Monday, August 30, 2010

"Quit Stalling, Quiznos!" Oct. 15, 11:30am

-español abajo-
Protest & Rally in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Friday, October 15, 11:30-1:00pm

outside Quiznos corporate headquarters - 1001 17th St.
17th & Curtis, downtown Denver

In May, Quiznos promised that it would soon be joining in agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve the wages and working conditions of farmworkers who pick tomatoes bought by the company. Months have now passed and it is time to hold Quiznos to its word. Until Quiznos' promises become concrete actions, we will intensify our call for justice!

Join the CIW and allies from around country to demand that Quiznos uphold the human rights of farmworkers in its tomato supply chain!

This action will kick off the "No Coast Encuentro," a regional gathering to strategize and network around the Campaign for Fair Food. For more info or to register, contact or visit

Florida farmworkers who pick tomatoes are among the nation’s most exploited workers: they earn sub-poverty wages, have no right to form unions or to over-time pay, lack traditional employment benefits such as health, sick leave or pensions, and have not received a significant raise in nearly 30 years. At the current rate, a Florida tomato picker must harvest over TWO AND A HALF TONS just to earn the equivalent of minimum wage for a typical 10 hour. In the most extreme situations workers are held in modern-day slavery and forced to work against their will.

In 2001, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers - a grassroots organization of migrant farmworkers based in Florida - and their allies launched the Campaign for Fair Food, calling on retail food industry leaders to address the egregious working conditions and poverty stemming from these companies' high-volume/low-cost purchasing practices. As a result, the CIW has reached historic agreements with McDonald's, Burger King, Subway and others to directly improve farmworker wages and working conditions and set new standards for social responsibility in Florida agriculture.

Despite these breakthroughs, however, Quiznos – who profits from the exploitation of farmworkers due to the sheer volume of its tomato purchases – has yet to take responsibility. While Quiznos has begun discussions with the CIW, those talks continue to drag on without resolution. Visit for more info.
"Deje de quedarse estancado, Quiznos!" 15 de Oct., 11:30am

Manifestación y Concentración en solidaridad con la Coalición de los Trabajadores de Immokalee
Viernes, 15 de octubre, 11:30-1:00pm

Afuera de la sede de Quiznos - 1001 17th St.
17th y Curtis, el centro de Denver

En mayo, Quiznos prometió que iba a ponerse de acuerdo con la Coalición de Trabajadores de Immokalee para mejorar el salario y condiciones del trabajo para los/las trabajadores/as agrícolas, quienes recogen jitomates comprados por la compañía. Han pasado unos meses ya y ahora es el tiempo hacer que Quiznos cumpla su promesa. ¡Hasta que las promesas de Quiznos hagan a ser acciones concretas, intensifiquemos la llamamamiento a la justicia!

¡Júntense con CIW y los aliados de todo el país para exigir que Quiznos defenda los derechos humanos de los/las trabajadores/as agrícolas de su cadena del suministro de jitomates!

Esta acción empezará el “Encuentro Sin Costa,” una reunión regional para hacer estrategia y establecer contactos en la Campaña por Comida Justa. Para más información o para registrarse, póngase en contacto con o visite a

Los/Las trabajadores/as agrícolas de Florida, quienes recogen jitomates, están entre los/las trabajadores/as más explotados/as del país: ganan salarios bajo el nivel de la pobreza, ni tienen derechos para formar sindicatos ni al sueldo por horas extras, faltan beneficios tradicionales del trabajo: como permiso de salud/enfermedad y pensiones, y no han recibido un aumento de sueldo considerable en casi 30 años. En consideración al sueldo corriente, un escogedor de jitomates de Florida tiene que recolectar más que DOS TONELADAS Y MEDIA solo para ganar el equivalente a un salario mínimo por un turno típico de 10 horas. En las condiciones más extremas, trabajadores/as son detenidos/as en condiciones de la esclavitud moderna y son forzados/as a trabajar contra a su voluntad.

En 2001, la Coalición de Trabajadores de Immokalee – una organización con base comunitaria en Florida de los/las trabajadores/as agrícolas y migrantes – y sus aliados/as lanzaron la Campaña por Comida Justa, instaron a los lideres de la industria de comida de venta a que se ocupen con las condiciones extraordinarias del trabajo y la pobreza que sale de las practicas de comprar de estas compañías de grandes cantidades/ bajo costo. Como resultado, el CIW se ha puesto de acuerdo históricamente con McDonald's, Burger King, Subway y otras para mejorar directamente los salarios y condiciones del trabajo para los/las trabajadores/as agrícolas y establecer normas nuevas para la responsabilidad social en la agricultura de Florida.

