NYC DSAers tell Trader Joe’s to Pay Farmworkers a Fair Wage

By Maria Svart

On Thursday, March 18th, NYC DSAers rallied with activists from Jobs with Justice and the Alliance for Fair Food in front of the Trader Joe’s supermarket in Union Square. We expressed our solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in their fight to get a just wage for the hardworking men and women who pick tomatoes for Trader Joe’s.

This wasn’t my first time standing up for farmworkers. My Young Democratic Socialists chapter at the University of Chicago campaigned to Boot the Bell from the U of C because Taco Bell was refusing to give a penny-per-pound raise to tomato pickers represented by CIW. By now, Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King and even anti-union Whole Foods pay a fair wage to farmworkers.

Trader Joe’s is next. So on a warm early spring day, NYC DSAers held up signs and chanted, passed out flyers to customers and enjoyed protest songs and zapateado dancing by several farmworkers who joined us. Afterwards, a delegation entered the store and delivered a letter to management.

Can you add your voice to the campaign? Here’s the letter we delivered to the store manager after the rally. Click here to email your letter to Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane.

By the way, this isn’t the first time democratic socialists have expressed solidarity with farmworkers. Members of the Socialist Party of America were key founders and supporters of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. (Here’s a good book about it.) And DSA Honorary Co-chair Dolores Huerta — much in the news lately — helped to found the United Farm Workers of America with Caesar Chavez. Our comrades in Young Democratic Socialists tell more of the story here.

This report originally appeared on the website of the New York City Democratic Socialists of America.

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