The Washington Times - November 27, 2007, 06:38PM
Burger King

\ At issue is the rate paid to tomato pickers in Florida, which supplies most of the nation’s tomatoes during the winter.\

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\ That means fast-food chains have to rely on the Florida supply. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers — largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida — has already struck deals with McDonald’s and Yum Brands‘ Taco Bell, winning a penny-per-pound rate increase that growers have promised to pass on to the pickers. That penny increase would nearly double the pay for pickers, who make an average of $10,000 to $12,000.\

\ But the coalition says Burger King is resisting a similar deal and will be the subject of a public relations campaign designed to bring pressure.\

\ The Associated Press reported that a growers exchange says by setting a price, the deal violates antitrust laws. The growers exchange has threatened fines against growers who pay the higher rate.\

\ Most of Florida’s tomato pickers are immigrants, and many of them are here illegally. Efforts in Congress to legalize illegal alien farm workers stalled earlier this year.\

\ — Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times