NESRI Media Center

New Campaign to End Slavery in the United States

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Publication Date: 
March 8, 2008

200 years ago the United States abolished the slave trade, but even today it has not been able to abolish the practice of slavery within its borders. Please support our partner, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW), struggle against modern–day slavery and inhumane work conditions in the agricultural industry in the United States by signing this historic petition. The CIW has over 2,500 members, largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low–wage agricultural jobs throughout the state of Florida. In the last ten years, with the help of the CIW, there have been 6 successful criminal prosecutions for slavery and forced labor freeing over 1000 workers and leading to criminal sentences of up to 30 years. The U.S. Department of Justice has called Florida "ground zero for modern day slavery." Multi–national corporations both directly profit from slave labor in Florida and have the power to end it. CIW has entered into two historic agreements, with McDonalds and Yum! Brands Inc., that guarantees an additional one cent per pound of tomatoes for workers and creates worker-led monitoring for slavery, forced labor and other abuses. Burger King has refused to negotiate in good faith with CIW. The CIW is calling on Burger King to be accountable to basic economic and social rights for the workers that pick their produce, and ensure the elimination of slavery in Florida. Please join us in supporting the CIW!

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