Theses Master's

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers: a cooperative framework in Florida’s tomato fields

Lasio, Georgia Rae

Corporate responsibility for human rights violations is increasingly becoming a reality. Voluntary codes of compliance, national legislation, international standards, consumer power and non-governmental organizations’ campaigns are all playing a role in further defining and enforcing the notion of corporate responsibility. This thesis analyzes the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a worker-based human rights organization, which altered the labor relations defining Florida’s tomato fields through the implementation of the Fair Food Program. By focusing on the structure and objectives of the CIW, the thesis attempts to show how worker participation can constitute a transformative instrument within the struggle against corporate abuse. The organization’s success lies in the fact that it was able to establish its own agency against traditional power structures. It created among the workers a sense of solidarity that fostered a commitment toward changing their living and working conditions. Thus, the thesis questions grassroots approaches as a crucial path not only for the implementation of corporate responsibility programs, but also for their effectiveness and sustainability.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Braun, Rainer
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 10, 2016