No Justice, No Tacos!
CBLOC partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in Florida to boycott Taco Bell in hopes of pressuring Six L’s Packing Co. (one of the biggest tomato producers in the U.S.) to meet with the CIW to discuss fair pay rates and working conditions. Taco Bell, a company with $5.2 billion in annual sales, was a major client of Six L.’s and based their global revenues on cheap ingredients. Among these cheap ingredients were cheap tomatoes picked by Florida farmworkers who were being paid sub-poverty wages.
CBLOC organized a letter-writing campaign, circulated petitions, and passed out fliers encouraging a boycott of Taco Bell. Beginning in January 2002, CBLOC began picketing Taco Bell every other week. On March 9, twenty Oregonians joined the “Truth Tour” in going to the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, CA. Over 2000 people protested at the Taco Bell campus (La Lucha Solidaridad, the PCASC newsletter.)
On May Day, 2002, CBLOC activists performed a skit featuring puppets of “Mr. Taco Hell” and “Terrible Teeth Tacos.” The skit was followed by speaker Ramon Ramirez. On November 2, CBLOC performed a street theater called “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” at a local Taco Bell to coincide with protests at the Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA) meeting in Ecuador. Their aim was to link free trade and farmworker exploitation.
In March 2005, Taco Bell and the CIW reached an agreement that provided for a penny-per-pound raise for the Florida workers, and Taco Bell pledged their support for working with CIW to raise labor standards in the industry. In return, the CIW ended its 3-year boycott of the company.