Farmworkers stand up to exploitation--announce Taco Bell boycott
Rob Augman
April 2001

Floridas farmworkers, joined by hundreds of supporters, announced April 1st the beginning of their boycott of Taco Bell. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the farmworkers organization, hopes the boycott will force the multi-billion dollar corporation into negotiating. The CIW calculates that if Taco Bell paid the tomato growers just a penny more per pound, the farmworkers wages would double! The workers current wage hasn't been raised since 1978. At the current rate, workers must pick 2 tons of tomatoes to make $50 a day.

The protest, held at a popular Taco Bell restaurant in Orlando, brought together students, workers, and activists from around the state to say "Yo No Quiero Taco Bell!" It was a festive protest with puppets, music, speakers, a stilt-walker, and the beating of a Taco Bell piñata.

The Taco Bell boycott was not the beginning of the Farmworkers struggle though. It was an addition to the ongoing struggle for justice for the farmworkers. In just March alone, the CIW held protests at Taco Bell restaurants in Miami, Tallahassee, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Gainesville and many other places in Florida. And at the end of April the CIW will be travelling to California, stopping at cities along the way to raise consciousness about the exploitation the farmworkers face. The CIW are also calling for protests at Taco Bell restaurants everywhere on Mayday (May 1st) to bring the Sweatshops in the Fields into the public eye.

The CIW asks you to tell Taco Bell that you will no longer accept such means of exploitation for profit. Write Taco Bell at Emil J. Brolick, President and Chief Concept Officer/ Taco Bell Corp./ 17901 Von Karman/ Irvine, California/ 92614 or call them at 1 800-TacoBell. For more information on the farmworkers struggle check out the CIW website at

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