Sunday, June 08, 2008

The following notice is from the United Farm Workers of the USA, as they commemorate the life and death of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, murdered by the bosses who refused to obey heat regulations in the fields of California.
Why is the company silent ?

Last week we told you about the tragic death of 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez. Maria died due to heat stroke while laboring in a Stockton area vineyard.

Maria Isabel, who was two months pregnant, was working for Merced Farm Labor in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming. Her body temperature was 108.4 degrees when she was finally taken to a hospital nearly two hours after she collapsed. (Click to read Maria's story.)

To date no one from the companies involved has had the decency to express condolences to Maria's family--not the farm labor contractor, not the company who owns the field where Maria labored, nor the wine distributor. There have been no letters, no one showed up at the funeral--nothing.

Please help us show Maria's family--including her grieving mother--the support from the community at large. Help us show her the impact Maria’s life and death had on strangers she never knew, people whose paths never crossed hers.

Please write a condolence note to Maria’s mother and family--a line or two will do--although you are welcome to write more. Help us show Maria’s mother that thousands of people recognize the value of Maria's life.

We will be printing out these letters and giving them to Maria’s grieving mother. Please tell her you care.

Tell-A-Friend: Forward this message to at least 10 friends or family and ask them to send a letter too.

Associated Press reported that Jimenez' employer, Merced Farm Labor, had been issued “three citations in 2006 for exposing workers to heat stroke, failing to train workers on heat stress prevention...” They said the $2,250 it owes in fines has not been paid.

06/02/2008 Hundreds Begin Four-Day March in Lodi in Memory of Fallen Farm Worker (Video)

05/31/2008 Sacramento Bee: Editorial - A tragedy in the farm fields is all too familiar

Photos of Pilgrimage for Fallen Farm Workers, Day 1/Fotos de Peregrinacion por Campesinos Caidos, Dia uno

Video: Maria's fiance Florentino Bautista talks about what happened on May 14./Video: El comprometido de Maria, Florentino Bautista, habla sobre lo que paso el 14 de mayo

More media clips, news releases, video, photos and updates at:

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