Human Rights Riders and Farmworkers Deliver "Cabot 'Sour Cream' Award" to Mack Farm in Charlotte for Continued Wage Theft

***For Immediate Release***

August 6, 2012

Contact: Brendan O'Neill, 802-825-1609 * Will arrange translation for farmworker interviews
More information at:, 802-658-6770,

40-50 Human Rights Riders and Farmworkers Deliver "Cabot 'Sour Cream' Award" to Mack Farm in Charlotte for Continued Wage Theft

Farmworkers and Partners Descend on Farm Demanding $800 in Stolen Wages.

August 5, Charlotte, VT--After riding 15 miles from Burlington to Charlotte about 40-50 human rights defenders, including a dozen Migrant Justice farmworker members, marched to Mack Farm in Charlotte yesterday to demand unpaid farmworker wages and raise awareness that behind Cabot Cheese's green image is at least 1 big Human Rights violator. (Pictures and video from the rally will be uploaded later today at

At a rally at Mack Farm farmworker leader Danilo Lopez shared, "We are here today because we, as farmworkers and human rights defenders, will no longer tolerate these abuses. Mack Farm has stolen thousands of dollars of wages from my community so today we ride and march for the first time as farmworkers and human rights defenders to the farm and issue him the "Cabot 'Sour Cream' Award" and demand our friend's unpaid wages." Migrant Justice shared that Mack earned the award for stealing as much as $10,000 in wages over the past several years single handedly inspiring them to create their worker's rights hotline of where Mack Farm has earned the distinction of the VT dairy farm with the most frequent worker complaints.

Brendan O'Neill, an organizer with Migrant Justice, shared a first hand account of a phone call he interpreted between Mack and a group of farmworkers years ago, "After months of mediating and trying to get Mack to pay 3 workers Mack confessed to me: “I’ve had over 40 Hispanics in 8 years now and I know how a lot of ‘em are. At first you can’t pay ‘em in full or they’ll take off. I tell other farmers that too. You got to hold their pay. And then there’s these guys with attitudes. Danielle, he’s got a f-ing attitude. But I’ve seen his kind before. I told my brother—give me 2 weeks and I’ll break him---I know how to break him—I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again."

The group stood outside Mack's house singing in slow and solemn words: "Mr. Robert Mack; give our money back; we're asking you to stop stealing wages now, you treat your workers worse than you treat your cows." They knocked on the door and waited but Mack never showed. Instead they spoke with a family member and left a huge sign for Mack that was then signed by everyone present that said, "Stop Stealing Farmworker Wages" call Migrant Justice to pay up at 802-658-6770. They also left Mack the Cabot Sour Cream Award.

After sharing another story of Mack Farm abuse ( Natalia Fajardo summed up the action, "We are not here to just denounce this immoral and inhumane farmer. We are also here because we are working to make sure that all of these so called 'green' or 'fair' dairy products live up to their image whether it's Cabot Cheese or Ben and Jerry's. There is no Fair Milk without Human Rights." Migrant Justice is making progress on several fronts. Since the first backwage cases on the farm Migrant Justice has worked with the VT Department of Labor who have stepped up efforts to win back stolen farmworker wages. As a result of Migrant Justice organizing the VTDOL has been investigating Mack Farm abuses discovering unpaid workman's compensation (available at VTDOL employer penalties site).
Migrant Justice builds the voice, capacity and power of the migrant farmworker community and engages community partners to organize for social and economic justice and human rights.