IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) - A farmworker group and one of the country's largest tomato growers have agreed to an unprecedented deal to improve Florida worker conditions.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Palmetto-based Pacific Tomato Growers announced the deal Wednesday in the west coast town of Immokalee.
The coalition has for years sought to raise wages and improve conditions for tomato pickers. It has successfully pressured chains like McDonald's and Whole Foods to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes with the extra money going to the farmworkers. But the major growers have long balked at implementing the plan.
The new deal creates an accounting system to pass on the money to the workers and includes complaint, health and safety programs that actively involve the workers.