Tom Joad 
Member since Feb 11, 2010

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Re: “Chipotle gets it right, right?

Quick note- the CIW does *not* "contend its members work and live in virtual slavery." According to the US Department of Labor, Florida farmworkers make sub-poverty annual wages and are -- again in the words of the US DOL (not exactly a partisan champion of workers' rights) -- "a workforce in severe economic distress." These workers are not enslaved, only brutally exploited. As for the topic of slavery, that isn't a "contention" by the CIW either, and there's nothing "virtual" about it. There have been seven federally-prosecuted cases of slavery which have emerged from the fields of Florida since 1997; these cases meet the stringent federal guidelines for prosecution under anti-peonage, anti-forced-labor, anti-slavery law. These are cases in which workers were held and forced to work against their will for little or no pay, under threats and/or the use of violence; both US citizens and immigrants have been enslaved in these cases. In other words, the vast majority of farmworkers, who are "free," work in everyday conditions that can be reasonably compared to "sweatshops" -- poverty wages, powerlessness, lack of basic protections, etc.; it is these everyday sweatshop conditions that create the fertile soil in which actual slavery can and does take root in the 21st century. Visit for more info.

Posted by Tom Joad on 02/11/2010 at 1:04 PM

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