Protesters march outside Phenix City supermarket - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Protesters march outside Phenix City supermarket

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

Picketers marched on Summerville Road in Phenix City Sunday in the hopes of encouraging Publix Supermarkets to join their fight against low wages for Florida farm workers, specifically, tomato pickers.

The group is demanding that the supermarket pay an additional penny every time they buy a pound of tomatoes from a Florida farm.  That penny would then go to a group called the Coalition of Imokalee Workers, which bypasses the growers and distributes money directly to employees of the farm as part of something they call the Fair Food Program. 

With the help of a translator, the coalition spokesman, Oscar Oztoy, said he works as a tomato picker in Florida and described his income as below poverty-level.  He said wages for his job have not risen in thirty years.  And on top of his regular shifts, he can expect to spend three hours in a parking lot waiting to be rounded up every morning.  

So if their complaints are with farms, why are they protesting at the supermarket?  These activists hope that by putting pressure on the stores, it will indirectly affect the growers they buy from.  But Publix says that's not their problem.  They say that by giving money to this fund, Publix would essentially be paying for the employees of a different company. 

Publix representative, Brenda Reid, said, "We do a great job with monitoring our suppliers, making sure that they're providing quality products, safe work conditions, and that's where we stand.  If there are labor disputes, then I believe that is something they should take up with the growers."

Publix believes that the cost of hiring tomato pickers should only be passed on to the supermarkets in the form of tomato prices, and not as a separate fee.

Organizers said they don't hold farms solely accountable for working conditions they describe as unfair.  They claim supermarkets share responsibility due to the large volume of tomatoes they purchase and the influence they have on that industry.  They admit that Publix is not the only target of their protests and that they are bringing their complaints to nearly every major supermarket in the country.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • NFL to require all on-field players to stand for national anthem

    NFL to require all on-field players to stand for national anthem

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:33 PM EDT2018-05-23 16:33:08 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:19 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:19:56 GMT

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that players on the field who do not stand and "show respect" during the national anthem will be subject to discipline. 

    More >>

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that players on the field who do not stand and "show respect" during the national anthem will be subject to discipline. 

    More >>
  • FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:43:09 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-05-23 20:35:19 GMT
    The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>
  • Police: Florida man climbs playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Police: Florida man climbs playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:33 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:33:23 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:05 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:05:53 GMT

    Police said a Florida man was arrested after using inappropriate language to explain where babies come from to a group of kids at a playground.

    More >>

    Police said a Florida man was arrested after using inappropriate language to explain where babies come from to a group of kids at a playground.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pompeo: Fate of US-NKorea summit rests with Kim Jong Un

    Pompeo: Fate of US-NKorea summit rests with Kim Jong Un

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:44 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:44:27 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 4:36 PM EDT2018-05-23 20:36:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>

    The June 12 summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula - but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

    More >>
  • FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:43:09 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-05-23 20:35:19 GMT
    The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>
  • Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

    Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 2:51 PM EDT2018-05-23 18:51:55 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-05-23 20:34:45 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). In this May 9, 2018 photo taken in Starkville, Miss., Mississippi State University anthropologist Molly Zuckerman holds a portion of a mandible extracted from one of the graves unearthed at what was the graveyard of the Mis...(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). In this May 9, 2018 photo taken in Starkville, Miss., Mississippi State University anthropologist Molly Zuckerman holds a portion of a mandible extracted from one of the graves unearthed at what was the graveyard of the Mis...
    Officials in Mississippi believe the remains of as many as 7,000 former patients at an asylum could be lying in an empty, grassy field on a university campus.More >>
    Officials in Mississippi believe the remains of as many as 7,000 former patients at an asylum could be lying in an empty, grassy field on a university campus.More >>
Powered by Frankly