Farm Security Administration reports and miscellaneous documents, 1942-1943
In order to effect a satisfactory arrangement whereby Mexican agricultural labor may be made available for use in the United States and at the same time provide means whereby this labor will be adequately protected while out of Mexico, the following general provisions are suggested:
- 1. It is understood that Mexicans contracting to work in the United States shall not be engaged in any military service.
- 2. Mexicans entering the United States as a result of this understanding shall not suffer discriminatory acts of any kind in accordance with the Executive Order No. 8802 issued at the White House June 25, 1941.
- 3. Mexicans entering the United States under this understanding shall enjoy the guarantees of transportation, living expenses and repatriation established in Article 29 of the Mexican Labor Law.
- 4. Mexicans entering the United States under this understanding shall not be employed to displace other workers, or for the purpose of reducing rates of pay previously established.
In order to implement the application of the general principles mentioned above the following specific clauses are established.
(When the word "employer" is used hereinafter it shall be understood to mean the Farm Security Administration of the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America; the word "sub-employer" shall mean the owner or operator of the farm or farms in the United States on which the Mexican will be employed; the word "worker" hereinafter used shall refer to the Mexican farm laborer entering the United States under this understanding.)
a. Contracts will be made between the employer and the worker under the supervision of the Mexican Government. (Contracts must be written in Spanish).
b. The employer shall enter into a contract with the sub-employer, with a view to proper observance of the principles embodied in this understanding.
a. The Mexican health authorities will, at the place whence the worker comes, see that he meets the necessary physical conditions.
a. All transportation and living expenses from the place of origin to destination, and return, as well as expenses incurred in the fulfillment of any requirements of a migratory nature shall be met by the employer.
b. Personal belongings of the workers up to a maximum of 35 kilos per person shall be transported at the expense of the employer.
c. In accord with the intent of Article 29 of the Mexican Federal Labor Law, it is expected that the employer will collect all or part of the cost accruing under (a) and (b) of transportation from the sub-employer.
WAGES AND EMPLOYMENT
a. (1) Wages to be paid to the worker shall be the same as those paid for similar work to other agricultural laborers in the respective regions of destination; but in no case shall this wage be less than 30 cents per hour (U. S. currency); piece rates shall be so set as to enable the worker of average ability to earn the prevailing wage.
(2) On the basis of prior authorization from the Mexican Government salaries lower than those established in the previous clause may be paid those emigrants admitted into the United States as members of the family of the worker under contract and who, when they are in the field, are able also to become agricultural laborers but who, by their condition or age or sex, cannot carry out the average amount of ordinary work.
b. The worker shall be exclusively employed as an agricultural laborer for which he has been engaged; any change from such type of employment shall be made with the express approval of the worker and with the authority of the Mexican Government.
c. There shall be considered illegal any collection by reason of commission or for any other concept demanded of the worker.
d. Work for minors under 14 years shall be strictly prohibited, and they shall have the same schooling opportunities as those enjoyed by children of other agricultural laborers.
e. Workers admitted in the migratory labor camps or at any other place of employment under this understanding shall be free to obtain articles for their personal consumption, or that of their families, wherever it is most convenient for them.
f. Housing conditions, sanitary and medical services enjoyed by workers admitted under this understanding shall be identical to those enjoyed by the other agricultural workers in the same localities.
g. Workers admitted under this understanding shall enjoy as regards occupational diseases and accidents the same guarantees enjoyed by other agricultural workers under United States legislation.
h. Groups of workers admitted under this understanding shall elect their own representatives to deal with the employer, but it is understood that all such representatives shall be working members of the group. The Mexican consuls in their respective jurisdiction shall make every effort to extend all possible protection to all these workers on any question affecting them.
i. For such time as they are unemployed under a period equal to 75% of the period (exclusive of Sundays) for which the workers have been contracted they shall receive a subsistence allowance at the rate of $3.00 per day.
For the remaining 25% of the period for which the workers have been contracted during which the workers may be unemployed they shall receive subsistence on the same bases that are established for farm laborers in the United States.
Should the cost of living rise this will be a matter for reconsideration.
The master contracts for workers submitted to the Mexican Government shall contain definite provisions for computation of subsistence and payments under this understanding.
j. The term of the contract shall be made in accordance with the authorities of the respective countries.
k. At the expiration of the contract under this understanding, and if the same is not renewed, the authorities of the United States shall consider illegal, from an immigration point of view, the continued stay of the worker in the territory of the United States, exception made of cases of physical impossibility.
a. The respective agency of the Government of the United States shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the sums contributed by the Mexican workers toward the formation of their Rural Savings Fund, until such sums are transferred to the Mexican Agricultural Credit Bank which shall assume responsibilities for the deposit, for their safekeeping and for their application, or, in the absence of these, for their return.
b. The Mexican Government through the Banco de Credito Agricola will take care of the security of the savings of the workers to be used for payment of the agricultural implements, which may be made available to the Banco de Credito Agricola in accordance with exportation permits for shipment to Mexico with the understanding that the Farm Security Administration will recommend priority treatment for such implements.
As it is impossible to determine at this time the number of workers who may be needed in the United States for agricultural labor employment, the employer shall advise the Mexican Government from time to time as to the number needed. The Government of Mexico shall determine in each case the number of workers who may leave the country without detriment to its national economy.
It is understood that, with reference to the departure from Mexico of Mexican workers, who are not farm laborers, there shall govern in understandings reached by agencies of the respective Governments the same fundamental principles which have been applied here to the departure of farm labor.
It is understood that the employers will cooperate with such other agencies of the Government of the United States in carrying this understanding into effect whose authority under the laws of the United States are such as to contribute to the effectuation of the understanding.
Either government shall have the right to renounce this understanding, giving appropriate notification to the other Government 90 days in advance.
This understanding may be formalized by an exchange of notes between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mexico and the Embassy of the United States of America in Mexico.
Ernesto Hidalgo, acting as representative
of the Foreign Office
Dr. Abraham J. Navas, acting as representative
of the Department of Labor and
Joseph F. McGurk, Counselor of
the American Embassy in Mexico
John O. Walker, Assistant
Administrator Farm Security
David Meeker, Assistant Director Office of
Agricultural War Relations (Department of
Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
Title: Farm Security Administration reports and miscellaneous documents : Mexican Farm Labor Transportation Program
By: United States. Farm Security Administration, Author
Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
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