 
Ci 
Ci 
In 
19 
do 
We 
to 
I n 
I n 
m i 
91 
Pa 



I unteer 
nnsy I va 
ble VII 
rvey Fo 
is; Ann 
ty , I ow 
vi I Act 
terv i ew 
70; and 
n, Kerr 
bster , 
n. Seat 
the Ya 
gs befo 



wor 
n i a , 
, th 
rms 
ua I 
a; V 
i on 
, Ch 

Kar 

y J. 

Depa 
tie, 
b i na 
re t 



kers 

Febr 
i s st 
of se 
Repor 
a I enz 



in Union 
uary 2 1, 
udy ; M i g 
vera I ca 
t , M i qra 
ue I a v . 



Cou 
197 

ra nt 

mps 

nt A 

Hous 



No. C 

ar I es 

en M . 

Pata 

rtmen 

Wash 

Val I 

he Su 



-1580, I 
Brenner 
James, 
k i , Lynn 
t ofAnth 
i ngton , 
ey--l 967 
bcomm i tt 



969, 
, Ut 
J ean 

D. 
ropo 
"The 

ee o 



nty, 
0; M 
Res 
i n V 
ct i o 
i ng 



Penn 
i gra n 
earch 
erm I I 
n Pro 
Autho 



D.C 
ah M 

M. 
Patt 
logy 

End 
Exce 
n M i 



. , De 
i gran 
Langd 
erson 
, Uni 
less 
rpts 
grato 



sy ! va 
t Res 
Proj 
lion 
ararn . 
r i ty 



n I a , 
ea re h 
ect , 
Count 
I 969 
of We 



Lew i sbu rg , 

Project, 
Hou s i ng 
y, I I! i- 
. Mason 
Id Co. . 



nver , 
t Cou 
on , T 
, and 
vers i 
Cyc I e 
pu'b I i 
r^ La 



Colo 
nc i I , 
homas 

Stev 
ty of 
, Mig 
shed 
bor o 



rado; 
Apri I 13, 
A. Lang- 
en S . 

Wa sh i ng- 
ra nt Life 
i n Hear - 
f the Com- 



ttee on Labor and Pu b I i c We I fa re , Uni 

grant Subcult 



st Cong 
rt I I, , 



t Ses 
83-54 



s i on "Mi 
4. 



ted S 
ure" 



tates 
July 



Senate , 
28, 1969, 



34 



5695 



PART II 



An Effective Program, 
Now History 

THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 



The problems of migrant farm labor were almost entirely 
ignored by the New Deal legislation designed to pull the 
country out of a depression and extend social benefits 
to working people. However, the housing situation for 
the rural poor migrating to the West Coast was so criti- 
cal that something had to be done. The Farm Security 
Administration (at that time The Resettlement Adminis- 
tration), engaged in a rehabilitation program for people 
on their own land, was assigned the task of reaching the 
migrants in 1935:' 



The FSA 


Camp program played a 


s i gn i f i cant ro 1 e 


in the 


history of farm labor I 


n the United 


States. 


The camps were the fi 


rst concrete 


evidence of recognition on the 


part of the Gov 


ernment 


of its responsibility 


toward m i gra nt 


agricultural workers--toward those thousands 


of men. 


women and children who 


were uprooted 


from th 


eir farms and forced ou 


t onto the h i g h- 


ways in 


search of a living during the stormy 


per i od 


of agricultural adjustments which took' 


p 1 ace a 


fter the first World War. Although 


who 1 1 y 


inadequate to meet the 


desperate needs 


of more 


than a fraction of the 


total number of 


mi grant 


workers and their fami 


lies, the camp 



1 . Hi story of the 


Farm Security Administration Camp Pro- 


gram for Migratory 


Agricultural Workers--w i th particular 


emp ha s i s on the ro 1 


le of the camp program in relation to 



agricultural labor needs . Labor Division, Farm Security 
Administration, Department of Agriculture, p. 3. (herein 
after cited as History of the Farm Security Administra - 
tion. ) p. 28. 



3S 



5696 



program pointed the way toward the rational, hu- 
mane handling of a broad ijocial problem. 

Thirty-five years later the "broad social problem" sti 
exists and still needs "rational, humane handling." 




Farm Security Administration, Weslaoo, Texas, 1940 



From 1935 to 1938 the program attempted "to provide tem- 
porary relief for migrant agricultural workers"^ by 
providing shelter where concentrations of migrants were 
found. In 1935, by assuming management of two emergency 
housing camps set up by the California State Relief Ad- 
ministration, the Farm Security Administration found it- 
self in the labor housing business;-^ 

From this beginning, actually limited to the 



bid 



3. Clay L. Cochran, Hired Farm Labor and the Federal Gov- 
ernment. Doctoral Dissertation, University of North Caro- 
lina , I 95 I , p . I I 8 . 



5697 



assumption of administration of two groups of 
wooden tent platforms around some sanitary 
facilities, the program developed into a nation- 
wide program with 95 camps serving 121 cities 
in 16 states . 



These camps 
t i me . ^ 



had a total capacity of 19,464 families at one 




Farm Security Administration^ WestaoOy Texae, .-._'_. 

The first camps built were called "standard" camps. At 
the start, only rows of platforms on which migrants could 
pitch tents were provided along with central sanitary 
facilities. These platforms soon gave way to more sub- 
stantial one room structures made of wood or meta I . ^ 



4. House of Representatives, Hearings before the Select 
Committee on Agriculture, to Investigate the Activities 
of the Farm Security Administration . 78th Congress, 1st 
"Session, 1945, Part 3, p. 1165. 

5. The metal shelters were an early triumph for industri- 



37 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B 



5698 

TABLE VIII 
NUMBER AND LOCATION OF FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION CAMPS 

IN 1942 



Number of 

standard 

camps 



Number of 

mobile 

camps 



Total 



United States 



41= 



SI*- 



92 



Atlantic Coast 

Arizona 

Arkansas 

California 

Colorado 

Florida 

Idaho 

Missouri 

Oregon 

Texas 

Washington 



3 

1 
13 
2 
7 
2 
1 
1 
9 
2 



20^ 
3 



20 
6 
1 

19 
2 
7 
9 
1 

10 
9 
8 



Source: Clay L. Cochran, "Hired Farm Labor and the Federal Government." 
Doctoral Disertation, University of North Carolina, 19 51, 
Appendix A, p. 19 4. 

a 

Does not include 3 standard camps commandeered by the Army at Yakima, 
Washington, McAllen, Texas, and S. Dade, Florida. 



Includes two mobile camps utilized by Army. 
Includes 18 mobile and two CCC Ccimps. 



a I i zed housing but an unmitigated tragedy for the human 
beings forced to live in them. 






5699 



Community centers were established, providing space for 
camp meetings, day nurseries, recreation, education 
classes and clinics. 6 Eventually, about 50 cottages or 
"labor homes" were built for each camp of 350 shelters.^ 
These were used by migrants wishing to stay In the area 
after the major harvest period. 

