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Tomato Workers Win Agreement with Subway

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:46 PM
Original message
Tomato Workers Win Agreement with Subway

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/12/08/tomato-workers-win-ag... /

by James Parks, Dec 8, 2008

The campaign to bring better wages and improve working conditions to Floridas tomato fields took a big step last week when the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) reached agreement with Subway, the worlds third largest fast-food chain and biggest fast-food buyer of Florida tomatoes.

Subway also joins other fast-food industry leaders and the CIW in calling on the Florida tomato industry to institute an industry-wide penny per pound surcharge to increase wages for all Florida tomato harvesters. That means the workers will get 72 cents to 77 cents for every 32-pound bucket of tomatoes they pick, up from 40 cents to 45 cents.



Subway is the latest restaurant or supermarket chain to sign an agreement with CIW. Yum! Brands, McDonalds, Burger King and Whole Foods Market all have signed pacts. Geraldo Reyes of CIW says:

With this agreement, the four largest restaurant companies in the world have now joined their voices to the growing call for a more modern, more humane agricultural industry in Florida. Now it is time for other fast-food companies and the supermarket industry to follow suit and for the promise of long-overdue labor reform in Floridas fields contained in these agreements to be made real.

The Subway/CIW pact also calls for a tougher supplier code of conduct that allows farm workers to help monitor the growers compliance and includes strict zero tolerance guidelines for the most egregious labor rights violations. Subway also has voluntarily extended the higher standards to its entire supply chain, not just tomatoes.


Gerardo Reyes (seated, right) of the CIW and Jan Risi of Subways purchasing arm celebrate the signing of an agreement to improve wages and working conditions in Floridas tomato fields.

Leading up to all the agreements, the AFL-CIO mobilized thousands of workers to march, rally and protest the injustice in the tomato fields.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has championed the tomato workers cause, says the new agreement is yet another blow to the scourge of slavery that continues to exist in the tomato fields of Florida.

Subway is to be congratulated for moving to ensure that none of its products are harvested by slave or near-slave labor. Sadly, too many other companies continue to tolerate this travesty.


FULL story at link.



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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:53 PM
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1. Excellent! These people have been taken advantage of for too long. nt
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:54 PM
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2. You mean those are actual tomatoes? I always thought that was just red dye.
I kid.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:55 PM
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3. Yeah!
:applause:
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:12 PM
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4. An increase of ONE PENNY a pound...and that's ALL!
Re Subway also joins other fast-food industry leaders and the CIW in calling on the Florida tomato industry to institute an industry-wide penny per pound surcharge to increase wages for all Florida tomato harvesters. That means the workers will get 72 cents to 77 cents for every 32-pound bucket of tomatoes they pick, up from 40 cents to 45 cents.

And how LONG has Subway been fighting this pathetically small increase? Does anyone know? It seems to me I've been reading about this particular conflict for months, if not years. It wasn't that Subway begrudged them the penny a pound increase...that wasn't the point. It was that they didn't want to empower the union, which of course is precisely why the union had to keep fighting until they won.
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