September 21 – October 5, 2013
From September 21 – October 5, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will tour cities throughout the southeast, urging Publix Supermarket to join the widely lauded Fair Food Program. See below for a list of cities, dates and how to get involved. And stay tuned to CIW’s Publix Southeast Truth Tour webpage for details about actions as they are announced.
After almost two decades of worker-led struggle, eleven major food retailers — such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Whole Foods — have joined the Fair Food Program, agreeing to purchase exclusively from tomato farms that comply with a stringent, worker-designed code of conduct to protect farmworkers against abuse. In addition, these participating retailers have paid out more than $10 million in penny-a-pound payments, constituting the first pay increase for workers in over 30 years. The Roosevelt Institute has named the CIW one this year’s four freedoms laureates for the ground-breaking advances that have been achieved.
For four years the PC(USA) and other consumers of faith and conscience have joined the CIW in urging Publix to join the Fair Food Program – from the 6 day fast to this spring’s 200 mile march, from hundreds of local actions to managers’ letter drops and postcards. But Publix has staunchly refused to participate and in so doing provides a ready market for growers who do not uphold the fair food standards.
Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, urging each of us to recognize how the choices we make impact one another. To change what have been seemingly intractable conditions faced by farmworkers for generations, takes all of us working together; each doing our part. And this includes Publix, Florida’s largest corporation and the most profitable supermarket in the country.
As Publix expands their stores throughout the Southeast US, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is looking towards allies across the region to help send a strong message to Publix that they can’t expand their stores without expanding their commitment to human rights. Let’s remind Publix that Jesus calls us to love our neighbor in all that we do.
There are many ways to be involved. If you would like to help plan an action or if your congregation would like to host workers overnight, provide food or inquire about the possibility of an educational program or visit to your church, just email Noelle Damico of the Presbyterian Hunger Program (Noelle.email@example.com) and she’ll get you connected.
Southeast Tour Cities and Dates:
Sat, Sept 21: Immokalee, FL
Sun, Sept 22: Gainesville, FL
Mon, Sept 23: Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill, NC
Tues, Sept 24: Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill, NC
Wed, Sept 25: Charlotte, NC
Thurs, Sept 26: Asheville, NC
Fri, Sept 27: Knoxville, TN
Sat, Sept 28: Tuscaloosa, AL
Sun, Sept 29: Atlanta, GA
Mon, Sept 30: Birmingham, AL; Murfreesboro, TN & Nashville, TN
Tues, Oct 1: Athens, GA
Wed, Oct 2: Atlanta, GA
Thurs, Oct 3: Atlanta, GA
Fri, Oct 4: Tallahassee, FL
Sat, Oct 5: Immokalee, FL
For more information, check out:
The CIW Homepage
Background on the PC(USA)’s work with the CIW for more than a decade and Presbyterian resources
Information about the Fair Food Program (what it is, how it works, how it is monitored)
Frequently Asked Questions about the Fair Food Program (what are the names of the 11 participating corporations, how is the penny increase passed to workers)
Recognition of the CIW and the Fair Food Program (UN, White House, State Department, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights award etc.)