Monday, November 16, 2009

Campus Gathering for 'Dine with Dignity'

Friday, November 20th
at Auraria Campus
Multicultural Lounge, Tivoli Student Union builidng
900 Auraria Pkwy., Denver, CO

Calling all students, faculty and staff from Front Range colleges and universities:
Join us for a meeting to share information and make plans for a "Dine with Dignity" Campaign targeting campus food service provider Sodexo.

Dine with Dignity is a campaign led by the Student/Farmworker Alliance in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to demand that major dining services contractors such as Sodexo take steps to improve the wages and protect the human rights of farmworkers who pick tomatoes bought by these companies.

These companies often hold monopolies on campus dining and catering and charge us exorbitant prices for meals and catering, while we have little input into what ends up on our plates, where it comes from or how it was produced. However by working together in alliance with farmworkers, we can hold Sodexo accountable to the demands of students and workers for human rights and greater participation at all levels of the food supply chain.

Sodexo is one of the largest food service providers in the country and has contracts with all the campuses in Denver -- Regis University, University of Denver and Auraria (home to University of Colorado Denver, Metro State College of Denver and Community College of Denver) -- as well as other universities in Colorado including Ft. Lewis College, Colorado State University and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

We hope we can coordinate our efforts to bring pressure to bear on Sodexo.

Contact for more info

Florida tomato pickers receive sub-poverty wages and are denied fundamental worker rights like overtime pay and the right to organize. They earn about 45 cents for every 32-lb. bucket of tomatoes they pick – a rate that has not changed significantly in 30 years. At that rate, a worker must harvest over 2.5 TONS of tomatoes to earn the equivalent of Florida minimum wage for a 10-hour workday. In the most extreme cases, this everyday sweatshop climate of little pay and little rights tips over into actual modern-day slavery. More info

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a Florida-based grassroots organization of farmworkers who are fighting for human rights and dignified working conditions. Their work combating modern-day slavery has garnered them international recognition.

Through the Campaign for Fair Food, the CIW in alliance with consumers has sought to hold major fast-food chains and food retailers accountable for the human rights crisis faced by farmworkers in their supply chains. The Campaign for Fair Food has led to precedent-setting agreements with Yum! Brands (owner of Taco Bell, KFC, and others), McDonald's, Burger King, Subway and Whole Foods. Most recently the CIW reached an agreement with Compass Group, one of the nation's largest campus food service providers.

For more background, see here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Denver knows how to party!

The people of Denver have been working hard for 2+ years to build alliances with and advance the grassroots struggle of farmworkers in Florida. And last Friday we celebrated our hard work, knowing that such bonds between communities are the foundation for the better world for which we're all fighting.

But we weren't just there to celebrate our past, imbibe tasty drinks, and enjoy delicious tomato-themed snacks. This was also a celebration of our future. Denver Fair Food has big plans for the struggle ahead and we need EVERYONE to join with us. There is a lot to watch out for including rumors of a campus upsurge against Sodexo, solidarity with grocery workers in negotiation with King Soopers, increasing scrunity of Denver's own Quizno's, and of course the ongoing struggle with Chipotle.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

300 Defeated!

In testament to the fact that there ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people won't stop, a broad coalition of Mile High City organizations soudly defeated Initiative 300 with 70% of voters casting a whopping "NO."

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition statement on the victory:
From the Denver Post: