8/2/05: 7 p.m. press availability, 8 p.m. Rosary Wednesday in Wasco
Services for Constantino Cruz, 5th valley
farm worker to die from heat in July
Memorial services take place Wednesday evening in Wasco for Constantino Cruz, 24, the fourth Central Valley farm worker whose death was related to the heat during a three-week period in July. Family members will be joined by UFW President Arturo Rodriguez and other UFW leaders and union members for a press availability at 7 p.m., before the Rosary begins at 8 p.m. inside St. John’s Catholic Church in Wasco.
The services follow a Tuesday news conference at the state Capitol in Sacramento with Rodriguez, three Cruz family members and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, where they announced an emergency regulation to prevent further deaths and illnesses in the fields and other industries.
Constantino Cruz died early Sunday morning, July 31, 2005, at a Delano hospital. He was working for a farm labor contractor in a tomato field near Shafter on Thursday, July 21. The conveyor pulled by a tractor on which he was placing tomatoes was running too quickly, forcing workers to labor at a fast pace in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees.
Around mid-day, Cruz collapsed. After five days at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, he was released on Monday, July 25. At home near noontime the next day, Tuesday, July 26, he became disoriented and his heart stopped. Paramedics revived him and he was transported to Delano Regional Hospital, where he died early Sunday morning, July 31.
Between 1990 and July 28, 2004, eight California farm workers died from the heat, according to state figures. Between July 28, 2004 and now, there have been five more deaths related to the heat, four of them during a three-week period in July.
Who: Family of Constantino Cruz, 24, UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, other union leaders and members.
What: Press availability and Rosary in memory of the fourth Central Valley farm worker to die in July from heat-related causes.
When: 7 p.m. press availability, 8 p.m. Rosary, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005.
Where: St. John’s Catholic Church, 1300 – 9th Place, Wasco.
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