Back in November, I got the chance to meet Gerardo and several of the farmworkers at a protest aganist Wendy's chairman of the board, Nelson Peltz, on Park Ave in NYC. "Their burgers may be square, but their food ain't fair" is the chant you'll hear from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Why should you Boot the Braids?
The Student Farmworker Alliance has a campaign in place to boycott Wendy's on college campuses and in communities across America. Taco Bell, McDonald's, Subway, and Burger are part of the Fair Food Program, which simply pays one teeny tiny extra penny per pound for its tomatoes, so the hard-working farm workers can live one level up from poverty. Wendy's is the only one of the Fast Food Giants to refuse to sign this agreement!!
These farm workers in Florida- all of them foreign-born and at a disadvantage for that - are simply asking to be treated with dignity and respect for their hard work. This highly successful worker-driven human rights program ensures that the workers have decent hours, clean bathrooms, dignified working conditions, without rapes or sexual harassment and with protection from harmful pesticides. It's a win-win, and the penny per pound is making a huge difference in the lives of these farm workers.
With the Fair Food Program in place on 90% of Florida's farms, they have literally been eradicating modern day slavery!!! No more rapes. No more sexual harassment. No more getting out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to drop off the baby at daycare, rush to hop on a 5:00am bus for two hours, only to sit in the parking lot until 10:00 am because they cannot do anything until the dew dries. The rules of the game have been changed, and the lives of the farm workers have been dramatically improved with this little penny per pound. It's been expanded to tomato farms in five other states and they are taking this to the strawberry and green pepper fields, too. It's being replicated by other countries and also in other industries where modern day slavery runs rampant.
The sad fact: Wendy's buys the same exact tomatoes as the other four fast-food moguls, but they pay less per poun and they are also "going through the back door" and buying tomatoes where there have been rapes and other violations of the Fair Food Program. In reality, they are literally don't care about the lives of the people who are bringing them their tomatoes. So, now you know. What will you do? You can Boot the Braids.
The Workers’ Voice Tour will build on the three-year-old Wendy’s campaign, partnering with students and consumers across the country to amplify the call for farm labor justice.
The first stop on the tour will take place in the heart of New York City, at the sleek Park Avenue offices of Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz.
From the Big Apple, farmworkers and their allies will bus westward to Columbus, Ohio, to join students for a massive mobilization at Ohio State University, and from there continue on to Louisville, Kentucky and Gainesville, Florida — all major hubs in the growing student-led boycott against the fast food giant.
Finally, the caravan will arrive in Palm Beach, Florida, for the tour’s big closing march in Mr. Peltz’s glitzy hometown. Want to get involved? Email the allianceforfairfood.org to get involved!