Updated April 1, 2010.
CIW today announced another major victory—its eighth fair food agreement, this one with food-service giant Aramark.
Like previous agreements struck by CIW, this one establishes a supplier code of conduct developed by the farmworkers themselves. Aramark also agrees to pay an extra 1.5-cent premium for every pound of tomatoes picked, with the premium distributed directly to the harvesters. That doesn’t sound like much but it makes a huge difference in the workers’ wages.
Equally important, this agreement helps build momentum in the fight to ensure that buyers (and consumers) hold their food suppliers accountable for their labor practices.
On its website, the CIW wrote: "This newest agreement is significant on several levels. It consolidates the historic advances established in the Compass agreement. It lays the groundwork for the further expansion of those advances in the foodservice industry. And it sends a powerful message to the supermarket industry—and to Publix in particular—on the eve of the Campaign for Fair Food‘s biggest action of the year. With this agreement, the four largest companies in fast-food, and now the two largest companies in foodservice, are standing with the CIW. It is time, finally, for the supermarket industry to do its part to clean up the farm labor poverty and human rights abuses from which it has profited so handsomely for so many years."
Get involved as CIW takes its fight to Sodexo and the supermarkets–Publix, Stop & Shop, Giant, and Kroger.
In textbooks across the country, students are still taught that slavery in the US ended with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.
But the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) knows better, and its Modern-Day Slavery Museum is traveling throughout Florida to drive that point home–that slavery persists in the agriculture fields of the state right up through this very day.
The Village Voice recently described the significance of the museum this way: "Though it’s unlikely to compete for crowds with Disneyworld, the Modern-Day Slavery Museum may be Florida’s most important new attraction."
The bulk of the museum is housed inside of a 24-foot box truck–a replica of the one used by the Navarrete family in Immokalee to hold twelve farmworkers captive from 2005 to 2007. The workers were beaten, chained and imprisoned inside of the truck, and forced to urinate and defecate in the corners. US Attorney Doug Molloy called the operation "slavery, plain and simple."