October 9, 2009

Daily Texan: "Coalition campaigns against abusive tomato farmers"

Here's an interesting excerpt from the Daily Texan's coverage of our delegation to Henry Jackson's (Aramark) office in the Texas Union. Yesterday members of Fair Food Austin delivered an open letter calling on Aramark to "establish an agreement with the CIW with all due diligence."
During the meeting in the Union, Vallejo asked Jackson to pass the letter to his supervisor and set up another meeting time. Jackson said that his company asked that he did not have a meeting with the group.

“I don’t make purchasing decisions. [Aramark and the Coalition] are negotiating at a higher level,” Jackson said.

A statement was released from Aramark’s Corporate Communications stating that they have already met with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and sent a letter to their suppliers asking them to investigate the minimum wage and employment practices with the Immokalee tomato workers, and that Aramark does not contract with the growers or the farm workers in the purchasing of tomatoes.”
According to the CIW, however, no negotiations are currently underway. In fact, Aramark has yet to contact the CIW since the launch of the Dine With Dignity campaign six months ago. And in light of the Fair Food agreements between the CIW and seven multibillion-dollar, multinational food retailers, Aramark's excuses arrive dead on arrival in 2009.