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side down and shaken and completely reworked so that they protect the human beings.
That is either protect these people, protect us or give up making a pretense about it.
The question of poison compounds, the question of organophospherous compounds, who is going to tell us what are we working with? What are these deadly organophospherous compounds that are used not only extensively throughout the length and breadth of agriculture in the United States that by their very nature the use of these compounds must be accelerated and intensified because the bugs and weeds catch onto the habits of the compounds. They become immune so that the deadliness, the extreme dangerousness of the compound and the workers exposed to the compounds both in concentrate form and in residue form. The seriousness of this question becomes greater not only every day but every hour.
It is one thing to ask for an answer but we have not been told yet, we have not been told locally. The farmers have not told us what are the names of these compounds, nor have any of these very proud bodies that we speak in front of offered any clue.
Our only clues have come from the World Health Organization which confesses that it cannot help us as farmworkers unless and until it is invited by one of the member nations to step into this question.
I would like to urge that the United States as a member nation invite the World Health Organization to help the farm workers protect their lives against the use of these poison compounds.
We also_this is one of the elements of our petition-would like to be told in whatever language we speak—and many, many of us speak Spanish-we would like to be informed of the dangerousness of the compound, what precautions we must take and the name of the compounds.
Senator MURPHY. Do I understand that the health and the lives of the workers are in danger and they are not instructed as to the danger of the compound?
Mrs. TRESJAN. I lost one word in the middle of what you said.
Senator MURPHY. I said do I understand that these compounds the workers are exposed to, that they are not warned that there is no protection or not the proper protection?
Mrs. TRESJAN. Correct. I think you understand correctly.
Senator MURPHY. I was amazed to see in regard to the housing that again in California one of the worst examples of farm housing that have been publicized over the years I found was in Stockton County. Three years ago I went out there and I would like to say I caused enough trouble so that that has been completely new housing built in there.
Also, that the self-help-you are shaking your head now-
Senator MURPHY. No, the gentleman next to you. I don't know whether he knows more about it than I do. Where are yon from?
Mr. ROBINSON. Me? I am from Washington, but I know something about the farmhouses. I worked out there, too.
Senator MURPHY. What is your name?
Senator MURPHY. Ray, I don't want to interrupt this lady's testimony but I would like to speak to you after I have finished to find out what you know that I don't know.
Mr. ROBINSON. Okay.
Senator MURPHY. I saw 10 shacks that had been condemned in 1935. They were still there. People were living in them. Then they raised the rent. Those have been torn down, Ray; they assure me, a year ago.
There is new housing. So that I know something about what you are talking. I have been concerned about it as have many members of the committee.
Mrs. TRESJAN. You had better and we had better all of us be concerned about it because this affects actually the skins of the tomatoes that the Nation eats. It affects the gentleman on the subcommittee every bit as it affects people in other occupations, low and high.
So I would recommend that we all be very concerned about it. I would most sharply recommend that somebody get concerned soon about our relations with these compounds because it is more serious.
Senator MURPHY. I assure you that I will take this up with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare immediately. Because of the number of people they have over there I would have thought that they would have done this long before it was necessary for you to come here and testify.
Mrs. TRESJAN. That is good.
Do me a favor. Please tell them to equip themselves with a copy of the World Health Report, Geneva, 1962. This is the 12th report of the World Health Organization, Geneva, 1962, pages 20 and 21.
They should get hold of one of these. It is on poisonous compounds.
There is a minimum requirement that there be water and soap in the field so that when the workers in spraying operations take time out for lunch they may wash their hands.
And also there be technical and medical supervision of all spraying operations.
Abont the workers' picking time exposed to residue, I will not take time on that. I want to rush on through these very briefly.
Chronic starvation, rice and lard. Are we living in the Far East or are we living in the western counties of New York State?
Occupational hazards. Make a note that agriculture is the number one most dangerous occupation in the United States, not overlooking construction, mining, the merchant sea men's occupation and so on.
We have figures as to the number of fatalities in certain years and comparative figures and we are not going to look for them or throw them at you now.
Make a note, please, that the fire in the tractor shed in Brockton, Chautauqua County, September 25, 1966, where two farm workers were burned to death, trapped inside. These workers have not yet been adequately buried. They are still on the outside, the periphery of the cemetery in Brockton.
There is not even an inscription to tell you who has been slammed into the ground.
The widows of these workers are in deep anguish in Puerto Rico and have not been compensated. The case has not yet been heard. But I understand trial must occur in Chautauqua County and the feeling on the part-I think I gave you a hint about the county health depart
ment and you will gather also such organizations as the fire department and other institutions in Chautauqua County are not friendly to the cause of any farm worker.
So, the trial could stand having a group like this subcommittee throw its energies into examining what was involved in that fire in Brockton in 1966. Somewhere some subcommittee should support this trial which at last is being started in June or July this year, and should attempt to establish a minimum of honesty during the proceedings of this trial.
Our problem on wages and hours, illegal recruiting, problems like Campbell Soup that reach out into Puerto Rico and look for farmworkers to whom they pay less than the minimum wage.
Problems of something called bonus where 10 cents an hour is taken from farmers' pay—
Senator MURPHY. May I ask a question?
Senator MURPHY. Do I understand that they recruit laborers from Puerto Rico, bring them in, and pay them less than the minimum?
Mrs. TRESJAN. Yes.
Mrs. TRESJAN. Campbell Soup, yes. It was 1967-last December. We have proof at least as of December last year, and we expect that this is going on.
All the way to Puerto Rico and particularly employed are the workers who don't talk English and the workers who don't read or write in any language. Six of these workers, among others, worked Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and there was one other holiday, at straight time for Campbell Soup.