Mobile camps were designed for use In areas where the 
agricultural labor demand was strictly seasonal. These 
camps used tents on platforms for housing; water and 
power were supplied from auxiliary trucks. Some of these 
camps had a capacity of 1000 people.^ 

The camps were a great improvement over what was other- 
wise available, even those with tents. In fact, they were 
better than many that are in use today. However, even in 
1943 the camps were considered as "... offer(Ing) the 
barest minimums of sanitary living f ac i I 1 1 i es . "9 Perhaps 
more important than their relatively good condition was 
the manner in which they were managed.''^ 

...(T)o prevent the possibility of a "concen- 
tration camp" atmosphere and at the same time 
to promote an understanding of democracy among 
the migrants, as many of the management and 
disciplinary functions of the camp as possible 
were turned over to the camp residents them- 
selves. They handled these problems through 
the medium of a community council. 

The camp councils proved highly successful in 
promoting the efficient management of the labor 



6. History of the Farm Security Administration , p. 26 

7. Ibid . , p. 27. 

8. Ibid., p. 67. Also see Cochran, Appendix D. 

9. Hearings to Investigate the Activities of the Farm 



Security Administration, p~! 1165. 



10. History of the Farm Security Administration , p. 30- 
34. 



39 



5700 



camps, particularly in those areas where the 
season was long with a resulting fairly stable 
camp population. In very short-season areas, 
using mobile type camp units, some difficulties 
were experienced in establishing an active camp 
council because of the rapid turnover among the 
camp residents which destroyed the continuity 
of the camp personnel and even prevented the 
residents from becoming well acquainted with 
one another. 



Despite th 


ese d i 


f f icu 


1 t i es the 


sel f 


-govern i ng 


principle 


upon w 


hich 


a 1 1 


FSA camps 


were estab- 


1 i shed was 


one o 


f the 


most importan 


t factors 


in assur i n 


g the 


success 


of the 


prog 


ram. By 


the simple 


exped 


i ent 


of 


giving 


the 


peop 1 e a 


chance to 


have a 


say 


in 


their own a 


f f a i rs the 


workers 1 ea rned 


a rea 


1 1 


esson 


in democracy and 


the task o 


f admi 


n i ster i n 


g order 1 y , 


d i sc i p 1 i ned 


and c 1 ean 


camps 


was reduced to 


a m i 


n imum . By 


prov i d i ng 


hou s i n 


g and 


sa 


ni tary 


f ac i 


1 i t i es the 


FSA camps 


p 1 ayed 


a si 


gn i 


f i cant 


ro 1 e 


in relieving 


the distress of 


home 1 


ess 


wanders as 


we 1 1 as be- 


coming an 


examp 1 


e of 


the 


mini mum r i 


ghts to 


which this 


. class 


of work 


.ers shou 1 d 


be ent i 1 1 ed . 



The response of the migrants to this type of 
camp organization was excellent. Enthusiasm 
was particularly noticeable among those migrant 
groups who suffer most from social ostracism- 
in our society today, i.e., the Mexican and 
Negro workers. The camp government was often 
their initial experience with the processes of 
democracy. For the first time they felt that 
they had a stake in and a responsibility for 
something important in their lives. 



Up until the 1942 season 
to live in the camps free.' 



families were allowed 



II. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Security Admin- 
istration, Migrant Farm Labor--The problem and some ef- 
forts to meet it , 1940, cited in H i story of the Farm 
Security Administration, at p. 32. 



40 



5701 



Each family is asked, however, to contribute 
about 10 cents a day to a camp welfare fund, 
which is handled jointly by the campers' com- 
mittee and the FSA manager. Money from this 
fund is used for minor improvements around 
the camp, and sometimes to help out fam'Mes 
who are particularly hard up or to provide 
school lunches and clothes for needy children. 
In a few cases, campers have ustd some of the 
money to finance inexpensive camp newspapers, 
consisting of three or four mimeographed pages. 

In addition to its daily contribution, each 
fami ly is expected to put in two hours work 
every week around the camp, cleaning up the 
ground and sanitary buildings, planting grass, 
repairing shelter, and so on. If a family is 
unable to pay its 10 cents a day, it was asked 
to do an extra two hours work a week. 

In 1942, as farm labor wages began to rise somewhat, rents 
were charged ranging from 50 cents to $3.25 per week, de- 
pending upon the type of shelter provided. '2 

From the beginning of the farm labor camp program until 
1938, funds for it came from emergency relief appropria- 
tions acts earmarked for "rural reha b i I i tat i on . " ' ^ From 
1938 through 1942 the funds for migrant camps totaled 
$21,557,631.14 (See Table IX, for yearly breakdown.) 

By the end of 1942, the FSA's farm labor program, of 
which the camp program was a part, came under increasingly 
savage attack by conservative farm lobbies and Congress- 
men.'-' The progressive tide had turned in the Department 



I 2 . Hearings to Investigate the Activities of the Farm 
Security Administration. p . 1165. 

13. Baldwin, Poverty and Po I i t i C5--T he Rise and Decline 
of the Farm Security Administration , (Chapel Hill, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Press, 1968), p. 222. 

I 4 . Hearings to Investigate the Activities of the Farm 
Security Administration , p . 1178. 

15. Baldwin, p. 378-382. 



41 



5702 



TABLE IX 

OBLIGATION OF FUNDS FOR FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION'S 
MIGRATORY LABOR CAMPS 



YEAR 



AMOUNT 



1938 
1939 
1940 
1941 
1942 



$1,095,308 
5,048,195 
5,010,733 
4,561,841 
4,432,441 



Source: Hearings before the Select Coiranittee of the House Committee 
on Agriculture, To Investigate the Activities of the Farm 
Security Administration. House of Representatives, 78th 
Congress, 1st Session 1943, Table: "Obligation of Funds by 
Purposes and Fiscal Years." p. 1178. 



of Agriculture and in April of 1943 President Roosevelt 
signed the House Joint Resolution 96 into law. 16 |n 
this law the FSA's migrant labor camp program was trans- 
ferred to the War Food Administration. In 1946 the li- 
quidation of the labor camps was ordered. 1^ In 1947 
Congress passed new legislation which authorized the Se- 
cretary of Agriculture to 

...dispose of any labor supply center, labor 
home, labor camp or facility tby sale]. ..to any 
public or semipublic agency or any nonprofit 
association of farmers in the community who will 
agree to operate and maintain such facilities 
for the principle purpose of housing persons 
engaged in agricultural work and to relieve the 



16. 57 Stat. 70, cited in Baldwin, at p. 382. 

17. 60 Stat. 1 046 ( I 946) . 



