"Doing nothing is not an option:" Dairy workers march on Hannaford – and receive backing from Harvard Business Review

As 2022 comes to a close, we celebrate another year of progress in the fight for human rights and economic justice, while recommitting ourselves to the long road ahead. Since founding Migrant Justice, immigrant farmworkers have achieved more than they could have imagined – but we know that there is much work left to do.

We ended the year on a high note, with a spirited march through the snow leading to a boisterous rally in front of Hannaford Supermarkets. As Hannaford representatives once more threatened marchers with arrest, dairy workers stood firm and courageously shared testimonies about the atrocious conditions they experience in the company’s dairy supply chain.

Read more to see excerpts of workers complaints and a full photo-report of the latest march on Hannaford!

Farmworkers aren’t fooled by Hannaford’s gimmicks

Farmworkers facing poor conditions and abuse in Hannaford’s dairy supply chain are announcing one final action before the year is out. On Sunday 12/18, dairy workers will lead a march to the Hannaford Supermarkets in Middlebury, Vermont. Marching through the heart of Addison County – a region full of farms supplying milk to Hannaford – dairy workers and allies will call on the grocery chain to take responsibility for ending abuses in its supply chain by joining Milk with Dignity.

Sunday 12/18 at 10:30am: join dairy workers to close 2022 with one final march on Hannaford! Meet at the Kinney Drugs (40 Court St.) to rally before marching to Hannaford. 

This year has been packed with farmworker-led actions building pressure on Hannaford to join Milk with Dignity. With multiple protests at the corporate headquarters in Maine, 30 coordinated actions on Mayday (including hundreds marching through Burlington), weekly pickets throughout the month of October, and more, farmworkers have been relentless in their drive for rights and dignity. Check out the new video for a recap of October's month of action!

Donate to power another year of farmworker-led human rights victories

In October, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Milk with Dignity program. Five years have passed since we declared, at the historic signing of the first Milk with Dignity agreement, a “new day for human rights in the dairy industry.” And in those years, our achievements have surpassed the dreams of the farmworkers who conceived of and built Milk with Dignity.

The program has won unprecedented improvements in labor and housing conditions for hundreds of dairy workers and has secured protections for a workforce previously bereft of enforceable rights. Milk with Dignity has invested over $3.4 million in farmworker pay and benefits, and the worker-driven program has transformed the nature of work on dairy farms.

Make a donation to Migrant Justice to keep powering these human rights victories!

Despite these incredible achievements, our work is far from done. Milk with Dignity is protecting the rights of hundreds of farmworkers, but many others are still left out. That’s why we are fighting hard to expose abuses on farms outside the program and push companies to do the right thing, starting with grocery chain Hannaford Supermarket.

Ervin, who lives on a Milk with Dignity farm with his wife and daughter, spoke about his hopes for the future:

“We are achieving great things: dignified housing, a living wage, improvements in all areas of work. My message to dairy companies is that they pay attention to what’s happening here and join the program. If you do, there will be many more farms under Milk with Dignity and many more workers who get the benefits that we have now. We will see the fruits of the seeds we have planted today.

TODAY: Make a call to support Javier and all farmworkers behind Hannaford-brand milk

Dairy workers led pickets in front of Hannaford Supermarkets throughout the month of October, demanding dignified treatment and the protection of their human rights. Inspired by farmworkers’ leadership, customers across the northeast mobilized to hold solidarity rallies outside their local Hannafords as well.

Now it’s your turn! Stand with farmworkers fighting for their rights by calling Hannaford today and demanding Milk with Dignity!

And click "Read More" to read about more shocking conditions in Hannaford's dairy supply chain.

End-of-day update: over 340 confirmed calls made to Hannaford!

Milk with Dignity Month of Action wraps up; Hannaford threatens to arrest farmworkers denouncing abuses

On the evening of October 26th, over 100 farmworkers and allies came together for the final picket of the Milk with Dignity Month of Action. Throughout October, workers led weekly protests in front of Hannaford Supermarkets, calling on the grocery chain to address widespread labor abuses in its dairy supply chain by joining the Milk with Dignity Program.

