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Farm worker allies gear up for major march on Wendy's headquarters

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On Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. over 1,000 consumers from across the United States will join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) — an award-winning organization of Florida farm workers — in a march on Wendy’s corporate headquarters.

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They will call on the Dublin-based fast food giant to join its competitors in the CIW's Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking collaboration that has won the praise of human rights observers 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. The protest at Wendy’s headquarters is part of the CIW's 10-day, 10-city Now Is the Time tour.

"Now is the time for Wendy's to stop profiting from farm worker poverty and to commit to real accountability in their tomato supply chain. Now is the time for Wendy's to join tomato growers and 12 multi-billion dollar food corporations in creating a new industry where farm worker rights are respected and workers have a real voice," said Santiago Perez, a farm worker and member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

"Wendy's can no longer turn its back on a program that is concretely improving thousands of farm workers' lives and setting the international gold standard for business supply chain ethics," Perez said.

Events leading up to the march on Sunday include:

  • At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, the CIW will hold a vigil outside the Wendy's restaurant at the corner of 9th Avenue and N. High Street, south of the OSU campus.
  • As spiritual preparation for the march, It Looks Like It's Open art gallery, 13 E. Tulane Road is hosting an open meditation, Off the Cushion and Into the Street, on Sunday, March 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To join the march on Sunday, gather at 2 p.m. for the welcome session at Coffman Park, on Coffman Park Drive in Dublin. Parking is available.

The two-mile march will start at 2:30 p.m. The procession will arrive at Wendy's headquarters (corner of Sharp Lane and Dale Drive) at 4 p.m.

"As Ohioans, consumers, and people of faith and conscience, we call on Wendy's to delay no longer in joining its fast food peers in the existing solution farm workers themselves designed to root out abuses in the fields," said Rev. Tim Ahrens of First Congregational Church of Columbus.

"Now is the time for Wendy's to participate in creating a twenty-first century food industry where farm workers are treated as human beings and their rights are not only protected, but valued," he said.