Friday, October 9, 2009

Extra Credit blog- Immokalee

Immokalee Florida is a very small place not far from Naples. This town is a farming and farm workers town. Most of the workers are people from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti. They came here in search of a better life but now are realizing they might never see one. Immokalee farm workers are paid 45 cents for every thirty-two pound bucket of tomatoes. They work very long hours. Their day begins at around 4:30 am and they do not return to their home until about 7:00. They work like this from September through June. These workers are excluded from the National Relations Labor Act which gave workers many rights. They live together in trailers of about fifteen people. Each person pays about 35 dollars a week. All together, the owners of the trailers are making about 3000 dollars a month from these workers. Their living conditions have been compared to those of the people living in Africa during the apartheid. In the last few years there has been many cases of modern slavery reported. They have limited breaks, no health benefits, strong likelihood of getting cancer because of the pesticides and more.
The CIW was started in 1993 and it is a community-based farmworkers organization. It represents mainly tomato workers and citrus pickers. Their aim is to improve the lives of these workers and protect their rights as people. So far, they have done a serious amount of good. They went straight to the corporations and demanded that they pay the workers who pick their products a penny more per pound. So far, many big corporations have signed the contract like Taco bell, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut and many more. With continued awareness the CIW only expects to keep improving the farmworkers lives.

=---Dorothy Smith "Bunny"

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