Can a penny more for your labor make a significant difference in your life? The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) thinks so.
The CIW is a community-based organization representing migrant laborers throughout the state of Florida. Since its inception in 1993, the CIW has had strong activist roots, fighting against deplorable work conditions the group dubs “modern day slavery,” and leading campaigns to increase farmworkers’ compensation. Their most recent endeavor, The Campaign for Fair Food, launched in 2001, and focused on challenging the food industry as a whole, including grocery stores such as Kroger and Publix, and fast food giants like Taco Bell and Burger King. To date, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, and Whole Foods have all signed agreements with the CIW to either monitor work conditions in fields or pay more for produce such as tomatoes. The agreement to pay more for tomatoes directly impacts laborers, who would earn an additional penny per pound of tomatoes picked. Considering most farmworkers only earn $7,000 or less annually, this seemingly small increase can have substantial impacts.
In Florida, the CIW is taking its Campaign for Fair Food to the doors of Publix grocery stores on March 5th and 6th. The public is welcome to attend pickets and protests across Tampa Bay on either date, and can find more information on the CIW website: http://www.ciw-online.org/dotherightthing/march4.html.
AccessDenied will be represented by Nolan Kline, and pictures of the event will follow.