42 



5703 



Government of 
therew i th . ' ^ 



responsibilities in connection 



The Secretary was to have until June 30, 1949, to dispose 
of the camps; and after January 30, 1948, none of the re- 
maining camps were to be operated 

except under contractual arrangements with re- 
sponsible public, or semi-public organizations 
or nonprofit associations of farmers who will 
agree to operate such facilities for the princi- 
pal purpose of housing persons engaged in agri- 
cultural work and to relieve the Federal Govern- 
ment of all financial responsibility in connec- 
tion with the operation of such f ac i I i t i es . ' 9 



In May of 1949, however, 39 of the camps remained unsold, 

so Congress extended the Secretary's authority to sell 

the camps until June 30, 1950.^0 /\-f the end of this period 

the camps were to be sold to the highest bidder. Prior 

to the deadline, however. Congress again passed legislation 

affecting the camps. This time it authorized the transfer 

of camps to the United States Housing Authority 

,..for the principal purpose of housing persons 
engaged in agricultural work, and preference 
for occupancy in such projects shall be given 
to agricultural workers and their families; the 
rents In such projects shal I not be higher than 
the rents which such tenants can afford. 21 

The act also authorized the Authority 

...to enter Into contracts for disposal of said 
projects by any of the methods provided in this 
Act, Including disposal of any such project to 
a public housing agency for a consideration con- 
sisting of the payment by the public housing 



18. 61 Stat. 694 (1947) 

19. Ibid ., sec. 2. 

20. 63 Stat. 144 ( I 949) 

21 . 42 U.S.C. 1412 (f ) . 



43 



5704 



agen 
I ess 
afte 
( I ) 

oper 
proj 
exce 
esta 
prop 
rent 
i nte 
nect 
agen 



cy t 
tha 
r de 
rea s 
at i o 
ect; 
ss o 
bl i s 
er r 
I y m 
rest 
i on 
cy w 



o the 
n twe 
duct i 
onab I 
n , ma 

( i i ) 
f I 
hment 
eserv 
atur i 

on a 
with 
ith t 



Auth 
nty y 
on of 
e a nd 
i nten 

paym 
per c 

and 
es; a 
ng i n 
ny i n 
such 
he ap 



or i ty du 
ears of 
the amo 
proper 
a nee , an 
ents in 
entum of 
ma i ntena 
nd ( i V ) 
sta ! I men 
debted ne 
project 
prova 1 o 



r I ng 
all i 
unts 
costs 
d i mp 
I i eu 

shel 
nee o 
the p 
ts,.pf 
s s in 
by th 
f the 



a term 
ncome t 
necessa 

of man 
rovemen 
of taxe 
ter rein 
f reaso 
ayment 

pr i nc i 
curred 
e pu b I i 

Author 



of not 
heref rom 
ry for 
agement , 
t of such 
s not i n 
ts; ( i i i ) 
na b I e and 
of cur- 
pal and 
i n con- 
c hou s i ng 
ity.22 



Finally, in 1956 the Federal Government washed its hands 
of "the first concrete evidence of recognition on the part 
of the government of its responsibility toward migrant 
agricultural workers" by amending the PHA responsibilities 
of operating the camps and of receiving payment from lo- 
cal Authorities. This amendment authorized the Authority 

to transfer its title to the camps 
. .■'. vy>' "^ 

...to any, public housing agency whose area of 
operation includes the project, upon a finding 
and certification by the public housing agency 
...that the project is needed to house persons 
and families of low income and that preference 
for occupancy in the project wi I I be given 
first to low income agricultural workers and 
their families, and second to other low income 
persons and their f am i I i es . . . . 23 

This transfer of title was to be "without monetary con- 
sideration". 

Thus, a strong government program designed not only to 
suJDsidize the growers by providing housing for their 
laborers, but also to help the laborers by furnishing them 
with sanitary housing in a democratic atmosphere in which 
they could feel that they had a "piece of the action", 
be it ever so small, came to an end. It took the govern- 



22. I bid . 

23. Ibid., as amended by 70 Stat, 1091, (1956). 



i 



5705 



ment less than six years to build all of the camps. It 
took it 14 years to get rid of them. Of course, one can 
only conjecture what would have happened if the Farm Se- 
curity Administration could have continued in the pattern 
set between 1936 and 1943, a pattern which seemed to mean 
the stabilization of migrant farm workers by providing 
housing. It seems clear, however, i i,at the condition of 
migrant housing today is much worse because of the loss 
of the program. 

Many of the camps built by the Farm Security/ Administra- 
tion are still being used by migrants and other agri- 
cultural workers under local housing authorities. Their 
condition varies greatly. One of the camps built In 
Florida was described in the summer of 1969.24 

The government built some housing In this area 
for emergency use back in 1942, and these same 
houses hold possibly more than one third of 
the town's population, even though they have 
been condemned for about eight years. The 
housing authority took over this from the gov- 
ernment a long time ago, about 194"', and since 
that time they have not even put a coat of 
paint on the houses. They haven't done any- 
thing to them. People are living there because 
there is no other place in the town to stay. 
They have to live in condemned shacks. 

The camp built in Fort Lu^tcn, Colorado, and subsequently 
turned over to the Weld County Housing Authority has been 
the subject of recent litigation brought by migrant farm 
workers. In one suit the migrants sought Injunctive re- 
lief to prevent what was alleged to be a retaliatory 
eviction for complaints made to the state camp licensing 
division, 25 The second case^S more or less grew out of 



24. Sta + cTient by Elija Boone, Hearings Before the Subcom- 
ni'+tee on Migratory Labor of the Committee on Labor and 

'/ 'lie ".elfare, "Who are the Migrants," Part I, p. 30. 

2 5 . Valenzuela v. The Housing Authority of Weld County , 
C'vil Action No. C-1508, 1969," U.S.D.C. Denver, Colorado. 



26 



Perez et . a I 



The Housing Authority of Weld Coun- 



45 



5706 



the first one. The camp was closed in November, 1969, 
because of numerous violations of the labor camp housing 
code, and the Housing Authority subsequently decided to 
sell the units used by migrants to individual growers for 
$10 each. The suit is attempting to stop this sale on 
the theory that Federal Statutes require (see above) that 
the camp be used by agricultural workers as long as there 
I s a need . 

These are but two examples of what has happened to the 
camps since they were transferred to local authorities. 
There are others, e.g., those in Stanislaus County, Cal- 
ifornia, which have been maintained in relatively good 
condition. At the camp in Linnel, California, the metal 
one room shelters were torn down in 1967 and replaced 
in 1969 by units financed with a Farmers Home Administra- 
tion Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant. 

It is extremely significant that one observer noted27 

...though conditions had always been bad, no 
one paid much attention to the problem because 
it affected mainly foreigners. It was not un- 
til increased mechanization on the Nation's 
farms, the depression and the drought had driven 
thousands of native white American families from 
their homes that the distressing conditions of 
the migratory worl<er became a problem of nation- 
a I concern . 

With the demand for industrial labor caused by World War 
II, most of those "native white American families" were 
able to secure better employment than in the fields, 
leaving that worl< again to "foreigners". Blacks, and Chi- 
canos. When that occurred, it is probably not coinciden- 
tal that the "distressing conditions of the migratory 



-ty , Civil Action No. C- 
Colorado, Dec. 9, 1969. 



1919, f i led in 
See a I so , the 



U.S.O.C. Denver, 
Memora ndum Filed 



in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgement, Gary S. 
Goodpaster, Jonathan B. Chase, William D. Prakken, At- 
torneys for Plaintiffs, Colorado Rural Legal Services, 
Inc., Boulder, Colorado. 

