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This Week: Protestor, Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou
This Week
May 27, 2005


This week on NOW:

It's the dirty little secret of our fast food nation: the people who pick the cheap fruits and vegetables we enjoy every day are among the worst paid and worst treated workers in America. So how did a small band of immigrant workers pressure the largest fast food company in the world to do something that could help transform these workers lives? NOW tells the remarkable David vs. Goliath story of a group of Florida tomato pickers that went toe to toe with a corporate giant and won. Overcoming a climate of fear and violence, these workers fought an incredible four-year battle against Taco Bell and its parent company, Yum! Brands, to improve their working conditions and wages. Their success may have sparked a movement that could have important consequences for the nation.

As director of the California Nurses Association (CNA), a 60,000-member labor union, Rose Ann DeMoro has rallied her members to take on a formidable political adversary—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Motivated by his attempts to block an association-sponsored law that requires more nurses in California hospitals, DeMoro and the CNA have led a fight against the governor's staffing and pension proposal and have been surprisingly effective in influencing Schwarzenegger's policy agenda. Some credit the CNA with Schwarzenegger's slumping approval ratings “You have to engage in civic responsibility," she says. "Otherwise the corporations essentially have the coup….They have endless money. We will never have the amount of money they will have. But they will never have the number of people that we have.” Before joining the association staff 19 years ago, DeMoro organized Hollywood producers for the Teamsters.

In Depth

Boot the Bell Protest

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers vs. Taco Bell

Boycotts in History

Protest in America


Penny
Migrant Labor in the United States

Migrant Labor Resources

Migrant Child Labor


Medical symbol

California Nurses and Gov. Schwarzenegger

Rose Ann DeMoro of the California Nurses Association

Healthcare Resource Map


Discussion



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Resources

Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video



[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

One Penny More (16:01)

California Nurses and the Governor (6:29)


Credits



Food Fight
Producer: Karla Murthy
Editor: Andrew Fredericks


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