Modern-day slavery is alive and well in the tomato fields of Florida. Seven cases involving over 1,000 workers has caused US Attorney and Presbyterian Doug Malloy to characterize the area as “ground zero” for slavery. The PC(USA) has been working together with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers(CIW) through the Campaign for Fair Food to leverage the market power of major food retailers to address slavery and the conditions of poverty and human rights abuses in which slavery takes root.
Currently the church and the farmworkers are calling on Publix Grocery to work with the farmworkers from the CIW to establish a Code of Conduct for its Florida tomato suppliers with zero tolerance for modern-day slavery and pay a penny per pound increase directly farmworkers harvesting tomatoes. Eight corporations, including Yum! Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Compass Group, Aramark, Whole Foods Market and more are currently working with the CIW. But Publix grocery is not.
We invite you to send an e-mail today to Publix Super Marketsurging them to finally work with the CIW to improve wages and conditions for Florida tomato pickers. For over a year, Florida-based Publix, one of the ten largest private companies in the country, has resisted joining in the growing movement for fair food.
Today, Friday, April 16th, hundreds of farmworkers and supporters will embark on the Farmworker Freedom March from Tampa to Publix's headquarters in Lakeland, Florida. Send Publix CEO Mr. Ed Crenshaw an email to express your support for the Farmworker Freedom March. Even if you cannot join the march, this e-mail action is a great way to make your voice heard in the growing chorus for farmworker dignity.