Subway Signs Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to Improve Tomato Harvester Wages, Working Conditions in Florida
Miami, FL, 12/2/08: Gerardo Reyes (seated, right) of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Jan Risi (also seated), President and CEO of Subway’s Miami-based purchasing arm, the Independent Purchasing Cooperative, commemorate the signing of the CIW’s newest agreement with a fast-food industry leader to improve wages and working conditions in Florida’s tomato fields.
CIW/SUBWAY JOINT STATEMENT
Contact: Julia Perkins, CIW, 239-986-0891, email@example.com
MIAMI, FL (December 2, 2008) – The SUBWAY® restaurant chain, the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise with more than 30,000 locations in 87 countries, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the Florida-based farmworker organization spearheading the growing Campaign for Fair Food, announced today that the two will work in partnership to help improve wages and working conditions for Florida tomato pickers.
According to an agreement signed today, Subway will pay an additional net penny per pound to the Florida farm workers who harvest its tomatoes. Subway also joins other fast-food industry leaders and the CIW in calling on the Florida tomato industry to institute an industry-wide penny per pound surcharge to increase wages for all Florida tomato harvesters.
The Subway/CIW collaboration additionally provides for a more stringent supplier code of conduct that includes farmworker participation in the monitoring of growers’ compliance and strict “zero tolerance” guidelines for the most egregious labor rights violations. Subway has taken the additional step of extending these higher standards to the vendor code of conduct governing its entire supply chain, not just tomatoes. Further, Subway has committed its support for the development of an industry-wide code of conduct that will create a uniform set of standards for all Florida tomato growers and purchasers.
“Today, the fast-food industry has spoken with one voice,” said Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. “With this agreement, the four largest restaurant companies in the world have now joined their voices to the growing call for a more modern, more humane agricultural industry in Florida. Now it is time for other fast-food companies and the supermarket industry to follow suit and for the promise of long-overdue labor reform in Florida’s fields contained in these agreements to be made real.”
About the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The CIW (www.ciw-online.org) is a community-based farmworker organization headquartered in Immokalee, Florida, with over 4,000 members. The CIW seeks modern working conditions for farmworkers and promotes their fair treatment in accordance with national and international labor standards. Among its accomplishments, the CIW has aided in the prosecution by the Department of Justice of six slavery operations and the liberation of well over 1,000 workers. The CIW uses creative methods to educate consumers about human rights abuses in the U.S. agriculture industry, the need for corporate social responsibility, and how consumers can help workers realize their social change goals. The CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food has won unprecedented support for fundamental farm labor reforms from retail food industry leaders, with the goal of enlisting the market power of those companies to demand more humane labor standards from their Florida tomato suppliers.
The SUBWAY® restaurant chain is the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, with more than 30,000 locations in 87 countries. The SUBWAY® chain has surpassed McDonald’s® number of locations throughout the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami, and Singapore, the SUBWAY® restaurant chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. Their partnership marked the beginning of a remarkable journey – one that makes it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business. For more information about the SUBWAY® chain, visit www.subway.com. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor’s Associates Inc.