The Coalition of Immokalee Workers campaign against Taco Bell picked up a big moral boost as Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta’s United Farm Workers passed a resolution endorsing the boycott of Taco Bell [IMC]. The solidarity from UFW is inspiring, given UFW’s historical role as a spearhead of organizing for the human dignity of migrant farmworkers and their near-legendary inspiration for low-wage laborers and Chicanos across the nation.
CIW launched its boycott of Taco Bell in April, 2001, in response to repeated stonewalling from Taco Bell management. CIW had asked Taco Bell to take responsibility for the abysmal working conditions of Florida tomato pickers (the average farmworking family lives on about $7,000/year; farmworkers have no labor rights under US law; the piece rate paid for tomatos picked has not increased since the 1970s). Taco Bell claims that it is not responsible for the contracts made by its suppliers — an excuse just as phony as Nike’s excuses that it is not responsible for its
outsourced sweatshops in Indonesia or Mexico. If Taco Bell would pay just one penny extra per pound of tomatoes, it could double the income of tomato pickers. But they will not take any responsibility or make any moves to bring their suppliers to the bargaining table with the CIW. So the CIW has launched a dynamic and creative campaign to speak truth to Taco Bell and hold them accountable.
For further reading:
- GT 7/27/2001 reports on Southern Girls Convention, including the Taco Bell protest
- Also, check out the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ website