UPDATED: Insurance company courts produce industry - The Packer

UPDATED: Insurance company courts produce industry

07/12/2013 03:32:00 PM
Coral Beach

(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 19) Organizers said July 18 that they have rescheduled the event. The meeting is now set for Aug. 29 in Palm Beach, Fla.

Jesse Jackson is scheduled to speak about the need for benefits for field laborers at a luncheon sponsored by National Growers Holding Inc., which seeks to work with produce companies to improve worker retention through insurance programs.An insurance company that hopes to work with fresh produce companies to provide benefits for field laborers has enlisted the help of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

Jackson is scheduled to meet with leaders of produce companies July 19 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Tickets are $100 each for the four-hour event with Jackson, which is billed as a luncheon in a news release from the insurance company, National Growers Holding Inc.

Officials with the West Palm Beach, Fla., insurance company said in the release they asked Jackson to speak partly because of his 40-year track record of working for the rights of field laborers. They said in the release that attendees will include companies such as Dole, Welch’s and Tropicana.

“The problem is that workers are leaving the field simply because they have no future security in their current position. National Growers Holding is changing that,” the company’s executive director Roosevelt Hendley said in the news release.

The insurance company release said produce companies will have flexibility and autonomy to protect their workers and address escalating premiums for workers’ compensation by creating their own plans through National Growers Holding Inc.

“The goal is a more sustainable work environment for the people who pick and harvest our fruits and vegetables. By establishing generational wealth, the workers will be encouraged to remain in their positions with the hope of a stronger retirement,” according to the release.

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Tom Ambrosia    
PA  |  July, 15, 2013 at 09:31 AM

Having Jesse Jackson involved in anything is a BIG MISTAKE. JJ is like his offspring not the best people to be associated with. Of all the people an insurance company could align themselves with Jesse Jackson is not the right pick. How much is he going to get from that "talk". How much is the insurance company kicking back to him or his organizations as honorariums, fees, donations? If I was on the board of that insurance company, I would go hang my head in shame. JJ is out for himself and could gives a rats butt about anyone else. Just look at the previous history. I encourage farmers, growers, pack houses to think 4 times before getting into bed with JJ and this insurance company. provide benefits for all employees etc yes, but you can do it properly without any involvement of JJ or this insurance company.

Arizona  |  July, 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I agree total with Tom - Jesse Jackson is nothing more than a self-promoter who cares nothing for the people he supposedly represents. Personally, me and my family won't be buying any more products from Dole, Tropicana or Welch's. I hope the market share of these 3 companies drops considerably based on their association with jj.

July, 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I am with the rest of the posters, below...Have personally met JJ and can say he is ALL about JJ. A rude, brute person with anyone who can't advance his cause. Have we also not swallowed enough re his son's vast wrongdoings? To use a produce axiom: the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... Also: the insurance industry does not need him -- or anyone -- to promote taking care of workers. Just DO it.

Raleigh NC  |  July, 19, 2013 at 03:16 PM

Run - don't walk - away from a meeting with this shakedown artist. If produce growers don't already know it, the coming amnesty legislation is about to bite them in the a** in a serious way, and this story tells of the opening salvo in this battle. Once the illegal workers come "out of the shadows", they are free and protected in their pursuit of all sorts of things - like labor unions, higher wages, better working conditions ... and disability payments for all the repetitive motion injuries they have suffered while they were still "in the shadows".

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