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Protest at Santa Cruz Taco Bell Transformed Into a Celebration!

The Comercio Justo Rally and Protest at the Mission St. Taco Bell in Santa Cruz has been transformed into a celebration. Taco Bell has agreed to some of the Coalition Of Immokalee Workers demands and the CIW has called off the boycott. Taco Bell has agreed to a raise of one cent per pound of tomatoes which will mean roughly $20 more per day for farmworkers. Taco Bell has also agreed to work towards improvements industrywide in fast food. Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brand Foods, which is the largest corporation in fast food, bigger than McDonalds.

The Santa Cruz Rally will still meet at 3:30 pm at the Mission St. Taco Bell, but will then cross the street and gather at the small park by the Community Garden. The scheduled speakers, including the mayor, will still speak and there will be a discussion and celebration. Photo

Coverage from Austin Indymedia: Farmworkers Take Down Taco Bell | Trabajadores Agricolas Derrotan a Taco Bell

Audio: Santa Cruz Rally on March 11th Transformed Into Celebration | Peace Talks: Support the CIW | Interview about Boycott on FRSC

CIW Press Release: Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Taco Bell Reach Groundbreaking Agreement

[ Coalition of Immokalee Workers | Student/Farmworker Alliance | 2005 Truth Tour | US Indymedia Topic Page ]

From The Austin Independent Media Center

Farmworkers take down Taco Bell | Trabajadores Agrícolas Derrotan a Taco Bell

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

"The consumer boycott is the only open door in the dark corridor of nothingness down which farmworkers have had to walk for many years. It is a gate of hope through which they expect to find the sunlight of a better life for themselves and their families" (Cesar Chavez)

On March 8, after nearly four years of struggle and amidst the momentum of the 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour, farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) scored a decisive victory in their national boycott of Taco Bell. Caving under the weight of an intense grassroots campaign, the fast-food giant has agreed to work with the Florida-based farmworker organization to improve the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry by paying a penny-per-pound surcharge demanded by the workers. The farmworkers' sub-poverty wages have been stagnant and declining in real terms since 1978.

"This is an important victory for farmworkers, one that establishes a new standard of social responsibility for the fast-food industry and makes an immediate material change in the lives of workers. This sends a clear challenge to other industry leaders," said Lucas Benitez, a member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The CIW's precedent-setting victory is also an important step forward for student/youth, global justice, and poor peoples' movements throughout the U.S. who have worked in solidarity with the farmworkers, forcing the world's largest restaurant corporation (Yum! Brands, Taco Bell's parent company) to accept responsibility for conditions in its supply chain.

As planned, farmworkers and their allies will gather in Louisville, KY on March 11th and 12th to celebrate the victory and chart the next steps in the movement to end sweatshops in the fields. The battle is won; the war continues.

Updates from 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour
video Daily Video Diaries:
East Leg: One | Two | Three | Four & Five | Six & Seven
West Leg: One | Two, Three & Four | Five

photo Photos: Day - One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven

audio Audio: Tour Departs from Immokalee (.mp3) | West leg hits Tally (.mp3) | Cleveland IMC Radio Interview with farmworker | CIW Teach-in Cleveland, OH | Connections b/w Civil Rights and Boycott | Peace Talks | Interview with Fernando Suarez del Solar english/espanol | Press Conference Announcing End of Boycott

news Stories: [Cleveland IMC] | [Tennessee IMC] | [Houston IMC] | [Tallahassee-Red Hills IMC] | [Chicago IMC] | [ATX IMC]

audio Boycott Taco Bell song | video Download film "Immokalee: From Slavery to Freedom" (.mov)

audio Archived articles from Democracy Now! 1 | 2
External Articles: Leading Like Jesus | Values Voters, Desperate Housewives and Sweatshop Tacos | ‘Truth Tour’ Highlights Poverty Wages | Farm Workers in America: a History of Struggle

Student/Farmworker Alliance | Coalition of Immokalee Workers | 2005 Truth Tour | US Indymedia Topic Page

Taco Bell – a division of Yum! Brands Inc. - announced today that it will fund a penny per pound "pass-through" with its suppliers of Florida tomatoes, and will undertake joint efforts with the CIW on several fronts to improve working conditions in Florida's tomato fields. For its part, the CIW has agreed to end its four-year boycott of Taco Bell, saying that the agreement "sets a new standard of social responsibility for the fast-food industry."

Taco Bell has recently secured an agreement with several of its tomato-grower suppliers, who employ the farmworkers, to pass-through the company-funded equivalent of one-cent per pound directly to the workers.

"Systemic change to ensure human rights for farmworkers is long-overdue. Taco Bell has now taken an important leadership role by securing the penny per pound pass-through from its tomato suppliers, and by the other efforts it has committed to undertake to help win equal rights for farmworkers," Benitez added. "But 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."

The victory comes after several years of organizing not only by farmworkers, but also by young people and students across the country. Students at over 22 high schools and colleges – including UCLA, University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago, and many more – organized to prevent or remove Taco Bell restaurants from their campuses to support the boycott. Building on the work of preceding anti-sweatshop and divestment movements, "Boot the Bell" was one of the fastest-growing campaigns for economic justice on U.S. campuses. Taco Bell's target market is 18-to-24 year-olds, who the company has referred to as "The New Hedonism Generation" in its marketing research.

CIW is a membership-led organization of agricultural workers based in Immokalee, Florida, that seeks justice for farmworkers and promotes their fair treatment in accordance with national and international labor standards. Among its accomplishments, the CIW has aided in the prosecution of five slavery operations by the Department of Justice and the liberation of over 1,000 workers. The CIW uses creative methods to educate consumers about human rights abuses in the U.S. agriculture industry, corporate social responsibility, and how consumers can help workers realize their social change goals.

