ACTION ALERT: “Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” Week of Action, April 5-11!

Fair Food Nation to Wendy’s: “Stop ignoring the health and dignity of essential workers in the fields and join the Fair Food Program!” Sign up to add your city to the growing list of actions from San Francisco to NYC.

Join the Alliance for Fair Food’s network-wide call on March 18 at 8 p.m. ET to help plan for the upcoming Week of Action! Register here

Yesterday, a tweet from Facing South came across our communications desk here at the CIW Community Center that highlighted one of the most important moments in the Campaign for Fair Food’s 21-year history: Victory in the seminal Taco Bell Boycott. 

Since that fateful day in 2005, farmworkers in Immokalee and their consumer allies have worked tirelessly to build the country’s premiere human rights program for protecting farmworkers against abuse and exploitation in the workplace.  The Fair Food Program – which back in 2005 did not yet exist, by that name or any other, except as the dream of a more modern, more humane agricultural industry that the CIW was inviting Taco Bell to be a part of making a reality — has now, for more than a decade, been successfully transforming the lives of tens of thousands of essential workers in the fields, protecting them from sexual assault, forced labor, and the other abuses that are all-too-common outside its bounds.  And while all the biggest fast-food chains, by joining the Fair Food Program years ago, have long committed to ensuring that the women and men harvesting the produce they sell can work free from those abuses, Wendy’s continues to refuse to join the Fair Food Program and embrace its uniquely successful worker-driven model of social responsibility. 

Wendy’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program is especially deplorable in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened and claimed the lives of workers in the food system at a staggering and disproportionate rate and caused major disruptions in corporate supply chains, from meat processing plants to tomato greenhouse operations.  Meanwhile, the Fair Food Program is the only social responsibility program in the country known to have privately-enforceable protocols to address farmworkers’ COVID-related health and safety issues. 

It’s time for Wendy’s to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the farmworkers in its supply chain and stop ignoring farmworkers’ and consumers’ demands to join the Fair Food Program.  From April 5-11, make your support for the Wendy’s Boycott heard and sign up to take action at your local Wendy’s restaurant as part of the national “Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” Week of Action

See the full announcement from the Alliance for Fair Food website: 

The “essential-yet-disposable” paradox exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has made the Fair Food movement’s call for enforceable safety and human rights protections for farmworkers more urgent than ever before.  Essential workers harvesting the food we eat need more than performative appreciation for their labor — they need access to PPE, sick leave and a complaint mechanism for reporting concerns related to their health and safety on the job that triggers a thorough investigation and swift resolution.  

That’s why, when companies like Wendy’s repeatedly go out of their way to reject commitment to the only human rights program known to protect farmworkers from dangerous and abusive conditions, we need to fight back.

The viability of Wendy’s business during times of calm, and especially during times of crisis, cannot be separated from the health and well-being of the workers at the base of its supply chain. Join us for the “Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” Week of Action from April 5-11 to make our message clear to Wendy’s: Stop ignoring the health and dignity of essential workers in the fields and join the Fair Food Program! 

You can sign up here to take action in solidarity with farmworkers during the Week of Action to demonstrate your support for the Wendy’s Boycott by holding signs outside your local Wendy’s and delivering a letter to the manager.  Leading up to the Week of Action, we will be sending special Wendy’s Boycott artwork produced by farmworkers in Immokalee to all who are committing to participating, and we will be putting together an online toolkit to help you prepare! 

If you’re in NYC, you can join New York Fair Food in protesting outside of the offices of Trian Partners, which is not only Wendy’s largest institutional investor but also has its founding partners Nelson Peltz and Peter May sitting at the top of Wendy’s Board of Directors.  And if you’re in San Francisco, you can join allies in demanding the country’s top delivery service companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash to end business ties with Wendy’s and reject farmworker exploitation. 

Add your city to the growing list of actions!

And make sure to RSVP for our network-wide call on March 18 at 8 p.m. ET, where we will be hearing an update from CIW leaders in Immokalee and fleshing out plans for the Week of Action together. Register for the call here