ERIC Number: ED344717
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Migrant Farm Workers.
Slesinger, Doris P.; Pfeffer, Max J.
This paper documents migrant farm workers as being among the most persistently underprivileged groups in American society. Migrant farm workers typically receive low wages from irregular employment and live in poverty with access to only substandard housing and inadequate health care. The lack of economic improvement stems from a number of sociopolitical factors, including the political powerlessness of farm workers, the political influence of agricultural employers, and the marginal status of farm workers in United States agriculture development. Only a limited number of local and regional studies of migrant workers are available. Migrant workers are predominantly male with a median age of 32. Their racial composition is about 46 percent White, 15 percent Hispanic, and 39 percent Black and other races. Depending on the nature of the work, families may work together as a group or the adults may travel leaving families behind. Migrants in 1988 had an annual median income of $7,330, with an average of 5.2 persons dependent upon this income, placing them under the poverty level. Inadequate health care and migration are detrimental to the education of this population. The number of workers needed in agriculture has been declining and will probably continue to decline due to continued mechanization in agriculture production. However, an increase in farming of labor-intensive crops would increase the demand for farm workers for short periods of time. Other issues addressed include the impact of erratic immigration policies and minimum wage legislation. Few needs of the politically and economically powerless migrant workers will be met until it is recognized that farm workers have the same rights as employees in other industries. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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