Currently Browsing: Labor

For Labor Day: Farmworkers’ Rights Still in the Toilet

Cross-posted from the TEDxFruitvale blog. (Why? Read this.) Today is Labor Day, a time when most Americans think of barbecues and Mondays off, not so much the people who picked the potatoes in that salad and the peaches in the cobbler, or who slaughtered and processed the steer that became that hamburger....

The Ethicurean lives! An update, in which I come out of my corporate closet

Tap, tap. Is this thing on? Does it still work? Wait, let me clear away the cobwebs from the microphone. Is that better? Can you hear me now? All five of you? (Hi mom! Hi Jack!) What readers remain may have wondered when someone was going to put this blog out of its misery. I certainly have. Unfortunately,...

Victory for Florida tomato pickers, or a sneaky worker-around?

Many months ago, thanks to a vigorous, multi-level campaign, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) secured pledges from big buyers like Burger King, Subway, McDonald's and Whole Foods to pay an extra penny a pound to Florida's tomato harvesters, bringing the per-bucket wage from 50 to 82 cents. (Workers...

Animal welfare hot topic at Kansas Livestock Association convention

Moan on the range: Multiple speakers at the Kansas Livestock Association convention recently addressed public relations injuries to the livestock industry, thanks to animal welfare groups and others. The good news is that speakers acknowledged that the industry would fair better in the public eye if it did...

Sustainable food movement has a class problem

The flavor of fairness: When a recent UC Santa Cruz study asked grocery shoppers on California's Central Coast to rank their concerns about the food system, respondents prioritized animal welfare above the treatment of human workers on the farms. This is but one example, says Bay Guardian reporter Caitlin...

Farm Labor Experts: The Solution is Not For Sale

Friend o' Ethicurean Twilight Greenaway writes about sustainable food for San Francisco's Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), which nourishes, inspires and educates SF residents and visitors by running the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and other educational programs. We're big...

Bush regulations for farm workers suspended

A labor department that works for labor? Shocking!: Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has suspended for 9 months the regulations adopted by the Bush administration to govern wages and recruitment of immigrant guest workers for agriculture. Farm worker organizations had criticized the Bush regulations, saying...

BAMCO backs Florida tomato pickers in fight for fair labor standards

Jane Black reports in the Washington Post that the gigantic U.S. food-service company Bon Appetit Management Company has partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to take on Florida's shamelessly, and infamously abusive tomato growers in what we hope will be a very effective...

Digest – Features: Hawai’i uh-oh, simplicity sells, anti-union strategizing

Hawaii plays canary: The genetically modified seed industry has become Hawaii's rising star, reports a cover story of the Honolulu Weekly; it accounts for about a quarter of the state’s total farm revenues, eclipsing every other commodity. In the past two decades, the Islands have hosted some 2,252 open-air...

Digest: Funny honey, the pork disease, and White House eats

Angry Buzz: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a series of articles on the sticky state of the honey industry. Start with the two-part report on honey, which introduces readers to honey laundering and continues to meaningless label claims. Think domestic honey means produced in the U.S.? That organic means...

Human Rights Day revelation: Global food companies suck

I have a background in human rights work, so I was especially chagrined to discover this afternoon — having spent the day skulking about my office and being generally useless — that today was International Human Rights Day. The discovery came in the form of a press release from the nonprofit International...

The invisible workers: A Labor Day tribute

It's still Monday on the West Coast, so here, under the wire, is my second annual Labor Day ode to workers in the food system. (The first one is here.) Although I was busy staffing the tap water dispensary for most of Slow Food Nation weekend, I did manage to escape for long enough to attend a panel on...

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