Daily News Archive
FLOC’s Mt. Olive Pickle Company Boycott
Pesticides, December 5, 2003) According to the Farm Labor Organizing
Committee (FLOC), the North Carolina farmworkers that pick cucumbers
for the Mt. Olive Pickle Company labor under sweatshop conditions. FLOC
states that a harvester of the cucumbers that become Mt. Olive Pickles
gets roughly 65 cents per 33 pound bucket (averaging 6 buckets an hour).
The workers usually sleep in housing packed with many more workers than
humanely fit, and the workplace seldom has a toilet close or clean enough
to use or soap for washing hands. When the farmworkers are injured or
sick, they rarely find a first aid kit or someone to take you to the
Although the company
makes millions each year from selling its pickles, Mt. Olive refuses
to give the workers who harvest its pickles a voice in contract negotiations.
Mt. Olive claims that because the farm owners technically employ the
workers, it is up to the farm owners to increase wages and improve working
conditions. However, the company is barely paying the farmers enough
for their cucumbers to get by. Only an agreement between the company,
the farmers, and farmworkers will create a process by which problems
can be resolved openly and workers can get their fair share without
overburdening already struggling farmers.
The following are actions that FLOC recommends to get the farmworkers
the rights that they deserve:
- Get organized.
Form a support committee in your area or work with one that already
- Get your church,
union, community group, Girl Scout troop, Elks Lodge, political party,
bowling league, or bridge club to endorse the Mt. Olive Pickle Co.
boycott by signing a resolution form (available by calling FLOC’s
NC office at 919-489-4485).
- Send FLOC scouting
reports of where you see Mt. Olive Co. pickles sold—what states
and in what stores.
- Picket lines
at food stores that carry Mt. Olive Co. products. These include national
chains like Kroger Co. stores. In the south, the "house brand"
pickles for Food Lion and Harris-Teeter stores are packed by Mt. Olive
- Write letters
to the editor.
- Hand out literature
at community events.
- Speak to any
organization that will listen; get them to endorse boycott.
- Send a letter
to Bill Bryan, Mt. Olive Co. CEO—today. His address is: PO Box
609 Mt. Olive, NC 28365. Also, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
or give him a call at 800-672-5041.
The Mt. Olive Pickle
Company Boycott is being organized by FLOC, 1221 Broadway, Toledo, OH
43609, 419-243-3456. For more information on the boycott, see www.floc.com.