November 16, 2009

Fair Food Austin to commemorate 2nd anniversary of Florida slavery case

What: Popular theater and son jarocho performance
Where: Texas Union patio and West Mall
When: Thursday, November 19, 12:30pm

On Thursday, November 19, members of Fair Food Austin will commemorate the second anniversary of a modern-day slavery case involving over a dozen tomato pickers who were held in debt peonage, forced to work, and chained inside a box truck at night in Immokalee.

On November 18, 2007, three workers escaped from the truck by punching through a ventilation hatch in the ceiling. The ensuing investigation resulted in the successful federal prosecution of three farm employers on slavery charges (“Slave Labour that Shames America,” The Independent, 12/19/07).

Two years after this horrific case came to light, foodservice providers Aramark and Sodexo – both of whom do business with UT-Austin and buy millions of pounds of Florida tomatoes annually – have yet to take meaningful steps to prevent slavery in their tomato supply chains. As we pointed out last month, this is simply unacceptable ("The Texas Union and Slavery," Daily Texan, 10/6/09).

Join us in calling on Aramark and Sodexo to partner with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to eliminate slavery in Florida's fields once and for all.