Skulduggery in Burger King’s War With Farm Workers?
A peculiar little news item today gives a sense of how petty and ugly Burger King and its allies have gotten in their drive to keep immigrant farm workers from earning a living wage. According to the News Press, which publishes in southwest Florida, Burger King vice president Stephen Grover used his daughter’s email address to write insulting comments on online articles about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The source of this news: Grover’s daughter. It wasn’t her, she told the reporter–it was dad. The Coalition has been campaigning for years to get decent wages and living conditions for people who pick tomatoes and other crops in southern Florida. They’ve been joined by student and church do-gooders in an interesting campaign that bypasses the tomato growers and goes directly to retailers, asking for a penny a pound more for tomatoes. Yum! brands and McDonalds agreed to pay the extra penny–a third-party auditor cut the workers’ (thus far meager) checks. But Burger King, the Coalition’s third target, and the Florida Tomato Exchange, which represents growers, hired a public relations company and tried to quash the campaign by threatening growers who cooperate with it. Then it was revealed that at least one corporate spy had been hired to infiltrate the Coalition. This is a lot of effort, considering that it would cost Burger King an estimated $300,000 a year to pay the extra penny.