Take action! Tell your supermarket to stop exploiting farmworkers!

Try to imagine going 30 years without a raise. I’m sure you can, and it’s probably not a very pretty picture.

For Florida tomato pickers, there’s no imagination necessary—they’re living the reality. These workers only get paid 45 cents per bucket of tomatoes, a rate that has hardly changed since 1980. To compensate for the stagnant pay, the pickers have settled for working harder and faster, subjecting themselves to backbreaking labor and the constant risk of injury in the process.

Now they’re asking for a raise: one more cent per bucket. Outrageous, I know! Unfortunately, many agricultural companies won’t budge an inch.

That’s why we’re asking the supermarket industry’s biggest chains–Trader Joe’s, Publix, Giant, Stop & Shop, and Kroger–to ask the state’s tomato growers to do right by their workers.

Watch this video, then tell these supermarkets: It’s time to pass a few pennies to the farm workers who make your profits possible.

If we turn up the pressure, we can help improve the lives of farm workers everywhere.

We’ve done it before. In 2008, 25,000 American Rights at Work activists and others called out Burger King for profiting from the exploitation of tomato pickers, and we won! Burger King agreed to better wages for the workers who pick their tomatoes, resulting in a 71 percent pay increase.

Three other fast-food companies, including McDonald’s, have now signed agreements to create new standards for social responsibility and accountability in Florida’s tomato industry. And just last week, Pacific Tomato Growers, one of the country’s oldest and largest tomato producers, signed on as well with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).

So before you put ketchup on that hamburger or throw a little sauce on that pasta, take action and let the country’s largest supermarkets know that it’s high time to give Florida farm workers the fair shake they’ve earned.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 4:12 pm and is filed under General, Labor Law Reform. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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