Statements of Support for the CIW’s Historic Agreement with Taco Bell


U.S.Congressional Hispanic Caucus:

“This is a truly historic agreement, marking perhaps the single greatest advance for farm workers since the early struggles of the United Farm Workers. To the the workers and organizers of CIW, we express our deepest gratitude for their determined work for their own dignity and their historic contribution to advancing the cause of labor rights.” Click here to read the full statement


Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:

“I commend the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for their principled leadership in this very important campaign. I am pleased Taco Bell has taken a leadership role to help reform working conditions for Florida farmworkers and has committed to use its power to effect positive human rights change. I now call on others in the industry to follow Taco Bell’s lead to help the tomato farmworkers.”

Tom Morello, Audioslave, formerly of Rage Against the Machine:

“Today the Immokalee farmworkers struck a blow for dignity and human rights in the workplace and received the long overdue raise they have been fighting for. This is a major victory for the workers and demonstrates that by standing up and standing together, we can overturn any injustice. By standing up and standing together, we can change the world.” Click here to read the full statement

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA):

“This is a great victory for the champions of social justice and equality in America and around the world. The courageous men and women of the Coalition of the Immokalee Workers prove that standing strong in the struggle can remove the greatest obstacles, even the resistance of a goliath in corporate industry. This victory once again confirms that the methods of nonviolence can win deep and lasting change in the most powerful institutions of the world, in American government and in corporate conglomerates. I applaud all the Coalition workers who struggled and suffered for years to win greater equality for American workers.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA):

“Yum Brands acceptance of your demands is a great achievement and hopefully only a first step in a widespread awakening to the impacts of corporate policies. The CIW and its members like Julia Gabriel, Lucas Benitez and Romeo Ramirez are truly heroes. It is only through the strength and courage of those few who are willing to stand against insurmountable odds and incalculable risk that true change can be wrought. Your work to end modern day slavery reminds us all that there is still much to be done to end inustice both at home and abroad!” Click here to read the full statement

Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), former presidental candidate:

“So today we celebrate a tremendous victory of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the many farm workers who organized a very effective boycott of Taco Bell to draw attention to their plight. And it is an important start. I hope that Yum! Brands is setting a precedent for its own corporate conduct, and for the fast food industry as a whole. Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s – I hope you’re watching, because you are next!”

Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

“In accord with actions of the General Assembly, and at the request of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, I call upon all members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to immediately cease boycotting Taco Bell and to join with the CIW and Yum Brands in advancing the gains for human rights made today throughout fast-food industry.”

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Policy Committee:

“[The agreement between Taco Bell restaurants and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is] a step toward justice for farmworkers. This is a great achievement for the Immokalee Workers who have turned their struggle for decent wages and human dignity into a national movement enlisting religious groups and colleges and universities across the country. I welcome and applaud the groundbreaking agreement reached between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands. I also commend Taco Bell for their pledge to work with the coalition to address working and living conditions of agricultural workers in Florida and by funding a penny per pound pass directly to the workers,” the prelate continued. “Our conference, in response to the bishops of Florida, appealed to the leadership of Taco Bell to take this kind of action and to lead the entire industry by their example.”


Cathy Albisa, Executive Director, National Social and Economic Rights Initiative:

“The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative congratulates the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Yum! Brands Inc. for taking this historic step forward in building respect and adherence for human rights for farmworkers in the United States. It is a serious victory, but we must also be cognizant that it is but a stepping-stone in the longer journey to creating human rights protections for all workers. We call upon the rest of the food industry to follow this shining example and recognize their role in protecting the fundamental human rights to fair wages, decent conditions, participation in decision-making, and freedom from forced labor and slavery.”

Gay McDougall, Executive Director, Global Rights: Partners for Justice:

“This agreement proves the collective power of community members claiming their human rights and demanding accountability from those who have the duty to meet those rights. Though this agreement is focused on the concerns of Florida’s workers, it represents a victory for all workers, and in that spirit, Global Rights encourages all employers, buyers, and governmental agencies across the country to review their policies and recognize their responsibility to do their part to uphold the dignity and universal human rights of people everywhere.

Camilo Perez-Bustillo, Director of Human Migration & Mobility / Project Voice, American Friends Service Committee:

“We salute this historic victory in the struggle for human rights brought about by the unceasing efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their supporters throughout the country. Systematic violations of the rights of farmworkers, and in particular, of immigrant agricultural workers in Florida, have long been a national outrage; the successful settlement of the Taco Bell boycott is a key, long-awaited step in the right direction for Florida and for the country as a whole, and will help set the pace elsewhere for farmworker justice in the future.