CFI-Tampa Bay supports the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

March 31, 2011


Center for Inquiry Tampa Bay announced that it fully supports the efforts of Florida’s Coalition of Immokalee Workers to achieve fair labor treatment and human rights.

“If there are some atrocities going on, it’s not our business.” That’s what Publix supermarket spokesperson Dwaine Stevens said when he was asked about the workers who pick tomatoes for Publix

. Workers who suffer horrifying abuses. Publix is a Florida-based company, and Florida farmworkers have been mistreated for decades. The abuses are horrendous and cover the human-rights abuse spectrum. CFI-Tampa Bay’s branch coordinator, Rick O’Keefe, stated, “Is there anyone who doesn’t know that farm workers and migrant workers are frequently abused? There are few who know the extent of the historical brutal treatment throughout Florida. With Publix’ official attitude, I won’t shop there again. There is plenty of competition, especially Whole Foods, which supports fair treatment of farm workers. This will be a major human-rights issue for CFI-Tampa Bay.”

Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. Based on reason and facts, CIW fights for, among other things: a fair wage for labor, more respect on the part of bosses and the industries where farm laborers work, better and cheaper housing, stronger laws and stronger enforcement against those who would violate workers’ rights, the right to organize on farm labor jobs without fear of retaliation, and an end to involuntary servitude in the fields.

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