Farmworker mothers march on Publix!

Plus… Chipotle Day of Action keeps making news across the country.

Carrying hundreds of signatures on a petition calling on Publix to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program, farmworker mothers from Immokalee and their children joined with Southwest Florida allies for a Mothers’ March on Publix this past Saturday. Check out the article in the Ft. Myers News-Press, including a picture gallery from the protest, for a sense of the action, which came, significantly, in the wake of one of the most important blows to the scourge of sexual harassment in the fields in years.

Meanwhile, last week’s huge Chipotle International Day of Action just keeps on generating interest in the press. Here’s a quick list of links to, and excerpts from, some the very latest press that didn’t make Friday’s big round-up:

  • CIW allies in Columbus and Cincinnati join Chipotle national day of action,”, 7/27/12:

    “… During the protest, a delegation from Ohio Fair Food entered the restaurant to speak with the manager, who was not available. Katie, a marketing associate from the Chipotle regional office, spoke for several minutes with the four delegates.

    “We had an extensive conversation with her about who we are and our expectations for Chipotle,” said Ohio Fair Food organizer Rubén Castilla Herrera.

    “Chipotle markets itself as Food with Integrity,” Herrera said. “What we’ve been asking them to do is have the integrity to sign the fair food agreement.

    “The big challenge for corporations is that they don’t want to deal with the people on the ground—the farm workers themselves,” he said. “There’s no transparency. Without a fair food agreement, there’s no way to verify that Chipotle is living up to their slogan.” read more


  • Should the food movement push for better jobs too?,”, 7/27/12:

    “U.K. resident and activist Bethan Tichborne wants to see the fast food giant Chipotle sign an agreement to treat farmworkers fairly, so she organized to create an international component of a U.S.-based Day of Action to get Chipotle’s attention earlier this week.

    “We found out on Monday that Chipotle has plans to expand in the U.K.,” says Tichborne. “So we’re pretty pleased that by Wednesday we had a people from all around the country handing out several hundred leaflets at one of the three already existing branches in London! … We had a great response from passers-by and most of the customers that we spoke to. Some said they would think twice before eating there again.”

    Tichborne was joined by several hundred students, activists, and other conscious consumers, who gathered in 25 American cities in support of a group of Florida tomato workers organizing for improved wages and labor conditions. The target was Chipotle, the fast food chain known for a comparatively progressive approach to sourcing its food (the company uses meat raised without antibiotics, and sources at least some of its produce from local and organic sources). Activists — led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the nonprofit group Just Harvest — are demanding that Chipotle join 10 other fast food restaurants, food service companies, and grocery stores, including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, in signing onto the CIW Fair Food Program…” read more


  • Protestan a nivel nacional contra Chipotle,” El Diario, New York, 7/26/12
“La protesta busca que esta popular y poderosa cadena de más de 900 restaurantes firme el Acuerdo por una Comida Justa, un código de conducta patrocinado por la Community Farmworkers Alliance (CIW) de Florida. El acuerdo se compromete a aumentar un centavo a los trabajadores por cada libra de tomates recogida, aplicar un código de conducta estricto respecto al acoso sexual en el lugar de trabajo, implementar un programa de salud y seguridad y un proceso educativo de los trabajadores.

El acuerdo fue firmado en el 2010 por los granjeros, entre ellos la poderosa asociación de Florida Tomato Growers para implementarlo en el 90% de las granjas de tomates del estado.

“No tienen posibilidad de aumentarnos los salarios porque les venden los productos muy baratos a las corporaciones”, dijo Oscar Otzoy, de la Coalición de Trabajadores de Immokale, Florida, que vino ayer a Nueva York.” read more