[DenverFairFoodAnnounce] Protest at Chipotle HQ: Fri, Aug 8, 12:30pm
robert at sfalliance.org
Sat Jul 26 15:26:55 EDT 2008
Major protest at Chipotle Mexican Grill headquarters for Farmworker Justice
Members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) from across the
country together with workers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
(CIW) will be in Denver to demand that Chipotle ensure fair wages and
human rights for farmworkers. Join us in a lively and energetic
protest outside Chipotle's national headquarters.
DATE: Friday, August 8th, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Market Street Station (16th St. and Market, downtown Denver)
Chipotle Mexican Grill headquarters (1543 Wazee St.)
Farmworkers in Florida who pick tomatoes face sub-poverty wages and
sweatshop conditions everyday. Workers earn just 40 to 50 cents for
each 32lb bucket of tomatoes they pick - the same per bucket piece
rate as they received in 1978. At that rate a worker must pick 2.5
TONS of tomatoes just to earn minimum wage for a typical 10hr workday.
Farmworkers make, on average, just $10,000 a year. They are denied
the right to overtime pay and the right to organize or bargain
collectively. In the most extreme situations, farmworkers are held
against their will and forced to work in modern-day slavery rings.
There have been six successfully prosecuted slavery rings in Florida,
involving more than 1,000 workers, since 1997.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) - an organization of Latino,
Haitian and Mayan immigrant farmworkers in Florida - has called on the
fast food industry to take responsibility for the poverty and
exploitation of farmworkers that has subsidized fast-food profits for
decades. After hard fought campaigns, the CIW reached agreements with
Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and others),
McDonald's and Burger King - three of the leading fast food companies
in the world - to improve the wages and working conditions of
farmworkers in their tomato supply chains.
However, Chipotle refuses to follow the precedents set by these
companies. In fact in order to avoid improving the lives of
farmworkers, Chipotle has claimed that it has suspended Florida tomato
purchases while it conducts its own ?investigation? into the already
well-documented conditions of Florida farm labor. Nearly two year
have passed since it supposedly launched its ?investigation? and many
questions now beg to be answered. Where are the results of Chipotle's
inquiry? Where has Chipotle been purchasing tomatoes in the meantime,
and how do workers fare in those fields? Did Chipotle ever actually
cease purchasing Florida tomatoes or conduct any investigation at all?
Most pressing is the question: How does Chipotle's response to the CIW
and its allies fit into the company's supposed dedication to "Food
with Integrity"? Guided by this philosophy, Chipotle says it aspires
to be a leader in corporate social responsibility, even claiming that
it will "revolutionize the way America grows and gathers its food" by
leveraging its high volume purchases to change its suppliers'
practices. Are full transparency and human rights in its tomato supply
chain not a part of Chipotle's definition of "Integrity"?
Join us in telling Chipotle that we need answers now. ?Food with
Integrity? is either a holistic vision that encompasses dignified
working conditions for the women and men who actually gather America's
food, or it is simply a cynical marketing ploy designed to cash in on
a fad. It can't be both.
Denver Fair Food Committee
For more info: robert at sfalliance.org, 505-980-4220
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