Taco Bell Boycott
Updates, April-May 2004
on the Taco Bell boycott:
United Methodist Church endorses the boycott
Notre Dame delays renewal of contract with
The Campaign for Labor Rights reports
on the latest successes of efforts to create more just working conditions
for farm workers through a boycott of Taco Bell.
[Information for this update comes from the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers.]
In two pieces of great news for the Taco
Bell boycott from this past week, the United Methodist Church voted to
officially endorse the boycott, while the University of Notre Dame, heeding
concerns raised by student activists, "is postponing renewal of a
sponsorship contract with Taco Bell until it receives more information about
its labor standards," according to the South Bend Tribune.
The United Methodist Church, at their
General Conference in Pittsburgh last week, voted to join the boycott
against Taco Bell, following the recommendations of the Committee on Church
and Society. The Committee voted 99 to 4 to recommend support of the
boycott. The full Conference voted 846 to 6 to support the Taco Bell
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers deeply
appreciates the support of the United Methodist Church, which counts over 8
million members nationally!
We also thank the strong support of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) -- a long- time endorser and active
participant in the boycott -- that took a leading role in presenting the
campaign to the General Conference. We look forward to working with our
friends in the United Methodist Church both here in Florida and across the
country for a long-overdue resolution to this struggle for social justice.
We'd also like to recognize the members of
the Progressive Student Association [at Notre Dame], whose courageous and
determined efforts to educate their Administration on the sweatshop
conditions in the fields of Taco Bell's tomato suppliers -- efforts that
have included over 100 students fasting over the past month -- appear to be
Click here for an article on the progress of the Notre Dame students'
campaign to date from the South Bend Tribune.
|Taco Bell boycott takes new
hunger strikes continue.
Supporters urged to write to Taco Bell, demanding fair wages.
[This action alert comes to us from the
Campaign for Labor Rights, and is based on information from the Coalition
of Immokalee Workers.]
In this message:
Update on the student hunger fasts in support of the Taco Bell boycott
"We are fasting today so that we may taste
justice tomorrow." Those are the words of Tom Feeney, one of 19 students on
hunger strike at the University of Florida. The UF hunger strikers -- who
started their fast this past Monday and are determined to remain on strike
through Friday -- are protesting the university's contract with Taco Bell
over the fast-food giant's refusal to take steps to clean up labor abuses in
its tomato suppliers' operations.
The University of Florida is one of three
universities where students are fasting this week in solidarity with the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the boycott of Taco Bell. At Central
Michigan University, 12 students began a rolling hunger strike last
Thursday, and erected a tent city on Monday that will remain in place until
And at Notre Dame University, where the
now-national student hunger strike was born three weeks ago with the
week-long fast by Notre Dame student Tony Rivas, 70 students are set to
begin a three-day hunger strike on Wednesday. Yes, 70 students!! Notre Dame
students are striking in protest of the administration's silence in response
to calls for no new contracts with Taco Bell, and to demand that the
university provide more fairly-produced products, including fair trade
In the words of Notre Dame student Alicia
Lachiondo, "If the university won't take responsibility, then we will."
The students' actions at Notre Dame set off
a chain reaction at schools from Grand Valley State University in Michigan
to the University of Florida, with protests at one university moving
students at the next to take action. "The commitment of Notre Dame and Grand
Valley is inspiring," said Central Michigan University student Angelo
Moreno. "We felt compelled to support their struggle for farmworkers'
"We are all, as students, targeted by Taco
Bell to buy their food," he continued. "We see it necessary to show
solidarity with students across the country."
As the student hunger strike in support of
the Taco Bell boycott continues to grow, you can find all the news at the
CIW's website, at www.ciw-online.org. The next few weeks are sure to be full
of news in the Taco Bell boycott, as the student movement carries the battle
for fair food to campuses across the country, and folks gear up for the huge
protest at Yum Brands' annual shareholders' meeting in Louisville, Kentucky
this May 20.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers demands are the following:
- Convene a meaningful, three-part
dialogue -- bringing together representatives of Taco Bell, their Florida
tomato suppliers, and representatives of the Coalition of Immokalee
Workers - to discuss solutions to the problems farmworkers face in
- Contribute to an immediate increase in
farmworker wages through a raise in the per pound rate Taco Bell pays for
tomatoes from its Florida suppliers.
Join with CIW and tomato industry representatives in drafting strict wage
and working condition standards to be required of all Taco Bell tomato
suppliers. Such standards would necessarily require respect for pickers'
fundamental labor rights, including the right to a living wage and
overtime, and the right to organize without fear of retaliation.
Write President of Taco Bell!
You can help! Please consider the situation
of the farmworkers that pick the tomatoes you eat and let Taco Bell know
that you expect them to help raise these hardworking men and women out of
poverty. Call, fax, or write:
Emil J. Brolick, President and Chief
Taco Bell Corp.
17901 Von Karman
Irvine, California 92614
Tel. (949) 863-4500, fax (949) 863-4537
Your calls and letter really help - thanks.
And remember - Boycott the Bell!
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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