Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trader Joe's and Slavery

Protesters Call on Trader Joe’s to Adopt Humane Conditions for Tomato Pickers

Here in New York, dozens of people gathered in front of the grocery chain Trader Joe’s new Manhattan location Thursday to demand humane working conditions for farmworkers harvesting tomatoes sold inside Trader Joe’s stores. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers says the farmworkers’ wages have remained stagnant since 1978, with tomato pickers having to put in ten-hour days just to make the minimum wage. Luis Gomez of the Community Farmworker Alliance said Trader Joe’s has purchased directly from fields that use modern-day slaves.
Luis Gomez: "We chose Trader Joe’s because recently it was uncovered that Trader Joe’s purchases its tomatoes from a field that recently was implicated in a case of modern-day slavery, where the farmworkers were being held to work without being paid and having to work against their will. So this is a direct connection between Trader Joe’s and where they’re getting their tomatoes and the violation of human rights. So that’s why we’re addressing Trader Joe’s to step up to the plate.

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