by Jeff Gore
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers--a South Florida-based activist group of migrant farmworkers and their allies profiled by the Weekly in December--will be holding their largest protest to date of the Publix supermarket chain tomorrow in Tampa. The CIW wants Publix, along with every other major supermarket chain, to pay an extra penny for every pound of tomatoes picked by Florida farmworkers. That seemingly trivial amount would actually translate into as much as 71 percent extra pay for the workers, who have already seen pay increases from buyers such as Whole Foods, Taco Bell, and other major food corporations which have signed "Fair Food" agreements with the CIW.
Even with the proposed pay increases, however, Immokalee's migrant tomato pickers would be lucky to make more than $17,000 per year.
From the CIW's website:
Three separate marches will launch from Tampa Publix locations Saturday morning and converge at the Dale Mabry Publix at 2pm. Join us as the excitement mounts with the arrival of each group of marchers, culminating in a pageant of farmworker justice performed by farmworkers and allies, using large puppets and art to weave the story of the struggle to end "farmworker atrocities" once and for all.