Santiago Perez arrived in America to work in the fields.

He planted and picked tomatoes, but instead of finding the American dream, he says he saw harassment and discrimination.

Perez said he then joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a national human rights organization that supports a fair working environment for farm workers.

On Friday, 60 members of the CIW will visit Gainesville as part of its Workers’ Voice Tour, which will also include states such as Kentucky and New York, said Sheila Payne, a member of Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

The national tour will focus on the organization’s boycott of Wendy’s, the only food corporation among the “big five” — which also includes Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway — to decline the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, she said.

The campaign was created to provide workers with safer conditions and higher pay, Payne said. Companies that are part of the campaign pay more for produce and have their fields inspected to meet the Alliance for Fair Food’s standards.

She said auditors try to convince companies to pay one cent more per pound of tomatoes and give the profits to workers, Payne said.

Aside from receiving low wages, she said workers can suffer from sexual abuse, slavery and poor health conditions caused by pesticides.

Payne said the average life expectancy for farm workers is 49 years.

“It’s No. 2 for death by accident, too, because of farm equipment, pesticides,” she said. “The only thing that tops it is lumbering — you know, lumberjacks — and I don’t know if they’re No. 1 anymore.”

Perez said everyone consumes produce, which connects them to farm workers and the issues they face.

“I come from the field and I know what the work is like, and I feel what farm workers feel,” he said.  

Santiago Perez arrived in America to work in the fields.

He planted and picked tomatoes, but instead of finding the American dream, he says he saw harassment and discrimination.

Perez said he then joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a national human rights organization that supports a fair working environment for farm workers.

On Friday, 60 members of the CIW will visit Gainesville as part of its Workers’ Voice Tour, which will also include states such as Kentucky and New York, said Sheila Payne, a member of Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

The national tour will focus on the organization’s boycott of Wendy’s, the only food corporation among the “big five” — which also includes Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway — to decline the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, she said.

The campaign was created to provide workers with safer conditions and higher pay, Payne said. Companies that are part of the campaign pay more for produce and have their fields inspected to meet the Alliance for Fair Food’s standards.

She said auditors try to convince companies to pay one cent more per pound of tomatoes and give the profits to workers, Payne said.

Aside from receiving low wages, she said workers can suffer from sexual abuse, slavery and poor health conditions caused by pesticides.

Payne said the average life expectancy for farm workers is 49 years.

“It’s No. 2 for death by accident, too, because of farm equipment, pesticides,” she said. “The only thing that tops it is lumbering — you know, lumberjacks — and I don’t know if they’re No. 1 anymore.”

Perez said everyone consumes produce, which connects them to farm workers and the issues they face.

“I come from the field and I know what the work is like, and I feel what farm workers feel,” he said.  

Santiago Perez arrived in America to work in the fields.

He planted and picked tomatoes, but instead of finding the American dream, he says he saw harassment and discrimination.

Perez said he then joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a national human rights organization that supports a fair working environment for farm workers.

On Friday, 60 members of the CIW will visit Gainesville as part of its Workers’ Voice Tour, which will also include states such as Kentucky and New York, said Sheila Payne, a member of Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

The national tour will focus on the organization’s boycott of Wendy’s, the only food corporation among the “big five” — which also includes Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway — to decline the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, she said.

The campaign was created to provide workers with safer conditions and higher pay, Payne said. Companies that are part of the campaign pay more for produce and have their fields inspected to meet the Alliance for Fair Food’s standards.

She said auditors try to convince companies to pay one cent more per pound of tomatoes and give the profits to workers, Payne said.

Aside from receiving low wages, she said workers can suffer from sexual abuse, slavery and poor health conditions caused by pesticides.

Payne said the average life expectancy for farm workers is 49 years.

“It’s No. 2 for death by accident, too, because of farm equipment, pesticides,” she said. “The only thing that tops it is lumbering — you know, lumberjacks — and I don’t know if they’re No. 1 anymore.”

Perez said everyone consumes produce, which connects them to farm workers and the issues they face.

“I come from the field and I know what the work is like, and I feel what farm workers feel,” he said.  

Santiago Perez arrived in America to work in the fields.

He planted and picked tomatoes, but instead of finding the American dream, he says he saw harassment and discrimination.

Perez said he then joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a national human rights organization that supports a fair working environment for farm workers.

On Friday, 60 members of the CIW will visit Gainesville as part of its Workers’ Voice Tour, which will also include states such as Kentucky and New York, said Sheila Payne, a member of Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

The national tour will focus on the organization’s boycott of Wendy’s, the only food corporation among the “big five” — which also includes Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway — to decline the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, she said.

The campaign was created to provide workers with safer conditions and higher pay, Payne said. Companies that are part of the campaign pay more for produce and have their fields inspected to meet the Alliance for Fair Food’s standards.

She said auditors try to convince companies to pay one cent more per pound of tomatoes and give the profits to workers, Payne said.

Aside from receiving low wages, she said workers can suffer from sexual abuse, slavery and poor health conditions caused by pesticides.

Payne said the average life expectancy for farm workers is 49 years.

“It’s No. 2 for death by accident, too, because of farm equipment, pesticides,” she said. “The only thing that tops it is lumbering — you know, lumberjacks — and I don’t know if they’re No. 1 anymore.”

Perez said everyone consumes produce, which connects them to farm workers and the issues they face.

“I come from the field and I know what the work is like, and I feel what farm workers feel,” he said.  

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