Floridian tomato pickers must pick 2.25 tons in order to make the same as 10 hours of minimum wage pay

June 13, 2015

Like textile workers at the turn of the last century, Florida tomato harvesters are still paid by the piece.
The average piece rate today is 50 cents for every 32-lbs of tomatoes they pick, a rate that has remained virtually unchanged since 1980.


As a result of that stagnation, a worker today must pick more than 2.25 tons of tomatoes to earn minimum wage in a typical 10-hour workday --
-- nearly twice the amount a worker had to pick to earn minimum wage thirty years ago, when the rate was 40 cents per bucket.
Most farmworkers today earn less than $12,000 a year.


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