01/17/2014 12:43:00 PMDoug Ohlemeier
This is very noble! Having hired and worked with many migrants and farm laborers in the past, I can appreciate any efforts to improve their lives. But, the cynic in me speculates that Walmart and other retailers will figure out a way to re-coup that extra penny from the producers in another way, thereby not changing their costs at all. This is just another cheesy way that corporations and other businesses are trying to show their "progressive stripes" to all those who feel that capitalism is evil.
The whole thing is a joke. Why only florida? Why not Mexico? Why not other states? There is a significant cost, financially and in man-hours, to implementing and maintaining the penny-per-pound program (out of the grower's pocket). Not making excuses for any employer who has mistreated their employees... its just very ignorant to put it on Florida growers only. Nothing but a PR move by retailers to make themselves feel better about themselves. In reality, its nothing but a mafia shake down in which very little of the money reaches the migrants. It has already been reported that CIW finances are questionable....
Your comment makes no sense. Walmart strikes me as the kind of company that does careful vetting before signing onto something like this and is not particularly vulnerable to a "mafia shake down." And I'm sure you know the penny per pound flows through the supply chain, so CIW never touches it on its way to the workers (although growers actually retain 13% to help offset administrative costs associated with the program). Lastly, it appears that the Fair Food Program will be expanding beyond Florida tomatoes soon -- as mentioned in the opening sentence of the article you supposedly just read.
1. Not a mafia "Mafia Shake Down?" Definition of a shake down: "the act of taking something from someone by using threats or deception." The coalition openly badgers and protests the retailers and restaurant chains into submission. They use public image as a weapon. Walmart has a terrible public image and will use any trick to try to look better. Why do you think the CIW goes after the end-user instead of the grower? The growers are abiding by the laws and the CIW would not be effective. 2. The money flows directly to the workers. No, no it doesn't. I have spoken with two participating growers and no the money does not go directly to the workers--nor do those workers receive all the money. 3. I'd imagine and hope CIW is non-profit. Maybe I missed it but I cannot find its financials. I would love to see what its employees, managers, and company officers make. 4. As the CIW continues to grow, it will receive more resistance. Understand that it can pull this off with the big-boy growers but it will not be able to do it across the board with all growers.
These statements are long on innuendo and short on facts. Hopefully most readers have a better grasp on reality.
In the short term is simple arithmetics: this penny will be paid by one (or a combination) of these: 1) The producer that will be squeezed even more 2) The customers of Wal-Mart 3) The shareholders of Wal-Mart (I strongly doubt this one) In the long-term, it will make the tomatoes of Florida even less competitive, decreasing the demand for labour in Florida and screwing even more the low-wage workers of the US, illegal immigrant or american (there must be still 2 or 3 out there...)