We’ll try not to read too much into this mural: The Trader Joe’s in Boston. Photo courtesy of atomicity via Flickr
Before you head over to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cheap snacks for your Labor Day weekend festivities, stop and consider shopping somewhere else. Labor Day was enacted not as a general holiday to rest in honor of laborers, but in response to the tragic deaths of striking workers. And good old cheap Joe — which just agreed to stop selling eggs from Jack DeCoster’s vile operations — is one of the remaining holdouts in this decade’s most high-profile, life-or-death farmworkers’ rights campaign.
Two weeks ago, my coworker Karen and I left the office a little early and walked across Manhattan to the Trader Joe’s store in Chelsea, where a small group had gathered making signs and chatting. Among them were members of the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a grassroots group working to improve wages and working conditions for farmworkers. Over the course of about 45 minutes, dozens more people filled the sidewalk in front of the store, including labor activists from the Jewi... Read more