Picking strawberries is tedious, backbreaking work. But when the Camarillo Springs wildfire filled the sky with smoke and ash last Thursday, farm laborers found that their already difficult job felt impossible to do safely.The conditions made breathing difficult for at least 15 workers at Crisalida Farms in Oxnard, Calif. -- just 11 miles south of Camarillo. But when they decided to seek shelter indoors from the wildfire's smoke, laborers had to make a choice between their health or their job.
"The ashes were falling on top of us," said one worker to NBC LA in the video above. "[But] they told us if we leave, there would be no job to return to."
True to the foreman's word, when the laborers returned to work the next day, they found out they'd all been fired. That's when the United Farm Workers union stepped in.
Even though none of the laborers were union members, they reached out to UFW rep Lauro Barrajas for help. Barrajas met with the farm's upper management and reminded them of this old union rule: “No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger.
Read more and video @: Farmworkers Fired For Leaving During California Wildfire (VIDEO)
This is incredibly ****ed up. Thank god the union is stepping up to help these poor souls