Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw refuses to meet with cycling Immokalee farmworkers listen09/06/11 Kelly Benjamin
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Tuesday, under stormy skies, a group of tomato pickers from Immokalee, Florida ended their 200 mile bicycle ride from the fields of Immokalee to the Corporate Headquarters of Publix Supermarkets in Lakeland to discuss their wages.
The group of tired farmworkers, wet from today's torrential downpour, arrived at Publix headquarters just after noon with hopes of speaking directly to Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw and inviting him to visit Immokalee, sit down with the farmworkers, and come to an agreement similar to the ones the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have reached with Burger King, Taco Bell, and McDonalds. About 75 supporters and members of the clergy joined the farmworkers at the Publix entrance including Minister Kent Siladi of the United Church of Christ.
After the prayers, the group of cycling farm workers approached the Publix headquarters entrance and were met by a public relations Representative who refused to identify himself. Jordan Buckley, an organizer with Interfaith Action who took part in the bike ride asked to speak with directly Publix's CEO.
That was Oscar Otzoy of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, speaking through a translator, demanding to speak with Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw Tuesday at Publix headquarters in Lakeland. After riding over 200 miles with the farmworkers to speak Mr. Crenshaw, Jordan Buckley of InterFaith Action expressed frustration with the PR department.
The Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers vow to continue their fair food campaign and eventually win and agreement for one penny more per pound of tomatoes.