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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Monday, January 02, 2006 ::

    New call for forest labor review - By Tom Knudson, Sacramento Bee
    Angered by the dangerous working conditions, excessive payroll deductions and primitive living arrangements endured by the migrant work force, California Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, said this week that he plans to request a hearing before the House Agriculture Committee soon after lawmakers return from their winter break.

    His focus, he said, will be examining how such abuses could have occurred on the Labor Department's watch.

    Last month, another California congressman, George Miller, D-Martinez, called for hearings to examine the involvement of the U.S. Forest Service, which hires firms that employ Latino forest workers - known as pineros - but defers on enforcement of wage, safety and other workplace laws to the Labor Department.
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