Mexican farmworkers are on strike for higher wages and better working conditions. The strike is centered in one of Mexico’s largest export regions, and involves thousands of workers. The labor action has all but stopped the harvest. In recent months, reporting by the Los Angeles Times has focused attention on alleged abuses at agribusinesses that export to the U.S. The strike will likely test a new alliance (Wal-Mart is among its members) dedicated to improving conditions for the country’s farmworkers.
The strike, which began Tuesday, has shut down schools and stores across the region and focused attention on alleged labor abuses at agribusinesses that export millions of tons of produce to the U.S. every year. Among those targeted are U.S.-based BerryMex, which grows strawberries and raspberries sold under the Driscoll label.
Farmworkers are seeking higher salaries, government benefits and overtime pay. They want agribusiness to stop sexual abuse of female pickers at the hands of field bosses.
Farmworker leaders and government and industry officials met Thursday at a nearby hotel but little progress was reported.