Bringing Migrant Justice to the Vermont State House

Immigrant leaders from Migrant Justice have returned to the Vermont State House for the start of the 2024 legislative session. This year, we are leading efforts to expand access to housing, healthcare, and higher education for immigrant families. Together, Vermonters can fight for legislation that protects immigrant rights in our state!

On January 12th, we kicked off the legislative session by joining a State House press conference and rally organized by the Vermont Workers Center and featuring a broad array of grassroots organizations. One of the speakers, Migrant Justice farmworker leader Cristian Santos, addressed the crowd:

“We are here today, united as Vermont’s working class, to demand access to dignified housing and quality education. Nobody should have to choose between following their dreams and feeding their families.”

Read more to learn about the bills that Migrant Justice is supporting!

“If it’s not Milk with Dignity, I don’t want it!”

This Christmas, Santa has a message for Hannaford Supermarket: “If it’s not Milk with Dignity, I won’t drink it!”

In the latest video from Migrant Justice and the Milk with Dignity campaign, Santa comes down the chimney to find milk and cookies left out under the tree. Once he realizes that it’s Hannaford-brand milk, he turns away in disgust. The only way for Hannaford to get off of the naughty list is to sit down with farmworkers, and commit to respect their human rights by joining the Milk with Dignity Program!

Click “read more” to watch the video and take action

“A food system that denies us our human rights is not sustainable:” Migrant Justice takes center stage at Farm to Plate

Migrant Justice recently participated in the 13th annual Vermont Farm to Plate gathering, bringing a message of human rights from the farmworker community to the sold-out conference. 

Every year, farmers, advocates, and government officials from across the state come together to share strategies for strengthening Vermont’s food and agriculture systems. This year, hundreds of attendees joined sessions led by Migrant Justice and listened to leader Thelma Gómez deliver one of the keynote addresses.

Thelma shared her powerful story of transformation, from a teenaged farmworker suffering discrimination and wage theft, to a nationally-recognized organizer and a key architect of the Milk with Dignity Program. She concluded her speech with a call to the assembled changemakers:

"We can’t talk about food systems without talking about farmworkers. An industry that exploits our labor, that abuses us daily, is not sustainable. As we work to transform food systems in Vermont, we must make sure that we are creating a system that recognizes the rights of the farmworkers who keep it running."

Read more to watch the video of Thelma's speech!

2023: A year of headlines for human rights

With the support of thousands of people like you, immigrant farmworkers have spent the past year continuing to organize for human rights and economic justice – and in the process, we have transformed the state of Vermont, the dairy industry in the region, and the landscape of labor organizing around the country. We want to tell you the story of those successes through the headlines they generated throughout the year and invite you to support this work with a donation today.

Read more to get the full story!

A Thanksgiving message from farmworkers

Today, as families around the country gather to share a meal and give thanks, farmworkers are working long hours in the cold weather to bring food to our tables. From dairy barns and milking parlors around the state, dozens of workers have filmed short videos with a holiday message. Farmworkers are asking Hannaford Supermarkets' president Mike Vail to join the Milk with Dignity Program. For years the company has rejected workers' calls to address the poor conditions and horrendous abuses on the farms producing Hannaford-brand milk. It's time for Hannaford to get with the Program!

Video from the Milk with Dignity Month of Action

As the weather turns cold, dairy workers on the farms producing Hannaford-brand milk are preparing for another winter without essential human rights protections. 

The Milk with Dignity Program ensures that farmworkers live in dignified housing fit for human habitation. Through the Program, hundreds of workers and their families have won tangible improvements to housing conditions – or in some cases, the construction of brand new housing. This is just one of the protections that Hannaford denies to the farmworkers in its supply chain through its refusal to join Milk with Dignity.

Despite Hananford’s delays, farmworkers are persisting. This fall, many of you joined workers on the picket line to protest the abuses and human rights violations on Hannaford’s farms and hold the company accountable. Check out the newly-released video from the Month of Action!

10/18: Mass Call-in day to Hannaford Supermarket

We recently wrapped up a month of action picketing Hannaford Supermarkets. With pressure mounting on Hannaford, we are asking supporters to call the company headquarters and urge them to meet with farmworkers. Throughout the campaign, thousands of people have called the office of Hannaford President Mike Vail to show their solidarity. Today, October 18th, take a minute to make a call: tell Hannaford that you want Milk with Dignity!

Once you've called, "Read More" to get a recap from the month of action!

End of day update: nearly 300 calls to Hannaford!

Photo-report from the Milk with Dignity Month of Action: Week 4

On October 3rd, farmworkers and consumers picketed Hannaford Supermarkets for the fourth time in as many weeks, wrapping up a month of action demanding Milk with Dignity. The final action was the biggest and boldest of the month, with marchers passing by Hannaford’s security cordon to bring our demands directly to the store’s front door.

After a spirited picket – our chants resonating with the rhythm of dozens of homemade drums – marchers made their way towards the Hannaford store. As in past weeks, Hannaford’s managers and hired security guards moved to block the march. This week, however, the crowd passed them by, peacefully proceeding to the store’s front door. As managers barricaded the doors in a fruitless attempt to keep customers from hearing workers’ messages, dairy worker Hilario addressed the company.

Read more to get the full story and see the beautiful photos from the final picket of the Milk with Dignity Month of Action!

Milk with Dignity turns six; dairy workers wrap up the Hannaford Month of Action with one final picket

Today, October 3rd, 2023, marks the sixth anniversary of the launch of the Milk with Dignity Program. Six years ago, dairy workers and Ben & Jerry’s joined together in front of the company’s flagship store to sign the first Milk with Dignity agreement. This historic moment represented the first time that a dairy company joined with farmworkers in its supply chain to protect workers’ rights.

Today also marks four years since dairy workers first publicly invited Hannaford Supermarkets to follow in Ben & Jerry’s footsteps and join Milk with Dignity. Over the past four years, Hannaford has hidden from its responsibility to ensure respect for the human rights of the farmworkers behind their store-brand milk, opting instead to promote empty standards and knock-off initiatives that mimic the Milk with Dignity Program without providing any of its protections.

To celebrate the anniversary, we are releasing a new video from this summer’s Milk with Dignity march through Portland, Maine. Read more to watch the video and get the latest on the Milk with Dignity Month of Action!

Photo-report from the Milk with Dignity Month of Action: Week 2

On September 22nd, farmworkers and consumers turned out in force to picket Hannaford Supermarket and demand Milk with Dignity. This was the second of four weekly pickets in the Milk with Dignity Month of Action.

The Milk with Dignity Month of Action will continue in the coming weeks, with pickets on 9/28 and 10/3 – the anniversary of the launch of the program in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain. Each picket starts at 5:30 pm at 935 Shelburne, Rd, South Burlington, VT.

Read more and check the photo-report