ERIC Number: ED362364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Agricultural Workers in Central California. Volume 1: In 1989; Volume 2: Phase II, 1990-91. California Agricultural Studies, 90-8 and 91-5.
Alvarado, Andrew J.; And Others
Two surveys developed profiles of seasonal agricultural workers and their working conditions in central California. In 1989, a random sample of 347 seasonal workers was interviewed. The sample was 30 percent female and 87 percent Mexican-born. Average age was 35 years and average educational attainment was 5.9 years. Most had parents, spouses, or children who worked in farm labor. Among needs and priorities, 28-56 percent mentioned employment, food, legalization, or housing; 22 percent mentioned further education; and 11 percent mentioned job training. Income and working conditions were not related to worker educational attainment, occupational experience, any other employee characteristic examined, or employer size. The 1990-91 survey interviewed 270 seasonal agricultural workers with a demographic profile similar to the earlier sample, and focused on three subgroups. Of 122 women interviewed, most earned less than men and had sole responsibility for domestic chores, child care arrangements, and dealing with schools and public agencies. The other two subgroups were at extremes of the wage scale. Mixtec Indians from Oaxaca (Mexico) spoke neither English nor Spanish and earned less than $4 per hour, while specialized melon workers earned $10-15 per hour. Contrary to the migrant-stream model of an undifferentiated "farm-labor pool," survey data suggest that individual farm workers and family groups specialize in crops and types of tasks, establish informal communication networks to maximize employment opportunities, and generally know where they will be working before they leave home. In volume 1, table 3 (p.5) and table 21 (p.19) and in volume 2, table 2 (p.4), each contain "education" as a variable. In volume 2, appendix A is the interview questionnaire (English version) used. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Dept. of Employment Development, Sacramento.
Identifiers: California (Central)