Socially Accountable Farm Employer

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After its protests "forced Taco Bell to pay tomato pickers a penny more per pound," the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) started "pressuring McDonald's for a similar agreement." Instead, McDonald's joined the "Socially Accountable Farm Employer (SAFE) voluntary certification program."

Launched in November 2005, SAFE is run by board members of the industry group Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association and an association grantee, the Redlands Christian Migrant Association. At its launch, SAFE was represented by CBR Public Relations, one of the dozens of regional PR firms that prepresent McDonald's restaurant operators. CPR has never worked for McDonald's corporate. Additionally, the CBR project was only to facilitate press inquiries at the SAFE launch, and CBR no longer represents SAFE. Intertek, a firm that "already performs safety audits for McDonald's," will evaluate SAFE members' compliance. SAFE "does not include any input from workers," "does little to address low wages," and "does not guarantee workers overtime pay or the right to organize." A CIW organizer said McDonald's joined SAFE "to protect their public image in place of making a change in our lives." [1]

External links

  • Kari Lydersen, "McDonald's vs. the Tomato Pickers: The fast-food giant tries to appease migrant farmworkers while doing everything possible to keep its labor costs dirt-cheap", The NewStandard, December 20, 2005.
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