(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.
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.