CIW at Women of Color United

Jacqui Patterson at Women Of Color United has a piece about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the issues they face that is a good introductory course into what this group is about:

Immokalee is an agricultural town which is built around the industries of tomatoes and citrus. Immokalee has a population of 20,000 during the off-season and 40,000 when tomatoes are harvested, between late Oct/early Nov and May. The population is primarily from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti and is mostly male (approximately 85-90%).

… People in the community who work on the farms have a fairly harsh existence. The work day starts finding the farm workers in parking lots at 4am awaiting buses from the tomato grower companies. The buses come and folks in the lots are selected (or not) and those selected take a drive that lasts up to two hours. Others return home and hope to be selected the next day. The buses return in the evening at around 7pm and less than eight hours later, folks are up again getting ready to go to the lot to hope for selection. It leaves very little in the way of family life or any other existence besides working and sleeping.

Read the whole thing here.

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