Trabajadores Agrícolas Derrotan a Taco Bell

“El boycott por consumidores es la unica puerta abierta en el pasillo obscuro y vacio por donde los trabajadores agrícolas han caminado por muchos años. Es una puerta de esperanza atravez de donde esperan encontrar la luz de una vida mejor para ellos y sus familias? (Cesar Chavez)

El 8 de Marzo, despues de casi cuatro años de lucha y entre el movimiento de la Gira de la Realidad de Taco Bell del 2005, trabajadores agrícolas de la Coalición de Trabajadores de Immokalee (CIW) gano una victoria decisive en su boycott nacional de Taco Bell. Bajo el peso de una campaña intensa con base comunitario, el gigante de la comida rapida se ha puesto de acuerdo a trabajadar con la organización de trabajadores agrícolas de Florida para mejorar los salarios y condiciones de trabajo de los trabajadores agrícolas en la industria de tomate de Florida, pagando un centavo más, una de las demandas de los trabajadores. Los salarios de pobreza de los trabajadores agrícolas han estado estancados y bajando en terminus reales desde 1978.

“Esta es una victoria importante para los trabajadores agrícolas, una que establece un nuevo estándar de responsabilidad social para la industria de comida rapida y hace un cambio material inmediato en las vidas de los trabajodres. Esto manda un reto claro a otros lideres de la industria,? dice Lucas Benitez, miembro de la Coalición de Trabajadores de Immokalee. La victoria de la CIW que establece un precedente también es un paso importante adelante para movimientos de estudiantes y jóvenes, justicia mundial, y pueblos enpobrecidos, en los Estados Unidos, que han trabajado en solidaridad con los trabajadores agrícolas, forzando a la corporación de restaurantes más grande del mundo (Yum! Brands, la compañía madre de Taco Bell) a que acepte responsabilidad por las condiciones en su cadena de surtidores.

Como planeado, trabajadores agrícolas y sus aliados se reunirán en Louisville, KY el 11 y 12 de Marzo para celebrar la victoria y planear los próximos pasos en el movimiento para terminar con la explotación en los campos. La batalla ha sido ganada; la guerra continua.

Taco Bell – que forma parte de Yum! Brands Inc. – anunció hoy que pagará el centavo más por libra que sera pasado a los trabajadores, y participará en esfuerzos junto con la CIW en diferente frentes para mejorar las condiciones de trabajo en los campos de tomate de Florida. Por su parte, la CIW está de acuerdo en terminar su boycott de cuatro años contra Taco Bell, diciendo que el acuerdo “establece un nuevo estándar de responsabilidad social en la industria de comida rapida.?

Taco Bell recientemente ha segurado un acuerdo con varios de sus surtidores de tomate, que emplean a los trabajadores agrícolas, para que pasen el centavo más por libra, que la compañía va pagar, directamente a los trabajadores.

“Cambio sistemático para garantizar derechos humanos para los trabajadores agrícolas ha sido atrasado por muchos años. Taco Bell ahora ha tomado un papel de liderazgo importante asegurando que un centavo más por libra se pase a los trabajadores, y atraves de otros esfuerzos se ha compremetido a ayudar a ganar derechos iguales para los trabajadores agrícolas,? agrego Benitez. “Pero nuestro trabajo juntos no ha terminado. Ahora tenemos que convencer a otras compañías que tienen el poder de cambiar la manera en que hacen negocios y la manera como son tratados los trabajadores.?

La victoria llega despues de varios años de organizar, no solo como trabajadores, pero también con jóvenes e estudiantes en todo el país. Estudiantes en más de 22 colegios e universidades – incluyendo UCLA, la Universidad de Notre Dame, y la Universidad de Chicago, y muchas otras – se organizaron para prevenir y remover restaurants de Taco Bell de sus escuelas para apoyar la campaña. Construyendo del trabajo precendente del movimento anti-maquila, “Boot the Bell? (Tumbando la Campana) fue una de las campañas por la justicia economica que crecio más rapido dentro de las escuelas en los Estados Unidos. El mercado principal de Taco Bell son jóvenes entre 18 y 24 años y la compañía se ha referido a ellos como “La Nueva Generación Hedonista? en su estudio de mercado.

La CIW es una organización de trabajadores agrícolas dirigida por los miembros y basada en Immokalee, Florida, que busca justicia para trabajadores agrícolas y promueve el trato justo de acuerdo a estándares labores nacionales e internacionales. Entre su victories, la CIW ha ayudado a prosecutar cinco casos de esclavitud junto con el Departamento de Justicia y ha liberado a más de 1,000 esclavos. La CIW usa metodos creativos para educar a los consumidores sobre abusos de derechos humanos en la industria agrícola en los Estados Unidos, responsabilidad social corporative, y como los consumidores pueden ayudar a que los trabajadores realizen sus metas de cambio social.

Related story on atx indymedia:
Farm Workers in America: a History of Struggle

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Re: Protest at Santa Cruz Taco Bell Transformed Into a Celebration!

$20 per day per worker? That's 2,000lbs of tomatoes per worker per day, is that only during harvest season?

Re: Protest at Santa Cruz Taco Bell Transformed Into a Celebration!

i would just like to point out that Yum! brands misspelled Immokalee on all the signs they put up in the room where the press conference was/ you'd think after four years they would know how to spell it

JJ Tiziou photos from the tour

And don't miss the complete Truth Tour photo archive, courtesy of JJ Tiziou!


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