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Boycott Taco Bell March/Protest Monday March 11 2002 Irvine-OC

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  • jack brown
    NATIONAL MASS PROTEST ON 3-11-02 AT TACO BELL GLOBAL CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS IN IRVINE CA Contact: Coalition of Immokalee Workers Lucas Benitez, Romeo Ramirez
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2002
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      NATIONAL MASS PROTEST ON 3-11-02 AT TACO BELL GLOBAL CORPORATE
      HEADQUARTERS IN IRVINE CA

      Contact: Coalition of Immokalee Workers
      Lucas Benitez, Romeo Ramirez (941) 657-8311; (941) 821-5481;

      CONTACT: In Southern CA
      Orange County Boycott Taco Bell Team
      Chantel or Fifi
      (949)436-1888
      tbboycott@...

      or, Student/Farmworker Alliance Brian Payne (941) 867-9160

      MIGRANT FARMWORKERS JOIN WITH STUDENTS, ACTIVISTS IN NATIONAL BUS TOUR TO
      EXPAND BOYCOTT OF TACO BELL

      Major actions planned for Los Angeles and outside Taco Bell corporate
      headquarters in Irvine, CA

      Key Dates in for the cross-country "Taco Bell Truth Tour":
      February 28: Tour Kick-Off in Tampa
      March 10: UCLA Los Angeles, California
      March 11: Irvine, California, TACO BELL HEADQUARTERS


      IMMOKALEE, FL -- Beginning on February, 28, 2002, a caravan of migrant
      workers, college students and activists will embark on a fifteen-city,
      cross-country bus tour to raise awareness about the National Taco Bell
      Boycott and the sweatshop conditions faced by migrant farmworkers in
      America�s fields. Tour highlights will include major actions in Los Angeles,
      California, on March 10 and at Taco Bell corporate headquarters in Irvine,
      CA, on March 11 where at 10:30 the march to Taco Bell Headquarters begins.

      The tour follows months of protests at Taco Bell restaurants across the
      country, with nearly 200 actions in states including Alabama, Tennessee,
      Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and
      Oklahoma.

      In each city along the route of the "Taco Bell Truth Tour", the farmworkers
      will be welcomed by community activists and will participate in teach-ins,
      demonstrations in front of local Taco Bells, and major community rallies.
      The tour, and in particular the LA and Irvine actions, will be the first
      major public actions to cast light on the multi-billion dollar fast food
      industry�s ties to the sweatshop-like conditions faced by farmworkers in
      America�s fields.

      "The tomatoes Taco Bell buys for its tacos are produced in what can only be
      described as sweatshop conditions," said Lucas Benitez of the Coalition of
      Immokalee Workers, one of the tour�s organizers. "Twenty years of picking at
      sub-poverty wages, no right to overtime pay, no right to organize or join a
      union, no health insurance, no sick leave, no paid holidays or vacation, and
      no pension is a national disgrace. We as farmworkers are tired of
      subsidizing Taco Bell's profits with our poverty."

      "Recently we read in �Nation�s Restaurant News� that the major fast-food
      chains are getting together to draft requirements for their meat suppliers
      that set guidelines for the humane treatment of farm animals," added Romeo
      Ramirez, also of the CIW. "If Taco Bell and other fast-food giants can
      require their suppliers to treat their farm animals humanely, they should
      certainly be able to understand our call for humane working conditions as
      farmworkers."

      -- more --

      Key Dates in for the cross-country "Taco Bell Truth Tour":
      February 28: Tour Kick-Off in Tampa
      March 10: Los Angeles, California
      March 11: Irvine, California, TACO BELL HEADQUARTERS

      Other stops and rallies on "Truth Tour":
      March 1: Atlanta, GA
      March 3: Chicago, IL
      March 4: Madison, WI
      March 6: Denver, CO
      March 7: Salt Lake City, UT
      March 8: San Francisco, CA
      March 9: Fresno, CA

      HISTORY: Since 1997, tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida�s largest
      farmworker community, have been organizing for the right to join in talks
      with the state�s corporate tomato growers to find ways to improve farm labor
      conditions and raise the crop picking piece rate. Despite signature drives,
      several community-wide work stoppages, a 230-mile march across South
      Florida, and a 30-day hunger strike by six members of the Coalition of
      Immokalee Workers (CIW) -- ultimately ended by the intervention of former
      President Jimmy Carter -- the growers continue to refuse to meet with farm
      worker representatives and the picking piece rate, despite an industry-wide
      raise following strikes and the hunger strike in 1997 and 1998, remains
      nearly unchanged from pre-1980 levels.

      When workers discovered that Taco Bell is a major buyer of the tomatoes they
      pick, they informed company executives in January, 2000 of the deplorable
      wages and working conditions in Florida�s fields and requested a meeting to
      discuss possible solutions. To date, despite numerous pleas from workers and
      growing public pressure, Taco Bell has refused to meet with CIW
      representatives.

      The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a community based worker organization
      located in Immokalee, Florida, the heart of the state�s $500 million tomato
      industry. Florida is the largest producer of fresh tomatoes in the United
      States. Members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers are largely Latino,
      Indigenous, and Haitian farmworkers, organizing for better wages and working
      conditions in Florida�s fields. CIW leaders have been recognized nationally
      for their efforts by, among others, the US Catholic Bishops Conference,
      Rolling Stone Magazine, and the National Organization for Women.


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