UPDATE 5/29: Editorial Support Strong for New CIW/BK Agreement!…
See all the latest media here!
- Video excerpts from the press conference
- Exclusive photo report from the press conference
- Click here for the joint press release
- Editorial: “What’s with the farmers,” Palm Beach Post, 5/28/08
- Editorial: “News reporting advanced justice,” Ft. Myers News-Press, 5/28/08
- Editorial: “Coalition of Immokalee Workers,” Palm Beach Post, 6/1/08
- Editorial: “At last Burger King does the right thing,” St. Petersburg Times, 6/2/08
- “Farmworkers get a Whopper of a win,” Creative Loafing (Tampa Bay, FL), 6/1/08
More media coverage of the agreement:
- New York Times, “Burger King Grants Raise to Pickers,” 5/24/08
- The Nation, “Sweet Victory: Coalition of Immokalee Workers Wins,” 5/23/08
- Wall Street Journal, “Burger King Ends Dispute with Farmworkers Group,” 5/24/08
- Ft. Myers News-Press, “Farmworkers celebrate deal with Burger King,” 5/24/08
Press release highlights:
- BK CEO John Chidsey: “We are pleased to now be working together with the CIW to further the common goal of improving Florida tomato farmworkers’ wages, working conditions and lives. The CIW has been at the forefront of efforts to improve farm labor conditions, exposing abuses and driving socially responsible purchasing and work practices in the Florida tomato fields. We apologize for any negative statements about the CIW or its motives previously attributed to BKC or its employees and now realize that those statements were wrong. Today we turn a new page in our relationship and begin a new chapter of real progress for Florida farmworkers.”
- CIW’s Lucas Benitez: “The events of the past months have been trying. But we are prepared to move forward, together now with Burger King, toward a future of full respect for the human rights of workers in the Florida tomato fields. Today we are one step closer to building a world where we, as farmworkers, can enjoy a fair wage and humane working conditions in exchange for the hard and essential work we do everyday. We are not there yet, but we are getting there, and this agreement should send a strong message to the rest of the restaurant and supermarket industry: Now is the time to join Yum! Brands, McDonalds, and Burger King in righting the wrongs that have been allowed to linger in Florida’s fields for far too long.”
- US Senator Bernie Sanders: “I have been to Immokalee and seen first-hand the conditions for farm workers there, perhaps the most exploited workers in America. I am very pleased that Burger King has agreed to help the tomato pickers who have worked for too long for too little. I know that this has been a long and hard road for Burger King, and I believe the American people will appreciate what they are doing.”
- US Senator Dick Durbin: “I applaud Burger King for announcing today that it will be providing an extra penny per pound to the tomato pickers of Immokalee, Florida and establishing a zero-tolerance policy for worker abuses in the region. Today’s announcement is a major step forward in improving the wages and working conditions of the Immokalee workers. I call on other purchasers of the region’s tomatoes and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange to join Burger King and do the right thing for these workers.
- BK agrees to pay an additional net penny per pound to the Florida farm workers who harvest its tomatoes. To encourage grower participation in this increased wage program, BK will also pay incremental payroll taxes and administrative costs incurred by the growers as a result of their farmworkers’ increased wages, or a total of 1.5 cents per pound of tomatoes.
- BK also joins other fast-food industry leaders and the CIW in calling for an industry-wide net penny per pound surcharge to increase wages for Florida tomato harvesters.
- Together, BK and the CIW have also established zero tolerance guidelines for certain unlawful activities that require immediate termination of any grower from the Burger King supply chain. The BK/CIW collaboration additionally provides for farmworker participation in the monitoring of growers’ compliance with the company’s vendor code of conduct.