25 April 2014

Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program hailed for raising standards for low-wage workers

Ms. Foundation for Women grantee the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is featured in a New York Times article about its Fair Food Program. The article reports that the program has been hailed as one of the most effective efforts to raise standards for low-wage workers:
“'This is the best workplace-monitoring program I’ve seen in the U.S.,' said Janice R. Fine, a labor relations professor at Rutgers. 'It can certainly be a model for agriculture across the U.S. If anybody is going to lead the way and teach people how it’s done, it’s them.'”
 The Fair Food Program implements standards to raise wages and safety standards, including policies to stop verbal and sexual harassment. Key to its success, enforcement of the standards is not left to the employers:
"A former New York State judge, Laura Safer Espinoza, oversees the inspection apparatus, which interviews thousands of workers, audits payrolls and conducts in-depth interviews with farm managers.  There are lengthy trainings for crew leaders, and six of them were fired after her team investigated allegations of verbal abuse and sexual harassment."
Click here to read the entire article. 

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