Slave labour in fruit picking in Florida, USA


This is a video about an African slave rebellion in the USA. It is called Forgotten Rebellion: Black Seminoles and the Largest Slave Revolt in U.S. History.

From British daily The Independent:

Slave labour that shames America

Migrant workers chained beaten and forced into debt, exposing the human cost of producing cheap food

By Leonard Doyle in Immokalee, Floride

Published: 19 December 2007

Three Florida fruit-pickers, held captive and brutalised by their employer for more than a year, finally broke free of their bonds by punching their way through the ventilator hatch of the van in which they were imprisoned. Once outside, they dashed for freedom.

When they found sanctuary one recent Sunday morning, all bore the marks of heavy beatings to the head and body. One of the pickers had a nasty, untreated knife wound on his arm. Police would learn later that another man had his hands chained behind his back every night to prevent him escaping, leaving his wrists swollen.

The migrants were not only forced to work in sub-human conditions but mistreated and forced into debt. They were locked up at night and had to pay for sub-standard food. If they took a shower with a garden hose or bucket, it cost them $5.

Their story of slavery and abuse in the fruit fields of sub-tropical Florida threatens to lift the lid on some appalling human rights abuses in America today.

Between December and May, Florida produces virtually the entire US crop of field-grown fresh tomatoes. Fruit picked here in the winter months ends up on the shelves of supermarkets and is also served in the country’s top restaurants and in tens of thousands of fast-food outlets.

But conditions in the state’s fruit-picking industry range from straightforward exploitation to forced labour. Tens of thousands of men, women and children – excluded from the protection of America’s employment laws and banned from unionising – work their fingers to the bone for rates of pay which have hardly budged in 30 years.

Immokalee U.S.A.: Bleak but sympathetic view of migrant farmworkers’ conditions: here.

Human trafficking and sex slavery becoming an epidemic in Florida: here.

A WEALTHY TEXAS COUPLE HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF ENSLAVING A GIRL FOR 16 YEARS All while abusing her and forcing her to do household chores. [HuffPost]

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8 thoughts on “Slave labour in fruit picking in Florida, USA

  1. Slave labour that shames America. Migrant workers
    chained beaten and forced into debt, exposing the
    human cost of producing cheap food,

    recent Sunday morning, all bore the marks
    of heavy beatings to the head and body.
    One of the pickers had a nasty, untreated
    knife wound on his arm. Police would learn
    later that another man had his hands chained
    behind his back every night to prevent him escaping,
    leaving his wrists swollen.
    ******************************************************
    ringo rai

    Florida Drug Rehab

    Like

  2. Thanks to the Fair Food Program, we’re on the verge of eliminating slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. Forever.

    But one company stands in the way of progress: Wendy’s refuses to join the Fair Food Program to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain. If Wendy’s follows the lead of McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell, their immense purchasing power could help bring the last 10% of farms to the table and ensure the tomato industry never sees another case of modern slavery.

    Call on Wendy’s – the final fast food hold-out – to help end slavery forever in Florida’s tomato fields.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    Dear Activist,

    Antonio Martinez stood in the hot sun, exhausted from a cross-country journey, and waited. Just 21 years old, he had travelled from Mexico to the U.S. with the promise of a well-paid construction job in California. But now he stood in a field in central Florida, listening to one man pay another man $500 to own him. “I realized I had been sold like an animal without any compassion.”- CNN Freedom Project (1)

    Just a few years ago, stories like Antonio’s were frighteningly common. The situation in the U.S. tomato industry was so bad that one federal prosecutor called Florida “Ground-zero for modern slavery.” (2)

    Now is the part of the message we rarely get to write in the fight against modern slavery – we’re on the verge of eliminating slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. Forever.

    That’s because the Fair Food Program has made historic progress in tackling forced labor and exploitation on Florida’s tomato farms. A massive 90% of growers have already joined the Fair Food Program, an initiative with a proven track record in fighting modern slavery. And four of the five biggest U.S. fast food giants have signed the Fair Food Agreement, investing in the fight for a slavery-free agricultural industry.

    But one company stands in the way of progress: Wendy’s refuses to join the Fair Food Program to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain. If Wendy’s follows the lead of McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell, their immense purchasing power could help bring the last 10% of farms to the table and ensure the tomato industry never sees another case of modern slavery.

    Call on Wendy’s – the final fast food hold-out – to help end slavery forever in Florida’s tomato fields.

    By taking action today, you could be part of history. Wendy’s is one of the last obstacles in this battle against modern slavery – and it’s a battle we can win. If the last few remaining growers sign up we can keep Florida’s tomato fields slavery-free.

    Antonio’s story is a chilling example of the horrors of modern slavery. Thankfully, the Fair Food Program is transforming the tomato fields of Florida with a zero-tolerance approach to forced labour. The program’s success has been recognised by human rights observers from the United Nations to the White House.

    There’s even more good news – the CEO of Wendy’s previously headed up Taco Bell where he signed that fast food giant onto the Fair Food Agreement. He knows the program can make a difference in the fight against modern slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

    Ask Wendy’s CEO to sign the Fair Food Agreement now and help put an end to modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields.

    With their major competitors already on board, Wendy’s is feeling the pressure – at this stage they’re ready to listen to their customers. We’re at a critical moment and our movement can make the difference.

    We’re so close to eliminating slavery in Florida’s fields and think Wendy’s is at a tipping point. We need as many people to take action in the next few days as possible – once you’ve sent a message to Wendy’s please forward this on to 3 friends asking them to do the same.

    Thanks for your support,

    Debra, Nick, Mika, Jayde, Mich, Sarah, Kamini, Kate, Jess & the Walk Free team

    P.S. On Twitter? Follow us.

    (1) http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/21/your-tomato-possible-ties-to-slavery/

    (2) http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2009/03/politics-of-the-plate-the-price-of-tomatoe

    Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils:
    Modern slavery.

    Like

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