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National Day of Action Against Taco Bell in Orange County THURS MAY 16 @ 3:00 PM

by Thursday, May. 09, 2002 at 1:19 PM



N A T I O N A L D A Y OF A C T I O N !!!

WHERE: TACO BELL CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS!! 17901 Von Karman St. Irvine, California 92614


TIME: 3:30 - 6:30 PM

DIRECTIONS: COMING FROM LA Take the 405 South, Exit McArthur and make a RIGHT, Make another Right on MAIN st. and another RIGHT on Von Karman, The Taco Bell building will be on your immediate right hand side

WHY: On May 16 there will be actions against Taco Bell in solidarity with Tomato pickers in FL who are STILL being expolited by Taco Bell. On May 16 the farmworkers are planning actions at the Tricon shareholdes' meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. A solidarity action on the 16th in your community is a great way to keep the pressure up on Taco Bell.

Immokalee farmworkers to take boycott campaign to Kentucky

Farmworkers and supporters will rally outside Tricon Global Restaurants headquarters and Taco Bell corporate Headquarters in their ongoing boycott of Taco Bell.

Wednesday, May 1, 2002


A farmworker campaign that some say is a crusade to stop

sweatshop-like conditions in the fields is taking laborers and their

supporters to Kentucky this month.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers and church leaders will protest May 16

at Tricon Global Restaurants headquarters in Louisville to make their

voices heard by the company's movers and shakers.

While Tricon shareholders hold their annual meeting inside the

corporate premises, farmworkers and supporters will rally outside in

their ongoing boycott of Taco Bell.

Tricon is the parent company of fast-food chains Taco Bell, Pizza Hut

and KFC. The global company also recently acquired Long John Silver's

and A&W All American Food restaurants.

Lucas Benitez "We already have a group of responsible Tricon

shareholders who are on our side and have joined us in this fight,"

said Lucas Benitez, a coalition leader. "People who we'll reach will

start thinking they're eating sweatshop taco products. Taco Bell

shouldn't just be known for fast food but for fair food also."

Collier County farmworkers are employed by local distributors who

sell tomatoes to Taco Bell. Laborers are demanding the fast-food

chain voluntarily pay 1 cent more per pound of tomatoes. Workers say

the raise would enable them to live better.

Tricon Senior Vice President Jonathan Blum said the company doesn't

have a role in disputes between growers and workers. He said Taco

Bell and Tricon deal with tomato brokers — not farmers — to

get the best prices.

"This is unrelated to our company and we're not going to get

involved," Blum said. "We're not going to get in the middle of some

other company's labor disputes."

Once protesters arrive at Tricon later this month, organizers say

they will distribute fliers to shareholders on their way to the


"We're not going to cause a problem at the meeting," said Benitez,

26. "All we want, as in past protests, is to give information to

shareholders who will arrive there that day."

Farmworkers say the jolt of a long-standing boycott will inevitably

affect Tricon's global brands negatively, forcing the company to take

farmworkers' concerns seriously.

An April 2001 company report of a four-week period stated store sales

increased by 4 percent for Pizza Hut and 2 percent for KFC stores.

Taco Bell suffered a 2 percent loss for the same period. Sales

figures for 2002 haven't yet been released.

In 2001, Tricon Global, with more than 30,000 restaurants around the

world in more than 100 countries, reported earnings of billion.

One business expert said neither Taco Bell nor Tricon wants negative

publicity on their brand name because of the trickle-down consequence

it may have.

"There's a profound effect on morale in what employees are thinking,"

said Galen Kroeck, an industrial/organizational psychologist and

chairman of the department of management and international business

at Florida International University in Miami-Dade.

"It's doubtful the boycott will have an economic impact in the

profits of the company but it will have an impact in other aspects,"

Kroeck said. "No one wants to work for an organization that makes

people look bad. If employees start to question their own role in the

company, this will hurt the company."

Kroeck said Taco Bell and Tricon need to do damage control before the

corporations begin to have a high turnover and fewer recruits.

"No one wants to work for a company that doesn't care about people,"

he said. "Taco Bell spends so much money on their good name that they

can't afford to have a negative association with their name."

Student/Farmworker Alliance, a national organization, comprised of

college students and laborers, also will participate in the rally.

The alliance recently spearheaded its own fight against Taco Bell

with "Boot the Bell," a campaign to encourage colleges and university

students to kick Taco Bell franchises off campuses. So far, 20

universities participating in Boot the Bell are considering whether

to renew contracts with companies that do business with Taco Bell.

The Taco Bell boycott has been in effect for more than a year. The

coalition's biggest effort came in March when farmworkers, students

and other supporters embarked on a 17-day cross-country "Taco Bell

Truth Tour." Coalition leaders met with Taco Bell executives at

corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

The coalition wants to establish an ongoing dialogue with Taco Bell,

something that failed during the Coalition-Taco Bell meeting.

Benitez said he's optimistic negotiations between the corporate giant

and farmworkers could occur in the future.

Taco Bell executives are reluctant to say anything more than the

demands Collier farmworkers are making should be made to growers.

Laurie Gannon, a Taco Bell spokeswoman, said the company's position

with regard to the possibility of further talks or a compromise

stands: There are no negotiations on the table.

Among the issues shareholders will address at the May 16 Tricon

meeting is whether the parent company of five fast-food corporations

should change its name to YUM! Brands, Inc.

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