27 . History of the Farm Security Administration Camp Pro- 



5707 



worker" were no longer a "national problem" and a program 
designed for their benefit was discontinued. The next 
federal program to provide housing for farm workers did 
not come into existence until 1962, and that. Is totally 
I nadequate . 



gram , p 



20, 



47 



5708 



PART III 



Minor Programs Affecting 
Farm Labor Housing 

MIGRANT HOUSING CODES AND CODE ENFORCEMENT 



There seems always to have been an awareness on the part 
of at least some public officials of some of the deplor- 
able conditions in migrant camps. Their approaches to 
combat them have varied considerably. The most universal 
approach has been to set minimum standards and attempt to 
enforce them through the issuance of licenses or operating 
perm i ts . 

At the Federal level the first attempt to improve camps 
not within its jurisdiction was made by the Farm Security 
Administration. Part of its migrant labor program in- 
volved transporting labor to areas where they were needed. I 



With 
FSA 
on t 
Ma np 
act i 
ha rv 
of t 
with 
of t 
port 
tees 
the 
diti 
hou s 
sat i 
pa i d 



resp 
and t 
he ba 
ower 
ng i n 
est r 
he FS 

pote 
he ag 
at i on 
. No 
FSA u 
ons , 
ing, 
sf i ed 
, wit 



act t 

he U. 

sis o 

Comm i 

resp 

ecord 

A neg 

nt i a I 

ency 

f u nc 

farm 

n I ess 

wage 

and f 

Lo 

ham 



o do 
S. E 
f di 
ss i o 
onse 
-bre 
ot i a 
emp 
u sed 
t i on 
wor 
sta 
rate 
reed 
ca I 
i n i m 



mest 
mp I o 
rect 
n i n 

to 
akin 
ted 
I oye 

the 

to 
kers 
ndar 
s, t 
om f 
p rev 
urn o 



I c m 
ymen 
i ves 

J un 
dema 
g cr 
a se 
rs, 

I ev 
extr 

wou 
d s r 
he p 
rom 
a i I i 
f th 



I g ra 
t Se 
i ss 
e, I 
nd s 
ops, 
r i es 
i n w 
erag 
act 
Id b 
espe 
rov i 
d i sc 
ng w 
I rty 



tory 
rv i c 
ued 
942. 
for 

rep 

of 
h i ch 
e of 
spec 
e tr 
ct i n 
s i on 
r i m i 
ages 

cen 



wor ke 
e proc 
by the 
In t 
worker 
resent 
agreem 

the I 

their 
i f ic g 
a nspor 
g work 

of ad 
nation 

were 
ts an 



rs, the- 
eeded 

War 
he fa I I , 
s tp 
at i ves 
ents 
eaders 

tra ns- 
ua ra n- 
ted by 
i ng con- 
equate 

were 
to be 
hour . 



I. Sidney Baldwin, Poverty and Po I i t i cs--The Rise and De- 
cline of The Farm Secur i ty Adm i n i stra t i on , Chapel Hill, 
University of North Carolina Press, 1968, p. 224. 



49 



5709 



Between September, 1942, and May, 1943, the FSA 
transported more than 8,000 domestic farm work- 
ers under these arrangements. Also, during the 
same period, more than 5,000 year-round farm 
workers from cbrdrglnai farming areas, espe- 
cially the Appalacians ad the Southeast, were 
transported to areas where labor shortages exis- 
ted. 



In May , 
Labor wa 
laws sho 
comm i ss I 
It even 
th i s typ 
gratory 
of recom 
for m i gr 
In Augu s 
gratory 
M I grator 
a code, 
agencies 
for m i gr 



1946 
s f o 
u Id 
oner 
went 
e.2 
Labo 
mend 
ator 
t, I 
La bo 
y La 
i ssu 
, fa 
ant 



, the 
rmed . 
be en 
s for 
so f 
In I 
r was 
at i on 
y far 
954, 
r, la 
bor w 
ed i n 
rmers 
agr i c 



Fed 

On 

acte 

I ic 
ar a 
950, 

est 
s w i 
m I a 
the 
ten 
as a 

195 
, a n 
u I tu 



eral Interagency Committee on Migrant 
e of its recommendations was that 
d giving authority to State labor 
ensing and regulating labor camps, 
s to "suggest" language for law 3 of 

the President's Commission on Mi- 
ablished and it too "made a number 
th respect to improving conditions 
bor, including migrant housing". ^ 
Interdepartmental Cnrrmittee on Mi- 
called the President's Committee on 
ppointed.4 This committee drafted 
6, to serve as "a guide to State 
d civic groups in improving housing 
ra I wor kers" . - 



This code was used by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bu- 
reau of Employment Security State Agencies as the basis 
for approval of the housing element of Interstate Job 
orders for agricultural workers.^ These regulation'^ 



2. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards, 
-' c u sing for Migrant Agricultural Workers-- La bor Camp 



a , a d a r d s , 
3. Ibid. 



Bulletin 235 (Revised) November, 1962, p. 3 



4. I b ' c 

5. }J^i±- ' P- 4. 

6. U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Administration, 
"Housing regulaticns of the U.S. Department of Labor for 
out-of-state Agr i cu 1 , u ra I , woods, and related Industry 
workers recruited "through State Employment Service," 1968, 
p. 1. 



50 



5710 



were 

word 

deny 

who 

mitt 

had 

with 

to m 

La bo 

Ma jo 

wate 

camp 

(60 

s I ee 

Whet 

prov 

the 

that 

serv 

when 



not 
s, af 

the 
cou I d 
ee' s 
a pro 

the 
eet t 
r ame 
r cha 
rand 
s. I 
sq. f 
ping 
her t 
I ng c 
recru 

emp I 
i ces 

the 



made man 
ter 1967 
use of t 

not fur 
code. I 
vision f 
result t 
he code, 
nded the 
nges I nc 

I aundry 
t also p 
t. per p 
are alio 
he new c 
amp cond 
Itment s 
oyer use 
were a t 
rev i sed 



dator 
, the 
heir 
n I sh 
t sho 
or "w 
hat m 
On 

code 
I uded 

f ac i 
rov I d 
erson 
wed ) . 
ode h 
i t Ion 
ea son 

of t 
hird. 
code 



y, ho 

Stat 
recru 
hous I 
uld b 
a I ver 
uch o 
Octob 
Sand 

show 
I Itle 
ed f o 

I n u 
(See 
as ha 
s I s 

In I 
he Em 
of wh 
was n 



wever , 
e Emp I 
I tment 
ng mee 
e note 
s" whi 
f the 
er 30, 
subst 
ers w i 
s were 
r mini 
nits w 
Append 
d any 
debata 
969 a 
p I oyme 
at the 
ot i n 



unt 
oyme 

sen 
ting 
d, h 
ch w 
hou s 
1968 
anti 
th h 

to 
mum 
here 
Ix A 
I mme 
ble. 
ma jo 
nt A 
y we 
ef fe 



I I 

nt 
V I c 

th 
owe 
as 
I ng 
, t 
al I 
ot 
be 
spa 

bo 

dia 
A 
r u 
gen 
re 
ct. 



