Tell Aramark to meet the CIW's demands!
Dear President Machen, I am writing to ask you to urge Aramark Corporation to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to ensure fair wages and conditions for the farmworkers who pick the tomatoes sold on the University of Florida campus. Florida tomato pickers are among this country's most exploited workers: they earn sub-poverty wages, lack most standard rights and benefits and have not received a significant raise in 30 years. At the current rate, one must harvest 2.5 TONS of tomatoes to earn minimum wage for a 10-hour workday. In extreme cases, workers are held in modern-day slavery rings. In December 2008, four people were sentenced to federal court in a case that involved beating, chaining, and enslaving tomato pickers who worked on some of Florida's major tomato farms. Yum Brands, McDonald's, Burger King, Whole Foods, and Subway have all reached precedent-setting agreements with the CIW to improve wages and enforce a code of conduct for fair conditions in their tomato supply chains, including zero tolerance for modern-day slavery. As a conscientious consumer, I urge Aramark and you to work together with the CIW to ensure human rights and fair wages for those who harvest the tomatoes sold on our campus.