OXNARD, Calif. - Non-union farm workers told reporters they were fired for seeking shelter from the smoke during the Springs Fire last week.
Today Crisalida Berry Farms and the United Farm Workers Union issued a rare joint statement calling it a misunderstanding.
"There was clearly a misunderstanding. These workers were not fired and we welcome them back on our farm," said Dave Murray at Crisalida Berry Farms.
"We appreciate Crisalida's response to this matter. We know that the farm's ownership prides itself on creating an atmosphere where ownership, management and employees work together to ensure a culture of assurance, accountability and safety. As with any organization, misunderstandings can happen and we're pleased to put this incident behind us, said Erik Nicholson, National vice president of the United Farm Workers.
Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County's public health officer, said they issued warning after the Air Pollution Control District reported poor air quality.
Dr. Levin said warnings were issued to Spanish-language media too. It told people to avoid the smoke and ash by staying indoors.