Harvest Of Dignity Documentary Summary

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The Harvest of Dignity documentary, aired in 2012 by UNC-TV highlights a film previously released by Edward R. Murrow in 1960, titled Harvest of Shame. Sadly, little has changed concerning the working and living conditions of farm workers in the United States between the 1960’s and today. Employment and housing conditions are deplorable, and what is tolerated in the agricultural sector would not be acceptable in other areas (Campbell). Agriculture provides 22% of North Carolina’s state income. Ninety-five to ninety-eight percent of workers in this industry are Latino (Campbell). Many workers travel to NC under the conditions of a temporary work visa, but some do not have that luxury. Employers of these individuals take advantage of the legislation in their area- or lack thereof. They allow limited access to restroom facilities and water for their employees while they are working (Campbell). This neglect results in injury and sometimes death of the workers in the fields. The lack…show more content…
The concept of minimum wage seems non-existent, as workers are forced to pick nearly two tons of sweet potatoes to earn $50 (Campbell). Workers are in the fields from 6am to 7 or 8pm, and overtime entitlement does not apply. In North Carolina, workers earn 35% less than the national average earned by a farm worker. What’s likely most shocking to viewers today is that child labor laws to not necessarily apply to work in the agricultural sector. Children are able to work beginning at 10 years old for up to 30 hours a week (Campbell). Their manual labor is no doubt more difficult than many part-time jobs taken by teenagers in American society. It is also inevitable that this labor will negatively impact their performance in school, essentially eliminating their opportunity for social mobility. Despite this sacrifice, they are often required to work in order to help their family survive
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