Farmworkers Fight Wendy’s, the ‘Last Holdout’ on Fair Food

By: Wednesday May 22, 2013 5:45 am

While rain pattered gently on the concrete steps of Manhattan’s Union Square last Saturday, a group of workers were giving the assembled crowd a tour of the sun-scorched fields of Florida’s tomato farms. The performers had turned the urban square into a stage for a street theater performance, depicting backbreaking labor and tussles with industry goons emblazoned with corporate food brand logos.

By dramatizing a farm scene amid the bustle of Greenwich Village, Chelsea and the surrounding neighborhoods, the activists of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers highlighted the connection between farmworkers’ daily struggles and the villain of the drama: Wendy’s restaurants, which are the primary target of the group’s Fair Food campaign for decent labor standards in an industry built on modern-day serfdom.

 

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Monday April 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Sunday April 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Pesticide Threat Looms Large Over Farmworker Families

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 6:00 pm

No matter how good your next meal tastes, it’s likely it made society ill.

A new analysis by the Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN) draws a disturbing connection between pesticides in our food system and serious health problems among women and children. The report reviews empirical research linking agricultural chemicals to birth defects, neurological disorders, childhood cancers and reproductive problems.

Some of these chemicals make their way into the foods we eat, but they are more acutely concentrated in the environments surrounding farmlands.

Citing ‘Tradition,’ Big Ag Fights Reforms for Child Farmworkers

By: Sunday April 1, 2012 8:15 am

Under the banner of National Farmworker Awareness Week (March 25-31, consumer and labor groups are working to educate communities about egregious conditions on farms. Now that organizations like the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers have begun to rattle the food industry with colorful worker- and consumer-driven campaigns, Washington should be ripe for long-overdue reforms to curb the worst forms of child labor.

But common decency has again been overshadowed by a well-oiled campaign by the agricultural industry lobby, which has pushed to block the rule changes by claiming that child labor reflects good old American values.

Banana Republic Legacy Thrives in Today’s Latin America

By: Sunday February 19, 2012 6:45 am

The term “banana republic” has become a cliche to describe economic imperialism throughout history, but the legacy of colonialism persists in Latin America today. The tradition of predatory capitalism echoed in the recent death of Miguel Angel González Ramírez, a member of the Izabal banana workers’ union SITRABI in Guatemala.

Despite New Rule on Livestock Antibiotics, Infection Risks Still Plague Workers, Communities

By: Saturday January 7, 2012 10:00 am

Fundamentally, the issue of antibiotic resistance isn’t about medicines or animals, but about the relationship between people and what we eat. These new disease risks point to ethical questions on industrial farming, the mass consumption of animals, and the workers at the heart of this enterprise. When basic health standards are ignored, everyone gets hurt.

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