Fair Food Nation gears up for the June 5th Wendy’s Annual Shareholder meeting!

Farmworkers’ freshly-drying artwork for the upcoming Wendy’s shareholder meeting.

“Time’s Up, Wendy’s!”  40+ farmworkers, scores of allies to descend on Columbus to confront Wendy’s executives over failure to protect human rights in burger giant’s supply chain…

Less than a week to go!

We are in the final stretch before Wendy’s Annual Shareholder meeting, which will take place next Tuesday, June 5th, at the corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Columbus.  Building on the powerful momentum of last March’s 5-day Freedom Fast and 2,000+ person Time’s Up Wendy’s March to the offices of Wendy’s Board Chair, Nelson Peltz, farmworker leaders in Immokalee and consumer allies nationwide have been gearing up for what is promising to be a major showdown between the executive leadership of Wendy’s and that of the Fair Food movement.

2,000+ marchers flood Manhattan during the March 2018 Time’s Up Wendy’s March, heading towards the Park Ave offices of Wendy’s Board Chairman, Nelson Peltz.

Over the past month, excitement has been building in Immokalee as well as across the country.  Here in Florida, farmworkers and their families (with kids fresh out of school in Immokalee!) are preparing to fill up an entire bus for the trip to Dublin, Ohio.  And, ready to make their voices heard outside of Wendy’s Headquarters, CIW members are coming armed with brand-new artwork (featured at the top of the post, as well as below!) for the protest.

Meanwhile, in Columbus, the ranks of Fair Food supporters built up over years of massive marches, parades, and fasts in the burger chain’s hometown have been marshaling their forces in preparation for the action on the 5th. 

Just a few weeks ago, thousands of members of the United Methodist Women’s Assembly — which carried the apt theme of “Power of Bold” — gathered in Columbus, representing 800,000 members globally.  The gathering drew luminaries such as New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander, Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory — and, of course, the CIW.  In addition to facilitating workshops, CIW displayed the Harvest without Violence Exhibit, educating hundreds of eager members on gender-based violence in agriculture and the national Wendy’s Boycott.  Galvanized by the exhibit, hundreds of visitors signed the petition to be delivered to Wendy’s ahead of the shareholder meeting.  In addition to gaining thousands of new national supporters, local movers and shakers like Bishop Gregory Palmer (below) of the West Ohio Annual Conference — which includes Columbus itself — expressed their unequivocal support for the CIW’s groundbreaking work to bring fundamental human rights to the fields.

The CIW and Alliance for Fair Food contingent with the Methodist Bishop of the West Ohio Annual Conference.

And that was just the beginning of the buzz in Ohio.  In the weeks following the UMC gathering, a team from Immokalee has been bouncing all over the city, working together with Ohio Fair Food, students from Ohio State University, the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, Little Minyan, the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign, Local Matters, Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus, and Indianola Presbyterian Church — just to name a few! — to spread the word about next Tuesday’s protest.

As always, however, the rest of the Fair Food Nation beyond the borders of Ohio and Florida is not going to miss out on the opportunity to send some strongly-worded messages to Wendy’s executives.  Over the past several weeks, from coast to coast, scores of letters have been sent from everyday consumers to Wendy’s offices, be it from the Stony Point Center in upstate New York…

… or from a 2nd grader in California!

What can YOU do?

(1)  There’s still time for you to pick up a pen and paper and send your own thoughts to Wendy’s headquarters.  Here’s the low-down on letter writing:

Commit your support to paper and send a hand-written letter to Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor and Board Chairman Nelson Peltz, then organize your community, congregation, or student group to do the same (make sure to post a photo to social media of your letter)!  Send your own powerful message to Wendy’s about why consumers have joined with farmworkers in this movement. Download more instructions here to get set to send your letter to One Dave Thomas Blvd., Dublin, OH 43017.

(2)  If you’re in the Midwest, there’s still time to make plans to join us in Columbus!  Here again are the details:

Make your plans to join farmworkers, Ohio Fair Food and allies from across the country on Tuesday, June 5, for the major protest outside of the annual shareholder meeting!  Housing will be provided for those coming from out of town.  Get in touch with us at organize@allianceforfairfood.org for support in planning the trip!  Join the farmworker community of Immokalee in speaking truth to power, and standing strong in this critical moment of the campaign.

(3)  And finally, next Monday, June 4th, help us flood Wendy’s inboxes with emails!  Keep an eye out on Monday morning for more details…