Letter to McDonald’s from Bishop John Nevins

Mr. James Skinner, CEO
McDonald’s Corporation
2111 McDonald’s Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Dear Mr. Skinner:

Since my appointment as Bishop of the then new Diocese of Venice in Florida in 1984, I have had a consistent concern about the need for our major agricultural growers and the thousands of farmworkers who harvest their produce to treat one another fairly and equitably. I strongly believe that the land was created by God and each person has a right to human dignity. Both the growers and workers, as they carry on their respective activities, participate in God’s creation. It is through their mutual efforts that food is brought to our tables and to restaurants such as McDonald’s.

I was most pleased, therefore, on learning that Taco Bell and YUM Brand, Inc. in March, 2005 entered into an agreement with the which increased the wages of the farmworkers and improved their lives and that of their families. Of equal importance was that the accord between the two established certain ethical norms for Taco Bell’s suppliers.

Your company, which has a vast impact on the economy of the United States and the world, has been approached by the Coalition to emulate the above mentioned agreement. In doing so, the living conditions of thousands of workers would be enhanced. I urge the chief executives of McDonald’s to work closely with the Coalition in effecting a similar agreement which has gained credibility among the parties concerned. Of special importance is that the workers are full participants in the process.

Mr. James Skinner, CEO Page 2 McDonald’s is to be praised for already committing itself to better the lives of workers in the coffee industry. Having set that precedence, I urge that a comparable effort be made with the Coalition so as to benefit the pickers of tomatoes and other products in Florida that are purchased by a widely respected company, such as McDonald’s.
Rest assured that my prayers will entreat God to guide your company, the growers and the workers to work out a mutually satisfactory solution to these major issues.

I look forward to your reply to this letter and wish to extend my best wishes for a blessed Holy Season.

Sincerely in Our Lord,

John J. Nevins, D.D.
Bishop of Venice in Florida