FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 17, 2013
Elisa Oceguera (Student Farmworker Alliance) - 707-832-9914, elisa [at] sfalliance.org
Sarah Norr (UNITE HERE Local 2850) – 510-502-5344, snorr [at] unitehere.org
Fast Food Justice – From the Fields to the Stores!
Community calls on San Leandro Subway, Wendy’s to respect food workers’ rights
Who: Bay Area allies of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers; fast food workers at the Oakland Airport; UNITE HERE Local 2850; and the Brass Liberation Orchestra.
What: Action calling on Wendy’s to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve wages for Florida tomato pickers. Musical march to the San Leandro Subway for a delegation urging its owners to obey labor laws and reinstate an employee fired for reporting labor law violations.
When: Saturday, May 18, 11 am – 1 pm.
Where: Wendy’s (1185 San Leandro Blvd, San Leandro) – marching to Subway (1295 Washington Ave, San Leandro) at 12 noon.
Why: As fast food strikes spread around the country, workers and community groups are calling on two San Leandro restaurants to respect workers’ rights – in the tomato fields and in their own kitchens.
Wendy’s: Support human rights for field workers!
Local food justice advocates are joining a national call for Wendy’s to sign on to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program. Under the program, food service companies agree to pay slightly more for tomatoes in order to provide livable wages, healthy working conditions, and protection from human rights abuses for migrant workers in Florida. Of the five largest food corporations in the country -- McDonald's, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy's -- Wendy's is the only one not participating in the Fair Food Program.
“Wendy's must realize that respect for human rights and worker participation are integral components of genuine sustainability,” said Elisa Oceguera of the Student Farmworker Alliance.
San Leandro Subway owners: Follow the law! Reinstate Hakima Arhab!
Fast food workers at the Oakland Airport Subway – owned by the same family as the San Leandro Subway – have been fighting for fair jobs for almost a year. This spring, the Port of Oakland found that the Subway owners failed to provide workers the paid sick days required by law, and fired employee Hakima Arhab after she blew the whistle on them. The Port ordered Subway to pay workers back for the missed sick days and reinstate Arhab, but Subway has not done so.
Saturday, May 18 is the deadline set by the Port for Subway to reinstate Arhab. On Saturday, Arhab will report to the San Leandro Subway in her uniform, ready to work. Fellow airport fast food workers and supporters will march from Wendy’s to support her.
“How can we provide ‘fresh and healthy’ food when we don’t get health care or sick days?” says Arhab. “The Subway owners broke the law and fired me when I spoke up about it. I’m ready to go back to work today – but if the owners won’t let me, I’ll keep fighting until I get my job back and us food workers to get the respect we deserve.”
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