Friday, May 25, 2007

It's not even summer and a worker has already died of heat stoke in California. On May 9th 54 year old Eladio Hernandez was working for the farm labour contractor YNT Harvesting at Hillside Orchards in the San Joaquin Valley of California. at about 1pm he complained of being sick, but the foreman ignored him. He tried to climb up a ladder to continue picking peaches, but he fell off the ladder. He was then told to go sit under a tree. The foreman then went over to him and yelled, "Get it up. Don't be lazy you son of a bitch." He didn't because he couldn't. Around 3pm several workers told the foreman that something had to be done about Eladio as he wasn't getting any better. At about 3:30pm the foreman picked up Eladio and dropped him off at the sorting facility. He then went back to his crew, totally ignoring the ill man. Eladio walked over to the sorters, and they noticed his lips were white. They attempted to fan him and give him some water, but he soon lost consciousness and fell into convulsions. Finally somebody called 911. While waiting for the ambulance other workers gave him CPR twice as he stopped breathing. When the ambulance finally arrived at 4:20 it was too late. The paramedics attempted to revive him once more but failed.
The United Farm Workers is calling for online support in terms of emails sent to the responsible agency, Cal-OSHA, demanding that this death be thoroughly investigated and that those responsible for ignoring this worker's plight be prosecuted. To read more and to join this campaign go to

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