Farmworkers March for Living Wage

Publisher Name: 
Food First

Food First/Institute for
Food and Development Policy proudly endorses and will
march in the Taco Bell Truth Tour, organized by the
Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).
The tour demands that Taco Bell press its tomato
suppliers to pay their workers a living wage and
improve working conditions.

"Farmworkers are among the lowest paid and most
exploited workers in the United States," said Anuradha
Mittal of Food First. "The average annual salary of a
farm worker is $7,500, far below the poverty threshold
for a single person."

The cross-country tour's highlight will be a three-day
march beginning March 2 from Belvedere Park in East
Los Angeles to a rally on March 5 at Taco Bell's
headquarters in Irvine, Orange County.

There, the marchers will be greeted at a rally
supporting the workers. Speakers will include Anuradha
Mittal of Food First and Eric Schlosser, author of
Fast Food Nation. Performances will be by Tom Morello
of "Rage Against the Machine" and Hip Hop artist Boots
Riley.

"Food First is here because the human rights of
farmworkers are being trampled in the rush for
profits," said Mittal. "The irony here is that while
Taco Bell's owners, Yum! Brands, has pledged not to
buy food from suppliers that mistreat animals, they
don't have any problem with the suppliers who mistreat
the workers harvesting their food."

The CIW's struggle against Taco Bell, the largest
buyer of tomatoes grown in the Immokalee, Florida
region, began in 2000, when they launched a boycott
and protested the sweatshop conditions-including
slavery-that farmworkers in Immokalee were forced to
endure. Workers have not seen a rise in pay since
1978.

Food First, along with the Mexican Solidarity
Movement, Greenaction, Art and Revolution, the SEIU
Local 790, and the Ruckus Society, is organizing a bus
that will leave March 4 from the Bay Area to join
farmworkers from the CIW for the march and rally on
March 5.

The "Truth Tour" will include a march on Taco Bell's
parent company, Yum! Brands, the largest restaurant
company in the world, in Louisville, Kentucky and a
protest at the Mission Street Taco Bell in Santa Cruz,
California.

AMP Section Name:Labor