A major Florida tomato grower agreed to join a program aimed at raising wages and improving working conditions for migrant fruit pickers, after years of boycotts and federal probes into the treatment of workers.
Family-owned Pacific Tomato Growers, one of the biggest U.S. producers, said Wednesday it would distribute to workers a penny-per-pound surcharge that major tomato buyers such as McDonald’s Corp. have offered to pay for their product.
The agreement marks a milestone in a decade-long campaign by a Florida-based farm-workers group called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to increase pay and improve working conditions in agricultural fields. The group has targeted major fast-food chains and food-service companies with protests and boycotts to pressure them to pay the surcharge.
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