farm labor

Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Flickr

The Washington State Supreme Court dealt a victory to farmworkers today in a closely watched case governing pay for rest breaks. The unanimous ruling covers pay for “piecework”—that is, when you’re paid by the task, like picking a pound of fruit, instead of by the hour.

Binsar Bakkara / Associated Press

An international report on the health risks of a commonly used herbicide is raising special concerns about farmworkers and cancer.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup. A study by the World Health Organization has found limited evidence that glyphosate is probably capable of causing cancer in humans.

Chuck Benbrook studies pesticides at Washington State University. He said the new report could be bad news for farmworkers.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Rosalinda Guillen heads Community to Community Development, a group that advocates for farmworker rights. She said she doesn’t know how many of them in Washington state President Obama's deportation change will apply to, but nationally the estimate is about 250,000.

“We are really concerned about the number of farmworkers that will actually qualify under this executive action and then whether there’s going to be real relief so that the agricultural industry has what they’ve been asking for all along, quote unquote, a legal workforce,” Guillen said.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

When Eduardo Cruz awoke to the sounds of rain outside his home in Yakima on a recent morning, he didn’t have to wait long for a cell phone call from the orchard manager where he works picking apples, an hour away in Mattawa.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

A breakdown in a government computer system that processes foreign worker visas has sowed major worries at some Northwest orchards. Those farmers are concerned about getting enough pickers for late summer and fall crops.