The Sound of a bell with a crack

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

Low wage workers protest Taco Bell in San Francisco

by Ace Tafoya/PoorNewsNetwork Community Journalist

�...The sound of a bell with a crack

even the swingers are swinging right

The vigilantes are on the way back

with prime-time �fight the good fight�

What a start to a day

It starts three times with a K

There�s no sponsored hour for sinners

They�ll bring back the hot seat

and turn up the heat

in America for Beginners...�

Skaith/Jones from �Modern Times� by Latin Quarter 1986.

I remember when Taco Bell told us through their advertisements to �Make A Run For The Border�, but on Wednesday, October 29, 2003, I along with members of POWER (People Organized To Win Employment Rights), the Chinese Progressive Association, Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition, Mission Agenda, the Day Labor Program, the Living Wage Coalition, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 2, Young Workers United, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and the Central City SRO Collaborative and other community organizations from the bay area �Made A Run At The Exploiters�.

We marched to Taco Bell with our picket signs and chants to let them know that Taco Bell, along with many other fast food restaurants, are not paying enough to their workers. Low wage workers need a raise here in San Francisco. This city is one of the most expensive counties to live in, and $6.75 an hour is just not enough. Proposition L on the November 4th ballot will change all that if it wins. The minimum wage will increase to $8.50 an hour.

Never mind what some of the politicians and restaurant owners say about it - �Prop L ignores the fact that restaurants provide jobs for many first time job seekers, including students. These jobs will be the first to go.� All that is turned upside down. Can�t they comprehend that when people make more money, they spend more money.

�No on M

Yes on L

Gavin Newsom

can go to Hell!� yelled Dee Allen a representative from Food Not Bombs, Gay Shame, Coalition on Homelessness and other organizations through the megaphone along Market Street to his constituents.

Standing outside Taco Bell on Drumm and Embarcadero, with a few news stations and a terrorist in blue watching, Fei Li form the Chinese Progression Association used a chart to compare the cost of living increase since 1960. And how much company owners and CEO�s make over their workers. �In 1960 the CEO�s made 40 times more than their employees,� she said through a translator. �Now in the year 2000, it�s 500 times more!�

Taco Bell parent corporation has lobbied against increases in the minimum wage. The rally of about 70 protesters is also in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokale Workers. They represent tomato pickers in Florida. The pickers want Taco Bell to pay 1 cent more per pound of tomatoes, which would double their current wages, according to the press release.

Nora Calderon from POWER ran under the fast food counter to let one of their workers speak out about these injustices. But they were too afraid to say anything. I ask one of them how much money do they earn an hour, �It all depends where you are,� she said to me timidly.

Julio from the Day Labor Program said through the microphone, �Today is a very important day for us. We�re here to demand a higher wage for all of us. We have brothers and sisters still working for minimum wage in this city.� It �s time to change all of that I thought. Please join myself and other low wage workers in voting Yes on Proposition L on November 4, 2003.

Trabajamos Duro

Nos Pagan Poco.

Postscript; Proposition L passed with a rousing majority - thanks to all the work of the working people of San Francisco and the hard-working economic- justice organizers- Viva Agente Pobre!!!


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