After a month of non-stop action, April’s ‘Month of Outrage’ is a wrap! In the past few weeks several hundreds of allies, including students from campuses across the country, took to the streets to denounce Wendy's for its shameful decision to shift its purchases outside of Florida to the Mexican tomato industry, sourcing from a farm where countless reports show that workers there continue to confront wage theft, sexual harassment, child labor and even forced labor.
From coast to coast, the momentum built upon the previous month’s Workers’ Voice Tour to march, picket, and chant in nearly 20 cities nationwide throughout April. It all kicked off in the heart of the Fair Food Nation in Southwest Florida, when Immokalee farmworkers and their families joined allies in Naples for a high-spirited picket and manager letter delivery.
Students within Fair Food Group strongholds then took up the baton – DC Fair Food organized a letter delivery to a local Wendy’s manager. OSU SFA and Ohio Fair Food teamed up with other local forces for a May Day march, during which #ReclaimOSU declared their support for the Wendy's Boycott. In Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, students joined people of faith to deliver boycott pledges gathered throughout the month, all taped together to show the depth of local support for the boycott.
Students also got creative, organizing not just pickets and letter deliveries but also teach-ins and impromptu presentations to educate fellow students about ongoing campaigns to Boot the Braids off campuses and student meal plans. Students at the University of Michigan continue to grow their base along with the Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective to kick Wendy's off campus for good. Vanderbilt University students gathered more 750 signatures from the student body and delivered them to the head of Dining Services on campus, in an effort to cut a dining contract between the University and Wendy's.
At campuses in Miami, Denver, and Pittsburgh, students took it upon themselves to educate fellow students, gather boycott pledges, and take them to local Wendy’s management. Closer to Immokalee, farmworkers joined New College students and community members to conclude the Month of Outrage with an energizing hundred-person protest in sunny Sarasota.
As the national boycott against Wendy's sweeps its way into every university, high school and community space in the country, Wendy's will feel the burn in their pockets – and their precious image will suffer because of it. Is Wendy's stubborn and greedy leadership willing to continue risking the company's flashy brand and reputation by ignoring our demands for Fair Food?
We'll soon find out during the next big opportunity for CIW and SFA to confront Wendy's leadership (face-to-face this time): the Wendy's annual shareholder meeting in Dublin, OH on May 26. SFAers are mobilizing to wave the Boycott Wendy's flag outside an annual shareholder meeting for the first time, and allies nationwide will give Wendy's Headquarters a heads up of what's coming for them with a national call-in day on May 25. Join in and spread the word!