Here is some poor quality video that I shot at the March to Burger King with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. It was fun. They were jamming some good music, a lot of drums, horns, steel drums. I even heard Cypress Hill pumping out the speakers. I'd guess that there were at least a thousand people. I'm not really sure.
Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, wrote a really good article in the New York Times yesterday about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their fight against Burger King. Here is an excellent quote from that article: "As for human rights abuses, Burger King has suggested that if the poor farm workers of southern Florida need more money, they should apply for jobs at its restaurants."
Why We March
Today, farmworkers from Immokalee, Florida and their religious, labor, and student allies are marching 9 miles through the streets of Miami to the world headquarters of Burger King.
There is a human rights crisis in the fields of Florida. Tomato pickers who harvest tomatoes for the fast-food industry face sweatshop conditions every day, including sub-poverty, stagnant wages (pickers earn about $10,000/year on average and a per-bucket piece rate that has not changed significantly since 1978) and the denial of basic labor rights.
We have seen five slavery operations in the fields brought to the federal courts since 1997, helping to liberate over 1,000 workers and sending 10 employers to prison.
Burger King contributes directly to farmworkers’ poverty through its high-volume purchasing practices, for decades demanding the cheapest tomatoes possible but never demanding fair treatment or just wages for the people who harvest those tomatoes.
In the past years farmworkers and consumers have united to bring Taco Bell and McDonald's to the table to help improve tomato pickers' wages and working conditions.
Here is an article from this week's Palm Beach Post explaining how Burger King has, this month, undermined the deal that was struck with Taco Bell and McDonalds, destroying any progress that had been made for the migrant workers.