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Migrant Farm Workers

Migrant Farm Workers

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Migrant Farm Workers

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  1. Migrant Farm Workers A Day in the Tomato Fields Immokalee, Florida

  2. Workers are typically picked up at a local market and transported to large fields (plantations) to pick tomatoes. A LONG day in the HOT sun!

  3. A typical look of a tomato field… Farm owners drive up and down the rows and pick up buckets of tomatoes picked by the workers. In 1999, workers received $0.45 per bucket of tomatoes harvested.

  4. Has everyone had their pesticide training? Thanks to the hard work of people like Cesar Chavez, the migrant workers have to go through a formal “pesticide training” before working in the fields. The Environmental Protection Agency along with local coalitions (teams) in Florida team up to educate the workers about the dangers of exposure to pesticides. Therefore, these men and women MUST wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and hats to protect themselves from the harmful chemicals. Think about wearing all that clothing in the Florida heat from sun-up to sun-down… visualize what that must be like – pleasant or difficult?

  5. Affect on children… • When the crops are all harvested in one place, families move to other areas, often far away, to harvest new crops. • Children move A LOT and do not often get to make friends before moving again. • Many children drop out in order to help their families earn money picking crops.

  6. Other facts about Florida and Migrant Workers: • In Florida, the main crops are tomatoes and oranges. Working in the orange groves is very dangerous, as workers climb on rickety ladders to reach oranges on tall trees. Due to safety issues, we were not allowed to have that experience. People risk their lives to harvest the oranges for the orange juice we see in grocery stores. • Immokalee is located in Southwestern Florida not far from the Everglades and many upscale Gulf Coast beaches. However, life in Immokalee is very different from neighboring areas such as Marco Island and Naples.

  7. This is not “old” news! • Workers still fight for their rights to earn a fair wage. • In 1995, migrant workers formed a coalition to peacefully seek better wages for their hard work. • In 2011, the coalition put enough pressure on Taco Bell that they finally decided to sign the Fair Food Act. • Publix grocery store currently will NOT sign the fair food act. There have been boycotts and strikes. • The struggle for migrant workers has not ended… Cesar Chavez would be proud of their unwillingness to give up!

  8. Links • • •