The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based worker organization, is committed to seeing an end to worker exploitation, especially among immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. Their members are largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants.
CIW has been instrumental in helping the Department of Justice prosecute cases of worker exploitation and human trafficking in Florida. CIW has also spearheaded a major campaign called “Boycott the Bell” in order to raise awareness about the fact that the fast food restaurant conglomerate, YUM Inc., of which Taco Bell is a part, refuses to consider raising the wages of its tomato pickers by charging 1 penny more per pound for the tomatoes it buys from Florida growers.
Lucas Benitez, Julia Gabriel, and Romeo Ramirez of the CIW received the 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in recognition of their courageous work fighting modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry and their leadership of the national Taco Bell boycott.
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