I'm spending the next few days marching with a few hundred people who care about the rights of farm workers. The march started 10 days ago and will cover 200 miles from Immokalee to the headquarters of Publix in Lakeland, FL. We aren't picketing for picketing sake. We aren't walking to get a sun tan or to get our picture in the local newspaper. We are marching because the power of large supermarkets is keeping farm workers in poverty.
Tomato farm workers are currently paid by the tomato, around 50 cents per 32 lbs of tomatoes they pick. A 10-hour day equates to about $40. In the hot, Florida sun. Breathing in pesticides. Living in run down trailers with 12 other people. No protection under federal or state minimum wage. No over-time. No health care access. It's called modern-day slavery.
We are asking Publix to pay 1 penny more per pound of tomatoes. Publix is one of the largest supermarkets in Florida and they currently make more in profit than Monsanto. They can afford to pay farm workers more. They must. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers won't stop asking them until they do. March for Rights