“Enough with Wendy’s excuses…!”

Wendys_Month_of_Outrage_Ft_Myers_0113Support for national boycott of Wendy’s building as Month of Outrage protests take place in Florida and beyond…

Since the launch of the Wendy’s Boycott Month of Outrage earlier in April, the Fair Food Nation has stepped up and turned up the heat on the hamburger giant.  Today, we have a photo report from the past week’s wave of actions in Denver, Washington DC, and right here in Florida!

First up, in Fort Myers this past Sunday, longtime Fair Food allies joined over 40 farmworkers and their families for this month’s second Southwest Florida mobilization. 

Proudly representing the faith community were members of no less than seven local congregations:  Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, St. Columbkille Catholic Church, Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ, Hope United Methodist Church, Tice United Methodist Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, and Cornerstone United Methodist Church:

Rev. Esther Rodriguez (right) of Tice United Methodist Church and Pastor Allison Farnum (left) of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers marching in Sunday’s protest.
Cornerstone UMC Member and Girl Scout Annabelle Chapman, who never misses a Southwest Florida protest, rain or shine.
Cornerstone UMC Member and Girl Scout Annabelle Chapman, who never misses a Southwest Florida protest, rain or shine.

The Sunday protest was buoyed not only by the unflagging energy of local faith supporters, but also by the overwhelmingly positive reception from our neighbors of Fort Myers, who honked and waved in support throughout the windy afternoon:



CIW’s Cruz Salucio brought the protest to a close with a powerful message to Wendy’s:

“Enough!  Enough with Wendy’s excuses.  Wendy’s is trying to hide from the Fair Food Program, refusing to join a program that is protecting human rights for farmworkers.  Instead, they went to Mexico, a place where we know there is exploitation, we know there are children laboring in the fields, we know companies are enslaving workers — yet that is where Wendy’s has chosen to go, instead of the Florida tomato industry.  We will not accept that.  They need to join the Fair Food Program, and support the industry that is protecting workers’ human rights.  McDonald’s did it.  Burger King did it.  Taco Bell did it.  Subway did it.  Why not Wendy’s?

The longer they wait, the stronger we will become.  This month, consumers across the country are taking action to support the Wendy’s Boycott.  We’re just getting started.”

And indeed, to the south, north and west of Immokalee, Florida, consumers are making their voices heard in support of the boycott.  Down in Miami, Barry University students held a spirited Friday afternoon protest to let Wendy’s know that students and young people — who together represent a key market demographic for the fast-food chain — care less about the cheap prices on Wendy’s menu and more about the human rights in their supply chain:


And not only that, but the picketers made sure that every passer-by got the message, too:


Meanwhile, up north, a delegation from DC Fair Food headed to Wendy’s to explain to the manager why they would no longer be eating at the fast food giant:


They never got a chance to do so, however, as the Wendy’s manager refused to even receive their letter, and instead threatened to call security if the delegation did not leave the premises within 10 minutes.  But were the DC allies daunted?  Of course not!  The very next morning, DC Fair Food ran a boycott pledge drive at the local Temple Adas Israel, adding dozens of more supporters to the list:


Finally, out west in Denver, Colorado, the ranks of boycott supporters also continued to swell as the Denver Fair Food crew spread the word about the boycott first in the streets, both supporting and building support among local janitors by marching alongside them in a fight for fair wages:


They then took their message to the classroom, to students at Denver’s Auraria College.  After hearing from local Fair Food activists, students jumped on board, pledging to boycott Wendy’s until the fast food chain made a real commitment to the basic rights of farmworkers by joining the Fair Food Program.


Stay tuned for more from the Month of Outrage later this week!