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HomeNewsFarmworkers Who Picked Driscoll’s Strawberries in Oxnard File Suit Alleging Stolen Wages

Farmworkers Who Picked Driscoll’s Strawberries in Oxnard File Suit Alleging Stolen Wages

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Today, April 19, 2023, a press conference was held outside the Ventura County Superior Court, 800 S Victoria Ave, Ventura, CA 93009 from 4:00pm to 4:30pm

17 farmworkers with the support of California Legal Rural Assistance (CRLA), the Legal Aid At Work and the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) held a press conference about their filed a lawsuit alleging that they were not fully paid for picking Driscoll’s strawberries during the 2022 harvesting season. 

According to the legal the farmworkers plaintiffs were hired by Seventh Tree Farm, a farm labor contractor to harvest Driscolls strawberries and were promised $2.10 per each box of strawberry that they were picked. However, the complaint alleges that the employers systematically undercounted the number of boxes that workers picked, and failed to appropriately pay worker for all their labor resulting in widespread wage theft.  Seventh Tree Farm also frequently required many workers to work overtime on weekends, paying them in cash or personal check but failing to pay overtime premiums required by law.  In many cases, workers were paid below the minimum wage for the hours they spent performing harvesting work.  

The workers lodged complaints with managers about the failure to pay accurately, but managers refused to address the issues. Workers tired of not been heard about these issues some of them were fired or resigned.

Considering that Farmworkers are been considered “essential workers” it is a serious insult to their dignity. It is unacceptable that workers’ wages are being stolen by their employers. 

Maria one of the plaintiffs states “this make me angry…I was fired…this injustices should not be happen if we are going to stay quite they shall continue to happen”

Leonardo another of the plaintiffs wants public to know what these employers are doing, but most importantly he encourage other workers who had suffered this type of injustice that raising their voices is the only way this can be changed.

The workers in this case are represented by California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) and Legal Aid at Work.  CRLA is a nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income residents of California’s rural communities.  

Legal Aid at Work is a San Francisco-based non-profit legal services organization dedicated to strengthening and enforcing workers’ rights. Alexx Campbell, senior staff attorney at Legal Aid at Work said: “It is unacceptable that people who perform some of the hardest and most essential jobs in California are subject to wage theft.  These defendants, including industry leaders like Driscoll’s, must end this injustice.”

NOTE: Ventura County is a home of more than 20,000 indigenous farmworkers. Many are originally from southern states of Mexico such as Oaxaca, Michoacan, Puebla and Guerrero and speaks their native language such as Mixteco, Zapoteco, Purepecha, Otomi, and other.

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