Burger King Agrees to Raise Wages for Tomato Workers

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers announced Friday that after a prolonged and often heated campaign, Burger King has agreed to award tomato pickers 1.5 cents per pound of tomatoes picked, the equivalent of a 71 percent increase in wages.

The decision was announced on Capitol Hill last Friday. Watch the press conference:

Sojourners has been involved with the campaign since June 2007, and in little less than a year, more than 25,000 of our activists sent more than 125,000 letters to the fast-food chain and its supporters. Given the slavery indictments in regions of south Florida, the agreement also includes zero tolerance guidelines for unlawful activities of any grower from the Burger King supply chain.

While Burger King's agreement is a long-awaited victory, their stalling and obstructing other companies from coming on board over the past year is unconscionable. In the end, the second-largest burger chain estimated that the agreement will cost it $300,000 annually, yet last year the company made $2.23 billion in profits.

We must continue to demand justice for workers at all levels of our economy, and we applaud the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for this victory on that path.

To learn more about Friday's agreement, check out The New York Times and Nation reports.

Elizabeth Denlinger is deputy director for policy and organizing at Sojourners.

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