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Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho

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ROSA, Leandro Amorim  and  NAVARRO, Vera Lucia. Work and workers of sugar cane fields: profile of the cane harvesters of the region of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. psicol. soc. trab. [online]. 2014, vol.17, n.1, pp.143-160. ISSN 1516-3717.

The cultivation of sugar cane is one of the most important activities for the Brazilian agribusiness and it is still in ascension. Changes occurred in the production progress of the sugar cane industry, which resulted, on one hand, in a significant increase in productivity, competitiveness and improving of the quality of the products, and on the other, in the increasing of job insecurity and the intensification of the work rhythm. The research that gave rise to this paper aimed to identify the profile of workers involved in this activity and investigate their conditions of work at the harvest of sugar cane in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Thirteen migrant workers in sugar cane fields were interviewed, as well as a member of the Pastoral Care of Migrants of Guariba, São Paulo, the president of the Rural Workers Union of the same locality, and two psychologists, employees of the human resources of a sugar and alcohol processing plant in the researched area. The data obtained demonstrated that the workers, mostly migrants, to be hired are evaluated according to their capacity of production, stamina and subordination to superiors. The wages based on production imply the over-exploitation of the workforce, which echoes in the workers conditions of labor and health.

Keywords : Rural work and health; Labor; Health and migration; Sugar cane harvest; Rural worker's health.

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