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

Photo-report from the Milk with Dignity Month of Action: Week 1

On September 13th, farmworkers and consumers turned out in force to picket Hannaford Supermarket and demand Milk with Dignity. This was the first of four weekly pickets in the Milk with Dignity Month of Action.

The Milk with Dignity Month of Action will continue all month, with pickets on 9/22, 9/28, and the grand finale on 10/3 – the anniversary of the launch of the program in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain. Each picket starts at 5:30pm at 935 Shelburne, Rd, South Burlington, VT

Read More to see the full photo-report!

Photos from the Pride Parade – kicking off the Month of Action

On September 10th, a contingent of immigrant farmworkers marched in the annual Vermont Pride Parade. As is tradition, the Migrant Justice contingent marched with rainbow-painted butterflies; this year, we added home-made marching drums emblazoned with messages of solidarity.

Sunday’s Pride Parade kicked off the Milk with Dignity Month of Action, which will continue throughout September with a series of weekly pickets at 5:30pm in front of the Hannaford at 935 Shelburne Rd. in South Burlington, VT.

Read more to see the photos from the Pride Parade and Festival – and to get the details on the Month of Action!

“You get in the f—ing barn”: Announcing the Milk with Dignity Month of Action

Vermont Public recently published an explosive report on violence and abuse on dairy farms in Hannaford Supermarkets’ supply chain. The report interviews Miguel, a farmworker who was assaulted and then fired by his employer. 

Miguel was in the middle of a 12-hour overnight shift when he went outside the barn to speak with a volunteer from a local church selling food and medicine to the farmworkers. His employer approached Miguel, grabbed him, and shoved him back into the barn.

The police arrived on the scene following the incident, and the farm owner admitted to the assault and to yelling at Miguel to “get in the f––ing barn.” He then goes on to claim, without irony, that “we treat them so good” and that his is “one of the only farms around here that treat these guys excellent.”

Read More to get the full story and learn how to join the Month of Action!

The National Farm Worker Ministry takes action for Milk with Dignity

The National Farm Worker Ministry has been organizing faith communities since 1920 to support farmworkers. They were a key pillar of solidarity in the United Farm Workers’ historic grape boycotts of the 1960s. Now the NFWM is throwing their support behind dairy workers’ fight for Milk with Dignity!

Now, the Ministry is holding their annual Board of Directors meeting at the Migrant Justice office in Vermont. Faith leaders from around the country are gathering to chart the future of the organization and build relationships with dairy workers organizing for human rights and economic justice. On July 28th, NFWM and Migrant Justice will join forces to picket Hannaford Supermarkets and call on the grocery chain to join the Milk with Dignity Program.

Come out to the picket line on 7/28 at 5:30pm in South Burlington to join farmworkers and faith leaders demanding Milk with Dignity!

Click “Read More” to get the full story and learn about another black mark on Hananford’s human rights record.

Maine march photo-report – and Hannaford’s response

On June 24th, hundreds of farmworkers and allies from around the region converged in Portland, Maine for a mass march on Hannaford Supermarkets. Led by three bus-loads from Vermont, marchers traversed Hannaford’s hometown to bring a clear message that workers and consumers demand Milk with Dignity.

Dairy worker Emilio capped the march with a rousing speech in front of the final Hannaford store:

“On my farm we want to see better housing, better pay, vacations – things we don’t have now. We want to see improvements on these farms and that’s what we’re demanding from Hannaford. This march is a big step forward; the more who take action, the better. Because there is strength in numbers, strength in unity, and we are a community united. We know what we want and we’re here to fight for it.”

Read more to see the photo-report and read Hannaford’s response!

Today we march for Diego, Alexia, and all farmworkers suffering abuse

Diego and his family worked on a farm producing Hannaford-brand milk. When Diego’s mother was beaten so severely by a supervisor that she lost consciousness, Diego confronted the supervisor. In response, he came to their house that evening with a machete and tried to break down the door.

When Diego called the cops to save his family’s life, their boss blamed him for the loss of her supervisor. Diego recalls: “The only thing she said was: ‘Who’s going to milk the cows in the morning?’” He and his family were fired and kicked out of their home. “The boss threw our paychecks in the trash and said ‘there’s your money.’ She said she never wanted to see us there again.”

Abuses like these – and Hannaford’s unwillingness to take any action to protect the rights and well-being of farmworkers in its supply chain – are why we are marching in Portland, Maine today. 

Can’t make it to Portland? Tune into our livestream from our facebook page, starting at 2pm, to follow along from home

March for Jesús and all farmworkers demanding Milk with Dignity!

Jesús works on a farm producing Hannaford-brand milk. After reporting a broken tractor multiple times to his employer, he was told to operate it anyway. When the tractor’s hydraulics failed, he was trapped beneath the machinery. Part of Jesús’ foot had to be amputated as a result.

Before this preventable incident occurred, Jesús’ co-workers had submitted a complaint through Hannaford Supermarket’s “Speak-Up Line” about discrimination and mistreatment on the farm. The complaint languished for four months before being dismissed. Hannaford appears to have taken the bosses at their word, relying on “employer self-assessments” and failing to interview the workers themselves.

On Saturday June 24th, farmworkers and allies will march through Portland, Maine to call on Hannaford to join the Milk with Dignity Program. We are bringing the campaign to Hannaford’s back yard to make a powerful statement that workers and consumers demand Milk with Dignity.

Are you coming to Portland from Vermont? RSVP and reserve your seat on the bus. Don’t delay!

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