In an extraordinary letter released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Media Relations, the US Bishops have called on McDonald’s to improve wages and working conditions for the workers who pick their tomatoes. Here’s an excerpt:
“McDonalds and other major food companies do not directly set farm workers’ wages and working conditions,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “But with your substantial purchasing power, you can insist that your produce suppliers meet high ethical standards in how they treat their workers. Farm workers should participate in setting and monitoring those standards, as workers know best the conditions to be remedied. In the “Responsible Purchasing” statement on its website, McDonald’s states ‘we know we can work with our suppliers to help improve their practices and set an example for other companies.’ I urge you to apply that standard to how your produce suppliers treat farm workers. Given the competitiveness of global produce markets and the significance that your company’s business constitutes for any individual grower, I hope that you will agree that McDonald’s is in a position to require and enable suppliers to meet the standards you set.” SEE THE FULL RELEASE HERE
10/3 UPDATE… News of the US bishops’ letter to McDonald’s has gone out on the Associated Press wire and today alone was carried by nearly 100 news outlets nationally and internationally, including this story on the BBC, "Bishops ask McDonald’s to pay up"!