Migrant Justice is headed to The Netherlands!

On April 10th, the Board of Directors and top executives of Ahold Delhaize, the multinational conglomerate that owns Hannaford Supermarkets, will gather in Amsterdam for their annual shareholder meeting – and Migrant Justice will be in town to meet them!

A delegation from Migrant Justice will make the journey from Vermont to the Netherlands to meet face-to-face with Ahold’s corporate leaders. Along the way, we will build alliances with Dutch labor unions, immigrant rights organizations, investors, and civil society groups to put pressure on Hannaford’s parent company and build support for Milk with Dignity.

This trip represents a new frontier in the Milk with Dignity campaign and sends a clear message to Hannaford that farmworkers are more committed than ever to push the company to get with the program and join Milk with Dignity. As we chant on the picket line: “Hannaford, listen up! Farmworkers aren’t giving up!”

While we are at the shareholder meeting in Amsterdam, campaign supporters will be calling Hannaford throughout the day to voice their support for Milk with Dignity.

Sign up here and volunteer to contact supporters and drive calls to Hannaford on 4/10!

Hannaford, for its part, continues to claim that the knock-off measures introduced in response to worker pressure are sufficient to curtail abuses. Last year, following questions from international corporate accountability group Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Hannaford and Ahold issued formal responses to the Milk with Dignity campaign. In their responses, they discount farmworkers’ experiences and point to their own initiatives.

Migrant Justice has issued a point-by-point rebuttal to each of Hannaford’s claims, clearly demonstrating how the company fails to ensure respect for workers’ human rights on the farms producing Hannaford-brand milk.

For a deep-dive into Hannaford’s faulty claims and Migrant Justice’s response, read our 13-page letter to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre!

Ultimately, the most damning rebuttal to Hannaford´s claims comes from the experiences of workers themselves. Farmworkers in Hannaford’s supply chain have seen no benefits from the company’s supposed protections. Rather, the only impact has been greater retaliation.

Workers on one farm supplying Hannaford-brand milk had lodged a complaint through the company’s “Speak Up Line” about intolerable living conditions: 10 immigrant workers shared a run-down, rodent-infested house with 4 bedrooms, one bathroom and insufficient heat, while down the road one white worker had a 3 bedroom house to herself. Hannaford sat on the workers’ complaint for two months before responding: “The allegations have been investigated and determined to be inconsistent with what was observed at the time of the assessment.”

The real story, according to one of the workers:

Hannaford never came to inspect the house. They just spoke with the boss. When she found out that someone had called the line, she became furious, shouting at us and demanding to know who had complained. In all the years I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen her so angry. If she had had a gun, I think she would have shot us. Since then, things have only become more strict on the farm.

This is the impact of Hananford’s so-called protections, and it is these experiences from farmworkers that are propelling Migrant Justice to the Netherlands to speak directly with the executives and directors of Hannaford’s parent company. Because Hannaford can run from the truth, but they cannot hide.

p.s. Save the date for May 1st! We will soon announce a call to action for Mayday, International Workers’ Day. Stay tuned