We at the Weekly have long loved the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the chingones who have waged a successful decade-long-plus battle to make major food corporations (Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, Whole Foods) pay a bit more for their tomatoes so that some of that added revenue trickles down to Florida, where Immokalee is and where the majority of the nation's tomato crop grows.
Now, they have their eyes set on a new corporate exploiter: Trader Joe's.
“Florida tomato pickers are among this country's most exploited workers. They earn sub-poverty wages, lack most standard rights and benefits, and have not received a significant raise in over 30 years,” the CIW states in a form letter on their website that will go directly to Trader Joe's bigwigs. “I am extremely disappointed that your company has turned its back on human rights. As a conscientious consumer and supporter of the CIW's Campaign for Fair Food, I urge Trader Joe's to work together with the CIW to ensure human rights and fair wages for those who harvest the tomatoes sold in your stores.”
The CIW is in the middle of one of their legendary nationwide tours, and will protest tomorrow in front of the Irvine Trader Joe's across the street from UC Irvine at 6 p.m. Of course, “protest” is merely a descriptive word–if you've ever seen the CIW work their magic, you'll know it'll involve a lot of kiddies passing out flyers, their empowered parents making eloquent speeches about dignity, and the melodious strums of son jaracho. More info on tomorrow's event here–see you there!