Sin embargo, a pesar de este avance, Quiznos – quien saca provecho de la explotación de los/las trabajadores/as agrícolas por la pura cantidad de su adquisición de jitomates – todavía no ha asumido responsabilidad. Quiznos ha empezado discusiones con el CIW, pero estas pláticas siguen durando eternamente sin solución. Visita a para más información.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A victory for Denver! CIW, Sodexo reach Fair Food agreement!

In another huge victory in the Campaign for Fair Food, the massive food service provider Sodexo - which contracts with all three of Denver's major college campuses, University of Denver, Regis University and Auraria Campus - has signed an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

We, the people of Denver, should be proud because this is our victory too! Students, both as individuals and members of organizations, from all of Denver's campuses took actions, both big and small, to demand that Sodexo partner with the CIW. The Student Adivisory Committee to the Auraria Board, a student government body composed of representatives from all Auraria's schools, even passed a resolution on the issue which you can read here. We'll give a special shout out to those members of SACAB, UMAS/MEChA de Auraria, the Regis Social Justice Committee, the DU Sustainability Committee, and the UCD Student Government who provided important contributions to this campaign.

Farmworkers continue moving forward toward creating an agricultural industry that does not rely on the exploitation of their labor, and toward a world that does not rely on the exploitation of others. And we are creating that world with them!

Now is the time to redouble our efforts against Denver-based companies such as Quiznos and Chipotle who still give only lip service to the call for human rights and dignity for farmworkers! Now is the time to demand that King Sooper uphold farmworkers' human rights as well!

One final note on Sodexo: just because this campaign is over, and in spite of the statements of Sodexo executives (see below), it does not mean Sodexo is off the hook when it comes to worker rights. Employees of Sodexo in Denver (and around the nation) are organizing for basic protections, decent wages and affordable health care. These workers deserve our support!

Below is the announcement from the CIW explaining the significance of this latest agreement and what's next for the Campaign. Check out the CIW website, for all the latest news.

Sodexo signs Fair Food agreement with CIW!

Big Three foodservice industry leaders now squarely behind growing movement for Fair Food!...

Saying, "Sodexo is committed to protecting and upholding the rights of all workers, whether employed directly by us or by our business partners and suppliers,” Arlin Wasserman, Sodexo vice president for sustainability and corporate social responsibility, announced today that his company has signed an agreement to work with the CIW to improve wages and working conditions in the fields of its Florida tomato suppliers.

Speaking on behalf of the CIW, Lucas Benitez added:

“We are happy to be working with an industry leader like Sodexo to advance fundamental human rights in Florida’s fields. Social responsibility takes a genuine, sustained engagement with workers and growers on the ground, and a determination to support, with increased business, those growers who agree to comply with the highest standards.”

“Together with Sodexo and our other partners, we are building a system of real accountability, with tangible consequences for growers who fail to protect farm workers’ basic rights,” continued Benitez. “It is our belief that such accountability, with worker input, will be the foundation for lasting improvements in the industry.”
See the joint announcement in its entirety here.

This is very big news for the growing Campaign for Fair Food. The foodservice industry -- the companies that, operating largely behind the scenes, manage cafeterias in the nation's grade schools and universities, hospitals and hotels, government agencies and institutions, and more -- is comprised, almost in its entirety, of its three largest members, Compass, Aramark, and Sodexo. With today's announcement, all three of those companies have now signed Fair Food agreements and will be implementing those agreements in their supply chains this coming season. This marks the conclusion of the Student/Farmworker Alliance's remarkably successful "Dine with Dignity" campaign, a campaign that combined energetic campus activism with smart tactics to bring all three industry leaders to the table in just over one year.

With the four largest fast-food companies -- McDonald's, Yum Brands, Burger King, and Subway -- likewise having signed Fair Food agreements with the CIW, the focus now falls squarely on the supermarket industry. And with the exception of Whole Foods, the natural food leader that signed an agreement with the CIW nearly two years ago, it's time now for the major grocery chains to step up and bring their considerable purchasing power to the plate.

Publix, Ahold, Kroger and WalMart -- which alone sells fully 25% of all food sold in US grocery stores -- all pack a very heavy punch when it comes to their market power in the produce industry. And with great power comes great responsibility -- both for the poverty and brutal working conditions from which they have profited for so many years, and for the work of reforming farm labor conditions in their supply chains that lies ahead.

If the goal of a more modern, more humane Florida tomato industry is to be fully realized, the supermarket giants must do their part.

And so, with today's great news from Sodexo, the Campaign for Fair Food completes its first decade -- with the support of the vast majority of the fast-food and foodservice industries now behind us -- and turns to the supermarket industry. This coming season, the battle for the future of Florida's farmworkers will be joined in the produce aisles of your local grocer.