In Florida tomato fields, a penny buys progress

by Steven Greenhouse

Workers harvest tomatoes in a field owned by Pacific Tomato Growers, a partner in the Fair Food Program.Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times. See slide show

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Not long ago, Angelina Velasquez trudged to a parking lot at 5 each morning so a crew leader’s bus could drop her at the tomato fields by 6. She often waited there, unpaid — while the dew dried — until 10 a.m., when the workers were told to clock in and start picking.