Coalition of Immokalee Workers (Florida Public Radio)

By Luis Hernandez, WGCU News

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders recently made a visit to Immokalee to see the living and working conditions of farm laborers first hand.

The Senator, along with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy sent a letter to Burger King asking it to pay an extra penny-per-pound for tomatoes picked by those workers. Senator Sanders says it's just ridiculous that Burger King isn't doing the right thing.

"You're a large multi-national corporation. You make billions of dollars every year. Surely, you can afford a few hundred thousand dollars more, in terms of a penny-a-pound for the tomatoes that you're purchasing, which can make a profound difference in the lives of these workers."

Senator Sanders, a member of the Senate labor committee, is looking into holding hearings over the debate. Burger King recently announced it was looking to purchase tomatoes from another supplier. So it does not buy from packing houses in southwest Florida to avoid the debate.