SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A California raspberry grower has been found in contempt for disobeying a court order to re-hire a farm worker fired for union activity.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel ( says Watsonville's Dutra Farms was fined $1,500 on Wednesday.

The case is considered a test of a new state provision of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act designed to strengthen the rights of farm workers to organize.

The Santa Cruz County judge told Dutra Farms last month that it must reinstate Dalia Santiago, who was fired in February after eight years at Dutra.

But Dutra appealed the judge's April 13 reinstatement order. The appeals court denied the Dutra appeal last week.

On Saturday, Dutra reinstated Santiago.


Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel,

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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