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Taco Bell Boycott
Updates, April-May 2004

Good news on the Taco Bell boycott:
[5-7-04]

United Methodist Church endorses the boycott

Notre Dame delays renewal of contract with Taco Bell


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 boycott.

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 bearing fruit.

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 forms

Student hunger strikes continue.
Supporters urged to write to Taco Bell, demanding fair wages.

[4-17-04]

[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:

bulletStudent hunger fasts spread
bulletThe demands of the Immokalee Workers
bulletWhat we can do

 

1) 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 Friday.

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 coffee.

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' rights."

"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.

2) The Coalition of Immokalee Workers demands are the following:

  1. 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 Florida's fields.
     
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

3) 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 Concept Officer
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!

 

 

GA actions 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 of Order.

We're providing resources to help inform the reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.

Our three areas of primary interest are:

bullet Amendment 10-A, which would remove the current ban on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.

bullet Amendment 10-2, which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions.

bullet Amendment 10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government that was approved by the Assembly.
 

If you like what you find here,
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Some blogs worth visiting

PVJ's Facebook page

Mitch Trigger, PVJ's Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!

You can post your own news and views, or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.

 

Voices of Sophia blog

Heather Reichgott, who has created this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:

After fifteen years of scholarship and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy, students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and thoughtful community.

 

John Harris’ Summit to Shore blogspot

Theological and philosophical reflections on everything between summit to shore, including kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in Flushing, NY.

 

John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive

A Presbyterian minister, currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and lightening up.

 

Got more blogs to recommend?

Please send a note, and we'll see what we can do!

 

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