The Workers’ Voice Tour is a wrap! Converging yet again for another powerful major action, farmworkers, students, young people and communities across the country poured into the streets by the hundreds in support of the recently-declared national Wendy’s Boycott.
The decades-long relationship of student/worker solidarity between SFA and CIW bloomed as colorful as ever during the Workers’ Voice Tour. And as word of the Wendy’s Boycott spreads like wildfire in communities, schools and universities across the country, SFAers will keep fighting alongside CIW to make it known that the longer Wendy’s holds out on joining the Fair Food Program, the more consumers they will lose to this growing national boycott.
We are taught that history tends to repeat itself. And just as students and young people fought alongside farmworkers until victory during the Taco Bell boycott more than a decade ago, today, we are more than prepared to take on Wendy’s – and win. Not only do we stand on a foundation of over 15 years of grassroots organizing and community building, but our truth is reinforced with the Fair Food Program’s impressive – and proven – track record for transforming human rights for farmworkers in U.S. agriculture.
Be sure to check out the CIW’s video highlights from each stop along the way – and if you haven’t done so already sign the pledge to boycott Wendy’s until the lone fast food holdout joins its competitors in the Fair Food Program.
New York City
The first stop in the Workers' Voice Tour made history as hundreds marched loud and strong through the streets of Manhattan with a loud and unified message: From now until Wendy's commits to respecting farmworker rights, thousands of farmworkers and consumers commit to boycotting Wendy’s! Students from Manhattanville College, the CUNY system, Fordham, New York University, Union Theological Seminary and dozens of high schoolers traveling from Brooklyn and as far as Rhode Island joined fellow Fair Food supporters shouting over and over again: "Boycott Wendy's!"
Moving onward to the Buckeye State, more than 500 farmworkers, students, people of faith, fellow workers, and consumers converged to march across the heart of downtown Columbus, stopping at a Wendy’s across The Ohio State University campus — with members and students of Real Food Challenge chapters, Ohio University, University of Dayton, Denison University, John Carroll University, Antioch College, the Ohio Student Association and, of course, OSU present. The vibrant, thundering crowd held their ground in front of the Wendy's as OSU students and broader Columbus residents walked by, learned more about the boycott and showed support.
International Women’s Day
As the Workers’ Voice Tour continued to make its way south, disseminating farmworkers’ demand for dignity and respect across the Midwest, the tour team took pause to deeply reflect on the movement for farmworker justice and the interrelated struggles being fought worldwide to usher in a new day for all workers. The CIW's own powerful women leaders under the shade of strong, interconnected oak trees, created beautiful, vulnerable moments that embraced and united an already tight group of participants.
The tour also included stops at a couple universities where students have been boycotting Wendy's for the past year and leading campaigns to "Boot the Braids.” The first university stop at the University of Louisville gathered nearly 100 farmworkers, Cardinal Student/Farmworker Alliance and Louisville allies who have stood with the CIW since the early Taco Bell days for the first-ever letter delegation to the Wendy's manager on campus.
In a powerful outpouring of student solidarity with farmworkers, 200+ strong marched on the Wendy’s at the University of Florida campus to amplify the student-led Boot the Braids campaign, aiming to end the university’s contractual relationship with Wendy’s until they respect farmworkers’ rights and sign the Fair Food Agreement. Student and youth-led organizations such as CHISPAS, UF Dream Defenders, Students for Justice in Palestine led the charge and committed to keep fighting until Wendy’s no longer had a home on their campus.
Palm Beach, FL
After 10 days, five cities, thousands of miles, and countless allies taking action to join CIW’s national boycott of Wendy’s, the Workers’ Voice Tour culminated in a massive march through the heart of the vacation town of Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz in Palm Beach, FL. Presente were members and students from Dream Defenders Squadds, Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, Notre Dame College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College, University of South Florida andUniversity of Florida – and special guest Ethel Kennedy – marching alongside CIW to bring the message of justice home to Peltz and other Wendy’s decision-makers.