A crowd of about 40 gathered at the Fieldhouse Mall Friday despite freezing temperatures to listen to speakers talk about the plight of migrant tomato farmers in Florida and fight to end sub-poverty level wages. Literature distributed at the rally said that Burger King, headquartered in Miami and a major purchaser of Florida tomatoes, has publicly rejected increasing the workers’ wages by a penny per pound. Two of its competitors, Taco Bell and McDonald’s, have both agreed to the pay raise, which would have been the first in 30 years. Sophomore Kris Trujillo, one of the organizers of the event, spoke from a stage covered with posters, including one that read: “We are a Nation of Immigrants.” “Today, thousands of people are marching in Miami, Florida, in an effort to stop sweatshop conditions and modern day slavery in the fields of South Florida,” he said. A group of workers formed what is called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to help stop the injustice, he said. Their campaign has succeeded in the case of McDonald’s and Taco Bell. But Burger King, which has a branch in the LaFortune Student Center, has not agreed to their three demands: one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked, a code of conduct in the fields and a place at the negotiating table for future agreements. Image source: sfalliance.org. > Continue.
3 12 2007