MAY DAY CONCERT ANNOUNCED: Tom Morello, Olmeca and more to join call to Boycott Wendy’s!

Young Fair Food leaders lead chants and songs during a Wendy’s Boycott action in New York City (2019).

“Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” Week of Action kicks off today with many opportunities to take action – both in-person and online! – in the Wendy’s Boycott!… 

PLUS: SAVE THE DATE for an inspiring virtual May Day Concert to honor essential workers featuring world-renowned artists and stalwart Fair Food supporters Tom Morello, Olmeca, and more! 

Last month, we announced this week’s “Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” National Week of Action calling on Wendy’s to stop undercutting the health and dignity of essential workers in the fields, and to commit to farmworkers’ human rights once and for all by joining the Fair Food Program – but little did you know, that was just the beginning of the spring action in the Wendy’s Boycott!

Today, we have yet another big announcement, so pull out your calendars:  This May Day, get ready to jam out for farmworker justice with none other than singer, songwriter, and political activist Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine fame) and hip-hop artist and social justice scholar Olmeca!  Live on Facebook from 6-8 p.m. on May 1st, we will be hosting a Virtual May Day Concert in honor of the essential workers who have continued to labor tirelessly throughout the pandemic in order to grow and harvest the food on our tables — and demand Wendy’s do its part to ensure those workers are protected from unsafe working conditions, wage theft, sexual violence, and modern slavery.

Spanning back to the Taco Bell Boycott days, both Tom Morello and Olmeca have used their musical talent to lift up the struggle for dignity and justice in Immokalee, joining farmworkers at massive outdoor rallies and concert halls since the earliest days of the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food nearly two decades ago.  Here below is a fun flashback to 2007, when the CIW’s victory in the McDonald’s campaign provided the spark for an historic reunion of Tom Morello with RATM front man Zack de la Rocha in an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind concert before a crowd of more than 2,000 farmworkers and Fair Food allies at Chicago’s House of Blues:

In Tom’s own words at the time:

It was very exciting for everybody in the room, myself included. I mean, the place was just packed to the rafters and even the stage was packed with this ring of 25 photographers two feet away from us while we were playing, so it was kind of a trippy, you know, way to do our first show. But it was a great cause and we were happy to be a part of the Immokalee farmworkers victory.” 

Today, 14 years later, Tom Morello, Olmeca, and more extraordinary artists/activists will take to the virtual stage to make their voices heard yet once again in the fight for human rights in the fields, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put vulnerable farmworker communities at risk across Florida and the entire country. 

Feeling psyched for May Day?  Now, get ready to channel all that excitement into this week’s actions!

Starting today, Fair Food allies from coast to coast will be both taking to the streets, with Wendy’s demonstrations and manager letter deliveries confirmed in 20 cities and counting, and taking to virtual channels with a series of nationwide online actions that you can join right from home. 

Here are four ways YOU can stand in solidarity with farmworkers this week: 

  1. Organize an in-person action at your local Wendy’s:  Choose a day this week to bring a group of your friends and family along with you to spend 1-2 hours holding signs outside your local Wendy’s to show solidarity with CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food. Make sure to deliver a letter to the manager before heading out! Check out this handy Week of Action toolkit with everything you’ll need to plan your action. You can sign up to add your city to the map here or reach out to organizers if there’s an action happening near you.  
  2. Call Wendy’s headquarters this Thursday:  Join the Fair Food Nation in giving Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor a ring to demand the fast-food company joins the Fair Food Program to create a tangible and meaningful difference in the lives of the essential workers harvesting Wendy’s produce.  Stay tuned for call details and a script later this week!
  3. Sign the Deliver With Dignity petition: Help us amplify the growing petition calling on Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates to join the Wendy’s Boycott and take real leadership on the issue of human rights in our country’s food system by dropping Wendy’s from their delivery options! 
  4. Send an email to Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates CEOs: After you sign the petition, take a moment to send an email to the top executives of the nation’s principal delivery service companies demanding they stop doing business with Wendy’s until the hamburger giant joins the Fair Food Program. Click here for the email zap!

Although there is hope on the horizon for an end to the raging pandemic, with millions of people in the U.S. getting vaccinated every day, we’re still a long ways from reaching the end of the tunnel – and as the harvest season wraps up in Florida and farmworkers begin migrating to different parts of the country, the need to strengthen and expand the Fair Food Program’s uniquely enforceable protections for health, safety and dignity of farmworkers remains urgent. 

Join the Fair Food Nation in taking part in the Week of Action in as many ways as you can, and invite others to do the same.  If you aren’t already, follow CIW and #BoycottWendys on social media to get in on all the Fair Food fun happening across the country this week.  Stay tuned for updates on the “Demanding Dignity for Farmworkers” Week of Action and more news on performances and guest appearances for the CIW’s May Day Concert coming up!