We have papers and letters and things supporting what I am telling you.
More abuses. Wages, which are in most of the State codes or laws required to be paid in cash, they are not paid in cash. Wages are required to be paid weekly, they are not paid weekly.
Senator Javits. Madam, would you hold that a minute. I am a Senator from New York. You are testifying to certain conditions in New York, including 17-hour workdays and other violations of both State and Federal law.
I want to see about that. I don't want any such thing to continue in my State if I can humanly stop it.
Now could you give me the details of any single case that you are discussing?
Mrs. TRESJAN. Yes.
Senator Javits. I will look into each one of them and see that justice is done, but I cannot do it unless I have some specific information.
Mrs. TRESJAN. Yes.
Senator Javits. Don't waste a lot of time about it. Do it while you are here. Write it on a yellow piece of paper and give it to me. Give me any specific piece of information you have on any of these matters you have been discussing, 17-hour days, less than the minimum wage.
I know about abominable conditions, I have seen them in Wayne County and other places. I am doing my utmost to fight that.
Give me the facts about payment in kind, not in wages, or any other of the facts you have mentioned, which strike me, even just hearing them, as violations of law.
New York has a very enlightened labor code and we have our Federal minimum wage and other laws, and I want to know the facts.
Mrs. TRESJAN. I will be happy to do that, yes.
I would also like to hope that we can enlist you in this question that goes back to 1966 when the two workers were burned to death.
Senator Javits. Yes. Give me the details on that. Senator Murphy says he has the details. He will give me the information.
Mrs. TRESJAN. Child labor. We can expand on that. There are many instances of it. Permits get posted. Permit issuing officials in both the county health department and some representative of the Labor Department or Labor Standards Division and they are posted.
They are posted very, very often in a language that is not intelligible to the worker, and more often than that, in a form that is out of reach of the workers because life has not permitted these human beings to go to school and be taught the alphabet.
So the workers don't read or write. So what the devil good is it to have some kind of permit posted telling them what the farmer may or may not do?
This is a condition of our entire county. It is a laughable thing, these permits.
Senator Clark. I wonder if you could sort of begin to come to the end.
Mrs. TRESJAN. I have, I have, just now.
We have a petition with 3,000 signatures which we will see that your subcommittee gets a copy of. We urge passage of a law guaranteeing to farmworkers collective bargaining rights under-is it section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act?
We urge immediate establishment of a law including farmworkers under the Unemployment Insurance Act. We urge establishment of a minimum wage in agriculture of $2.50 an hour. Agriculture is skilled labor. Until last night we were urging $2 but we have been enlightened. We urge establishment and protection of the 40-hour basic workweek in agriculture with increased pay for Sundays and holiday work.
We urge that in the case of those workers who pay their own transportation from Puerto Rico by airplane to areas like New York State and their return transportation, that this be included in the agreement or in codes regulating the agreements worked out between the farmer and the workers; that the worker does not pay this transportation out of his own pocket and go back to the mountaintop in Puerto Rico with $30 to show for 6 months' work.
We urge examination of the relation between the minimum wage in agriculture in Puerto Rico and the minimum wage where it exists, if it exists, in the various States in the United States.
We urge examination into the question of the connection between a minimum wage of 60 cents or 55 cents per hour in Puerto Rico with the continuing practical minimum in many, many vicinities in the States, of 90 cents an hour and less, or $1.15 an hour.
Mr. LEE. Excuse me, Mrs. Tresjan.
If it please the committee, I would like to remind Mrs. Tresjan that Tre do have other members who have very crucial statements to bring before the committee.
We do want them to have an opportunity to at least give their statements.
Mrs. TRESJAN. I can sum up in eight words. I have only one more thing to urge today.
I recommend to the Department of Labor that they create some kind of committee to look into problems of work, rest, and exhaustion, particularly among farm workers.
Senator Clark. Thank you very much. You are very articulate. It is a pleasure to hear from you.
Senator YARBOROUGH. We have an industrial workers health and safety bill pending that will give protection to the farmworkers. There are 75 million industrial workers including farm workers.
Each year, 14,500 of these industrial workers are killed in America, 2 million are injured, 7 million are hurt; 2 million are disabled, some to the point of disability.
We have a bill pending here. There is strong opposition to it. I happen to be the author of it. It would remedy some of these complaints. Much remains to be done. We have many bills covering these fields pending.
I want to say in reply to what Mrs. Tresjan said about money to educate the children, it reminds me of what a great English philosopher said in the past century.
He said, “Grace is given by God, but knowledge is bought in the marketplace.
There must be money to educate these children.
Mr. LEE. Yes, and I would urge members of our group here again that they not be as long as Mrs. Tresjan. She had a wealth of information, and still does, to give the committee.
I am sure all of you will do as well. We do want all of you to get your points of view across. We have six more people. We would like the committee to hear from all of them.
Senator CLARK. Let us give them 5 minutes each.
Mr. LEE. I would like to hear from Mr. Victor Charlo from Montana.
STATEMENT OF VICTOR CHARLO, FLATHEAD INDIAN
RESERVATION, WESTERN MONTANA
Mr. CHARLO. I am Victor Charlo from the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana.
Senator Javits, you asked about the OEO program. I would like to give you some of my viewpoints of the OEO program on the reservations that I have seen both in Montana and six other States in the western part of the United States.
I think one of the things you see the most with these CAP programs, community action programs, sponsored by the OEO programi). is that when they talk about local involvement, when they talk about getting the poor involved, asking the people what they want, asking the people to write up their proposal, asking for what they want, it is sent to the Indian desk and from the Indian desk after many hassles