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Wed Jun 6, 2012, 08:29 AM

Labor Study Advocates Better Wages, Working Conditions

LOS ANGELES The 20 million people who work at all levels of the food distribution system do not receive sustainable wages or basic benefits, putting the nation's food supply at "tremendous risk," according to a study scheduled to be released today.

The study was conducted by the Food Chain Workers Alliance here a coalition of worker-based organizations, founded in 2009, whose members plant, harvest, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell food. According to its website, the alliance strives to build a more sustainable food system that respects workers' rights and seeks to organize the industry to improve wages and working conditions.

According to the study, only 13.5% of the 629 food workers surveyed earned a livable wage, with most working in environments with health and safety violations; working long hours with few breaks; and having limited access to health benefits.

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