The truth tour has begun!
2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour: "Bringing it Home!"
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers leads the way to Louisville.
March 12, 2005 - Louisville, KY
On March 12, join farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and thousands of allies -- including actor and activist Martin Sheen -- in Louisville, KY, for a full day of music, speeches, and colorful theater as we protest outside the offices of Yum Brands demanding an end to sweatshops in the fields!
For the past three years, farmworkers from Immokalee and their allies have crossed the country, spreading the truth about sweatshop conditions behind the tomatoes in Taco Bell's products. Each year, the CIW's Truth Tours have culminated in major actions -- including a 10-day hunger strike in 2003 and a 44-mile march in 2004 -- at Taco Bell's global headquarters in Irvine, California.
But this year, we are bringing the truth about farmworker poverty to the home of fast-food profits: Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silvers, and A&W Restaurants, with revenues of over $24 billion in 2003. Yum Brands is the largest restaurant company in the world -- larger than McDonald's -- and as such wields tremendous influence in the corporate food industry.
We are at a critical juncture in our campaign: Yum acknowledges the abuses in the fields yet they still refuse to take the final step and change their business practices as we asked. A strong turnout in Louisville on March 12 is crucial to demonstrating to Yum that the Taco Bell boycott will not go away until farmworkers in Yum's supply chain are treated with dignity and respect.
This is the moment to pull out all the stops, call all of your contacts, and join us in Louisville on March 12. We cannot make this change without you. So organize a caravan from your school, church, union, or community group to join us in Louisville for this historic convergence.
If you are on our one of our tour stops, we invite you to join us on the tour from your city to Louisville.
Some of our tour stops include:
* Tallahassee, FL
* Atlanta, GA
* Montgomery, AL
* Birmingham, AL
* Nashville, TN
* Memphis, TN
* Cincinnati, OH
* Cleveland, OH
* Columbus, OH
* St. Louis, MO
* Indianapolis, IN
* Chicago, IL
* Lexington, KY
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ciw-online.org to find out how you can join us.
As major buyers of Florida tomatoes, Taco Bell and Yum Brands have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to influence the way workers are treated in their suppliers' operations. Yet after more than three years of a strong and growing national boycott, Yum Brands still refuses to take concrete, measurable steps to address the brutal labor conditions in its tomato supply chain -- conditions that include sub-poverty annual wages, no right to overtime, no right to organize, a per bucket piece rate that hasn't changed significantly since 1978, no sick leave, no health insurance, and no benefits whatsoever.
Support for the Taco Bell boycott is expanding at a rapid pace across the country, particularly on college campuses, where the Student/Farmworker Alliance's (www.sfalliance.org) "Boot the Bell" campaign has become one of the fastest growing movements for social justice today. Most recently, Cal State San Bernardino, UCLA and the University of Notre Dame have moved to end their relationships with Taco Bell in response to student support for the boycott. They join 18 other schools in an unprecedented wave of student-led activism, demanding that Taco Bell clean up human rights abuses in its supply chain if it is to do business on their campuses.
Charles Dillard Thompson and Melinda F. Wiggins
The Human Cost of Food: Farmworker's Lives, Labor and Advocacy
University of Texas Press, 200