WANDERING WORKERS: The Story of American Migrant Farm Workers and Their Problems by Willard A. Heaps
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WANDERING WORKERS: The Story of American Migrant Farm Workers and Their Problems

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I been everywhere and I got nowhere."" That kind of statement can mean anything from utter despair to relatively docile acceptance of the migrant worker's life, depending on the conditions -- the weather, the kind of picking, the intrusion of mechanization, ""luck,"" the crew leader's character, the housing and sanitation facilities. The author personally interviewed laborers in the three streams -- Atlantic Coast, Central, and Pacific -- and records various viewpoints to characterize each section. He found cleanliness a gauge of outlook, local community welcomes a usual source of satisfaction. There is no ""typical"" laborer but they all suffer from similar kinds of exploitation and poverty. Despite government investigations exposing the inadequacy of facilities, relatively few areas have improved what they have to offer, and state farmers' lobbies are vocal in preventing legislation to require change. Things are changing but there is little likelihood of unionization despite isolated efforts (e.g. the Delano strike) to organize. A well documented, well organized study of a disquieting situation: the workers--and their conditions -- speak for themselves.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Crown