News

Student group say Burger King is responsible for “modern-day slavery” in Florida

About 30 people, including students and faculty, discussed “modern-day slavery” in America and how Burger King contributes to the issue.

Students Toward A New Democracy (STAND) hosted Tuesday’s event, which was inspired by the plight of three farm workers in Immokalee, Fla., who escaped from an oppressive tomato-harvesting employer on Nov. 20 and informed authorities of the bad conditions and treatment they endured.

Activist groups such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers argue that the bad conditions are partially due to corporate giant Burger King’s overall lack of care for farmers and their power to purchase crops in bulk, which decreases wages for workers.

Cruz Salucio, a member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, said through a translator that the workers are frequently forced to work long hours, without overtime pay or benefits. He said that in extreme cases, theft and violence on the job can occur. Marc Rodriguez, a member of the Student/Farmworker Alliance, translated Salucio’s Spanish.

“We want to talk to you about how the food we eat gets to your plate,” Salucio said. “These are the realities behind these corporations, and how they make their profit, and it’s happening today, in the year 2008.”

Octavio Ramos, a graduate student, spoke about the history of slavery dating back to ancient times.

“The United Nations has a famous number,” he said. “There are close to 40 million people worldwide living under conditions that would be classified as slavery.”

Salucio said a national petition to give deserved rights and fair treatment to migrant workers will be presented to Burger King in late spring. STAND has already presented more than 500 signatures to Burger King’s vice president, said Jacob Coker-Dukowitz, a member of STAND.

STAND also hosted a nine-mile march from downtown Miami to the Burger King headquarters, with more than 1,000 participants.

STAND timeline

-Sept. 7, 2007: STAND members attended an Encuentro, a large meeting involving participants from across the nation with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Student/Farmworker Alliance.

-Oct. 4, 2007: STAND hosted a forum about farm workers in Florida last semester with more than 70 people in attendance.

-Oct. 24, 2007: STAND held a vigil with the Rev. Frank Corbishley from the on-campus Episcopal Church with more than 60 people in attendance. They held three “speak outs” to educate students about the plight of migrant workers.

March 6, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever on Wednesday: Come the Sept. ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced the 2018-19 schedule, featuring nine tourn ...

The Canes are well represented across the nation this summer with players competing in each of the t ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.