Subway to Pay Another Penny Per Pound of Tomatoes

Tracy Miguel writes in the Naples Daily News about the new agreement between Subway and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers–only one day into the latter’s protest tour.

Coalition members visited Subway’s corporate Miami headquarters on Tuesday to demand the restaurant chain work with the coalition to ensure fairer wages and working conditions for the workers who pick their tomatoes…. According to the agreement signed Tuesday, Subway, the world’s largest sandwich chain and the biggest fast-food buyer of Florida tomatoes, will pay an additional net penny per pound to the Florida farmworkers who harvest its tomatoes…. Under the agreement, Connecticut-based Subway has also agreed to have an outside entity verify the money was passed on to workers. Subway has more than 30,000 restaurants in 87 countries.

Subway also joined other fast-food industry leaders and the coalition in calling on the Florida tomato industry to institute an industry-wide penny per pound surcharge to increase wages for all Florida tomato harvesters, according to a coalition press release.

According to a press release, collaboration also provides for a more stringent supplier code of conduct that includes farmworker participation in the monitoring of growers’ compliance and strict “zero tolerance” guidelines for the most egregious labor rights violations.

Subway has taken the additional step of extending these higher standards to the vendor code of conduct governing its entire supply chain, not just tomatoes, according to a coalition press release.

Subway has committed its support for the development of an industry-wide code of conduct that will create a uniform set of standards for all Florida tomato growers and purchasers, according to a press release.

Read more, including the history of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ campaign to help farmworkers by taking up their issues with fast food chains, at The Naples News.

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