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Sugarcane and Sugar Beet Ind. / Aid Bill / Plantation System #54091

ABC Evening News for Tuesday, May 30, 1978
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(Studio) Upcoming House Agriculture Committee consideration of bill to aid growers of sugarcane and sugar beets and expected controversy over passage reported AFL-CIO request that aid be held up till field conditions for workers improved noted.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(Southern LA) Report on contention that plantation system is still in effect on sugarcane and sugar beet plantations of LA. Living and working conditions of plantation workers described and contrasted to those of owners. Refusal of most workers to talk on camera and agreement of some to talk anonymously reported [WOMAN - says during harvest workers can almost settle debts with boss, but afterwards they must go back to him in order to feed families.] [MAN - was fired after 52 years working on plantation because, as a minister, he refused to work on Sunday] [American Sugarcane League spokesperson Pete Delaware GRAVELLES - thinks Louisiana sugarcane or beet workers are as well or better off than any other agriculture worker in cntry.] [Saint Mary's Farm Bureau spokesperson Robert JUDICE - says workers here have same base pay and min. wage; can't see reason they'd be different from anybody else.] [DE GRAVELLES - thinks workers are satisfied. Loans money to his workers; describes loan system. Says it is convenience to workers.] Unsuccessful efforts of community workers in area since 1969 to get investigation by Agriculture or Labor Department [2nd MAN - says there's no way out unless someone helps; calls it circular situation.]
REPORTER: Roger Peterson

Peterson, Roger;
Reasoner, Harry

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