What? Give up the protest? Spend my money at Burger King even though they refuse to increase the pay for those who pick their tomatoes'? No. I ate at Burger King to show my support because they have agreed to raise wages.
Congratulations – we did it! The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
announced Friday that, after a prolonged and often heated campaign, the
second-largest burger chain has agreed to pay farm workers an extra 1.5 cents
per pound of tomatoes picked, the equivalent of a 71 percent increase in wages. Watch the press conference on Capitol Hill.
agreement was reached after a large coalition of faith and labor groups,
including Sojourners, started targeting the company with letters and
boycotts. In fact, since last June more than 25,000 Sojourners activists
like you sent more than 125,000 letters to Burger King executives.
King is the last of the three largest fast-food companies to agree to the pay
increase, following McDonald’s and Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell. The
agreement also includes a pledge that Burger King will have zero tolerance for
growers in its supply chain that act unlawfully – a good precaution, given that
some in south Florida have been indicted for holding tomato pickers in literal
Burger King’s agreement is a
long-awaited victory that comes after a year in which they unconscionably stalled and obstructed other companies from coming on
board. Burger King made $2.23 billion in profits in 2007 – and, in the end, the
company estimated that its tomato justice agreement will cost just $300,000
This agreement is a step toward fair labor practices for farm
workers across our country, and an example to all companies that have
exploitative policies in need of change.
Thank you for your action! Citizen
advocacy makes a difference.
The team at Sojourners
The fight is not over, not for fairness and equality for everyone, no matter their race, sex, religion, country of birth or sexual persuasion. But it is nice to know that the letters I wrote were read and that Burger King didn't have any of my dollars during that time.