I 967. ' 
Agenc I es 
es to em 
e Pres I d 
ver, tha 
used ext 
used st 
he Depar 
y streng 
and CO I d 
prov i ded 
ce requ I 
th cookl 
th I s rep 
te effec 
t one po 
ser stat 
cy ' s rec 
the year 



I n other 

were to 
p I oyers 
ent's Com- 
t the code 
ens I ve I y 
III fal led 
tment of 
thened It. 

running 

i n a I I 
rements 
ng and 
ort.) 
t of Im- 
I nt during 
e reported 
ru i tment 

before 



The maj 
bl I ity 
recru 1 1 
of the 
ment ag 
tect i on 
c I es of 
or I nsp 
of camp 
for won 
only re 
necessa 



or p 
of e 
ment 
camp 
ency 

of 
ten 
ect I 
s . 

kers 
suit 
rl ly 



rob I 
nf or 

ser 
. T 

his 
the 
mu st 
ons 
Once 

» a 
I n 

pre 



em w 
ceme 
V I ce 
hus , 

wor 
Fede 

re I 
by o 

cer 
subs 
a ca 
vent 



ith 
nt. 
s; I 

If 
kers 
ral 
y on 
then 
tif I 
eque 
nee I 

the 



this 

The 

t ca 

a gr 

are 

Gove 

se I 

sta 

cat I 

nt f 

latl 

wor 



typ 
Sta 
nnot 
ower 
not 
rnme 
f -ce 
te a 
on I 
I nd I 
on o 
kers 



e of 

te Ag 

deny 

does 

affo 

nt. 

rti f I 

gene i 

s mad 

ng of 

f the 

f rom 



code 
ency 
the 
not 
rded 
State 
cat I o 
es as 
e and 
none 
orde 
com I 



Is t 
can 
grow 
u se 
the 

Emp 
n by 

to 

an 
omp I 
r; i 
ng a 



he Imposs'I- 
only deny Its 
er the use 
the Emp I oy- 
m I n I mum pro- 
loyment Agen- 
the grower ., 
the condltlpn 
order is sent 
I a nee -eani 
t does n o t. . •■ 
nyway . 



There is evidence that the regulations are putting so,m e 
squeeze on growers with bad housing. Congressman Ediw^rd 
Hutchinson of Michigan's Fourth Congressional District 
took to the floor of the House of Representatives to tell 
the plight of his grower constituents:" 



7. 20 C.F.R. 602 I , (d) 

8. 20 C.F.R. 620 (1969). Appendix of this report, 

9. Congressional Record, March 17, 1970, p. HI862. 



SI 



5711 



. . .( 

by t 

enf o 

area 

and 

from 

i n a 

a I d 

The! 

hous 

of t 

bear 



M) ig 
he D 
reed 
s of 
I mpr 

the 
n or 
in t 
r po 
i ng 
he g 

a p 



rant I 

epartm 

i n th 

south 

act I ca 

growe 

gan i za 

he con 

s 1 1 1 on 

for mi 

rower 

art of 



a bor 
ent 
e fr 
west 
I ap 
rs' 
t i on 
stru 

i s 
gran 
to p 

the 



hou s 
of La 
uit a 
ern M 
p I I ca 
point 

i nte 
ct i on 
that 
ts be 
rov i d 

bu rd 



i ng sta 
bor are 
nd vege 
i c h i gan 
t i on of 

of vie 
nt on o 

of m i g 
i f the 
yond th 
e , the 
en . 



ndar 
bei 
tabi 
. T 
the 
w , h 
btai 
ra nt 
Gove 
e fi 
Gove 



d s p 
ng r 
e-pr 
he u 

sta 
as r 
n i ng 

hou 
rnme 
nanc 
rnme 



romu I ga 
igidly 
oduc i ng 
nrea I i s 
ndards , 
esu I ted 
Federa 
si ng. 
nt requ 
i a I ab i 
nt shou 



ted 



tic 



i --es 
I ity 
Id 



There is a growing opinion that the government 
seeks to discourage the use of migrant labor in 
the area, though such-labor is presently essen- 
tial to the harvesting of crops. 

A principal complaint of the growers is that_ 
they need to obtain individually and annually 
the housing permit required before they can 
utilize the services of the U.S. Employment Ser- 
vice in obtaining essential farm labor. 

A year ago I was asked to come to their assis- 
tance and I arranged to have a Labor Depart- 
ment official, armed with authority, go into 
the areas and there act upon individual appli- 
cations. 

Today these growers are faced with the same 
problems they experienced last spring. 

To keep things in perspective it is estimated that only 
a very small percentage of migrants are recruited through 
the U.S. Employment Service. 

One positive aspect which can be attributed, at least in 
part, to Federal involvement in establishing migrant hous- 
ing standards is the establishment on the state level of 
similar codes. As of 1962, 28 states had laws or mandatory 
regulations applicable to migrant camps. '0 Since that time 
additional states have established codes, while some of 



Housing for Migrant Agricultural Workers, p. 5, 



52 



5712 



the 28 have strengthened theirs. The Federal code states 
that the standards outlined are "minimum standards used 
to determine whether conditions are so inadequate as to 
require the Bureau to withhold services generally made 
available upon request".'' Many of the new codes passed 
in the states depart little from the Federal regulations 
--generally they have been copied verbatim or are less 
stringent. '2 These new regulations, minimal as they are, 
fill a vacuum which was before occupied only by ill- 
housed migrant workers. 



If th 
not , 
i n mo 
f ortu 
autho 
a re e 
most 
by th 
amp I e 
I at i o 
viola 
be op 
i n th 
even 
more 
mum s 
viola 
close 
numbe 
no ot 
I a bor 



ese 
rath 
St i 
nate 
r i ty 
nf or 
i nd i 
e ag 
, th 
ns f 
t i on 
erat 
e ag 
if a 
than 
ta nd 
t i on 

a c 
rs o 
her 

i s 



codes p 
er than 
nstance 
ly the 

and pe 
ced on I 
ct i ng s 
ency re 
e f i gu r 
ou nd in 
s went 
ed . Pa 
ency as 
gene i es 

grad ua 
ards we 
s are m 
amp at 
f m i gra 
hou s i ng 
needed . 



rov I 

mer 
s th 
code 
rson 
y i n 
tati 
spon 
es c 

the 
unco 
rt o 
sign 

wer 
I i m 
re s 
i n i m 
the 
nts 

i s 



ded 
e sa 
ey w 
s ar 
ne I 

the 
st i c 
si bl 
i ted 

cam 
rrec 
f th 
ed t 
e f u 
prov 
tr i c 
a I a 
pea k 
shel 
I I ke 



for de 

n i tary 
ou I d s 
e only 
behind 

most 
s ava i 
e for 

ear I i 
ps in 
ted an 
e p rob 
o cond 
My St 
ement 
1 1 y CO 
nd it 

Of th 
ter I es 
ly to 



cent 
she 
ti I I 
a s 
the 
extr 
labl 
the 
er i 
F lor 
d th 
I em 
uct 
af fe 
un I e 
nstr 
i s a 
e se 
s a n 
ex i s 



hou 
Iter 

be 
good 
m . 
eme 
ear 
enf o 
n th 
i da 
e ca 
i s o 
the 
d th 
ss t 
ued . 

d i f 
a son 
d pr 
t i n 



sing, w 
s and c 
i nef f ec 

as the 
I nvar i a 
c i rcums 
e often 
rcement 
e repor 
showed 
mps wer 
ne of u 
I nspect 
ere wou 
hese CO 
Pena I 
f icu I t 
, rende 
oba b I y 

a rea s 



h I ch 
amp 
t i ve 

enf 
biy 
tanc 

pub 
F 
t of 
that 
e a I 
nder 
i ons 
Id b 
des 
ties 
thin 
ring 
job I 
wher 



they do 
sites, 
. Un- 
orcement 
the codes 
es . The 
I i shed 
or ex- 

t he V i o- 

6,236 
lowed to 

staff i ng 
. But 
e little 
of- m i n i - 

for 
g to 

large 
ess , si nee 
e farm 



I I 



20 C.F.R. 620 I (d) (I 969) 



12. See Housing for Migrant Agricultural Workers , Appen- 
dix A, summaries of mandatory codes p. 30-100, and Migrant 
Research Project, Unpublished comparison of State Housing 
Codes, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, 
and Ohio. 



