MMT 28 Jul 58 pg 12
12 MAIL TRIBUNE, MtdforJ, Oregon, Monday, July 28, 1958 Migrant Farm Families Follow Might Earn Up To $1,000 With Editor's ote: ("The most under prlvfeard people in America.' That's it the government calls tbj I.OtO.fOf migrant farm work er 9 I KM me it ii u ii in av 9 ter ol4 srutks, cars and buses, harvtti Irrliu and vegetables. For jytt-aaad jytt-aaad jytt-aaad look at migrant ttfrklag aad living conditions, Lnited Frss International sent re-teortr re-teortr re-teortr Loais Cassels on a tour of laaor n-pi n-pi n-pi In the truck farming X'girsjs of Delaware, Maryland and nkfiaia. This is the first of four ljjatchesoin which Cassels reports a iouna.i y LOUI CASSELS $Jied Press International Loflni Lindsay is 40 years old. He has a pregnant wife, sijf, small children, a 1948 car and an aching back. f he aching back come from picking beans and tomatoes, a job at -which -which Lonnie earns "about 97 day on good days." When I visited tpem. Lonnie Lonnie anA his family lived in a one-roonr one-roonr one-roonr wooden -shack -shack in a mftrant labor camp on the easterg shore of Maryland. In a few weeks, they planned to O load up "their bedding and cookpots and move on to another another camp in upstate New York. Lonnie Lindsay Jr. is six Qyears old. He has never fired . a cap pistol nor ridden a tricycle. He spends his days in the fields, picking beans into his father's basket. If yog ask him, "Where is your home, little boy?" he looks at you with a puzzled stare and sfirus his shoulders. '$olloy the Seasons' T"U .knnl ama rvtil- rvtil- 0 gCIC 1 UVJU. "in lion migrant farm workers in the United States who live &ke th Lindsays. Year after ye-tr, ye-tr, ye-tr, thty "follow the sea- sea- COMPLETE GLASS SERVICE O 1 JP i-UM i-UM i-UM SStDY .ss Ht iartlett sons" from state to state, harvesting fruits and vege tables. Their home is where the crops are ripe. Winter finds them in Flor ida, Texas or Arizona. In spring, they move north in three great streams. One goes up the west coast through California's rich central valley valley and into Oregon and Washington. Another fans out through the midwest. The third comes up the east coast through the Carolinas, and into the middle Atlantic states. Some of the migrants, like the Lindsays, are Negroes. Some are Puerto Ricans. A few are white share-croppers share-croppers share-croppers from the deep south, driven off the land by mechanization. Many are Spanish-speaking Spanish-speaking Spanish-speaking "Texas-Mexicans" "Texas-Mexicans" "Texas-Mexicans" whose hot tempers flare if you call them wetbacks. Despite their racial diversity, diversity, the migrants have one common denominator: the lowest living standard in America. Visited Labor Camp To see how they live, I visited visited migrant labor camps in one of the nation's greatest truck farming regions, -.the -.the Delmarvo Peninsula. This is the long spit of land between Chesapeake and Delaware Bays where Delaware adjoins the eastern shore of Mary land and Virginia. More than 20,000 migrant workers come to this area each summer to harvest beans, tomatoes, melons, melons, cucumbers, potatoes, corn and berries. Most of the migrants to whom I talked had spent the past winter in Florida. They had grim memories of the January freeze that destroyed many of Florida's winter crops and left the migrants stranded for weeks with no work and no income. Emergency Emergency food shipments, organized organized by state agencies and church groups, saved thousands thousands of families from starvation. starvation. . Fortunately the eastern Big 9x12 Foot Miracle Plastic ALL PURPOSE CLOTH A tough, durable cloth of a million uses! Seamless and absolutely waterproof, acidproof and oilproof. Can be cut, sewn and cemented. Can't run, crack, split or stiffen with cold! 9x12 lightweight 79c ea. 9x12 medium weight ... 99c ea. HUNDREDS OF USES At. Home and On the Farm! Car Seat Cover Furniture Cover Root Wrapping Fumigation Seal Machinery Cover Automobile Cover Under Baby's Crib shore produced bumper crops this summer. The migrants had plenty of work. They got 50 cents a hamper for picking string beans (a rate that has been unchanged for the past 10 years) and 10 cents a bushel for tomatoes. An adult worker of average skill can pick from 12 to 15 hampers of beans a day. Some unusually fast pickers can fill 20 hampers. Picking Hard Work As every home gardener knows, picking beans is hard work. The migrants have- have- a system. "You go on your knees until they get sore," explained 60-year-old 60-year-old 60-year-old 60-year-old 60-year-old Katie Abranis. "Then you stand up and bend over to pick. When your back starts aching,, you go to your knees again." Everybody picks beans except except the smallest children and women who are eight months or more pregnant. I found What Is ' This column is prepared as a public service by the College of Law, Willamette University, Salem, to explain basic legal principles, not to provide legal advice. The reader is cautioned not to apply these cases lo his own problems without an attorney's advice, for differing facts may change the outcome. When the Injured Person Cannot Sue for Damages In West Virginia an elderly woman sought damages from a hotel for injuries sustained when she. fell down a set of hotel steps. She had lived in the hotel for many years and was quite familiar with the several exits available. New rubber matting was being glued down on the steps on which she fell, and a loose board had been placed on each step to hold the matting in place until the glue dried. She had noticed this a few hours before her fall. Therefor Therefor the' court refused to award her damages, because it felt she was fully aware that certain certain risks were involved in using the stairs. With this Car Port Protector Mulching Hay Cover Drop Cloth Boat Cover Field Cover Seasons; Good Year many boys and girls in the i fields who claimed they were j six but looked younger. I saw grizzled old women who must have been well beyond 70. Sometimes migrant babies are left in camp with a preg nant woman ox an older child to "mind" them. Often, how ever, you find them lying on burlap bags between the bean rows, or on the edge of the field with large cardboard boxes for playpens. How much does a migrant family earn in a year? "There's my wife and me and three girls," said Alfred Fields. "With everybody working, we 'cumulated about $800 last year." But last year was a bad year for winter crops. In a good year, government figures show, the average migrant family may earn as much as $1,000. (Next: What they live in.) The knowledge ' she voluntarily chose to use them though she knew that other exits were avalable where such risks were not involved. Not Always Entitled Thus, a person is not always entitled to compensation for injury or damage causefi by another's sub-standard sub-standard sub-standard or negligent negligent conduct. Under certain circumstances the courts may well decide that the injured person "assumed the risk" of receiving the injury or damage damage to property of which he complains. The element of free choice takes a different slant in a case involving several passengers passengers in a car. The driver drove wildly along icy. country roads. He stopped once to scrape ice from the wind shield and the passengers told him, as they had earlier, that they were frightened of his driving. They wanted to leave the car and walk to a light they saw in the distance. The driver told them it was too cold for such a walk. He also assured inem he would get them to their destination safely if they would "just stop the back seat driving." But the driver was even wilder and wrecked the car and injured injured the passengers. Risk Claimed When they sued for damages damages the driver claimed they had assumed the risk because when they got back in the car they did so with full knowledge of the way he drove. The court, however, decided decided that the passengers had not assumed the risk. They were strangers in the area, the weather was so bad that they could not get out and walk, and the driver reassured reassured them that he would get them to their destination safely safely after they had pointed out to him their fear of his driving. driving. The law is pretty uniform throughout the country insofar insofar as the doctrine of assumption assumption of risk is concerned. If the person had full knowledge knowledge of the risks involved and still voluntarily entered upon the' course of conduct, he cannot cannot later complain if injured because of one of the risks known and assumed by him.