Sunday, April 15, 2012

From The Coalition Of Immokalee (Fl)Workers (CIW)- Stop & (Sweat) Shop Supermarkets Bargain For Fair Wages And Working Conditions Now !

From The Coalition Of Immokalee (Fl)Workers (CIW)- Stop & (Sweat) Shop Supermarkets Bargain For Fair Wages And Working Conditions Now !


Stop & Shop tomatoes may be harvested by Florida farmworkers under the following conditions:

Sub-poverty wages

Workers are paid virtually the same piece rate (an average of 50 cents per 32 lb. bucket) as they were 30 years ago. At this rate, a worker must pick over 2.5 tons of tomatoes to earn Florida minimum wage in a typical 10-hour workday. Most workers earn less than $12,000 per year.

Denial Of Fundamental Labor Rights

Farmworkers in Florida have no right to overtime pay, no health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation or pension, and no right to organize in order to improve these conditions.

Modern Day Slavery

In the most extreme conditions, farmworkers are held against their will and forced to work for little or no pay. Federal Civil Rights officials have success­fully prosecuted seven slavery operations involving over 1,200 workers in Florida's fields since 1997, prompting one federal prosecutor to call Florida "ground zero for modern-day slavery." In 2010, federal prosecutors indicted two more forced labor rings operating in Florida.

For decades, Florida's farmworkers faced poverty wages and daily violations of their basic rights - including modern-day slavery in the most extreme cases - in order to harvest the food on our plates.

Today, however, a new day is dawning in the fields. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) — an internationally-recognized farmworker organization — has reached groundbreaking agreements with ten of the world's leading food retailers, including McDonald's, Subway and Trader Joe's. Hailed by the New York Times as "possibly the most successful labor action in the U.S. in twenty years,"the Fair Food Program establishes a worker-designed code of conduct in the fields and requires retailers to pay one more penny per pound for the tomatoes they buy to go directly to the workers who picked them—all of which is monitored and enforced by the independent Fair Food Standards Council.

Supermarkets like Ahold (parent company of Stop & Shop) leverage . their high-volume purchasing power to demand the ever-lower prices that result in farmworker exploitation. By refusing to partner with the CIW, the steps the company has claimed to take fall far short of the substantive, verifiable and enforceable standards that the situation requires, consumers expect, and others within the industry have embraced.

Demand that Stop & Shop uphold farmworker rights and join the Fair Food Program!

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