Rain stops farm workers from going to the fields

Rain stops farm workers from going to the fields

Claudia Buccio

Jesus Cazeres sharpens his pruning shears as he gets ready for his early morning shift out in the fields. This North Shore resident said he is one of many farm workers who were told to leave early because of the rain.

“I went to work and they told us to wait in the car because we were hoping the rain would go away,” Cazeres said. “Around 7 am they told us to just go home.”

David Lemus stopped by a local market in North Shore after leaving early from his job.

“The rain didn’t calm down, so I had to catch a bus back  from work,” Lemus said.

Juan Centeno was chatting with a friend right by a pick up truck trying to make the best out of an involuntary second day off. Centeno works in maintenance at a farm and received a phone call from his foreman asking him to not show up.

“You wake up around 5 in the morning, you call you foreman and work from there,” Centeno said.

The concern for these workers is that the weather forecast shows the presence of rain in the Coachella Valley in the next few days, which could mean that these men might not work for the rest of the week.

“You get paid for how many hours you worked that day, and then you work from there. If you work for 3 days then you get paid for 3 days,” Centeno said.

With families to support, several workers are concerned about having the necessary funds to pay off their expenses.

“I’ve got bills to pay so, I won’t be able to pay rent this month,” Lemus said.

Cazeres does say that although he needs the money, this is done for a good cause.

“A lot of people work in date palm fields, so it can be dangerous because workers can slip from ladders,” Cazeres said. “Working with rain can make you catch a cold.”