Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Write to Burger King Today!

This is not about cheeseburgers – it’s a matter of justice. “Do you think those tomatoes jump from the fields onto your burger?” Lucas Benitez asked the National Gathering audience. Of course not; that tasty garnish was picked by a farm worker, who earns about 45 cents on each 32-lb bucket of tomatoes. These workers make around $10,000 a year. I can’t imagine supporting myself on that salary, let alone supporting a family!

Benitez is the co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a coalition of primarily Latino, Haitian, and Mayan immigrants who are working in low-wage jobs throughout Florida. This community-based organization fights for fair wages, enforcement of workers’ rights, respect, better and cheaper housing, and the right to organize.

In 2001, Taco Bell was refusing to acknowledge or address human rights abuses that occurred in fields where their produce was picked. The Coalition’s fight to change this, which included a 10-day hunger strike and inspired student campaigns to “Boot the Bell” from school cafeterias, lasted four years. In 2005, the Coalition triumphed, and Taco Bell agreed to improve wages and working conditions for Florida farm workers.

Today, Benitez implores his Bread audience to focus their attention on Burger King. If this fast-food giant would pay farm workers an additional penny per bucket of tomatoes, the average farm worker’s income would nearly double. If you would like to add your voice to the struggle, write a letter to your local Burger King manager, asking him to support fair wages for farm workers. You can drop it off at the restaurant.

For more information, visit the website: http://www.ciw-online.org/index.html


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