Workers at large, export-oriented farms in the Mexican border state of Baja California have led a week of protests over low pay, abuses and poor conditions, threatening a harvest that supplies millions of dollars-worth of tomatoes, strawberries and other crops to the United States.
Farmworkers have burned tires and tossed rocks at vehicles while blocking Baja's main north-south highway on and off. As many as 50,000 are believed to be on strike statewide as of Tuesday.
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Many of the workers are migrants from southern Mexico who toil at huge hot-house farms just south of Ensenada. Their demands include health care, overtime pay, days off, an end to abuse by field bosses and more pay than the $8 many earn for a full day of stoop-labor.