“We will work with the same tenacity to create a better future:” Milk with Dignity campaign comes to Hannaford’s Headquarters!
Posted Fri, 02/18/2022 - 3:12pm
This past week, a delegation of dairy workers and organizers returned to Maine to continue pushing for the expansion of Milk with Dignity. Farmworkers and consumers joined together to call on Hannaford Supermarkets to address abuses in its dairy supply chain and join the worker-led human rights program.
We were in Maine last November, holding a mass rally at a Hannaford store in downtown Portland and a march to their nearby milk processing plant. (If you missed the amazing video and photo report from November’s action, check them out now!) The target for our return visit? Hannaford’s corporate headquarters.
On Friday – after months of calls, emails, and letters met with no direct response – Migrant Justice knocked on the office doors to ask for a meeting to discuss our invitation to Hannaford to join the Milk with Dignity Program. Hannaford´s response was to throw us off the property.
So we returned the next day accompanied by dozens of local allies to hold a press conference and rally outside Hannaford’s central offices. In the face of the company’s continued refusal to meet with farmworkers in their dairy supply chain, we took the campaign right to their doorstep.
Addressing the crowd, dairy worker and Migrant Justice leader Emilio proclaimed: "We've been working throughout the pandemic without stopping, to provide for our families... We're here to tell Hannaford that we'll work with the same tenacity to fight for Milk with Dignity, to create a better future."
Hannaford responded with more of the same, telling reporters that they expect suppliers to follow the law, and claiming that they audit farms to make sure workers are treated fairly.
Workers, however, know better. Without the protections of the Milk with Dignity program, farmworkers continue to suffer grueling schedules without breaks, below-minimum wage, dangerous conditions, substandard housing, sexual harassment, unjust firings, and more. So to counter Hannaford’s empty reassurances, we ended the rally by posting blown-up photos of farmworkers and their families in front of the headquarters’ entrance. When Hannaford President Mike Vail next came into work, he will have been confronted with the faces and messages of the workers behind Hannaford-brand milk telling him: “We want Milk with Dignity!”
Join workers in demanding Milk with Dignity! On February 23rd, we will hold a national call-in day to Hannaford’s offices. Sign up here and volunteer to contact supporters and drive calls to Hannaford on the 23rd!
Over the past weeks, workers and their families have taken photos on their farms and written messages to Hannaford President Mike Vail
We brought these blown-up photos to Scarborough, ME, the home of Hannaford Supermarkets’ corporate headquarters.
Dairy workers and allies marched to Hannaford’s HQ, chanting: “Get up! Get down! Milk with Dignity is coming to town!”
We picketed at the headquarters entrance, to friendly waves and honks of support from passing cars.
Farmworker leader Emilio addressed the crowd…
…followed by Maine State Representative Thom Harnett. Rep. Harnett is the principal sponsor of legislation to support farmworker organizing. The bill passed Maine’s legislature but was recently vetoed by the Governor.
We marched to the front doors of the central offices and staked the blown-up photos of farmworkers in the snow banks outside.
…and ended the rally with some rousing speeches and chants.
When executives next reported to work, they will have been greeted with the faces and words of the farmworkers behind Hannaford-brand milk