Publix Protest in Little Havana Scheduled for Saturday

Dozens of people are set to attend the opening of the brand new Publix Sabor in Little Havana tomorrow, but they're not going for free balloons and swag bags.

Instead, they'll be there to protest Publix and demand an expansion of human rights for Florida farmworkers.

The protest is scheduled for tomorrow, July 13 at noon outside the newly opened Publix Sabor at 121 SW 22nd Ave. According to Daniela Saczek, who is helping organize the event, dozens of Miami residents and community members will be joined by farmworker mothers and their children from Immokalee to demand "Publix get on board and do the right thing."

The protest is being staged by the Florida International University Student Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in another attempt to get the supermarket chain to sign the coalition's Fair Food Agreement in which the market would agree to pay a price premium for the tomatoes it purchases which would be used to increase pay and conditions for the farm workers.

The coalition claims if Publix paid as little as "one penny a pound" more for its tomatoes, that gesture could make the difference between current conditions and one in which approximately 30,000 workers (both migrant and U.S. citizens) would have access to bathrooms, shade from the sun, and protection from chemicals in the field, and protect children from working in the fields.

Publix has responded by issuing a statement, calling this issue a labor dispute that they do not want to get involved in.

The protest is open to all, and organizers are requesting that you "do not park at the Publix parking lot to avoid problems. Feel free to bring noisemakers or your own personalized signs in solidarity."

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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