Dublin, OH Wednesday, May 28th, at 9:00am, Columbus and Dublin-area clergy, students, and residents with Ohio Fair Food will join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) — an award-winning organization of Florida farmworkers — for a demonstration outside the 2014 Wendy’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders at the company’s corporate headquarters located at 1 Dave Thomas Blvd, Dublin, OH 43017.

Together, they will call on the Dublin-based burger giant to join its fast food competitors in supporting the Fair Food Program; a groundbreaking collaboration that has won praise from the White House to the United Nations for its unique success in addressing decades-old farm labor abuses at the heart of the nation’s trillion-dollar food industry.

"As a Dublin resident and adoptive mother, I used to think highly of Wendy’s,” says Professor Nancy Powers, member of Ohio Fair Food. “But Wendy’s refusal to participate in a proven solution to abuses like sexual harassment in its supply chain does a great disservice to both its consumer base and its shareholders. Wendy’s brand modernization campaign will remain uncredible if the company has not first made the commitment to support a more modern, more humane agricultural industry.” 

The Free Press has been closely following over the past year as Columbus has become the epicenter of a national effort to have Wendy’s join its fast food competitors and join the acclaimed Fair Food Program. Of the top five fast-food corporations in the nation -- McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, and Wendy's -- Wendy's is the only one not participating in the Fair Food Program.  Support for farmworker justice in Columbus has been continually growing in places like Ohio State where students have taken matters into their own hands to “Boot the Braids” and end OSU’s leasing agreement with Wendy’s in the Medical Center. 

“Through the Fair Food Program, we’re seeing the human rights transformation of an entire industry, affecting tens of thousands of workers,” said Gerardo Reyes of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

 “Wendy’s continues its unconscionable refusal to participate in this proven solution to abuses in its supply chain, while shamelessly claiming to pay a premium on its Florida tomatoes and purchase them exclusively from suppliers participating in the Fair Food Program,” continued Reyes. “The truth is, Wendy’s is not paying the Fair Food Premium, and the company refuses to commit to suspending purchases from growers who violate the Fair Food Code of Conduct, the very obligation that has made the Program successful.”

Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick was the President of Taco Bell in 2005 when that chain became the first corporation to commit to upholding farmworkers rights. He stated at the time, “We are willing to play a leadership role within our industry to be part of the solution,” adding, "We hope others in the restaurant industry and supermarket retail trade will follow our leadership.” Nine years later, Wendy’s, under Brolick’s leadership, has refused to join the Program.


Ohio Fair Food will be meeting in Dublin at Wendy’s Headquarters at 9:00am.  Parking is available at the Village Square Shopping Center – 6500 Riverside Drive Dublin, OH 43017.  If you need a ride from Columbus, meet us at Summit on 16th UMC – 82 E 16th Ave Columbus, OH 43201 - at 8:00am