I 



53 



5713 



THE OFHCE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 



In 1964, Congress established the Office of Economic Op- 
portunity and under Title III B of the act authorizes 
projects 

(1) to meet the immediate needs of migrant and 
seasonal f arm-worl<ers and their familie.-, 
such as day care for children, education, 
health services, improved housing and sani- 
tation (including the provision and mainte- 
nance of emergency and temporary housing 
and sanitation faciiities) , I ega I adv i ce 
and representat ion, and consumer training 
and cou nse I i ng ; 

(2) to promote increased community acceptance 
of migrant and seasonal farmworl<ers and 
the I r f ami lies; and 

(3) to equip unskilled migrant and seasonal 
farmworl<ers and members of their families 
as appropriate through education and train- 
ing to meet the changing demands in agri- 
cultural employment brought about by tech- 
nological advancement and to tal<e advantage 
of opportunities available to Improve their 
well-being and self-sufficiency by gaining 
regular or permanent employment or by par- 
ticipating In available Government training 
programs. (emphasis supplied). 

The Migrant Division (III B) of OEO has attempted to meet 
the mandate to provide "improved housing and sanitation" 
by allocating an estimated 10 percent of Its budget for 
housing purposes. Their housing role by and large Is bro- 
l<en down Into three categories: Self-Help Housing tech- 
nical assistance. Housing services and Temporary housing. 



54 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8B - 22 



5714 



Seli-Help Housing 



OEO grantees have served as the catalyst for most of the 
self-help housing built in the country since 1966, and 
the majority of this was done by III B grantees. The 
III B grantees' role is to organize families who qualify 
for self-help housing loans, assist them in making appli- 
cations for credit and provide supervision (Technical 
assistance) in the actual construction of the houses. 
At least 15% of the money invested in housing by the Mi- 
grant Division goes for the establishment and operation 
of these projects.'^ Ironically, little of this housing 
is built by or for actual migrants. Mainly it reaches 
seasonal or full time farmworkers who don't migrate, or 
those few migrants who have "settled out" of the migrant 
stream and have found steady employment. Most of the 
money used to finance the building and purchase of the 
homes comes from Farmers Home Administration Self-Help 
Housing Loans. '4 From 1966, until March 31, 1970, (the 
Insured Loan Program came into effect in 1967, supple- 
menting the Direct Loan Program, and completely replaced 
initial Direct Loans in 1969) 1,966 initial loans have 
been made (see Table X). (Prior to F.Y. 1966, 109 loans 
were made.) These loans, plus 198 "subsequent loans" 
(generally made to make up differences for cost estimates 
of construction and actual cost), totaled $15,804,210. 

The Farmers Home Administration Self-Help Housing loans 
have been made in 33 states and Puerto Rico. To get a 
better idea of their distribution, it is important to 
point out that of 1,966 initial loans, 876 (45^) went to 
California, 201 (10^) went to Florida, and 154 (8^) went 



13. The Rural Housing Alliance, "Farm Worker Housing: A 
brief review and analysis of current housing activities 
by the Migrant Division of OEO and a discussion of the 
Need to Develop a comprehensive plan relating to Farm 
Worker Housing", 1970, (unpublished). 

14. Section 502 of the Housing Act of 1949, (as amended) 



S5 



5715 



OAHLE X 
NUMBER AND AMDUNT OF SELF-HELP HOUSING LOANS OBLIGATED 



BY FmHA BY STATE CUMULATIVE FRDM INCEPTION THHDUGH JUNE 30, 1970 
Nu mber Amount 

$1,388,730 

670,980 

128,570 

9,227,870 

62,000 
1,559,230 

40,500 

297,680 

9,900 

84,750 
192,070 
638,780 
180,170 
231,910 

76,900 
225,310 

69,220 
317,150 
528,110 
374,120 
284,590 

52,200 
290,190 
218,890 
214,210 
268,460 

81,660 

102,550 

9,200 

267,670 

110,350 

50,000 

113,020 



Alabama 


187 


Arizona 


87 


Arkansas 


22 


California 


1087 


Colorado 


8 


Florida 


203 


Georgia 


6 


Idaho 


27 


Indiana 


1 


Iowa 


7 


Kentucky 


29 


Louisiana 


95 


Maine 


22 


Vermont 


21 


Michigan 


8 


Mississippi 


37 


Maryland 


5 


New Jersey 


40 


New Mexico 


81 


New York 


34 


N. Carolina 


42 


Ohio 


5 


Oklahoma 


35 


Oregon 


25 


Pennsylvania 


23 


S. Carolina 


36 


Tennessee 


9 


Texas 


32 


Virginia 


1 


Washington 


32 


Wisconsin 


8 


Wyoming 


5 


Puerto Rico 


29 



Totals 



2289 



$18,336,940 



Source: Rural Housing Alliance, Hie Self -Help Reporter , June 
1970, updated with U.S.D.A. FmHA Report of Loan and 
Grant Obligations, 1970 Fiscal Year through June 30, 
Table 23. 



5716 



to Alabama. Thus, nearly 63 percent of the Self-Help Hous- 
ing loans made went to residents of three states. '^ Since 
housing needs of migrants are as great in other states, 
it is obvious that no overall successful strategy exists 
within the Migrant Division for encouraging extensive 
self-help housing activity by its grantees. 

It must be emphasized that none of the Migrant Division's 
funds went for the actual construction of these homes. 
Migrant Division money has been used for organization and 
technical assistance. Even with this assistance, some- 
thing less than 2,000 homes have been built for agricul- 
tural workers. Use of other Federal Programs available 
from Farmers Home Administration, such as "home rehabili- 
tation" and especially "Farm Labor Housing" have been 
virtually ignored by the Migrant Division. 



Housing Service 



One function that the Migrant Division's grantees serve 
is to find or attempt to find suitable housing for-migrants 
who decide to drop out of the stream and take part in a 
grantee's education and training programs, to seek perma-- 
nent employment in the area, or for some other reason. 
For example, in Michigan, last year, approximately 420 mi- 
grant families managed to escape the migrant life. About 
two thirds of this number received assistance in trying 
to find housing from the Migrant Division's grantee, 
United Migrants for Opportunity, Inc. UMOI was funded 
for four full time employees just to provide this ser- 
vice. Their experience in finding housing has been, if 
not futile, at the very least, extremely frustrating. 
Available housing is nearly as bad as that in which the 
migrants were living before they decided to settle out. 



15. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Adminis- 
tration, "Report of loan and grant obligations. Fiscal 
year through June 30, "1966, 1967, 1968, I 969 '.l' "Report of 
loan and grant obligations 1970 fiscal year through March 
31 ." 



57 



5717 



For example, a two bedroom apartment In the very worst 
section of Saginaw rented for $125 per month. The prob- 
lem with a "housing services" approach Is that, In most 
cases, a decent and adequate housing supply at a price 
ex-migrants can afford simply does not exist. '^ 



Temporary Housing — California 



It Is essential to recognize that from the outset the Mi- 
grant Division has sought to deplete the migrant labor 
force by providing means for escape--for settling out-- 
through education. Job Placement, and other means. Com- 
mendable though this may have seemed to the social minded 
administrators, too much stress on this aspect of the 
program has been at least a partial perversion of the 
law. A balanced program would have placed stress on serv- 
ing those condemned to migrancy as well as opening doors 
for some of them to escape. As a result of the Migrant 
Division's approach, only In California is housing for 
migrants being constructed with OEO money, and there 
because of Congressional pressure. It is most unfortu- 
nate that in this single experiment to provide shelter 
for migrant farm workers, the Migrant Division did not 
attempt to establish a model of decent housing which 
could be followed in other States. Instead it has pro- 
vided housing which, under the best circumstances, is 
shelter which is sanitary, yet which falls far short of 
what could be considered decent living. A fairly close 
look at the California experience therefore seems worth- 
wh I I e . 

In 1965 the California legislature adopted the Califor- 
nia Migrant Master Plan which gave the California Office 
of Economic Opportunity the task of providing labor camps 
and assistance programs for migrants. To date 1,818 
family units have been built at 21 Farm Labor Centers 



16. Interview b/ tel^ohone with James Shrift, j'lrec'ro; 
United Migrants for Opportunity, Inc., Mt. Pleasant, 
Michigan, May 8, 1 970. 



58 



5718 



and 27 1 more units are projected by the end of this pro- 
gram year. '7 it is estimated that to meet the current 
demand for temporary housing some 5,500 units are needed 
(See Appendix B, Table I.) Present expansion rate, how- 
ever, is only 320 units per year. 




Migrant housing provided with OEO funds^ 
Patterson, California. 

The centers are generally sited outside or on 
the outskirts of rural communities. They vary 
from four to 17.9 acres in size and may be 
characterized as fenced compounds. About half 
are hooked up to municipal utilities while the 
remainder are self-sufficient with on-site wa- 
ter and sewage systems. Typically they have 
up to 100 shelters with sanitary facilities in 
each or with community bathhous.es, a day care 
building and outside play area, as well as 



17. Interview by telephone with V. Ralph Gunderson, Chief, 
Migrant Programs, State Office of Economic Opportunity, 
Sacramento, California, May 7, 1970. 



S9 



5719 



laundry facilities. 

The program began with a crash phase, on-the- 
spot planning and execution of sitework and con- 
struction. It is conceived of as a five-year 
experiment. Hence, sites have been made avail- 
able by the local communities on short-term, 
renewable bases. The centers are by law open 
only for 180 day periods and, as temporary fa- 
cilities, qualify for waiver of code require- 
ments normally governing construction. 

An objective of the Program is to undertake in- 
novation in the use of materials and methods of 
construction. To this end, and given the relax- 
ation of code constraints, a certain amount of 
experimentation has gone on in conjunction with 
just plain cutting corners. 

In this context all plumbing and electrical sys- 
tems have relied altogether or in part upon plas- 
tic piping and conduit. Most dramatic has been 




The "Kitchen" - Interior of shelter provided for 
migrants in Patterson^ California. 



60 



5720 



the search for a low-cost shelter which resulted 
in the brief use of a polygonal unit, the Para- 
dom, and for the balance of the crash phase of 
the program the Plydom, an oblong shelter made 
of Vinylized paper encaseing a polyurethane core, 

Subsequently, with the conclusion of the emergen- 
cy aspect of the program a more orderly evolu- 
tion has been possible. Professional planning 
of sites and development of intermediate-term 
shelters have been pursued. Several centers lo- 
cated on the grounds of Public Housing Projects 
have their utility loops laid out in accord with 
master plans for future permanent housing. '^ 




The Plydom, Empire, California - Built with OEO funds 
through the California Department of Human Resources 
Development . They are scheduled to be replaced this 
year. They lasted 2-5 years. 



18. California Office of Economic Opportunity, H.C, 
Collaborative, Farm Labor Centers, 1968, p. I. 



<1 



5721 



The first 18 centers built before 1968 contained 1534 
units and cost a total of $3 , 809, 675 . ' ^ The prorated 
cost per shelter for these units was $2,480. To date an 
estimated $5,750,000 of Migrant Division Funds have been 
spent for construct i on . 20 The Plydom, known as the "pa- 
per house", was the backbone of the Initial stage of de- 
velopment. These units enclosed 314, square feet of living 
space and contained a sink and stove. Designed to last 
five years, most did not last that long, and all but a 
very few will be replaced by this year. 



The 

unit 

corp 

emp I 

erec 

she I 

and 

ten I 

late 

ture 

The 

The 

$100 

prog 

bath 

coun 

grou 

comp 

the 

bath 

sign 

of s 

hous 



she I te 
s are 
orat i o 
oy i ng 
t eigh 
ters e 
a kl tc 
or and 
d. No 
s i nc I 
pr I ce 
I a bor 

for s 
ram wa 
rooms 
ties. 
ps22 i 

rom i se 
new u n 
rooms . 
ated t 
u bstan 
i ng. 



be I ng 
2 I 

24 me 
t of 
nc I OS 
hen- I 

I nte 
ne of 
uded , 
for t 
costs 
et-up 
s the 
i n th 

Upon 
n Sta 

was 
Its p 

It 
o com 
dard 



rrent I 
bul 1 1 
Over 
n. A 
these 
e 480 
i V i ng 
r I or w 
the u 
t houg 
his ba 
seem 
per u 
dec I s 
e rep I 
d I SCO 
n I s I au 
reache 
ut up 
I s i.n'c 
bat po 
hou s i n 



y be 
und 
400 
cons 
unit 
squa 
area 
alls 
nits 
h w i 
s I c 
mini 
nit. 
i on 
acem 
very 
s Co 
d on 
this 
ompr 
vert 
g de 



I ng 
er c 
unit 
true 
s a 
re f 

and 
. A 

are 
I I b 
shel 
ma I - 
On 
by C 
ent 

of 
unty 

the 

yea 
ehen 
y wo 
sign 



cons 
ontr 
s w i 
t i on 
day 
eet, 

u se 
I I e 

w I r 
e ad 
I, s 
-$65 
e d i 
a I if 
unit 
this 

com 

i ss 
r w I 
sibi 
uld 
ed t 



true 
act 
I I b 

ere 
on c 

con 

ply 
xter 
ed n 
ded 
et u 

for 
stur 
orn i 
s lo 
, se 
p I a i 
ue : 
I I n 
e th 
advo 
o re 



ted as 
to GEO 
e bull 
w of s 
oncret 
tain t 
wood o 
I or wa 
or a re 
prior 
pons 

const 
b I ng a 
a GEO 
cated 
vera I 
ned b i 

s i xty 
ow hav 
at an 
cate t 
p I ace 



rep I a 

by a 
t in a 
i X men 
e slab 
wo bed 
n both 
Ms ar 

kitch 
to occ 
I te, I 
ruct i o 
spect 
not to 
i n sev 
concer 
tter I y 

pence 
e I nd I 
agency 
he bu I 
su bsta 



ceme 
pr I V 

f ac 

can 
s . 
room 

the 
e I n 
en f 
upan 
s $1 
n an 
of t 

put 
era I 
ned 

and 
nt o 
V I du 

de- 
Idin 
ndar 



nt 

ate 

tory 

The 
s 

ex- 
su- 
i X- 
cy. 
518. 
d 
h I s 



19. Ibid . , p. 60, 61 . 

20. Interview, V, Ralph Gunderson 



21 



MLW Corp., Rlverbank, California. 



