Video: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

October 24, 2012 in Teach-In

Video of a teach-in at Occupy Denver with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based immigrant rights and labor support group working with mainly Latino/a, Mayan Indian, and Haitian workers (75 min).

The Fight for Fair Food: Tomatoes, Chipotle and the struggle to end farm worker exploitation

Oscar Otzoy from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will discuss his experiences as a tomato picker in Florida and the decades-long struggle of the CIW to end the sub-poverty wages, abusive working conditions and modern-day slavery within the Florida agricultural industry. This struggle eventually led the CIW to start the Campaign for Fair Food and to take on some of the largest fast-food and grocery chains in the country whose no-questions-asked purchasing practices have fueled farmworker exploitation. Today, 10 of the world’s largest retail food corporations have join the Fair Food Program, a one-of-a-kind worker-developed program for monitoring and enforcing farmworkers’ human rights. However, some corporations still refuse to join the Fair Food Program such as Denver’s own Chipotle Mexican Grill which has a reputation as an ethical company.

Oscar Otzoy is from Chimaltenango, Guatemala and is a farmworker and staff member with the Coalition of Immokalee workers (CIW). As a CIW staff member, Oscar helps animate farmworkers and community allies in a struggle to transform the modern agriculture industry. Recently, he and others have been focused on the development and implementation of a worker-to-worker education program in the fields. With an audience of over 30,000 workers, the program aims to raise farmworker consciousness around rights formalized under the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Oscar also assists the Coalition with media and film projects, documenting actions and interviewing farmworkers for the CIW website. He is a regular deejay at FM 107.9, the CIW’s community radio station in Immokalee.