Support Justice for Farm Workers
Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food
March 3-17, 2013
You know the story of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the farm workers and tomato pickers in southwest Florida who have seen many successes in their 20 years of struggle. But their work is far from over. The CIW is still seeking justice for workers and they need our support.
The CIW has invited us to join them in their upcoming March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food. Marchers will leave from Ft. Myers on Sunday, March 3, and arrive on Sunday, March 17, in Lakeland, FL, home of the Florida grocery chain, Publix. Please join the march for an hour, a day, the entire event, or anything in between. Marchers will walk approximately 15 miles each day. Food, water, overnight accommodations, and other support will be provided to all participants.
For the past 20 years, the CIW has worked to improve wages and working conditions for tomato pickers in the fields around Immokalee in southwest Florida. Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and food service providers Bon Appétit Management Co., Compass Group, Aramark and Sodexo have all joined the CIW’s Fair Food movement and adopted new codes of conduct to improve conditions in the fields where many of the tomatoes we eat are grown. But despite the CIW’s many successes, too many corporations, including most grocery chains, are still following their old, unjust practices. So the CIW is now focused on Publix, the large grocery chain (and Florida’s largest privately-owned company) that for three years has refused to even sit at the table with farmworkers to discuss their common concerns.
The two-week March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food will end on March 17 in Lakeland, FL, home of Publix. Even if you can’t participate in the march, come for this final event to urge Publix to join the campaign for Fair Food. Read more details about the march and register your participation.
If you can’t be part of march or the closing rally at Publix headquarters, you can still print out these flyers and letters to deliver to your local Publix store in support of tomato pickers and the march.
The UCC is offering limited scholarship money to cover transportation costs to get to the march route for someone who would otherwise be unable to go. In addition, we want to share this event with the whole church through social media and news stories on our webpage so let us know if you are going by sending a note to Edie Rasell, Minister for Economic Justice. We might ask you to be an on-the-spot reporter.
God calls us to work (and march) for justice, especially for people viewed by society as “the least” among us. But the last shall be first. Come and march for justice.