On Tuesday, poor farm workers from one of the Florida-based communities participated in a 5-day, 72-kilometer trek to the oceanfront, mason-lined town to pressurize the retailers to use their purchasing power to improve working conditions and pay better wages.
According to the most recent USA news, the farm workers are using the march to highlight the importance of the Fair Food Program, which was started in 2011. Companies such as Taco Bell, Walmart, Whole Foods, and McDonald’s are enrolled in this fair food program. The farm workers want these companies to use their clout to force the growers to provide better wages and working conditions for them. They also wanted to put pressure on other companies, such as Kroger, Wendy’s, and Publix, to join this fair food program.
Labor contractor sentenced to ten years in prison
The median household income in Pahokee, which is one of the poorest communities in Florida, is $30,000. The launching point of the march was that a labor contractor forced the farm workers to work almost without pay last year. The labor contractor was convicted because of this ill-treatment of farm workers and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In news gathered from the Department of Justice in the US, the contractor demanded exorbitant fees from them, confiscated the passports of Mexican farm workers, and threatened them with a false arrest or deportation.
Donald Trump resides in Palm Beach Town
The marchers were scheduled to arrive in Palm Beach town, where the median household income is $169,000, on Saturday. The Palm Beach town is lined with several mansions of the famous and rich, such as Donald Trump, the former president of the US, and a billionaire and Wendy’s Chairman, Nelson Peltz.
The Immokalee Workers Coalition, which is based in Florida, said the program ensured payment for hours worked and on-job safety measures like water, shade, and bathrooms. It also reduced threats like forced labor in fields surrounded by armored guards, harassment, and sexual harassment at workplaces where crops like tomatoes are grown and harvested. The coalition also went on to say that improved productivity has benefited the growers.
In the most recent world news, Wendy’s confirmed that it did not participate in the Fair Food Program because it buys tomatoes from hydroponic greenhouse farms established indoors. The Fair Food Program is mainly for farm workers who work in outdoor fields. Hence, Wendy’s said there is no connection between its supply chain and the program.
According to the fast food chain, third-party reviews are necessary to ensure that no abuses are taking place in the harvesting of tomatoes that it gets from the suppliers. Wendy’s went on to say that it can assume responsibility if it joins the Fair Food Program and buys field-grown tomatoes. In this case, it is not true. Wendy’s statements are false, according to the coalition, and the company is attempting to avoid responsibility. Over a dozen corporations are involved in the Fair Food Program. A coalition official, Gerardo Reyes Chavez, said workers can file a complaint without fear of retribution.