Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The following item comes Molly's way via the United Students Against Sweatshops. It is originally from the Student/Farmworker Alliance.

Take Action for Farmworker Justice- End the Harvest of Shame!:
The Student/Farmworker Alliance, in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), is calling on food service industry leaders Aramark and Sodexo to do their part to end the exploitation of farmworkers in their supply chains! Add your voice to this call today by sending a message to executives at Aramark and Sodexo!
Please go to either of the two websites above to send the following message to management at the Aramark and Sodexo companies.
Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Aramark Associate Vice-President CSR Robert Dennill
Sodexo Chief Executive Officer Michel Landel
Sodexo VP Corporate Citizenship Arlin Wasserman
Below is the sample letter:
Subject: End the Harvest of Shame
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
Robert Dennill, Associate Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility
1101 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Michel Landel, Chief Executive Officer
255, quai de la Bataille de Stalingrad
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
Arlin Wasserman, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship
9801 Washingtonian Blvd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
As concerned students and community members, we urge your companies to follow the recent example set by Compass Group North America in working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to eliminate human rights violations in its tomato supply chain.
According to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, "the norm is a disaster, and the extreme is slavery" for tomato harvesters in Florida's fields. The tomato picking piece rate has remained stagnant since 1980. A worker today must pick and haul roughly two and a half tons of tomatoes to earn minimum wage for a typical ten-hour day . These wages -- combined with the precarious and seasonal nature of farm labor -- result in workers' sub-poverty annual earnings and create an environment where horrific forms of labor abuse flourish.
In the extreme, workers face situations of forced labor. The CIW -- a Florida-based human rights organization leading the movement to reform the state's farm labor relations -- has aided the US Department of Justice in the successful prosecution of seven modern-day slavery cases involving a total of more than one thousand farmworkers in the past decade.
On September 25, the CIW and Compass Group North America announced sweeping changes to improve tomato harvesters' wages and working conditions. Compass is the first major foodservice provider to join Yum Brands, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Whole Foods Market and Bon Appetit Management Company in partnering with the CIW to address the human rights crisis in Florida's fields.
Now we turn to your companie s. Aramark and Sodexo claim to adhere to high standards of corporate citizenship and social responsibility, and to hold your suppliers to those same standards.
With news of the Compass agreement, your companies can no longer claim that they meet the highest ethical standards. We expect that Aramark and Sodexo will follow suit and establish agreements with the CIW with all due diligence to demand those same higher standards of your tomato suppliers. Until that time, however, we have no choice but to intensify our educational efforts to inform our campuses and communities of Aramark's and Sodexo's role in prolonging Florida's harvest of shame.

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