Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2008 at 11:01 AM
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) - an organization of low-wage workers based in Immokalee, Florida - has launched a national petition campaign to demand that Burger King and other food industry leaders work with the CIW to improve the wages & working conditions of the workers who pick their tomatoes, and join with the CIW in an industry-wide effort to eliminate modern-day slavery & human rights abuses from Florida's fields.
Farmworkers are among the poorest workers in the United States, and have very few labor protections. Most workers earn sub-poverty wages and do not have the legal rights to overtime pay, to organize, or to bargain collectively. in the most extreme conditions, workers are forced to work under conditions of modern-day slavery, receiving little or no pay through violence & threats of violence.
Corporations like Burger King, Subway, Chipotle & Wal-Mart directly contribute to farmworker exploitation through their high-volume purchasing practices, leveraging their purchasing power to demand cheap produce, which in turn drives down wages for farmworkers as growers protect their own profits by passing their costs to their labor force.
The petition not only calls on Burger King & other food industry leaders to join McDonald's & Yum Brands (parent company of Taco Bell) in addressing human rights abuses in the fields where their tomatoes are picked, but will serve as notice that the petitioners are "prepared to stop patronizing Burger King now, and other food industry leaders in the future, should they fail to do so."
To read & sign the petition, visit http://www.fairfoodnation.org/petition
To learn more about how to bring the petition campaign to your own community & what others have been doing to collect signatures, visit http://www.ciw-online.org/2008_Petitions
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