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Conditions in Immokalee Improving for Migrant Workers

Story in New York Times says progress being made in inland Collier tomato fields.



Farm workers collect 32 pound buckets of tomatoes in a constant loop on farms in Immokalee.

There's an interesting piece up now on the New York Times website looking at how the Coalition for Immokalee Workers and their efforts to work with major tomato buyers has improved conditions in the fields in Immokalee.

“When I first visited Immokalee, I heard appalling stories of abuse and modern slavery,” said Susan L. Marquis, dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a public policy institution in Santa Monica, Calif. “But now the tomato fields in Immokalee are probably the best working environment in American agriculture. In the past three years, they’ve gone from being the worst to the best.”

That says a lot about an area that has been under scrutiny for decades for the way it treats the migrant population that works its fields. We explored the plight of the migrant worker in our January 2012 story "Voices of Struggle," by Katy Torralbas. It's good to see things are improving in what is often an after thought to the affluence of coastal Collier County.

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