WASHINGTON (March 14, 2005)—Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Domestic Policy Committee, hailed the agreement between Taco Bell and Coalition of Immokalee Workers as "a step toward justice for farmworkers!" in a March 14 statement. The statement follows.
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D.
Domestic Policy Committee
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
March 14, 2005
On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I welcome and applaud the ground-breaking agreement reached between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands. This is a great achievement for the Immokalee Workers who have turned their struggle for decent wages and human dignity into a national movement enlisting religious groups and colleges and universities across the country. I also commend Taco Bell for their pledge to work with the Coalition to address working and living conditions of agricultural workers in Florida and by funding a penny per pound pass through directly to the workers. Our Conference, in response to the bishops of Florida, appealed to the leadership of Taco Bell to take this kind of action and to lead the entire industry by their example.
Our hope is that this agreement will lead to other companies to take courageous actions with and for farmworkers all over this country who often work in abysmal conditions for very little pay. We pray this agreement will signal a new moment in the ongoing effort to bring greater justice to farmworkers.