Migrant Berry Pickers boycott Sakuma Bros. Farm Berries over wage theft and mistreatment. Photo by Tomás Madrigal.
To striking McDonalds Workers in Seattle, Detroit, and New York,
To striking Food Service Industry Workers across the U.S.,
To SEIU rank and file members and leadership,
To our allies and to civil society in general,
To the governments of the City of Seattle, the United States and the wide World.
From our home on occupied Coast Salish land, under the shadow of Kulshan, at the northwestern most corner of the United States, we extend our humble word as displaced, resettled immigrants, farm workers and families, who are together Community to Community Development. We send our warm greetings and our strength in solidarity to all of those brave families who have have taken a stance against wage theft across the food chain, may you be well.
We applaud with great admiration this historic and unprecedented mass mobilization of fast food workers against systematic wage theft and for their dignity, in multiple cities across the United States. Your courage brings us strength on the production end of the food chain, as we are also presently involved in a struggle for dignity and against systematic wage theft and the mistreatment of migrant farm workers by a multi-million dollar vertically integrated agricultural corporation. Knowing first hand the quotidian violence, both symbolic and material, that you have and will continue face at the hands of your employers, in an attempt to break your unity, we say to you that you are not alone. We are with you, and the well being of your families matter to us.
We demand the immediate release of the eight fast food workers and activists who were arrested on Friday, August 2, 2013 in Seattle, and that all charges be dropped. These striking fast food workers were engaging in their right to freedom of speech, guaranteed to all by the first amendment. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once eloquently stated in A Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963), “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he continued, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one affects all indirectly.” It is with this in mind, that we understand that what happens to other workers along the food chain, also impacts us, and therefore it is our duty to stand together, in solidarity.
Towards this end, we call upon all of our allies and to the local and global civil society to join this historic struggle against wage theft and mistreatment along the food chain. If you eat, the way that the folks who grow your food, ship your food, prepare your food and who serve your food are treated, directly affects you. We call on you to stand in solidarity with Striking Fast Food workers, striking migrant farm workers, and hunger-striking prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, California, and at the Eloy Detention Center. These struggles are food justice struggles at their very core.
On August 6, 2013
From Community to Community Development Headquarters
203 W. Holly, Ste. 317
Bellingham, WA 98225