Labor Shortage on CA farms 

Photo of page xxix Grapes of Wrath 

An article on LA Times by Natalie Kitroeff and Geoffrey Morgan illustrates the struggles of the modern California farmer to recruit labor during picking season. 

Due to the crack down on immigration these past few years, farmers have been forced to increase the minimum wage and benefits required to attract workers. Even with the increase in wages, native born people are still not willing to take these labor jobs. 

Relating to Grapes of Wrath, both stories show the importance of immigrants and those who are desperate for work. In the article, without immigrants, the farmers cannot find workers to work during the season because the job is undesirable and hard work. However, drug addicts and homeless people were willing to take these jobs. This is similar to during the Great Depression, where workers traveled across the entire country to get a chance at working the same jobs. The difference between the two is that one needs it more and is willing to do anything to survive. The homeless people who needed jobs were also willing to take anything they could get. 


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