Food News

Immokalee Workers Win Money for Farm Laborers

The Wall Street Journal reports that Pacific Tomato Growers, one of the largest U.S. tomato firms, has agreed to pass a penny-per-pound surcharge on to workers.

McDonald's and others had offered to pay the charge after federal authorities compared the lot of Central American field workers to slavery.

The Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a trade group, was none too happy about the agreement: Spokesman Reggie Brown called claims of abuse of tomato workers "inaccurate."

Prosecutors have nailed tomato-farm employers and contractors for beating workers, locking them in trucks, and paying subminimum wages. New Times has repeatedly documented this abuse.

Below is a video describing the abuse. It was recently posted by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group that for the past ten years has campaigned to improve conditions and increase wages for farm workers. 

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse