Farm workers protest North Fort Myers Publix
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Protestors were not welcome on Publixs' property but their message was clear.
"We are farm workers and we have families," said Silvia Perez. "We deserve to be paid a fair amount and also for our rights to be respected."
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is asking the new North Fort Myers supermarket along with the entire $25 billion dollar chain to join the group's Campaign for Fair Food.
"I'd like Publix to sign the farmworkers agreement and the code of ethics," said Sister Carol Beevers, the director of the Mother of God House of Prayer.
They want the tomatoes sold here to come from farms paying higher wages and with safer working conditions.
"So that if abuses or hazardous working conditions exist, they can be addressed," said Chris McBride, from St. Columbkill Church.
If Publix signed the agreement, it'd pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes that'd go to farm workers. And it would help the coalition enforce standards. Other chains to join include McDonald's, Trader Joe's and most recently Chipotle.
"For me as a consumer, to buy tomatoes that penny a pound as i go through the checkout, will not make any difference," explained McBride.
A spokesperson for Publix did not return a call for comment.
The group says another protest will be held the week of Thanksgiving. They plan to hold peaceful pickets at Publix supermarkets across the southeast.