Time to Hold Corporations Accountable to Farmworkers!
(April 09th 2015)
Take action now to let large corporations know farmworkers matter!
When the LA Times published its investigative report at the end of 2014 detailing horrendous conditions for farmworkers on produce farms in Mexico, it just confirmed what many of us knew must be the reality. Lack of sanitation, little to no bedding, withholding of already inadequate wages, and restricting workers’ ability to leave were detailed in this series. When 50,000 farmworkers went on strike in March it confirmed the situation has not improved.
Because the problem is systemic, it will take a huge coordinated effort to overcome. Although the current crisis centered around Baja, Mexico, some of the same buyers of produce from these farms have been implicated elsewhere. For example, a worker from a farm supplying Driscoll’s was cited in the article above. As far away as the state of Washington, on Sakuma Brothers Farm where Driscoll’s is also the main buyer, workers are also striking over poor pay and conditions.
In solidarity with the farmworkers in Mexico, the US-based United Farm Workers (UFW) has circulated a petition that will be shared with major retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, and Safeway. These retailers collectively buy massive amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and get them into the hands of millions of consumers.
However, nearly half of the money spent on food in the US is spent on food prepared away from home. This means that restaurants need to be involved in the systemic change.