19:44 | 08.03.2018
Florida Farmworkers Announce 5-Day “Freedom Fast” and “Time’s Up Wendy’s March” to demand Wendy’s Join Fair Food Program and Help End Sexual Violence in the Fields
On March 11th, dozens of farmworkers with the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers (CIW), together with students, faith and community
leaders from around the country, will launch a five-day fast in front of
the hedge fund offices (280 Park Ave) of Nelson Peltz, the Board
Chairman and largest shareholder of the fast food giant, Wendy’s. The
fast will protest the restaurant chain’s refusal to join the Fair Food
Program, which has virtually ended sexual harassment and assault for
tens of thousands of workers on dozens of participating farms in seven
states. Wendy’s competitors McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle
and Taco Bell all joined the Presidential medal-winning program years
ago and have contributed to an unprecedented improvement in farmworkers’
lives in their supply chains.
“In the age of #MeToo, business leaders like Nelson Peltz must use their
power to end sexual violence in their companies’ supply chains, and not
hide behind a shroud of silence that prevents survivors of sexual
violence from obtaining justice,” said CIW member Lupe Gonzalo.
“Today, we come to Mr. Peltz’s doorstep with a proven solution in hand.
Inaction in the face of a problem like sexual assault is unacceptable,
but inaction in the face of a solution is unconscionable.”
The “Freedom Fast”, which builds off a national Wendy’s Boycott launched
by CIW in 2016, will culminate with the Time’s Up Wendy’s March through
Manhattan on March 15th. Human rights leader Kerry Kennedy,
U.S. Women’s Soccer legend Abby Wambach, and New York Times best-selling
author Glennon Doyle will join the march along with thousands of
supporters from New York City and across the country who are part of a
growing national movement to hold Wendy’s accountable for the company’s
inaction. “Wendy’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program — and ensure
that the farmworkers who pick their food stop being raped and abused in
the fields — is reprehensible. Abby and I are honored to march alongside
our fierce farmworker sisters and together demand that Wendy’s stop
profiting from women’s pain,” shared Doyle.
CIW reports that under the direction of executives like investor Nelson
Peltz, Wendy’s has refused to join the Fair Food Program and instead
ended its purchases from longtime Florida tomato suppliers and shifted
those purchases to Mexico. In doing so, Wendy’s is choosing to partner
with an industry where sexual harassment is endemic, but seldom reported
and brought to justice, due to widespread violence, corruption, and
The Fair Food Program was named one of the Harvard Business Review’s
top 15 “most important social-impact stories of the past century,” and
was called “the best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.” on the
front page of the New York Times. The Program has harnessed the
purchasing power of more than a dozen of the world’s largest retail food
companies, including retail giants like Walmart and Stop & Shop, to end
decades of sexual harassment and assault on participating U.S. farms.
The Freedom Fast will be taking place at the offices of Nelson Peltz,
280 Park Avenue, New York, NY, between March 11th and 15th.
The fast will culminate with the Time’s Up Wendy’s March on 15th,
which will step off from Dag Plaza at 5:00PM.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers: www.ciw-online.org
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization
and Presidential Medal recipient internationally recognized for its
achievements in the fields of social responsibility, anti-sexual
violence efforts, community organizing, and ending slavery. The CIW’s
Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers,
Florida tomato growers, and fourteen major food retailers. Participating
retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who meet a
worker-driven code of conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy
for slavery and sexual harassment. Retailers also pay a
“penny-per-pound” premium, which is passed down through the supply chain
and paid out directly to workers by their employers. Since the program’s
inception in 2011, buyers have paid over $26 million into the FFP. For
more information, visit www.fairfoodprogram.org.
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