Friday, March 28, 2008

slave labor in U.S. fields

I just read the book Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy by John Bowe. I had no idea slave labor could be happening the in US - the land of the FREE! Many tomato and citrus pickers are are paid poverty wages that have barely changed in 30 years; forced to work long hours without overtime; subjected to physical abuse by supervisors, denied benefits such as sick days, paid leave, and health insurance, and are punished for organizing. Some of these workers are also forced to endure modern-day slavery. There have been six successful federal prosecutions of farm labor operations for servitude in Florida over the past decade, and a seventh was just initiated.

Some food companaies like Yum!Brands, Taco Bell, and McDonalds have been working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve farm labor conditions -- but Burger King and others still have not signed on. If they would agree to pay just 1 cent more per pound, they could make a huge difference in the lives of these workers.

To sign a petition, go to:

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