The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) (http://ciw-online.org/campaign-for-fair-food/) was founded in 1993 in the hopes of bettering the wages and working conditions of the migrant farm workers. This organization started with a series of strikes as the workers demanded a voice and higher wages in the workforce.
Immokalee is located in rural Florida where one third of families live below the poverty line. The farm workers face long, harsh, work days for which they are not fairly compensated. For picking a 32 lb. bucket of tomatoes workers only recieve .50 cents. This has not changed for 60 years. The big company buyers of these crops have a lot to do with the wages. They are buying these crops in bulk for a very low cost, which in turn affects the worker’s low wages. A coalition of farm worker advocates filed a complaint with the UN alleging migrant workers have been denied access to legal aid, health care, and other basic needs and they continue to work for the rights of these workers to this day.
As students of the Spiritan Campus Ministry Cross-Cultural Mission Experience at Duquesne University, our main goal is to learn about the struggles of the migrant farm workers and work to advocate with the CIW. We will be traveling to Immokalee, Florida in March of 2015. We will be working in various social service agencies to advocate for and promote the Fair Food Movement. The Fair Food Movement ensures safe working conditions and fair wages for the workers. Below is a link to the Fair Food Movement: http://ciw-online.org/campaign-for-fair-food/