A group of Florida tomato farmworkers has sued McDonald’s, claiming the fast-food giant didn’t properly follow a payment agreement.
Filed Oct. 4 in Tampa, Fla., by a small group of farmworkers, the lawsuit alleges McDonald’s didn’t pay an additional penny per-pound to them farmworkers from September 2007 to December 2010.
The lawsuit references an agreement between McDonald’s and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in which McDonald’s agreed to pay the extra charge through its produce suppliers. The farmworkers harvesting the tomatoes say they were supposed to be paid directly, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
The lawsuit isn’t connected to the coalition, McDonald’s officials said in statement released by Ashlee Yingling, McDonald’s manager of U.S. communications.
“Earlier this year, we disbursed all funds to our growers for distribution to their workers,” the statement said. “We are in full compliance with our agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and support CIW‘s continued commitment to enhancing the working conditions of farmworkers.”
McDonald’s officials declined additional comment.
The lawsuit, which lists 16 plaintiffs, requests class-action status but does not specify a total number of workers due compensation, according to the Business Journal.
After two years of coalition pressure, McDonald’s officials in April 2007 agreed to participate in the penny per-pound deal.