Updates from FCWA Members’ Campaigns!
Coalition of Immokalee Workers: Campaign for Fair Food & the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food
On March 3, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) launched a 200-mile, 2-week march from Fort Myers to Publix Headquarters in Lakeland Florida. Close to 2,000 people from around the country participated in the march, including farmworkers, farmers, food workers, students, allies and people of the faith. The march consisted of different actions and pickets at Publix supermarkets throughout the state of Florida. There was much music, energy and hope.
The CIW is asking Publix supermarkets to sign on to the Fair Food agreement which would pay a penny more per pound directly to farmworkers who pick their tomatoes and ensure that the fields from which their tomatoes come from are free of abuse.
The FCWA arranged for members of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance to participate in the last leg of the march before the USFSA General Assembly began the night of March 17.
To read more about the Fair Food Campaign and learn how you can take action visit www.ciw-online.org.
Brandworkers International: Food Sector Campaign
On March 6, Brandworkers International announced an incredible victory: the NYC Economic Development Corporation agreed to a mandatory code of conduct that all loan applicants must sign when submitting their application for its loan program for food manufacturers. The code created by Brandworkers International in partnership with the National Employment Law Project and the Urban Justice Center Community Development Project will help ensure that food factories receiving our tax dollars refrain from engaging in wage theft, fix dangerous conditions, and respect freedom of association rights. Read more here.
Brandworkers International is urging the City and its partner in the program, Goldman Sachs, to disclose the names of loan applicants. Common-sense transparency is critical to ensure that none of the many food factories that exploit recent immigrant workers benefit from public dollars. Brandworkers members have initiated a spirited and creative struggle to win this transparency and protect the City’s food system and public health from abusive, negligent employers. Read more about it here. Sign this petition to demand transparency!
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United: Dignity at Darden
On February 13, the Restaurant Opportunities Center, FCWA members and allies marched from the U.S. Capitol to a Capital Grille restaurant in DC. When we arrived at the restaurant, we delivered thousands of signatures from the public demanding Dignity at Darden. At the rally, participants jazzercised and demanded justice for workers. See video coverage here from the Bill Moyers Show.
Learn more about the Dignity at Darden campaign here.
Rural and Migrant Ministry: Justice for Farmworkers Campaign
The Justice for Farmworkers Campaign is asking that exclusions of farmworkers that were established by the National Labor Relations Act of the 1930’s be changed. They are advocating for farmworkers to have a choice of a day of rest, be entitled to overtime, collective bargaining protections, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, child labor protections, and Occupational Safety and Health Standards. The Farmworker Fair Labor Practice Act would remove these exclusions and grant farmworkers the dignity and equality they deserve.
Warehouse Workers United: WalMart Warehouse Campaign
On March 28, a federal court in Los Angeles ruled that WalMart warehouse operator Schneider Logistics engaged in “deceptive” and “coercive” practices towards its employees in connection with a class action lawsuit alleging labor violations in three warehouses in Mira Loma, California that Schneider operates on behalf of WalMart.
The Court issued a directive that Schneider obtain prior Court permission before communicating further with its employees about the lawsuit, and ordered that a notice be sent from the Court to all of Schneider’s Mira Loma employees informing them that Schneider cannot retaliate against them for cooperating with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Read more here.
UNITE HERE: Real Food Real Jobs
On March 7, Bon Appetit workers at the University of La Verne won union recognition with UNITE HERE Local 11, the union of hospitality and food service workers in the greater Los Angeles area.
Also in March, food service workers at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga, California, joined UNITE HERE as union members. Read more here.