With these hands I demand the future that poverty wages have stolen from me. Farmworkers returning from picking tomatoes bought by companies, such as McDonald's, show hands stained with pesticides and heavy with hard work.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is declaring that they are tired, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, of "relying on the goodwill and understanding of those who profit from exploiting us," and are escalating their campaign to convince McDonald's to end human rights violations in its supply chain.
Farm workers who pick tomatoes for the fast-food industry are among this country’s most exploited workers. They earn subpoverty wages, have no health care coverage, no freedom to form unions and have not had a significant raise in nearly 30 years. In the most extreme cases, farm workers are held in modern-day slavery conditions and forced to work against their will. Since 1997, federal civil rights officials have prosecuted five such operations run by Florida growers, involving more than 1,000 workers.