Another Publix grand opening, another protest for Fair Food!

Farmworkers and Fair Food activists from Miami brave the heat to rain on Publix’s grand opening parade…

Whenever a new Publix opens in Florida — which is all too often these days, as the giant grocer consolidates its control over Florida’s food market — the Campaign for Fair Food is there to inform the new customers of Publix’s refusal to do its part for fairer wages and working conditions in Florida’s tomato fields.

This past Saturday was no exception, as the call for Fair Food was heard loud and clear at the latest store opening in Coral Gables. Farmworkers from Immokalee were joined by allies from the Miami Workers Center, Power U, and dozens of other faith and community allies from around South Florida. Here are some pictures and a quick, first-hand report from the action:

Over 50 people gathered outside the new Publix store near the corner of Flagler and 37th Ave in Coral Gables. The 2:00 protest brought out the most dedicated of Fair Food activists from the South Florida area, hearty souls ready and willing to brave the Florida sun at its hottest.

Among those who answered the call were Rev. Frank Corbishley of the Episcopal Church (center) and Ana Vallejo and Maria Jose Fletcher of the Freedom Network USA (center and right, respectively), long-time CIW allies who joined a delegation to speak with the store manager and a representative from Publix’s corporate headquarters. Rev. Corbishley informed the Publix representatives that “although the CIW has not yet called for a boycott of Publix, my wife and I have not shopped at Publix for two years now – I just can’t bring myself to go to Publix while this is going on. And it’s a shame because we used to like shopping at Publix,” while Ana and Maria Jose spoke very forcefully about their work with victims of human trafficking and took Publix to task for having no real means to monitor its supply chain or guarantee its customers that it is doing everything possible to provide tomatoes free from the stain of modern-day slavery.