Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace

Thinking Chipotle For Lunch? Read This First If You Care About Workers' Rights

The country's fastest-growing fast food chain has resisted calls for a commitment to ending the brutal exploitation in Florida's tomato fields.

Last week, leaders of the food justice movement -- including Eric Schlosser, Raj Patel, Frances Moore Lappe, and Robert Kenner, producer and director of the new documentary Food, Inc. -- sent a strongly-worded letter to Chipotle demanding that they "work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers as a true partner in the protection of farmworkers' rights."

The letter comes in the wake of a recent breakthrough for the Campaign for Fair Food -- Whole Foods' announcement that two of Florida's leading organic producers, Alderman Farms and Lady Moon Farms, will implement the company's agreement with the CIW, including the penny-per-pound wage increase and a strict code of conduct.

For decades, Florida's farmworkers have faced terrible abuses and brutal exploitation. Workers earn sub-poverty wages for toiling 60 to 70 hours per week in season, and some have even been chained to poles, locked inside trucks, beaten, and robbed of their pay.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has made great organizing strides and has succeeded in convincing numerous commercial giants, including both Burger King and Taco Bell, to increase wages, benefits and observe a strict set of guidelines outlining workplace safety rules.

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