By Mayra Barrios
(bw news) SACRAMENTO, CA – “Today the pilgrimage ends, but the struggle continues,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president
of the United Farm Workers (UFW) at the rally in Sacramento that concluded the 13-day march of the UFW.
On August 23rd a small group of close to 30 workers started the march in Madera. After walking through the streets and bridges of Merced, Livingston, Turlock, Stockton and Galt they reached the State capitol on Sunday, September 4th.
Once in Sacramento it was not only 30 of them anymore, but thousands of supporters from all across the state gathered in solidarity at the Southside Park in Sacramento to join the UFW marchers on the last two miles of their journey to the Capitol.
With red flags in hands and shouting “Si, se puede!, they all stood in front of the Capitol demanding a change to the current laws.
A message directed to the Governor Jerry Brown, since they are asking for his support to sign into law two proposals the A.B 1313 and S.B126.
“This is a historic legislation that will help improve the lives of thousands of farm workers in the state of California,” said Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) at the rally.
The lives of farm workers like Odilia Chavez, a single mother from Madera that frustrated with her work conditions decided to join the march.
A.B 1313, by Assembly member Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa), would allow farm workers to receive overtime pay after a eight hours a day or a normal 40 hour week.
"Normally we work ten or eleven hours but we do not get paid overtime, we get paid eight dollars," explained Chavez, "I want that to change."