On March 3, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers officially declared a national boycott of Wendy’s — only the second boycott in the history of the organization’s Campaign for Fair Food.
The boycott stems from Wendy’s refusal of CIW’s Fair Food Program, a workplace-monitoring program that the group designed to prevent worker abuse and exploitation, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Wendy’s has moved some operations out of Florida — where tomato growers had begun implementing the Fair Food Program — to Mexico, where worker abuse in the industry has been widely documented.
There are two main prongs to the Fair Food Program, according to a press release from the group:
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.
The boycott comes after years of campaigning and a year-long student boycott of Wendy’s.
CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo said that Wendy’s had delayed and ignored their demands for years, leaving them “no choice” but to boycott.
He added that he was confident their campaign would be successful, “because more and more, transparency and food justice are becoming the hallmarks of the 21st century food market.”
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