An Account of Agriculture: Episode 4

The final episode features an interview with a local agricultural worker, Francisco Naranjo. It’s Spanish and the highlights are translated below.

Californian: How long have you been working as an agricultural worker?

Francisco: Not only did I work, I’m from four generations. My grandparents, my parents, us, and my children have also worked to help college and agriculture.

C: If your parents were also working, at what age did you start working as an agricultural worker?

F: My dad is a Mexican agricultural worker and we also work from Mexico. I have been doing various jobs from the age of 12 to the present.

C: What are you doing in your job right now?

F: It has to do with building a house, most of the house is built, but there are still some things to build. In December, they have to be disassembled and the materials cleaned up.

C: Do you put them together so that people can live there while they work?

F: They are small houses like nurseries. You can say they are a nursery school. Fruits are very delicate, so a home to protect them from water.

C: Did you do that during the pandemic a year ago?

F: Yes, I was very influenced.

C: Tell us a little bit about working during a pandemic.

F: I had to get a job. The supervisor gave us the option to come unpaid for three days, which would be only 30 or 40 workers. I decided to go in, but the rest was delayed, probably because I didn’t have the complete information, but I don’t know the motive.

C: Did they want you to come unpaid?

F: If there are days of illness left, 3 days without pay. There was nothing in my house.

C: How did you get the information about the pandemic, did you read the treatise, or how did you get it?

F: Through the union. I always work under a union contract and the supervisor also provided us with information. If he wants to follow the rules of his boss, it’s good to get the information, as the job depends on him.

C: Are you afraid to get a job during a pandemic?

F: Yes. Fear is part of being human and we are all included in it.

C: Please tell us more about your feelings about work during a pandemic.

F: That they left us behind is one of the emotions … it’s no longer the same job. I have little work. After I fell into work, I had two opportunities to be observed. Some people were infected with COVID. Two periods of 14 days when I wasn’t working, 28 days when I wasn’t working. The first period they didn’t pay me, and the second time they paid me the published 80 hours.

C: Did you feel that your company is protecting you? Did they give you a mask or something like that?

F: Yes, but it turns out that they don’t put too much emphasis on materials. The supervisor was handing out masks only when there was a rally. The mask wasn’t very comfortable and I was told, “I don’t know how.” [the masks] felt. There is no obligation to use it. “… The masks I have now are comfortable, and the masks they gave me were not comfortable and I felt drowned.

C: You said that masks are not obligatory …

F: That’s what they said, “use them if you want.” But I had to take a break if I didn’t use it … Many people used handkerchiefs.

C: So did everyone have handkerchiefs or masks?

F: Yes, there are many.

C: Did you see someone without them?

F: I needed it, so I had to wear it.

C: Did you work during the fire?

F: Yes, there were many days I worked.

C: Do you think your company protects you when you go to work in the middle of a fire, or do you have your best intentions in mind?

F: It’s not that much of a company, but it’s OSHA that isn’t paying attention … OSHA needs to be more vigilant.

C: So don’t you think OSHA is working well?

F: I don’t know where I found it.

C: There is no one nearby. Is there anything you would like people to know about working in a pandemic or in a fire?

F: I would like the company to be more clear about who is ill … How do I know if someone I work closely with is infected with COVID-19?

C: Are you preparing for this year’s fire on that theme?

F: Well, people are working. We have to work because it is the only entry we have: Agriculture. We don’t know how to do anything else.

C: Do your colleagues want to be vaccinated?

F: They are afraid. I was scared to get it too. In an interview I talked about it.

C: During the pandemic, did people feel that you valued you, or not so much?

F: We wanted our boss to do more business. There was a company there. There was a mariachi and there was food … but they got angry and told me it wasn’t important, the supervisor told me it wasn’t important, and I should go back to work Yes, I wasn’t paying attention … the company doesn’t have to do anything, it just cooperates.

C: That was my question, but if I didn’t ask you what people think they need to know, I wanted to give you time. What you want to share.

F: I want more training to pay more attention to the supervisors … knowing that the government is injecting billions of dollars, they make good use of that money and they Personnel should be trained to be able to work more with us. There is also a message to President Joe Biden. We voted for him so he could support immigration reform. And we’re not the only ones who support it. Like Shay Myers in Ohio, who wants immigration reform, it’s also supported by Joe Biden’s colleagues. I hope this message reaches President Joe Biden and he will not let us down in order for all of us to win. Ranchero has his farmer and we are not afraid.

Angelica Cabral, a California journalist and podcaster, covers topics ranging from films shot in Monterey County to how much money the politicians have raised. Do you have any interesting story tips? Email her at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter @ avcabral97

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