MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Protesters gathered outside the grand opening of a new Publix in downtown Miami Saturday, using the opening of the long-awaited store to protest the chain’s decision not to take part in a program that helps raise farmworker wages.

Protesters gathered outside the opening of a new Publix in Miami Saturday. They chanted, held signs, and a delegation went inside to speak with the store management and deliver letters from students.

The activists want Publix to pay growers a penny more per pound of tomatoes. The extra pennies would then be passed to the workers. Publix has said it doesn’t set prices and that growers should add the increase to what they charge for tomatoes. Some growers fear the supermarket chain will go elsewhere if they do, because the tomatoes would be more expensive.

The organizations seeking the extra penny have already targeted other chains, including fast food companies like McDonald’s and Burger King, and have won concessions from some.

The Saturday protest took place just three weeks after farmworkers and religious leaders held a six-day fast in central Florida.



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