The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 4, 2014

Unfair working conditions


For The Daily Item

— There is more than one reason that tomatoes available in the winter are unpalatable. We all know that winter tomatoes lack flavor and have a poor texture. Tomatoes from Florida are even more unpalatable because the working conditions of the farm workers picking them.

Wages are sub-poverty and the rate has remained virtually unchanged since 1980. Farm workers are denied fundamental labor rights: no overtime, no benefits, no right to organize. In the most extreme cases workers have been forced to labor against their will- modern day slavery in the United States.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida is working hard to educate consumers on the issue of farm labor exploitation. The Coalition of Immokalee’s Campaign for Fair Food is working with food retailers to establish more humane farm labor standards and fairer wages for farmworkers.

The next time you reach for a tomato at the store or get a sandwich or salad with tomatoes in the winter take the time to think about where that tomato was grown and the working conditions for the worker who picked the tomato.

Subway, McDonalds’, Burger King, Taco Bell, Whole Foods, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Aramark and Sodexo are among the list of companies that have committed to the Campaign for Fair Food.

The voice of the consumer matters. Tell the CEOs of the store you frequent that you will not tolerate inhumane working conditions and ask that they commit to the Coalition of Immokalee’s Campaign for Fair Food.

Arden Miller,

Selinsgrove