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Boston Students Support Farm Workers | The Nation

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Boston Students Support Farm Workers

Protests are continuing nationwide as momentum builds toward February's supermarket action month sponsored by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. In an exciting prelude, a spirited group of children from Boston's Workmen's Circle Jewish Sunday School led a crowd of more than 100 on a protest march from a Trader Joes to a Stop & Shop in Brookline in support of the Campaign for Fair Food.

The Wicked Local Brookline website had a good roundup of the event:

"On Sunday, December 12, fifth-grade students from Workmen’s Circle Jewish Sunday School led more than 100 parents and peers on a march from the center of Coolidge Corner to the Brookline Stop & Shop. The students delivered a letter to the store’s manager, asking the chain’s parent company, Ahold USA, to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an internationally recognized farm worker organization, to address the sub-poverty wages and abuses faced by the farm workers who pick the tomatoes sold at the store.

The students carried signs that read, “One more penny per pound,” in reference to their demand that Stop & Shop pay an additional penny per pound for the tomatoes purchased by the store.

The students have been learning about the sweatshops their Jewish ancestors toiled in when they first arrived in the United States, and are outraged that such injustice still exists today.They opened with a speech in front of the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe’s, and then led a march down Harvard Street to Stop & Shop.

While the students were inside talking to a manager, the rest of the protesters marched and chanted on the sidewalk and in the parking lot. Afterwards, the students reported that the store’s manager received the letter and thanked them for letting him know about the issue. He claimed to not know about the campaign.

The action was part of the CIW’s “Campaign for Fair Food,” begun more than 10 years ago. Several retail companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway and Whole Foods, are all already working with the CIW."

The Nation has written about the CIW many times before. A community-based worker organization that helped expose a half-dozen slavery cases and trigger the freeing of more than 1,000 workers, the CIW advocates on behalf of seasonal workers in Florida for higher wages, better living conditions, respect from the industry and an end to indentured servitude.

The group's Campaign for Fair Food has been particularly successful as this illuminating article and timeline on the Campaign by Campus Progress amply demonstrates. Learn more about the effort and how you can help support socially responsible purchasing in the corporate food industry.

 

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