The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) hosted their spring 2014 action, the Now Is The Time Tour, a 10-day tour culminating in a 24-hour vigil in Lakeland, FL. The event, which travelled through 10 U.S. cities, called for major corporations Wendy’s and Publix to join the Fair Food Program (FFP), which advocates for rights for farmworkers and growers while developing a sustainable system of agriculture.
Now Is The Time, which stopped in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, took place March 5-15. With two major actions, a march at a Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio and a vigil and rally at a Publix in Lakeland, the tour also held various pickets and met with representatives from these target corporations.
In 2001, CIW launched the Campaign for Fair Food with a boycott of Taco Bell to establish fair conditions for farmworkers by asking buyers to pay one more penny per pound of tomatoes. The campaign culminated in agreements with eleven major food retailers including Whole Foods, Sodexo, McDonald’s and Subway.
Ten years later, the FFP continues the fight for farmworkers’ rights by securing a wage increase for tomato pickers and establishing a code of conduct for providers to follow.
The Now Is The Time Tour was not only a protest; it was a celebration for the advances the CIW has made and future strides for farmworker justice.
Information for this article was taken from ciw-online.org.