22. Letter to Mr. Noel Klores, Director of Special Field 
Programs, GEO, Washington, D.C. and Mr. V. Ralph Gunderson^ 
Chief, Migrant Services Division of Farm Labor Services 
Department of Human Resources, Sacramento, California from 
John P. Kelly, Edward L. Mattison, Armando A, Zavala, Cal- 
ifornia Rural Legal Services, Modesto, California, Febru- 



62 



5722 



The 

to r 

pora 

ifor 

448 

and 

der 

wh i I 

an e 

for 

stag 

wh i c 

squa 



constru 
ep I acem 
t Ion of 
nla OEO 
square 
a k i tch 
the dir 
e the s 
st imate 
labor i 
e i s a 
h wi I I 
re foot 



ct i o 

ent) 

Fre 

fro 

feet 

en- I 

act 1 

econ 

d ma 

s an 

unit 

have 
23 



n of 

i s 
sno, 
m th 

of 

i V i n 
on o 
d 10 
ter i 

est 

con 

an 



un I 
be i n 

Cal 
e Ro 
f loo 
g ar 
f OE 
(p 
al s 
imat 
ta i n 
est i 



ts us 
g don 
i f orn 
hr Co 
r spa 
ea . 
had 
resen 
cost 
ed $4 
i ng 9 
mated 



ed f o 
e by 
i a , r 
rpora 
ce an 
The f 

a ma 
tly u 
of $1 
00. 
50 sq 

tota 



r expa 
Produc 
ecent I 
tlon. 
d cont 
irst I 
ter i a I 
nder c 
250. 
A I so i 
uare f 
I cost 



ns I o 
t i on 
y ac 
The 
a i n 
00 c 

S CO 

onst 
The 
n th 
eet 
of 



n ( a s o 
Tra i n I 
qu I red 
se unit 
two bed 
onstruc 
st of $ 
ruct ion 
ass i gne 
e devel 
of f I oo 
$5.50 p 



pposed 
ng Cor- 
by Ca I - 
s have 
rooms 
ted un- 
1450 
) have 
d cost 
opment 
r space 
er 



The camps themselves have a population ranging between 250 
and 500 inhabitants. The major complaints against the 
camps are not much different' from complainfs heard about 
migrant camps in other parts of the country e.'en though 
these are much cleaner and seem to have some s^nse of 
planning. 

In sum, these flaws have been found to be major 
impositions between the intent and achievement 
of the centers: Isolation and undesircble land; 
excessive population density, insufficient open 
space and intolerably small shelters; inadequate 
day care and educational facilities. Tnere are 
Innumerable less Important def I c i enc I es . ^^ ^ 

Of particular consequence is the overcrowded condition of 
the camps. In 1968, the camps aver'aged eight acres per 
camp and had a population density of 50 persons per- acre. 
('•The average American suburb is planned for 14 Inhabi- 
tants per acre. An urban density of 100 persons per acre 
usually Indicates three story construction on small par-'' 
cels.")25 



ary 16, 1970. 

23. Interview, V. Ralph Gunderson 

24 . F arm Labor Centers , p . 13. 

25. Ibid., p. 10, 



C3 



5723 



The Plydom units contained only 320 square feet of floor 
space and at present the largest unit used in the centers 
has only 480 square feet. Yet this Is obviously Inade- 
quate when statistics for 1969 Indicate that the average 
size of families occupying the centers was 5.3 persons. 
(See Appendix B) Occupancy In the Plydoms was limited to 
6 people. Over 27 percent of the families in the camps 
consisted of more than six people. For those families, 
two units are generally provided. From November, 1968, 
through December, 1969, the camps served 2,618 families, 
but had to turn away 4,337 families (Appendix B). 

Rents for the units range from 50 cents to $1.00 per day 
depending upon the type of unit and the furnishings in- 
cluded. For example, the Plydom rents for 50 cents per 
day; plywood units rent for 75 cents if they do not have 
toilets and $1.00 per day if the units have toilets. 

Operation and maintenance costs at one point ran as high 
as $450 per unit per year. 26 This year these costs are 
budgeted at $1.80 per day for the 180-day operating per- 
iod or a total of $324 per unit.27 This figure should 
continue to drop as the Plydom units are replaced because 
they required a great deal of maintenance. 

OEO's view that this type of housing only perpetuates the 
migrant stream and gives migrants no "economic opportu- 
nity", except to save them from paying exorbitant rents 
for worse facilities provided by the private sector, is 
superficially all too true. The fact that California law 
provides that the camps can only remain open for 180 days 
out of the year (this provision Is sometimes waived when 
a determination Is made that labor Is needed for a longer 
period) clearly indicates that the camps operate as a 
subsidy to California's first industry, agri-business. 

Considering the experience of the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration's Labor Camp Program, and the example It set so 
many years before. It Is tragic that GEO should have lent 
itself to a program of bad housing for migrants. By doing 
so GEO avoided its obligation to give an "economic oppor- 



26. Ibid ., p. 46. 

27. Interview, V. Ralph Gunderson 



5724 



tun i 

gati 

pol I 

have 

InsI 

read 

pand 

trib 

prov 

an a 

the 

of I 

"pre 

Pens 

p I ac 

prov 

the 



ty" 
on t 
t ica 
pro 
sted 
ily 
ed, 
utlo 
i d i n 
ttem 
grow 
a bor 
f err 
ons 
e to 
I des 
bas i 



to m 

do 

1 pr 
vide 

tha 
conv 

The 
n to 
g de 
pt t 
ers 
. T 
ed" 
i nte 

I iv 

sma 
c am 



I gra n 
what 
essur 
d m i g 
t at 
ert i h 
M i gr 
the 
cent 

sta 
are h 
he re 
treat 
reste 
e can 

1 I pa 
en i t i 



ts. Be 
is rig 
e f rom 
rant ho 
least a 
! e i nto 
ant Civ 
"oconom 
hou sing 
bi 1 ize 
appy : 
s i dent 
ment an 
d i n se 
not be 
per or 
es a ssu 



yond 
ht. 
Cal i 
u s i n 
goo 
dec 
i slo 
i c o 
wh i