Pursue Justice for Florida Farmworkers


The PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food, invites you to sign on to and collect signatures for a letter from the religious communityto Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The letter calls upon Gov. Crist to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to address modern-day slavery and abuses in Florida's fields and to urge the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange to stop blocking improvements for farmworkers. Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida provides background information on the letter.
Individuals who are interested in signing the letter may do so in one of two ways:

1. Print the letter and collect signatures in your congregation, presbytery, committee, and other settings during the month of February. The printed letter contains information on how to return the signatures. 


2. Clergy, individuals and organizations can also sign on to the letter by emailing your name, city/state, and congregation/faith tradition to info@interfaithact.org.

This letter is a collaborative effort with Florida religious leaders and we are seeking signatures both in Florida and nationwide to make a strong, collective witness to the Governor’s need to take a leadership role in ending slavery and abuses in Florida's fields. We ask that you collect and mail the letters (or email your electronic sign-on) during the month of February. If there is no response from Gov. Crist, we will deliver the letters in early March.

Lamentably, fear and violence are still part and parcel of Florida agriculture’s business as usual.  This past December saw the seventh prosecution of modern-day slavery in the Florida agricultural fields.  The brutality and degradation endured by the tomato pickers who were held against their will, locked in box trucks, chained, beaten and forced to work in the fields of two prominent Florida growers, while unimaginable to most of us, is a horrific reality for Florida farmworkers.  More than 1,000 men and women have been enslaved and these numbers only include those cases which have been prosecuted.

Will 2009 be the beginning of the end of modern-day slavery in the fields?  That is a question we can only answer positively if elected political leaders also add their weight to the growing effort to eradicate this shame. Gov. Crist of Florida is foremost among them.  We encourage you to sign onto the letter and share it widely with your congregation, presbytery and friends.

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