Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wake Up With the Scrooge?

Here is a fine Dickens moment to lead us into the holiday season. It seems migrant tomato pickers are about to lose their first raise since 70's because Burger King is unwilling to pay the penny per pund surcharge that Taco Bell and McDonald's had previously approved. That has given the Florida Tomato Growers an out.

Now the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange has threatened a fine of $100,000 for any grower who accepts an extra penny per pound for migrant wages. The organization claims that such a surcharge would violate “federal and state laws related to antitrust, labor and racketeering.” It has not explained how that extra penny would break those laws; nor has it explained why other surcharges routinely imposed by the growers (for things like higher fuel costs) are perfectly legal.

Auditioning for the role of ol' Ebenezer himself, however is the FTGE's president Reggie Brown. Sayeth he, "(The surcharge for poor migrants is) pretty much near un-American.”

The total cost of the penny per pound to Burger King annually -- $250,000. Bah humbug.

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