Heat Claims Life of Second Farm Worker in Past Month
Santa Maria man died while working in 110 degree heat
BAKERSFIELD – A month after a 17-year-old farm worker died due to heat stroke; a month after Gov. Schwarzenegger attended the funeral and a month after we were told this would not happen again, another farm worker died due to the heat.
Jose Macarena Hernandez, 64, died during a record-breaking heat wave on June 20 while harvesting butternut squash in Santa Maria on land owned by Sunrise Growers. According to news reports temperatures reached 110 degrees that day.
“The Governor came to Maria Isabel’s funeral and said he would do everything possible to prevent this from happening again. But it is clear, with the death of Jose Hernandez the 11th farm worker who has died since the Governor took office, the state does not have the capacity to protect farm workers,” said UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “And now as yet another heat wave hits the state, we must do everything we can to insure that no more farm workers fall victim to the heat because the laws written to protect them are not enforced.”
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 11 in Santa Maria. Mr. Hernandez’s family who live in Santa Maria and Shafter will be available following the Mass to speak with the media.
The family along with the UFW is asking for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Hernandez’s death.
A news conference will be held following the Mass.
What: Funeral Mass for Jose Macarena Hernandez
When: 10 a.m., Friday, July 11
Where: St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church, 5075 Harp Road, Santa Maria 93458
Who: Mr. Hernandez’s family members and UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez
The family and Rodriguez will be available for interviews immediately following the Mass.