Sonoma County wineries “PUT WORKERS AT RISK FOR PROFITS”
This is information from Oscar Paz from Graton Day labor Center. Can find it on PRSC Facebook page:
“Good afternoon Jenny and Supervisors Gore and Gorin,
I’m forwarding you a preliminary report on behalf of an anonymous, trusted farm/vineyard worker who has reported his colleagues being pressured to work in mandatory evacuation zones. The vineyards in question are Rafanelli vineyards and Bacigalupi vineyards in the West Dry Creek Road and Westside Road in Healdsburg.
Workers are being told to work in extreme heat, terrible air quality, and ashes in these areas versus focusing on preparing themselves and their families for potential evacuation as its been reported that some live in the evacuation zones as well. They are not being provided adequate water, the mask provision situation is unconfirmed at this time. Masks are known to be provided in the evening but enforcement and provision during the day need to be asked about as well.
The Ask: Thank you for your commitment to action and direct outreach, Supervisor Gore. As stated during the task force meeting: PLEASE AVOID ACTIVATING THE SHERIFF until all other options are exhausted and the safety of the workers – whose immigration status cannot be assumed and are undergoing crises/difficult situations with the Federal climate and VISA rejections as a trusted immigration attorney Mentioned – is guaranteed. Start with direct outreach to these owners, then please consider activation of Permit Sonoma, bilingual County Workers (Health Dept. or EOC), or a combination of County and community partner volunteers to do direct outreach to these workers and plan sweeps of the various agriculture businesses that can safely provide evacuation, preparation, and financial resources that may be available.
As mentioned earlier, these workers are driven by other underlying factors such as financial insecurity and necessity to work as well and we should not penalize them for trying to survive under an even more compounded emergency event. We need to get creative to incentivize staying at home or evacuating and disincentivize going to work. What resources can county/community leaders pool to provide financial resources to these folks? What ordinances/laws can we lean on for this?
We need to be flexible and creative. WALT Baca Wines, DaVero Farms & Winery, Clenden Vineyard Management, Mill Creek Vineyards, Geyser Peak, and many others are names that come to mind in the area that we’ll need to work through the Vintners and other professional groups to relay what should already be common sense: DO NOT PUT WORKERS AT RISK FOR PROFITS. Keep workers safe, provide masks, offer financial support if possible, and help relay bilingual resources to workers needing to focus on evacuation. As trusted community liaisons, you have our commitment that we will reinforce this messaging through our personal networks as well as you have asked.
I’ve provided the CRLA and CAL-OSHA hotline numbers to the worker who reported this and I’ve cc’d various colleagues at the Human Rights Commission, Graton Day Labor Center, and Movimiento Cultural de La Unión Indigena (MCUI) on this so that they can put call-outs to their networks, be made aware for their particular service areas, and collaborate with support as needed. Again, I SINCERELY appreciate your ear on this during the meeting and proactive approach. We are all coming together yet again to meet our community with compassion and direct action. I will try to get more details as needed, let me know what other information I can provide.
Omar Paz (He/Him/His)
Lead Organizer — Organizador Principal
North Bay Jobs with Justice