Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ya gotta love the CIW

Coaltion of Immokalee Workers: Help Us Abolish Sweatshops in Florida's Fields!

February 1, in the year 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment into law, officially abolishing slavery in this country. Yet today, in Florida, federal prosecutors still rely on laws derived from the 13th Amendment to put farm labor employers behind bars for holding their workers in modern-day slavery.

There is today a human rights crisis in Florida's fields. But this human rights crisis does not begin and end with slavery. Rather, slavery is only the most extreme form of the sweatshop conditions that exist throughout Florida's agricultural industry where workers toil from dawn to dusk for sub-poverty wages at a piece rate that hasn't changed significantly in nearly 30 years, with no right to overtime pay, no health insurance, no sick leave, no paid vacation or pension, and no right to organize if they would hope to improve these conditions.

On this anniversary of the signing of the 13th Amendment, the CIW is announcing an important new action in our campaign to abolish slavery and sweatshops in Florida agriculture.

Over the next several weeks, we ask that you take this simple action to help end the human rights crisis in Florida's fields: Drop a letter at your local McDonald's calling on the fast-food giant to stop sidestepping the real issues and work with the CIW for real farm labor reform, and ask the manager to make your feelings known to corporate headquarters in Chicago.


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