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Lucas Benitez

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NEWS
March 28, 2000 | HECTOR TOBAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
His father can neither read nor write. His younger brothers still work in the fields as he once did, reaching deep into long rows of tomato plants for hours on end, fishing out Roma, plum and cherry tomatoes to be packed and sold in New York, Boston and other points north. Lucas Benitez himself was educated only through grade school in his native Mexico.
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NEWS
March 28, 2000 | HECTOR TOBAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
His father can neither read nor write. His younger brothers still work in the fields as he once did, reaching deep into long rows of tomato plants for hours on end, fishing out Roma, plum and cherry tomatoes to be packed and sold in New York, Boston and other points north. Lucas Benitez himself was educated only through grade school in his native Mexico.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2000
Re Lucas Benitez's sign, "No soy tractor"--he is so right (photo, March 28). If these workers were tractors, their owners would be taking excellent care of them. Where is America's conscience when our hardest workers are treated with such callous disdain? EILEEN BIGELOW Whittier
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 1998 | Associated Press
Lucas Benitez, a 22-year-old farm worker organizer, is the first winner of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development's Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. Benitez, a community organizer at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Immokalee, Fla., emigrated from Mexico as a teenager and began picking fruit in the South and along the East Coast. He became active in the Southwest Florida Farmworker Project, funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2003 | From Reuters
A group of farm workers say they will go on a hunger strike near Taco Bell's headquarters this week in their latest attempt to get more money for Florida tomato pickers, who saw their real wages fall through the 1990s. Beginning today, the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers will begin a hunger strike outside the Irvine headquarters of Taco Bell Corp., one of the fast-food industry's biggest tomato buyers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2003 | Hilda M. Munoz, Times Staff Writer
About 60 tomato pickers from Florida picketed the Irvine headquarters of Taco Bell on Monday and began a hunger strike, accusing the Mexican-style fast-food chain of producing "sweatshop tacos." Shaking picket signs shaped like tomatoes and Chihuahuas, a dog breed once used in Taco Bell advertising, the farm workers from Immokalee, Fla., protested low wages and a lack of paid overtime and health benefits from the companies that sell tomatoes to Taco Bell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2003 | Hilda M. Munoz, Times Staff Writer
The Porta-Pottys are gone and their tent city is history, but 70 Florida tomato pickers, students and labor activists vowed Monday to continue picketing Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine indefinitely. Citing public safety, Irvine police on Monday denied protesters' request to continue setting up overnight shelters on the sidewalk outside the fast-food chain's corporate offices for the remainder of their demonstration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2003 | Hilda Munoz, Times Staff Writer
A group of 70 Florida tomato pickers and supporters who went on a hunger strike to protest what they call unfair labor practices divided a loaf of bread in an Ash Wednesday service outside Taco Bell's headquarters in Irvine, ending a 10-day fast. Demonstrators had hoped Taco Bell would pressure growers to raise workers' wages and improve working conditions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2002 | JERRY HICKS and MARC BALLON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A cross-country caravan of Florida tomato field workers upset with Taco Bell, a major tomato buyer, for not helping in their struggle for better wages arrived at its destination Monday: Taco Bell corporate headquarters in Irvine. The farm workers were greeted enthusiastically by local supporters in a street rally outside the 12-story, glass-walled headquarters building. Their reception by Taco Bell officials was cordial but far less than what the visitors had hoped it would be.
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