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16 Images

A BROKEN CONTRACT: THE WORKERS

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Farmworkers join hands in prayer at their camp in Carlsbad, in north San Diego County. Local churches and volunteers provide spiritual support, food and clothing. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Farmworkers pick strawberries in Carlsbad surrounded by homes that suggest a comfortable lifestyle, in sharp contrast with their own living conditions in nearby canyons. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Grape picker Claudio Ramirez, 25, listens to a pitch from UFW organizer Lupe Martinez while on a half-hour break at Giumarra Vineyards in Arvin, near Bakersfield. In a vote two weeks later, workers at Giumarra rejected the union. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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John Gallagher, 9, often comes on Sundays with his family to hand out drinking water, cookies and toilet paper to farm laborers in a makeshift encampment in Carlsbad. Volunteers are filling basic needs for the farmworkers. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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At the end of the strawberry picking season, Isai Rios, 17, lugs muddy plastic out of a field in Carlsbad, where he and his father lived in a camp with no water or electricity. Like many young farmworkers, he’d never heard of Cesar Chavez. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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When the National Farm Workers Service Center chose a nonunion contractor for a roofing project at a Bakersfield apartment complex, roofers union officials Joe Guagliardo, left, and Dario Sifuentes set up a protest sign. The Service Center relented and chose a union contractor’s higher bid. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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UFW President Arturo Rodriguez tries to whip up enthusiasm at a membership drive at the union’s Forty Acres facility in Delano, north of Bakersfield. He pointed out that union cards can be used as official identification, something many undocumented immigrants lack. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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The UFW’s focus has shifted under President Arturo Rodriguez, who keeps a portrait of Cesar Chavez, his father-in-law, in his office. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Giumarra Vineyards grape workers in Arvin, southeast of Bakersfield, listen to UFW organizer Lupe Martinez promote the value of union membership. Despite such efforts, the union lost last summer’s campaign to represent Giumarra’s labor force. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Misael Aviles grimaces as physician assistant Luis Suarez prepares a painkiller for his injured toe. The North County Health Services mobile clinic happened to be at the farmworker’s camp in Del Mar, in north San Diego County, when he was hurt. Injuries and illnesses often go untreated otherwise. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Juan Ventura, 41, savors a soft drink on his cardboard bed after a day of picking strawberries in Carlsbad. Tape and string held his plastic house together. A church donated the rosaries and toilet paper. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Demitrio Lopez, 36, bathes in a creek in a camp near Del Mar in north San Diego County. Farmworkers also washed their work clothes in the creek, where they caught crayfish for food. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Fernando Bernadino washes up with cold water from a creek in Carlsbad, where he lived last summer while picking strawberries. Bernadino idolizes Cesar Chavez and can’t fathom why the union he founded isn’t doing more for farmworkers. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Isaac Rios plays a guitar, his only luxury, acquired at a swap meet. Although he didn’t know a single tune, his strumming helped his son Isai, 17, relax after a day of working side by side in the strawberry fields of Carlsbad. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Barbara Perrigo has served home-cooked food out of her car every Sunday for five years in the Carlsbad area, feeding as many as 80 farmworkers a day. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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Two teenage farmworkers keep warm on a Sunday evening, their only day off each week. Their shacks were made of plastic and wood scavenged from the Del Mar tomato farm where they worked. (Don Bartletti / LAT)
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