Supermarket Week of Action Nov. 18-26, 2009

In Baltimore, Fair Food activists took their rights as consumers seriously and visited several stores, including this Giant grocery, to be heard…

… by managers, who received the CIW manager letter in stores across the country, like this one in DC. Here’s an excerpt of what the managers read:

“As a customer of your supermarket, I am contacting you to urge your company to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to help end forced labor, poverty wages, and other human rights abuses faced by farmworkers harvesting tomatoes for the US retail food industry…

It is imperative that your company seize the opportunity to be part of the solution to Florida’s longstanding shame of farmworker exploitation.”

Download the whole letter here.

But the conversations didn’t stop there. In DC, Fair Food activists talking to the manager inside were backed up by colleagues outside, who spent the visit talking to customers coming and going.

While on the other coast, CIW allies took to a Trader Joe’s parking lot in Oakland, talking to customers one on one before heading inside for the letter drop. Most Trader Joe’s customers were shocked to learn about the conditions in the fields, and shocked again to learn that Trader Joe’s hadn’t yet signed an agreement with the CIW while competitor Whole Foods is helping to lead the movement for change this season in Immokalee.

And, of course, most letter drops were punctuated by powerful banners designed to get the message out beyond the managers, beyond the customers, and into the street…

… including the street in front of Publix’s corporate headquarters in Lakeland, Florida, where CIW members and allies gearing up for next Sunday’s march were met with a surprisingly high number of supportive waves and thumbs up by employees heading to work at the headquarters that day.

So with the Supermarket Week of Action wrapped up, you can still be part of the action in the days ahead:

1. Download the manager letter and keep the conversation going with your local grocer, and

2. Join us in Lakeland, Sunday Dec. 6th, for the biggest Publix protest of the year!

See you in Lakeland!