For years, the McDonald’s corporation and local McDonald’s owners have participated in Chicago’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade. Their floats (and, this year, McDonad’s lead sponsorship of the parade) have served to remind Chicagoans and the country of just how much, in the words of a press release for this year’s parade, “McDonald’s cares about our communities and our children…” (never mind the trans fats they can’t seem to get out of their food…).
But this year, thanks to McDonald’s continuing refusal to work with the CIW to demand fair labor standards for the workers who pick their tomatoes, Ronald McDonald had a little company… Is that?… Could it be?… Why yes it is, none other than Ronaldo the Clown, Ronald’s ethical half-brother, leading his crew of justice-minded helpers in spreading the word at this year’s parade about the human rights crisis in Florida’s tomato fields and how McDonald’s has acted to undermine workers’ efforts to end labor abuses in the fields.
While his friends made sure that parade goers saw the big picture of farm labor exploitation behind fast-food profits with this simple but powerful banner outside a McDonald’s along the parade route…
… Rolando himself went one-on-one with thousands of Chicagoans…
… Handing out flyers with the facts about McDonald’s efforts to roll back farmworkers wage gains and push workers away from the table where decisions are made about their working lives.
As always, Rolando brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of new friends, both small…
… and big, as he went about his tireless work of righting the wrongs wrought by his rich and powerful half-brother.
Finally, as the last equestrian unit clip-clopped by and the floats made their way back into storage for next year’s parade, Rolando’s big day came to an end. But Rolando’s job never ends — never, that is, until his brother Ronald sees the light and gives farmworkers the respect they are due for putting the meal in Happy Meals on thousands of tables every day across the country. Stay tuned, as this is surely not the last Rolando sighting in the weeks and months ahead!
- Recent News
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- Fair Food Program to the Fore: 11/12-10/13
- Fair Food Takes Root: 01/12-10/12
- A New Day in the Fields: 09/10-12/11
- A Year to Dine with Dignity: 05/09-08/10
- A Year of Victories: 05/08-05/09
- Burger King: 04/07-05/08
- McDonald’s: 03/05-04/07
- Taco Bell Boycott: 04/01-03/05
- Take Action
Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade with Rolando the ClownNovember 24th, 2006
CAMPAIGN FOR FAIR FOOD
What they're saying about the McDonald's Victory:
Former US Pres. and Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter:
"This is a clear and welcome example of positive industry partnership. It demonstrates also McDonald’s leadership in social responsibility and CIW’s importance as a voice for farmworker rights. I encourage others to now follow the lead of McDonald’s and Taco Bell to achieve the much needed change throughout the entire Florida-based tomato industry."
Kerry Kennedy, RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights:
"Human rights are held by all persons equally, universally, and forever. Corporations must realize these rights are indivisible and interdependent. Without these rights slavery, poverty and abuse will continue in America’s retail food industry, tainting the salads and sandwiches of those who do not stand up for human dignity. Congratulations to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and to McDonald’s for their historic accomplishment, setting the standards for human rights in the retail food industry."
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS):
"Congratulations to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the Student Farmworker Alliance (SFA) for showing the fast food industry what worker, student, and community power is! Taco Bell felt it and now McDonalds, so watch out Burger King."
COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS
P.O. Box 603
Immokalee, FL 34143
Phone: (239) 657-8311
Fax: (239) 657-5055
Email: workers (at) ciw-online.org