The New York Times – After Long Fight, Farmworkers in Florida Win an Increase in Pay
IMMOKALEE, Fla. — After fighting for more than a decade for better wages, a group of Florida farmworkers has hashed out the final piece of an extraordinary agreement with local tomato growers and several big-name buyers, including the fast-food giants McDonald’s and Burger King, that will pay the pickers roughly a penny more for every pound of fruit they harvest.
Farm laborers are among the lowest-paid workers in the United States, and the agreement could add thousands of dollars to their income.
Though the hamburger chains and others agreed to the increase years ago, the money they have been paying — an estimated $2 million now held in an escrow account — could not be distributed to tomato pickers until the state’s largest trade association, which acts as a middleman, agreed to lift a ban preventing their farms from passing along the extra wages.
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