DENVER – A Dia de Muertos vigil and ceremony will be taking place in Denver in honor of those agricultural workers who have died due to the dangers of agricultural work.
- 13,406 agricultural workers have died of COVID-19 across the U.S. due to COVID-19, and that number is probably low due to underreporting.
- 384 workers have died of heat-related causes in the U.S. over the past 10 years.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, farming in the USA is two times as deadly as serving in law enforcement or construction labor and five times more deadly than serving as a firefighter.
The agricultural field is known to be very dangerous and still subject to systemic and historic racism, even with the passing of the most comprehensive agricultural workers rights bill in the country here in Colorado in 2021.
Inside the building, while we hold our vigil, the CDLE will be holding their last comment session for the overtime decisions for 21-087.
The organization leading the vigil is hoping that the CDLE will change the intent of the bill to include the following:
- Daily overtime pay after 12 hour is an essential part of overwork protections. Continuing to exclude agricultural workers from this right perpetuates racism.
- Agricultural workers deserve overtime pay after 40 hours in a workweek. This is the standard for almost all wage-earning employees in Colorado.
- Small employers should abide by the weekly overtime pay rules as all other employers.
- The highly seasonal exception from the standard overtime rules is outrageously long and unfairly favors large employers. A total of 22 weeks at a higher weekly overtime pay threshold encompasses the most difficult part of the agricultural season.
- Dairies and feedlots should be covered by the same overtime pay rules that apply to all other agricultural employers. Providing this industry special treatment would show the Governor is listening to lobbying by special interests, not workers.