USA: Immokalee Workers sign pact with tomato industry association guaranteeing protection of labour rights and fair wage

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Article
17 November 2010

Tomato struggle over after Immokalee coalition signs historic deal [USA]

Author: Amy Bennett, newspress.com [USA]

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.

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Article
16 November 2010

Tasty deal: Farmworkers get raise, agreement with tomato growers [USA]

Author: Laura Layden, Naples News [USA]

Florida farmworkers will get a long-awaited raise. On Tuesday, the leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange shook hands and signed an agreement they described as nothing short of historic...They will pass along an extra penny-per-pound paid by participating restaurants and retailers to farmworkers to boost their wages. As part of the agreement, the coalition will work with the growers to improve working conditions for farmworkers and end such abuses as sexual harassment, child labor and slavery in the fields. The two groups have battled for years to reach neutral ground...With this agreement, we will be working with growers to identify and eliminate abuses through a cooperative complaint investigation and resolution system, with real consequences for violations, including zero tolerance for forced labor,” [Lucas Benitez, founder of Coalition of Immokalee Workers] said. [Refers to: Ag-Mart Produce, Aramark, Big Red Tomato Packers, Bon Appetite, Burger King, Classie Growers, Compass, DiMare Homestead, DiMare Ruskin, Gargiulo, Harllee Packing, McDonald’s, Nobles-Collier, Pacific Tomato, Six L's, Sodexo, Subway, Taylor & Fulton Packing, Tomatoes of Ruskin, West Coast Tomato, Whole Foods, Yum Brands]

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