Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
- Ask McDonald's to work with the CIW to change conditions in the
For months, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and allies across
the country have called on McDonald's to do the right thing: Follow
Bell's lead and work with the CIW to establish fair wages and working
conditions for the farmworkers who pick its tomatoes.
In March of this year, Taco Bell agreed to take responsibility for the
abysmal conditions faced by farmworkers who pick its tomatoes. The
agreement established a partnership between Yum Brands, Taco Bell's
parent company, and the CIW and set several important precedents for
social responsibility in the fast-food industry. Among those
precedents, Taco Bell agreed to pay a penny more per pound for the
tomatoes it buys from Florida growers -- an increase that could nearly
double workers' sub-poverty wages -- and to establish the first-ever
enforceable Code of Conduct for US agricultural suppliers.
Yet despite strong public support for the ground-breaking agreement,
McDonald's has steadfastly refused to follow Taco Bell's lead on this
simple path to justice.
Now comes the news that McDonald's has announced that it will offer
fair trade coffee in more than 650 of its restaurants from New York to
Maine. Fair trade coffee is a laudable initiative whereby major coffee
buyers, such as McDonalds, agree to pay a premium price
-- above market price -- so that workers who grow and pick their
can receive a fair wage and improved working conditions.
While McDonald's should be commended for addressing economic injustice
in its coffee supply chain, it continues to pay the artificially low
market price for tomatoes, a price that leaves farmworkers locked in
poverty and sweatshop conditions.
At the press conference ending the Taco Bell boycott, CIW member and
2003 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Lucas Benitez addressed the vast
network of boycott allies directly, saying, "Our work together is not
done. Now we must convince other companies that they have the power to
change the way they do business and the way workers are treated."
So, this Thanksgiving season, when we traditionally celebrate the
harvest, let us also celebrate the harvesters. Join the CIW in calling
on the world's largest restaurant chain to stop dragging its feet and
work with the CIW to improve the wages and working conditions for the
men and women who pick its tomatoes.
Contact McDonald's today and demand they, too, pay a fair price for
their tomatoes and work with the CIW to end human rights violations in
To participate in this important action go to
ask your friends, family, and everyone you know to do the same.
the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Farm workers target McDonald's to boost wages for tomato pickers. A
farm workers' advocacy group says the tomatoes slapped on that Big Mac
are worth just a little more than McDonald's pays for them, and it is
calling on the company to pay more for the fruit to boost wages of
Florida farm workers.
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