Union Files Petitions Against Social Services In More Counties

The Hereford Brand. December 16, 1986

In a continuing effort to assure that guidelines are established in supplying social services to indigent farm workers, the International Union of Agricultural and Industrial Workers has filed grievance petitions against four more county commissioners courts in West Texas.

Stephen C. McIntyre, a Texas Rural Legal Aid (TRLA) attorney who represents the union, said the petitions, filed in late November and early December, seek judicial relief from commissioners courts in Parmer, Bailey, Floyd, and Gaines counties.

McIntyre reportedly said the problem is not discriminatory procedures but the fact that the counties don’t have any procedures at all. He said the counties should have guidelines to ensure fair distribution of support.

Over the past five years, Lubbock, Lamb and Hockley counties have been sued in federal court on charges of violating the U.S. Constitution because they administered support assistance to the poor without proper standards or procedures, according to McIntyre. Dawson County was sued in state district court for the same reasons.

In all these cases, guidelines for distribution were adopted. Petitions in Deaf Smith, Castro and Terry counties led to volunteer action by the commissioner courts in those counties.

The TRLA also announced this week that a lawsuit was filed Dec. 11 on behalf of several farm workers against two individuals in Lamb County. The lawsuit alleges the farm workers were not paid the minimum wage required by federal law for cotton-field hoeing in the summer of 1986. The workers are seeking several thousand dollars in damages from Jimmy Parmer and Rose Pacheco of Lamb County.

The lawsuit alleges that other farm workers were not paid minimum wage. The TRLA announcement points out that farm workers who worked for the pair and wish to officially become part of the lawsuit should contact their family lawyer, the U.S. District Clerk in Lubbock, or the TRLA office in Hereford.