Friday, May 19, 2006

Here's what the immigration debate's REALLY about


Farm workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's hamburgers and Chipotle's burritos earn about 45 cents for every 32-pound container of tomatoes they pick, working from dawn to dusk without the right to overtime pay. That means they have to pick more than 3,500 pounds of tomatoes to earn $50. The 45-cent piece rate has not changed in nearly 30 years. Annual income for farm workers is extremely low--averaging $7,500 to $10,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The vast majority of these farm workers receive no benefits: no health insurance, no sick leave and no vacation pay. Some families live in 10-foot by 10-foot rooms and pay $160 a week in rent, while McDonald's earns huge profits--$2.28 billion last year.

Please take action today to help end these deplorable conditions. Tell McDonald's and Chipotle to support fair wages for farm workers and sign an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Last year, Taco Bell signed an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay an additional one cent per pound for tomatoes it purchases. But McDonald's and Chipotle (initially a subsidiary of McDonald's and now a publicly traded company in which McDonald's is the controlling shareholder) have refused to sign a similar agreement to raise wages in the fields.
Although Chipotle's manifesto, titled "Food With Integrity," takes a strongly activist stance for humane conditions in its supply chain for farm animals, the manifesto says nothing about the conditions under which people are laboring to harvest its produce.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is calling on Chipotle to expand its "Food With Integrity" mission to include "Work With Dignity" for farm workers who harvest its tomatoes by improving wages and allowing workers to participate in the protection and advancement of their own rights. Further, the coalition is calling on Chipotle to ask McDonald's to join Taco Bell in improving wages and human rights in the fields.

Send a letter to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner and Chipotle CEO Steve Ells demanding that they sign the agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve wages and conditions for farm workers.

Thank you for all you do.
In solidarity,
The Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO

1 comment:

charley said...

Every single soldier who has served in Iraq should be committed to intense theraputic debriefing for no less than 6 mos upon returning,

that's not going to happen.

any more than the working conditions for immigrant farm workers are going to improve.

i think your term is USers. says it all.