Members of Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ) will protest Publix supermarket chain at the corner of 34th Street and University Avenue from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19 (check out the Facebook event here). Residents and local religious leaders will demonstrate in an effort to convince Publix executives to sign the Fair Food Agreement, which would guarantee fair wages and working conditions for Florida tomato harvesters.
The demonstration by IAIJ members is part of a nationwide “Thanksgiving Week of Action” (November 14-21) led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) of Immokalee, Florida, which partners with Florida immigrants and farmworkers to end unfair labor conditions and wages.
“Fair food means giving the grower a fair price and giving the people who harvest the crops fair wages and working conditions,” said Eve Macmaster, pastor of Emmanual Mennonite Church and IAIJ member. “We hope this [demonstration] will raise consciousness and awareness of issues.”
The CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food has resulted in Fair Food Agreements with major food retailers, such as Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Compass Group, Whole Foods Market, and Trader Joe’s. Publix, the largest supermarket chain in the state of Florida, has refused to sign the agreement.
For more information, please contact: Richard Macmaster at(352) 371-6772 or GainesvilleIAIJ@gmail.com; or Sheila Payne at (831) 334-0117.
The Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice is a coalition of local faith communities and Gainesville residents working with farmworkers and immigrant rights leaders to support justice in their own traditions. For more information, please visit www.gainesvilleiaij.blogspot.com.
The Coalition for Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a community-based organization mainly comprised of Latino, Mayan Indian, and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. The coalition’s primary objectives are to build strength as a community on a basis of reflection and analysis, attention to coalition-building across ethnic divisions, and investment in the leadership development of members. From this foundation, CIW advocates for: a fair wage for workers; respect from supervisors and the industries in which workers are employed; higher quality and more affordable housing; improved laws and enforcement against those who violate workers’ rights; the right to organize without fear of retaliation; and an end to forced labor in the fields. To learn more about the CIW, visit www.ciw-online.org.