Letter from Governor Chiles to Mike Stuart, President & CEO of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
January 2, 1998
Dear Mr. Stuart:
Earlier this week, a small group of farmworkers from Immokalee traveled to Tallahasse in search of my help. Several of the men have been on a hunger strike since late December in order to draw attention to their request for higher wages from growers for their work picking tomatoes. In response to their plea, I instructed my agricultural liasion, Ben Rowe, to go to Immokalee, speak with growers, workers and other interested parties and gather the facts concerning the situation.
It is my understanding that the fasting workers will end their hunger strike only when the growers agree to sit down t the negotiation table and begin a dialogue. My desire is that the hunger strike end as soon as possible, before these men suffer long-term damage to their health.
To that end, I encourage the growers to begin a meaningful dialogue with representatives of these workers. There certainly is much common ground between growers and workers and it is in the best interest of all to work together to produce quality vegetables for the state of Florida.
Thank you for the work you and your organization do to enhance the economic health of our state and your efforts in this important matter.
With kind regards, I am