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Walk for Farmworker Justice update, Friday, 22 June 2001

Events of Friday, 22 June.

Today, marchers gathered on the periphery of Kraemer farms, the largest member of NORPAC, and were able to show their solidarity to workers in the strawberry fields.

The march continued through the town of Mt. Angel, whose economy is heavily dependent on the agriculture of the surrounding area.

A delegation from the Walk Coalition met with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to discuss two bills currently on his desk. The Governor said he would probably veto one bill, which would levy penalties against drivers when minors are not properly seatbelted, unless those minors are the children of farmworkers. The second bill relates to compensation; currently, employers who short their workers' wages are required to pay a twenty day back-pay penalty. If it became law, this bill would essentially remove the penalties and require the claimant to submit their claim in writing, which would effectively prevent claims by immigrant farmworkers who lack English literacy.