This post is by Jim Horton from Online Public Relations Thoughts
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Anyone who has worked in the dairy business -- and I have -- know that it is a brutally hard occupation. Cows produce milk everyday and must be milked everyday in addition to feeding them, mucking manure, cleaning pipes, administering medicine and driving them to and from the barn. Milk workers often get up at 3am to start their day seven days a week and don't get to bed before 8pm. That is why this is great PR. Ben & Jerry's "Milk with Dignity"pact is finally recognizing that dairy workers have suffered too long, and it is a start to normalizing their existence. They now work 6-day weeks under the agreement and they get an annual vacation of five days, scarcely enough for anyone else, but a breakthrough for the milk industry. Ben & Jerry's can do it because it makes a premium product for it can charge more. Most dairymen don't have that option. They supply a commodity product and are at the mercy of processors who have been cutting the price for milk to an unsustainable level. So, kudos to Ben & Jerry's and its parent company, Unilever, for seeing a chronic problem in the dairy industry and moving to correct it.