Farmworker groups march to pressure Wendy’s on Fair Food Program

CIW farmworkers vs Publix
Farmworkers and allies march asking Publix to sign on to Fair Food Program. By Christopher Davis / WMNF News (March 2013).

Florida migrant farmworkers and their allies will march from New York to Florida next month to call attention to working conditions in the fields; the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Alliance for Fair Food are calling on the fast-food chain Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.

WMNF News interviewed Patricia Cipollitti, who works with the Alliance for Fair Food in Immokalee, Florida.

“In March, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Alliance for Fair Food – so farmworkers and their allies across the country – are gathering for the 2016 Worker’s Voice Tour, which is the CIW Spring Mobilization. And it’s going to be a tour of five different cities, over the course of 10 days, calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food program.”

What cities are in Florida will you be marching through?

“We’ll be in Palm Beach on March 12th.”

People from the Tampa Bay area — since you’re not coming here — how can they get involved?

“We’re organizing a bus out of the Tampa Bay area. It’ll probably have a couple of stops here and then it’ll be a day trip to Palm Beach. The action in Palm Beach starts at 1:00 p.m. and then folks from Tampa Bay will come back on the bus.”

Why Wendy’s? Why are you targeting Wendy’s for inclusion in the Fair Food Program?

“Wendy’s is the last of the major fast food companies in the U.S. to join the Fair Food Program. They still haven’t signed on despite a 3-year campaign. And so, last year at the Concert for Fair Food [in St. Petersburg], the Student Farmworker Alliance launched a national student boycott of Wendy’s. And this year we are focusing our efforts on Nelson Peltz. The CIW has decided that Nelson Peltz, who’s the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wendy’s and also one of the largest shareholders of Wendy’s, holds a lot of decision-making power within the company and so we hope that he can bring Wendy’s on board.”

It’s ending in Florida, but, where are you coming from before you get to Florida?

“The tour starts in New York City and we’ll be having a march outside of the offices of Nelson Peltz at his investment firm, Trian Partners, which is the largest shareholder of Wendy’s. And then we’ll be going to Columbus, Ohio, which is the headquarter town of Wendy’s. Then we’ll be going to Louisville, KY and Gainesville, FL and both of these cities have really active ‘Boot the Braids’ campaigns. So students are actively organizing to cut contracts with Wendy’s on their campuses there. And then we’ll end up in Nelson Peltz’s hometown in Palm Beach.”

Thank you so much for your time today.



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