On March 5, 2011 a group of 50 YAYA members and supporters set out to Tampa, FL to march and protest with the CIW (Coalition of Immokalee Workers) in support of their campaign to tell Publix supermarket to “DO THE RIGHT THING”.
The CIW is asking Publix to work with them to pay one more cent per pound of tomatoes and improve the working conditions in the tomato fields.
Although many ask, why only one penny? It might come as a shock that with a one penny per pound increase, farm workers’ wages could be doubled. The agreement would also set a code of conduct in the fields between companies like Publix and the farm owners to treat the workers accordingly.
This issue is extremely important because we all have a connection to farm workers, through our food, and also our economy in this state. Their labor is vital for our agricultural industry.
Our group arrived to an energy-filled group of marchers, which included supporting community members, people of faith, organizations, Publix customers and the farm workers of the Immokalee community, all there to raise awareness about this serious issue.
It was definitely an amazing experience to see how all individuals came together collectively to chant, sing and share the experiences with CIW.
Along with marching came a rally that hosted various speakers and artists who expressed their views through their lyrics. Of all appearances the highlight was the puppet performance and when the children came out wearing gold crowns in red letter print spelling VICTORIA (Victory)… and that is what we plan on working towards: Victory for our farm workers in Florida!
NFWM Spring 2011 intern
(Photos courtesy of Karen Gonzalez)