Shuck and Jive

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Burger King Wants It Its Way

Friday is a big day in Miami. There will be a march and rally at Burger King's headquarters to call Burger King to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve wages.

PCUSA stated clerk, Clifton Kirkpatrick, made this powerful statement on Thursday:

"In the course of history there have always been those who have opposed the advancement of human rights. But the fundamental truth of human dignity has always triumphed, if not immediately, then eventually. Burger King and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange (FTGE) are using their power to try and turn back the inevitable progress of human rights for farmworkers. And their coordinated tactics, which squarely target some of the poorest, most vulnerable members of our society, are as morally repugnant as they are in vain ….

"The intransigence and duplicity of Burger King and the FTGE may delay justice for those who supply their tomatoes. And as Dr. King said, 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' But they will not prevail. We are prepared to do what it takes, as long as it takes, walking hand in hand with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and all consumers of conscience to achieve the basic human rights for these farmworkers to which other industry leaders have committed." (Read the full statement)
You can read more from the PCUSA website.

Here is an excellent op-ed in today's New York Times by Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, that will catch you up to date if you don't know the story.

Bad press for the King of Kings.


  1. Thanks for posting this. It gave me a good feeling knowing that I have not spent any money there in about 15 years.

  2. More of a sacrifice for me then, as I do enjoy a whopper now and then...But no more.

    I had to boycott Taco Bell three years ago until they came around on this issue.

    One fast food giant at a time...

  3. I have an idea - instead of boycotting Burger King, we should all go there and order our food HOLD THE TOMATOES! If everyone did that, they would have to throw away millions of dollars worth of tomatoes, and I suspect, would soon get the hint. They don't like waste at these places, you know.

    By the way, I still say the proudest day of my life was the day I got fired from McDonalds.

  4. Pray tell, how does one get fired from McDonald's?

  5. I was an assistant manager. I had a 17 year year old fellow named Bob working for me. Bob and his girlfriend had a 1-year old son. Bob worked for me opening the store and then went to school in the evenings while his girlfriend went to school during the day and worked in the evening. They were very responsible and were trying to get the diplomas and save enough money so they could get their own apartment. Great kids.

    One morning, Bob did not show up for work. He called a few hours later to tell me his son had pneumonia, was in an oxygen tent at the hospital, and that he had been with the baby all night - they had been told he might not make it. Of course, I told him not to worry about freaking McDonald's, and to be with his family, where he belonged.

    About an hour later, the store manager, Karen, came in and asked about Bob. I told her, and she said, "Fire him. He did not call in two hours or more before his assigned shift, and so is techinically a no-show". Stunned, I asked her what she thought she would have done under the curcumstances. She went on to explain that you have to "make decisions" in life, and that loyalty to your employer and the people you work with were the most important thing. She went on to say that when her mother died, Karen chose not to leave work and drive 6 hours away to attend the funeral and be with her family in her home town because it would have been a "burden to her employer" (the same McDonald's franchisee we were working for).

    I simply said "Thank you for sharing that with me, Karen. That helps me understand why you are the sad and lonely person you are". So she fired me AND Bob.

    The only thing I regret is that I never was able to find out how Bob's baby was.

    By the way, the McD's franchisee sold his stores in Minnespolis, bought some in Pheonix, and Karen moved out there to run them for him. She was back in Minneapolis within two years - apparently he felt she was not "right for the company" anymore, after working for him for 20+ years. That's what misplaced loyalty will get you, I guess.