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Domino's Pizza Boycott Delivers

Domino's Pizza Boycott Delivers image Domino's Pizza Boycott Delivers image
Parent Issue
Month
August
Year
1989
Copyright
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held By
Agenda Publications
OCR Text

ANN ARBOR- On July 18, a newly-formed coalition of local community activists announced the start of its national campaign to boycott Domino's Pizza. Among The Coalition to Boycott Domino's Pizza's members are representatives from the National Organization of Women, Industrial Workers of the World, Ann Arbor Tenants Union, Latin American Solidarity Committee, Homeless Action Committee, Women' s International League for Peace and Freedom, Ann Arbor Coalition to Defend Abortion Rights, and residents living near Domino's Headquarters. The Coalition lists numerous reasons for its boycott, ranging from saving Tiger Stadium to stopping Domino's funding of the anti-choice movement. The Coalition's concerns are rooted in how Domino's profits are used by Thomas Monaghan, founder and sole stockholder of Domino's Pizza. Being sole stockholder means that Monaghan profits from every pizza sold. Although this relationship is more direct in corporate-owned pizza outlets, privately owned franchises also must tum over a percentage of their intake to Monaghan in the form of royalti es. Therefore.buyingapizza from Domino's amounts to making a contribution to a wide array of right-wing causes. The Coalition has vowed to continue the boycott until their list of demands, as follows, have been met. 1 . Stop socially rresponsible and environmentally unsound development. In March, 1989, Domino's Farms Corp. announced plans to construct a 600-acre exclusive community of 138 homes (The Settlement), each costing about SI mili ion, on the northeast edge of . Ann Arbor. The plan also calis for the construction of a golf course with a country club and driving range. Gordon Leipold, president of Domino's Farms Corp., claims that membership to the club will cost "several times $ 1 0,000." The housing development project is an ticipated to take 1 5 years to complete, with the golfcourse being completed in two-and-a-half years. Neighbors of The Settlement fear pesticide runoff from the golf course into Fleming Creek which flows through the U-M Botanical Gardens. Fleming Creek is the cleanest creek in Washtenaw County according to a U-M Fisheries study. Neighbors also fear the possible impact of the proposed on-site sewage treatment plant, specifically the risk to public health and cost of clean-up if it should f ail. In 1987 Domino's attempted to purchase Marshall Park, an 87-acre nature preserve in northeast Arm Arbor, from the city, to build luxury condominiums and a golf course. Many area residents protested this move out of concern for the rare plant and animal species sheltered there, coupled with alarm over the rapid growthof the Domino 's empire. Due to this pressure. Domino's eventually backed down. In addition, in 1985, Thomas Monaghan purchased 1,700 acres of Drummond Island, an 87,000 acre island off the eastem tip of the Upper Península. Although Monaghan originally claimedhe would use the land for nis vacation home, in the last two years he has constructed, on that land, a corporate retreat and homes for himself -and nis top executives . He cleared the woods to build an 1 8-hole golf course and to build a pond and sewer plant. Currently, Monaghan is discussing plans for condominiums, marinas, lodges, banks, golf course expansión, a motel, a mini-car museum, and a chapel retreat. Monaghan has also proposed dredging the island's main fishing harbor, Potagannissing Bay, in order to doek his schooner, "Domino's Effect." In a June 1 1 story in The Ann Arbor News, AP reporter Paige St. John stated, "While he (Monaghan) pledged his support for conservation by stopping his bulldozers from knocking down a tree with nesting woodpeckers, his workers filled in wetlands.... Before Torn Monaghan, Drummond Island was known mostly as aplace for perch, bear & bobcat." 2. Stop funding the anti-choice movement. In 1988 Monaghan personally donated S 100,000 to Proposal A, the referendum ballot "Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortions." In mid-1988 Monaghan made his first contribution of $50,000. During a Proposal A telethon of October 3, 1988, Monaghan promised another $50,000 of his personal money and Domino's Farms Corp. contributed an additional $10,000 (Ms. Magazine, March, 1989). The passage of Proposal A banned Medicaid abortion funding and greatly restricted reproductive rights for poor women in Michigan. Domino's Farms has hosted numerous fundraisers for Right to Life of Michigan, yet cancelled a National Organization of Women (NOW) fundraiser for pro-choice activities. A Domino's official stated ihat the cancellation was due to "Mr. Monaghan's religious beliefs against abortion." NOW has filed a civil rights complaint against Domino's on the basis of religious discrimination. A statement by the Washtenaw County ACLU suggests that although Domino's is a private business, it is nonetheless subject to Section 302 of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. This section prohibits a private business which opens its facilities to the public, to discrimínate on the basis of religión. The ACLU states that Monaghan's $900,000 tax abatement from Ann Arbor Township "should result in a greater willingness to comply with the public policies against discrimination which are embodied in the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act" 3. Make public the political agendas of Word of God and Legatus and the financial support they receive from Monaghan, Domino's Pizza, Domino's Farms Corp. and TSM Proporties, Inc. Word of God is an Ann Arbor-based "Christian" cult which believes that women are "handmaidens of men," forces arranged marriages, and works according to the authoritarian principies of "shepherding," a doctrine demanding that members submit control of all aspee ts of their li ves to a "shepherd," who is in tum submitted to a higher "shepherd," and so on (Russ Bellant, NCR, 1 118 88).FormerWordofGodmemberTomYodertold Bellant about the following examples of what occurred in Word of God: "expulsión due to unapproved marriages, people compelled to live in houses not of their choosing, a man forcing discipline on a woman by tying her up, and members submitting advance schedules to their 'head' on a weekly or monthly basis for approval." Bellant asserts that the following characteristics of Word of God are associated with cults: "esoteric language and titles; secrecy; exclusivity; declarations of war on some vague enemy; personal messages from a higher source." Word of God members, in a 1987 meeting, were encouraged to see themselves "as a nation," and were told that "there is no distinction between 'military,' 'civilian,' and 'spiritual' leadership.... People say war is heil, but in this case war is heaven" (Bellant, NCR, 111888). Word of God cofounder Steve Clark has claimed that"Democracy is not a scriptural concept." Consistent with this belief is the significant overlap between the membership of Word of God and Washtenaw (Operation) Rescue, which employs illegal and often violent techniques to achieve its political goal of denying women their right to choose to have an abortion. Torn Monaghan has numerous connections with Word of God: Monaghan is on the board of directors of Word of God-controlled University of Steubenville in Ohio; Domino's Farms was used as the campaign headquarters for John R. Burch, a Word of God memoer and Republican nominee for Ann Arbor City Council in 1985; and Word of God cofounder Ralph Martin claimed that Monaghan gave his TV ministry a $ 1 00,000 matching grant in 1986 (Bellant, NCR, 111888). Domino's employs many Word of God members and the corporation's headquarters staff is dominated by members of WoTd of God. For example, Peter Thomasen, a Word of God member and head of Washtenaw Rescue (arrested at the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood clinic on April 15), is an employee of Monaghan's real estáte company TSM (Thomas S. Monaghan) Properties, Inc. In June, 1987 Monaghan founded Legatus, a Catholic businessmen's club with the stated purpose of: "promoting and supporting moral ethics in business in conformity with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church so that the lives of all can be enhanced." Legatus consists of bishops, CEOs of corporations with over $4 mili ion in sales yearly, and CEOs of financial corporations which have over $80 million in assets. Legatus has integrated Word of God members into its leadership and activities. For example, the Michigan chaplain to Legatus is Bishop Kenneth Povish, adviser to Word of God's magazine, New Covenant. Past meetings of Legatus have featured presentations by Phyllis Schlafly, Ralph Martin, University of Steubenville President Father MichaelScanlan, and former John Birch Society activist and founder of the Heritage Foundation, Paul Weyrich. Legatus, in an attempt to increase its international influence, has formed branches in Honduras and the Philippines. 