November 16, 2012 in Event
Join the Fair Food Program!
Saturday, November 17, 12:00noon
King Soopers, 9th & Corona
Set the Table and call on King Soopers’ parent company Kroger to join the 11 other food corporations who have joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program
A new era of human rights and fair wages – for which farmworkers have been fighting for so long – is taking hold in Florida’s tomato fields. Yet Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers still refuses to adopt the Fair Food principles which would allow these changes to spread and thrive, despite that 11 other fast-food and grocery chains have already joined. It’s time for Kroger to come to the table and join the Fair Food Program!
Florida’s farmworkers have long faced brutal conditions. They earn sub-poverty wages, have no right to form unions or to over-time pay, lack traditional employment benefits such as health, sick leave or pensions, and have not received a significant raise in nearly 30 years. At the current rate, a Florida tomato picker must harvest over TWO TONS just to earn the equivalent of minimum wage for a typical 10 hour. In the most extreme situations workers are held in modern-day slavery and forced to work against their will.
However, there is a new hope on the horizon, thanks to the hard-fought campaigns of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-base organization of Haitian, Latino and Mayan farmworkers in Florida. Today, eleven leading food corporations (including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) and over 90% of the Florida tomato industry have joined the CIW’s Fair Food Program, which includes a penny-per-pound piece rate wage increase, a strict code of conduct, a cooperative complaint resolution system, a participatory health and safety program, and a worker-to-worker education process.
However, Kroger – the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers – has yet to do its part. Now it is time for Kroger to put its support behind the Fair Food Program so that we can put an end to Florida’s “Harvest of Shame” once and for all.
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