Protect Mistreated Farm Workers


Target: William E. Crenshaw, CEO of Publix Super Markets

Goal: Sign the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Agreement

The tomatoes sold at Publix supermarkets come from a region in Florida that is infamous for mistreating their tomato pickers and even holding them in slave-like conditions. Publix also refuses to join a program called the Fair Food Program to ensure that their employees are not working in these conditions. The program has zero tolerance for slavery on tomato farms and even ensures wage increase. It is time for Publix to join the program and ensure the safety and fair wages of their employees.

One third of the tomatoes sold in grocery stores in the U.S. come from Immokalee, Florida. Until recently, countless of workers were held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of tomato buckets each day for very little or no pay at all. As a result of this, local laborers formed the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) fighting to change the way the workers are treated. They have largely ended the slavery conditions on these tomato farms and are working on raising laborer’s wages by implementing a 1 penny per pound increase of picked tomatoes. Many companies are working with CIW; however Publix has so far refused to collaborate.

Publix is a Florida-based company and as such should have the moral capacity to care for the people providing a significant service for them, contributing to their profits. A lot of the tomato pickers are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala and Publix abuses their status for their own gain. When pressed to comment on the issue, Publix’s Media and Community Relations Manager, Dwaine Stevens, refused to acknowledge the problem, saying that “it’s not [their] business” to deal with the issue.

Publix is one of the largest supermarket chains in Florida and should follow the lead of many other leading companies, and sign the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, which raises farm workers’ wages and provides protections against exploitation. Sign the petition to demand that Publix’s CEO, William E. Crenshaw, signs the Fair Food Agreement.


Dear William E. Crenshaw,

Publix Super Markets is a business based in Florida that employs workers residing in the state. As a result, it is your responsibility as the CEO of the company to ensure that all the people working for Publix are treated with respect and are paid for their labor fairly. However, so far you have refused to acknowledge that you employ people working in slave-like conditions, who are often physically abused, threatened and held in confinement.

I urge you to sign the Fair Food Agreement by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and employ only farm workers who are under the protections of this agreement. It is your duty as one of the largest super market chains in Florida to care for those who help you gain profit.


[Your Name here]

Photo credit: Glenn Robinson via picasaweb

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79 Signatures

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