4. Domino's out of Central America. Thomas Monaghan is associated with several right-wingreligious organizations that promote a right-wing agenda in Central America. Among these groups are Word of God, Legatus, and the Knights of Malta (a 900-year old chivalric order which considere itself a sovereign nation). Monaghan in 1987 opened the first of four Domino's pizza franchises in Honduras, the profits from which flow to the activities of Word of God's international affiliate, Sword of the Spirit, in Honduras. In addition, Monaghan has opened a factory in Honduras which produces pants under the label "Honduran Mission" that sell for $195 a pair in the United States. The Knights of Malta (of which Monaghan told Bellant he is "honored" to be a member) have funnelled millions of dollars in supplies to the contras. This activity has been facilitated by the Knights' diplomatic privileges and their Central American members. The Word of God's international affiliate, Sword of the Spirit, has severa! Central American branches. The Nicaraguan branch is headed by Cardinal Obando y Bravo, and works to oppose the S andinista govemment. Father Enrique Sylvestre, the Spanish priest whose work Monaghan supports in Honduras, is the leader of a Sword of the Spirit branch in Honduras. Sylvestre came to Ann Arbor to study English with the Word of God, according toTom Monaghan in his autobiography "Pizza Tiger." Also, the Central America coördinator for Domino's Pizza is Francisco Zuniga, a Nicaraguan who left his country just after the triumph of the S andinistas. Zuniga is a Word of God member and a Sword of the Spirit coördinator. Regarding his work in Honduras, Monaghan recently stated that he is "more interested in people's souls than their wealth or health.. . . I don't want to waste what little money I have just bringing up people's standards of living so they get into a position where they can raise heil and sin all the more." (Detroit Free Press, June 4, 1989) 5. Save Tiger Stadium In March, 1989, Monaghan (owner of the Detroit Tigers) endorsed a proposal to move the Tigers to a new $117 million stadium, much to the dismay of Tigers fans. Tiger Stadium is the second oldest major league baseball stadium in the U.S., built in 1912. A basic Tiger Stadium renovation, according to estimates, would cost $57 million. Monaghan, who has said that he cannot af ford the cost of the new stadium alone, would like the stadium to be financed by the state, the city, and private donors. Detroit Mayor Coleman Young and Michigan Govemor James Blanchard, however, have yet to pledge their support for the project. An April 2, article in The Ann Arbor News predicted that: "Selling taxpayers on state financing for a stadium unpopular with fans could be difficult during a time when the state budget is tight, a possible recession looms and school finance reform remains unresolved.... (Monaghan) could... force the state and city into action by threatening to move the Tigers out of Detroit, possibly to another state." 6. Stop anti-union practico Monaghan stated in an interview with Bellant (NCR, 1 11888) that "unions are the cause of the federal déficit." Monaghan added that "he did not want to say much about unions, for fear of being 'targeted' by them" - that the fear of being "targeted" by unions prevents other businessmen from criticizing them. According to former employees, Monaghan has told workers that no unions will be (see DOMINO'S, page 9) DOMINO'S (from page 6) allowed at his companies. (Bellant, NCR, 1118 88) Eight construction trade unions in Granite City, Illinois have initiated a boycott - with community support - in response to Domino's use of non-union labor in building local ouüets. In Michigan, UAW workers have urged a similar action based on the purchase of large fleets of foreign-made trucks for pizza deliveries. 7. Slop unfair and discriminatory employee practices Since 1986 Monaghan has beensubmitting his employees todrug testing. Domino's witten policy on this matter states that "Domino's Pizza, Inc. reserves the right at all times to have employees or job applicants, while on the premises and proper ties described herein, submit to an examination for the purposes of determining if such employees or applicants are using any of the prohibited substances of this policy." Attire wom by all employees at Domino's Headquarters is dictated by Monaghan's dress policy. "Women may not wear slacks, short skirts or tight clothing, and men must wear 'conservative business suits.'" Domino's drivers have a separate uniform. Monaghan is also currenüy involved in a civil liberties suit filed by a Domino 's employee and the ACLU over Domino's hairlength policy. The policy states that male employees must have their hair cut above the collar. Boycott actions On July 18 the Coalitionkickedoff the boycott with a picket at Domino's World Headquarters. On July 26, journalist Russ Bellant addressed an Ann Arbor audience with a talk entitled: Torn Monaghan and Religious Totali tarianism - A CIA Connection. The Coalition to Boycott Domino's Pizza is currenüy planning actions for the coming months. To get involved or for more information write: Coalition to Boycott Domino's Pizza, co LASC, 4120 Michigan Union, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, or cali 665-8438. Phillis Engelbert Is a member of The Coalition to Boycott Domino's Pizza.

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