WASHINGTON, DC - May 23 - The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights (RFK Center) congratulates the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in their hard-fought victory securing an agreement with Burger King Corporation on farmworkers’ rights earlier this week. This agreement marks an important step toward establishing socially responsible purchasing practices within the fast-food industry and recognizing basic human rights for agricultural workers in the United States. The CIW, a southwest Florida-based human rights organization of almost 5,000 farmworkers, previously secured similar agreements with Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and other chains) and McDonald’s.
“This agreement is a tipping point in the struggle for fair food,” said Monika Kalra Varma, Director of RFK Center. “Three of the nation’s largest fast food chains and largest purchasers of Florida tomatoes have now have come to the same conclusion, that they can and must play a role in securing the human rights of workers in their supply chain. We applaud Burger King’s effort to root out human rights abuses and modern-day slavery from America’s fields and call upon the restaurants, the grocery chains and other mass purchasers of Florida tomatoes to follow in their footsteps.”
The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. Senate hearings before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, led by Chairman Edward Kennedy and Senators Bernie Sanders, Dick Durbin, and Sherrod Brown, which examined human rights abuses in the Florida tomato industry.
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