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Tomato struggle over after Immokalee coalition signs historic deal [USA]
Author: Amy Bennett, newspress.com [USA] , Published on: 17 November 2010
After years of bitterness and a public struggle, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange have forged an unprecedented pact to change the nature of the state’s $619 million tomato industry — an industry dogged for decades by low wages and labor abuses, including high-profile slavery cases. The agreement will mean a penny-per-pound raise and improved working conditions for the people who harvest tomatoes in Florida...Those harvesters...have long been excluded from workplace rights others take for granted because of New Deal-era laws that shut out farmworkers and servants...The agreement calls for a cooperative complaint resolution system, a participatory health and safety program, and...an increase from about $10,000 to about $17,000 a year...The...[coalition] forged agreements with the world’s major fast-food companies, institutional food services and others, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Whole Foods and Sodexo.