Over the last four weeks, the farmworkers behind Hannaford-brand milk have been marching for their rights and dignity. Workers and consumers have picketed in front of the Hannaford Supermarkets on Shelburne Road in South Burlington – one of Vermont’s busiest thoroughfares –  to the approving honks and waves of those passing by. Allies have distributed leaflets to customers informing them of the human rights violations in Hannaford’s supply chains, and workers have bravely shared their testimonies of why the company must address those violations by joining Milk with Dignity.

Read more to check out the full photo-report from the farmworker picket at Hannaford Supermarkets and learn how to take action to support the campaign!

Photo-report from Week 3 picket of the Milk with Dignity Month of Action

Last week’s picket of Hannaford Supermarkets brought the momentum of the Milk with Dignity Month of Action into its third week. Dozens of farmworkers and allies rallied, marched, and chanted, demanding that Hannaford take responsibility for abuses in its dairy supply chain and join the Milk with Dignity Program.

Join farmworkers on the picket line for the fourth and final action in the Milk with Dignity Month of Action: 10/26 at 5:30pm in South Burlington, VT! Follow the link to confirm your participation and get more details.

Read more to get the full photo-report from last week’s action and learn more about how farmworkers are fighting for their rights!

Join Javier on the picket line to demand Milk with Dignity!

The Milk with Dignity Month of Action is at the halfway mark. Over the past two weeks, farmworkers have led pickets in front of Hannaford Supermarkets urging the grocery chain to protect workers’ rights by joining the Milk with Dignity Program. The actions are gaining momentum: last week’s picket was bigger, louder and more energetic than the kickoff action the week before. And allies in other states who can’t make it to the pickets have begun to organize actions at their own local Hannafords!

At the action, Javier will be one of the farmworkers marching for his rights on the picket line. Javier has worked on a farm in Addison County for the last two years, where he has suffered from a litany of abuses all too common on farms outside of the Milk with Dignity Program: he works seven days a week; has no sick leave, vacation, or holidays; and has been injured on the job. Earlier this year, when he was kicked in the stomach by a cow, he had no choice but to keep working.

Read More to get the fully story on how Javier is standing up for his rights – and what you can do to get his back! 

Photo-report from the first picket of the Milk with Dignity Month of Action

The Milk with Dignity Month of Action kicked off on 10/3 with a bang. Farmworkers led a spirited picket outside of Hannaford Supermarket, calling on the company to take responsibility for abuses in its dairy supply chain and join the Milk with Dignity Program. Actions will continue on 10/14 at 5:30pm.

Join farmworkers on 10/14 (and the following weeks on 10/20 and 10/26) at the Hannaford on Shelburne Road in South Burlington to demand Milk with Dignity! (RSVP here)

Read more to see the full photo-report from last week’s action!

Tell ICE: Don't Deport Wuendy!

Wuendy Bernardo has lived with her family on a dairy farm in Vermont since 2014. Three years ago, she was being driven home from church when her car was pulled over by Border Patrol and Wuendy and her children were detained. Since then, Wuendy has attended regular appointments with immigration authorities and complied with every order, but this summer – without warning – she was told by ICE that she must leave the country or she will be detained and deported.

Wuendy’s attorneys have filed a petition to stop her deportation, but ICE needs to hear from you! A mass outpouring of community support can and does have an impact – and could be the difference between Wuendy being deported or allowed to remain in Vermont with her family. Please send an email today to the ICE office in charge of Wuendy’s case to express your support.

Immigrant farmworkers lead Vermont Pride Parade

Vermont’s annual Pride Parade and Festival was led this year by immigrant farmworkers marching behind the Migrant Justice banner. And for the first time in years, the event took place without the sponsorship of Hannaford Supermarkets.

As we shared before, Hannaford ended its sponsorship of this year’s event – pulling $18,000 – after the Pride Center of Vermont urged the grocery chain to talk with farmworkers demanding Milk with Dignity. Hannaford made it clear that the company would rather end its support of the LGBTQ event than sit down with dairy workers to talk about abuses on the farms behind its store-brand milk.

"Read More" to get the fully story and see more photos from this beautiful event!