High-profile workers rights activist Dolores Huerta was one of several people cited with misdemeanor charges while protesting at a Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting today. The 89-year-old who helped establish the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez was calling for higher wages for caregivers.
Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies cited Huerta and five others for not dispersing after being ordered to do so. Two more protesters were arrested and given misdemeanor charges for obstructing the doorway of a public business, and resisting arrest. Of course, it’s not the first time Huerta has been arrested.
“I think it's twenty-some times,” Huerta said, after the citation. “I kind of lost track.”
Huerta came to protest alongside SEIU 2015 members who represent in-home caregivers employed by Fresno County.
“They’ve been talking to the supervisors, been doing advocacy work, and they even did a fast, and they still can’t get a contract,” she says. Negotiations have gone on for nearly a year.
Caregivers say they haven’t seen a raise, independent of the state minimum wage increase, since 2009. Workers want the board to raise their wages from $12 an hour to $13 an hour.
Because negotiations are still ongoing, the county could not comment on how a dollar-an-hour raise would impact its budget.
Huerta says she will be back in Fresno in November; that's when her court date is set.