Vermont: Will Ben and Jerry’s Help Improve Conditions for Dairy Workers?
Source: Civil Eats
In 2009, José Obeth Santiz Cruz, a 20 year-old farmworker from Chiapas, Mexico, had a fatal accident on a small dairy farm in Vermont. Cruz was working on his knees near a gutter scraper–a conveyor belt that pushes manure into a pit–when his clothing got caught, and he was strangled.
Later that year, a group of Vermont farmworkers created Migrant Justice. Enrique Balcazar, a dairy worker and organizer for the group, says he personally knows two farmworkers who have lost fingers in the same type of gutter scraper in which Cruz died. His father still suffers from a serious injury he sustained while working through the night at a dairy six years ago, and Balcazar considers himself lucky to have never been injured at work.