The Coalition of Immokalee Farm Workers capped a five-state protest tour on behalf of Florida tomato workers Friday by staging demonstrations at four Publix Super Markets in the Tampa Bay area. After securing agreements that create a framework for better pay and working conditions with 90 percent of Florida growers, workers stepped up a campaign to get grocery chains to agree to pay the penny-a-pound premium that would go directly into Florida tomato field worker paychecks. Only Whole Foods agreed. Publix chief executive Ed Crenshaw said growers should build the premium into their wholesale price instead of getting "us to start intervening in our suppliers' labor disputes." Coalition demonstrations expanded to other supermarket holdouts Stop & Shop in Boston, Trader Joe's in New York City and Giant Foods in Landover, Md. The coalition hopes to hand Publix a petition signed by 30,000 people today in Tampa prodding the Lakeland chain to change its mind.
Immokalee tomato workers target bay area Publix stores
© 2013 Tampa Bay Times