Sunday, February 25, 2007

CIW announces a major mobilization for farmworker justice April 13-14 in the greater Chicago area

1/9/07: SAVE THE DATE! April 13-14...

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers announces a major mobilization for farmworker justice, April 13-14, 2007, in the greater Chicago area. Make your plans to join us for historic actions that will usher in a new phase in the Campaign for Fair Food.

CIW: “Today, we are tired, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., of ‘relying on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.’”

Nearly two years have passed since Taco Bell and the CIW announced an historic initiative to address the ever-deepening poverty and decades of degradation faced by farmworkers in Florida. At that time, Taco Bell challenged its fast-food industry counterparts to join in demanding fair wages and humane treatment for the workers who pick their tomatoes.

McDonald’s, the undisputed leader of the $100 billion fast-food industry, has refused to meet that challenge. Despite increasing public pressure on the fast-food giant, McDonald’s has refused to recognize the seriousness of the exploitation of tomato pickers exposed through the Taco Bell boycott, and refused to work with the CIW to address that exploitation. Instead, it has taken measures that appear aimed at undermining the hard-won advances in wages and working conditions established in the agreement with Taco Bell.

Today, after nearly two years of waiting patiently for McDonald’s to join us in addressing the crisis of human rights abuses and sub-poverty wages in its tomato supply chain, we are tired of waiting. We are tired, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, of “relying on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.”

Our members and allies feel that it is now time to intensify our efforts. As such, the campaign is entering a new phase this year, and support from our allies across the country will be more important than ever. The action in Chicago this April will mark the first major engagement in this new phase of the Campaign for Fair Food.

Mark your calendars today and start organizing to bring members of your community to McDonald's backyard this April to join us in a:

  • Major rally outside McDonald's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL, Friday, April 13, 2007.
  • Carnaval and Parade for Fair Food, Real Rights, and Dignity - Saturday, April 14, 2007 in downtown Chicago.

We strongly encourage our allies from across the country to join us in Chicago this April and to participate in the colorful carnaval and parade action. Groups are encouraged to organize their own floats and delegations for this action. Contact for more info.

ALSO... Be sure to check out all the highlights from last year in the Campaign for Fair Food. Click here to see the extensive "2006 Year in Review" from the Student/Farmworker website.

With these hands I demand the future that poverty wages have stolen from me. Farmworkers returning from picking tomatoes bought by companies, such as McDonald's, show hands stained with pesticides and heavy with hard work.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is declaring that they are tired, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, of "relying on the goodwill and understanding of those who profit from exploiting us," and are escalating their campaign to convince McDonald's to end human rights violations in its supply chain.

As their first major action in this new phase of the campaign, they are organizing two days of action in McDonald's corporate backyard, Chicago. The CIW will hold a march and protest outside McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, IL, on the 13th to be followed by a day of colorful street protests in downtown Chicago in the Latin American tradition of "Carnaval" on the 14th.

The CIW is asking all the communities who stand in solidarity with the CIW join us this April 13th and 14th in Chicago to demand a fast-food industry that doesn't rely on the endless exploitation of farmworkers.

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