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FAIR FOOD CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES TUESDAY;

PRELIMINARY SURVEY RESULTS DOCUMENTING PROBLEMS IN VERMONT FOOD INDUSTRY WILL BE RELEASED

On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 11 a.m. a press conference will be held at the Vermont Workers Center at 294 N. Winooski Avenue in Burlington to announce the launching of the Vermont Fair Food Campaign.  This important new labor and human rights campaign seeks a food chain in which all workers who grow, harvest, process, package, distribute and sell food products in Vermont be treated with dignity and respect.  While the food industry is among the state’s leading employers, conditions for food workers are lacking. Documenting these conditions is one the campaign’s first missions.

Beginning last summer the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of American and fair food campaign activists surveyed workers at dozens of employers in the manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors of the food industry, asking them about their wages, benefits and working conditions.   The results of these surveys are being analyzed by a team of university professors, and a full report on the status of food industry workers in Vermont will be released later this summer.

Preliminary findings of the survey will be discussed at Tuesday’s press conference.  Workers surveyed for the report include those who work for some of the state’s largest private employers as well as those who work for a variety of smaller businesses.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), a union that represents some 250 food industry workers in two major food co-ops (City Market, Burlington and Hunger Mountain, Montpelier), Migrant Justice, an organization that focuses on immigrant rights and agricultural justice, and the Vermont Workers Center, an organization that advocates for workers rights and economic justice are all collaborating to build a Fair Food Campaign.

Contact: Kimberly Lawson,
UE International Representative
56 Federal Street
St. Albans, VT 05478
802-524-5005
518-570-6714 (cell)

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