A group of strawberry pickers were fired last week after they fled a huge wildfire that began in Camarillo Springs, California on May 2 (video below).
According to NBC Los Angeles, 15 workers of Crisalida Farms in Oxnard, California, only 11 miles from the fire, began to cough as smoke and ash filled the area.
Amazingly, the Crisalida Farms' foreman told the workers that they would be fired if they left the field. The workers fled for their lives, rather than pick strawberries as the fire approached.
After the workers returned to work on May 3, they were told that they were fired.
“The smoke was very bad. There’s no doubt about that,” said Lauro Barrajas, one of the workers, who are represented by the United Farm Workers union.
According to RT.com, 11,500 people were evacuated and hazmat teams warned locals not to inhale the smoke because toxic chemicals from a pesticide store had caught on fire.
Crisalida Farms representatives told the Latin TV network Telemundo that the workers had left without permission with orders still to be filled.
Union reps met with the Crisalida Farms’s managers and said that the workers were protected by a union rule that stated: “No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger.”
After strongly defending the mass firings, Crisalida Farms suddenly settled with the union and offered the workers their jobs back.
All, but one, of the workers refused the offer. They chose to take jobs on other farms where they feel safer.