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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday on a Ben & Jerry's factory to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism.
Protesters said Ben & Jerry's agreed two years ago to participate in the so-called Milk with Dignity program, but the company and worker representatives have yet to reach an agreement.
"We can't wait any more. We are going to pressure them and see what happens," said Victor Diaz, a Mexican immigrant now working on a farm in Vergennes.
Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood said before Saturday's march from the Statehouse to the Waterbury factory that the company was eager to reach an agreement and negotiations were underway.
"We are a values-led business. We frame ourselves as an aspiring social justice company," said Greenwood. "We try to do good with everything we can with our business. Dairy has definitely been one of those issues we have done a ton of work on for decades."
a reply to: mOjOmdigital.vpr.net.../0
Miguel Alcudia works on dairy farm in Addison county, and he addressed the board members who stopped to listen outside the office entrance.
"I want you to tell me, who are you going find to work 13-, 14-hours a day in the conditions that we work in? Who are you going to find who's going to work for wages we've worked in?" says Alcudia.
"And the housing, it's not dignified for humans habitation, it's not even dignified for animals to live in. It's infested, it's overcrowded."