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Immokalee Boycott of Taco Bell

This penny per pound could trickle down to tomato pickers and allow members of the C.O.I.W. to earn double the wage they are currently paid (Campbell par. 5). The price that is paid to pickers in South Florida, where the C.O.I.W. is rooted, has not changed since 1978 ("Taco Bell Truth Tour" par. 1). In addition to earning poverty-wages, the C.O.I.W. members face additional challenges. Farm workers originate from many different countries, which poses a communication barrier (Bowe par. 8). With every necessity (housing, food, water, etc.) provided solely by the labor contractors who sell to Taco Bell, C.O.I.W. members find themselves in forced-labor work camps (Bowe par. 10). Lax labor laws instituted by the United States and Florida governments further trouble the C.O.I.W. members (Renford par. 27).

Immokalee is located just east of Fort Myers, Florida, at the edge of the Everglades (Renford par. 2). Pedro Lopez, an immigrant from Guatemala, understood the potential of organizing. While in Guatemala, Lopez participated with a group that initiated a consumer food cooperative (Renford par. 15). The cooperative also sold crafts for the good of the community. The C.O.I.W. stems from a committee that Lopez organized to clean parts of Immokalee that were neglected, "push the county to install more streetlights" and other related community issues (Renford par. 13). Encouraged by their success, the committee decided to address the issue of work place violence many pickers endured at the hands of field supervisors (Renford par. 14). Many pickers were reluctant to support these first efforts since they feared losing their jobs; however, brutal beatings took a toll on the pickers (Bowe par. 9). "We were more afraid of losing our lives to...

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...b: Gen Reference Center Gold

Bowe, John. "Nobodies (slavery in agricultural industries of South Florida)." The

New Yorker April 21, 2003 v79 i9 p106. October 30, 2003 InfoTrac Web: Gen Reference Center Gold.

Grow, Brian. "A Bitter Harvest for Fast Food Chains?" Business Week July 22, 2002 i3792 p10. October 30, 2003 InfoTrac Web: Gen Reference

Center Gold.

Prewitt, Milford. "Taco Bell Parent Yum! rebuffs pickers; wage war continues." Nation's Restaurant News May 27, 2002. October 30, 2003 InfoTrac Web: Gen Reference Center Gold.

Renford, Rochelle. "Picking a Fight." Orlando Weeks News June 14, 2001. October 28,

2003 http://www.orlandoweekly.com/new/story.asp?ID=3012

"Taco Bell Truth Tour." The Progressive April 2001 v65 i4 p19. October 30, 2003 InfoTrac Web: Gen Reference Center Gold.
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