Tag Archives: McDonald

Modern Slavery … a repost


 

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Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.

Washington State Legislators and Boeing need to DUMP ALEC –


 

a repost from 12/2012 ~~

 

Given the havoc we all know the American Legislative Exchange Council has created on so many levels effecting our past and present; we all know that we need to make sure companies DUMP ALEC for a better Future. If Coca-Cola, Kraft and Pepsi-Co among others can … so can our State Representatives and Senators.

John Nichols wrote in an April article …  Don’t Just Pressure ALEC’s Sponsors, Name and Shame ALEC Legislators    – a good read

Below is a list of some Washington Legislators with & without associations with ALEC …

Demand that they sever their ties to ALEC Now !

Washington State Representatives  …

— Representative Jan Angel, 26th District, Port Orchard, Republican

Committees: Education, Transportation, Rules and Local Government.

Representative Matt Shea, 4th District, Spokane Valley, Republican   – Front office states they absolutely support ALEC

Committees: Labor & Workforce Development, Judiciary,Transportation and Leadership

Representative Charles R. Ross, 14th District, parts of Yakima County, Republican

Committees: Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member

Representative Barbara Bailey , 10th District, Island County and portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties, including the cities of La Conner, Oak Harbor, and Stanwood, Republican

Committees: Health and Human Services Task Force Member

Representative Joe Schmick, 9th District, Colfax, Republican – Front office states that Rep.Schmick feels the info RE:ALEC is not accurate

Committees: Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member

Representative Kevin Parker, 6th District, Spokane, Republican

Education Task Force Member

Representative Mike Armstrong, 12th District, Chelan and Wenatchee, Republican

Committees: Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member

Representative Bill Hinkle, 13th District, Cle Elum, Republican   — Retiring

Committees: Health Care and Wellness, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ways and Means

Washington State Senators …  

Washington State Constituents appreciate and respect legislators who have made the choice to DUMP ALEC

On Strike


By

Fast Food Workers Strike for a Higher Minimum Wage

Fast food workers in at least 60 cities across the country went on strike today in order to demand a living wage.

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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) notes that the median wage for fast food workers at chains like KFC, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell is just $8.94 per hour.

Meanwhile, the industry is raking in $200 BILLION a year in profits and CEOs are literally making thousands of dollars per hour:

Yet while top executives at food corporations like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Olive Garden and Red Lobster make an average of $9.4 million per year, or $4,517 per hour, a full-time worker on minimum wage earns $15,080 per year — less than those execs pull down in four hours. And while the industry takes in $200 billion a year, many of its workers rely on taxpayer-subsidized food stamps and Medicaid to get by.

Here are some fast facts about the minimum wage — and why it’s time to raise it.

Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost the Economy

  • When the minimum wage is increased for workers, the entire economy benefits. Increasing the minimum wage would put money in the pocket of workers, who are likely to spend the money immediately on things like housing, food, and gas. This boost in demand for goods and services helps stimulate the economy. The money gets funneled back to employers who would need to hire more staff to keep up with the demand.

Millions of Americans Would Benefit From Increasing the Minimum Wage

  • Millions of workers would benefit from raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would not just help those who earn the minimum wage. Workers earning near the new minimum wage would also see an indirect increase due to what economists call a spillover effect.
  • Women would benefit tremendously from raising the minimum wage. Most minimum wage workers are women—in 2012, over 64% of minimum-wage workers were women.

Wages Have Not Kept Up With Increased Productivity or Inflation

Over the past few decades, worker productivity in the U.S. has risen dramatically, but the average American worker is not reaping the benefits. Instead, wages have grown at a tepid pace, and workers are getting a smaller and smaller piece of the pie.

  • Wages are not keeping pace with increased productivity. From 1968 to 2012, worker productivity rose 124%. If the minimum wage kept up with increases in worker productivity, the minimum wage would be close to $22 an hour.
  • The minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation. Back in 1968, the federal minimum wage was $1.60 an hour. If the minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would be $10.74 today. Today’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is 31% lower than the value of the minimum wage in 1968.

Rising Inequality

Although the average workers’ wages have remained stagnant, the pay for those at the top has skyrocketed.

  • CEOs make 273 times more than average workers do. In 1965, CEOs made 20.1 times the pay of the average worker. By 2012, that ratio was more than 10 times larger: CEOs made 273 times the pay of the average worker in 2012.
  • The 1% is getting richer and richer. Between 1979 and 2007, the richest top 1% of American households saw their income rise by 281%, or an increase of more than $973,000 per household. Meanwhile, the poorest Americans saw an increase in their income of only 16%, or $2,400.

Raising the Minimum Wage is a Winning Issue

Raising the minimum wage, which nearly three in four Americans supports, is also “a political goldmine” for Democrats:

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an issue that was hugely popular with the public, fit perfectly into the progressive agenda, appealed to the white working class, and split the Republican Party right in half? Sounds to be good to be true, right? Actually, it’s hiding in plain sight: raising the minimum wage.

BOTTOM LINE: One demand of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which happened 50 years ago yesterday, was “a national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living.” As we reflect on the legacy of Dr. King, our increasingly economically unequal society, and the plight of low-wage workers, it’s clear that it’s way past time to raise the minimum wage.

Debra Rosen, Walk Free & Florida tomatoes


Publix Super Markets just released their latest financial results – US$7 BILLION in sales for the second quarter of this year1. Good for them, right?

We guess so, except we can’t help wondering: while improving sales and promoting their range of Florida tomatoes why is Publix STILL REFUSING to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry?

Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes2 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery’. Countless workers are held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

Thankfully, a new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against worker exploitation. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from farms where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry now.

In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields3. The worst employers have been charged with beating workers who attempt to leave, holding employees in debt, and even chaining victims inside U-Haul style trucks as punishment.

Other leading food companies like Subway, Trader Joe’s and McDonald’s have already joined the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms. However, Publix Super Markets has turned a blind eye to the problem and has yet to take action.

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight against modern slavery.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Mich, Nick, Amy, Jess, Ryan, Hayley and the Walk Free Team