Here's what the NYT says:
Organizers are calling for a new canal that would divert water from the Sacramento River to Central Valley farms as well as a relaxation of the environmental protections given to threatened species like the delta smelt, a pinky-sized fish native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a critical aquatic byway for water from the wetter north part of the state.I was not going to cover this march, since it seemed like more grandstanding by south of Delta interests using political means to push their economic interests, but it's important for us to clearly identify who would receive benefits from opening up the valves -- land owners.
Still, some labor organizers and advocates for rural areas contend that the marchers’ goals reflect only the desires of agribusiness and not the real needs of farm workers.
Many of the protesters were paid by their employers to march in lieu of harvesting crops.
“In reality, this is not a farm worker march,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, the 27,000-member union founded by César Chávez, which did not participate in the march. “This is a farmer march orchestrated and financed by growers.”
The farm workers (as people) could move elsewhere, but the land owners cannot. That's why they want to talk about saving JOBS instead of saving PEOPLE from the adverse impacts of water delivery reductions.
More importantly, reduced water supplies is reducing the value of their land and having a strong adverse impact on their income. (At least, that's what Jean Sagouspe would say...)
I will be south of the Delta, doing water chats, on Apr 30 and May 1, so I'll try to learn more. (If you know of anyone I should talk to, send me an email!)
Bottom Line: When economic times get tough, protect workers -- not jobs or businesses.