Time's Up Wendy's: I support the Freedom Fast to end sexual violence in the fields
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“We decided to demand the right as women to work free of sexual harassment and violence, and the right to protect our dignity.” — LUPE GONZALO, CIW MEMBER
For generations, the women who harvest the fruits and vegetables that we put on our families’ tables have faced a daily barrage of sexual abuse in the fields: vulgar comments, groping, demands of sexual favors from supervisors, and, in the most extreme cases, rape. If a woman spoke up, she would be fired, while her abuser would be right back at work the next day.
Today, under the groundbreaking protections of the Fair Food Program, the story has changed, and that change is spreading. Farmworker women and men organizing as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) launched the Fair Food Program in 2011. The program has radically transformed working conditions for tens of thousands of agricultural laborers, eliminating longstanding human rights abuses from sexual assault to forced labor. In the words of Alejandrina Carrera, a worker at Pacific Tomato Growers, under the Fair Food Program, "You’re not going to be harassed, you’re not going to be insulted, you’re not going to be forced to work. There’s more respect now.”
Another worker said simply, “Our dignity has been restored by this program.”
Today, the Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program extends beyond Florida tomatoes to seven states and three crops. All the major fast-food companies – McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, and Chipotle – are fully on board, having signed binding Fair Food agreements.
All except Wendy’s.
Instead, in response to pressure to join the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s abandoned its longtime Florida tomato suppliers and shifted its purchases to Mexico, where sexual harassment and assault in the fields are endemic and go unchecked. There, farmworker women are intimidated into silence by a culture of fear, violence, and corruption. Rather than join the leading program for ending sexual violence, Wendy’s has chosen to profit from women’s pain, its brand protected by the women’s involuntary silence.
Today we are breaking that silence.
Farmworkers from Immokalee are launching the five-day Freedom Fast outside the Manhattan hedge fund offices of Nelson Peltz, Wendy’s largest shareholder and Chair of its Board of Directors. The Freedom Fast will then culminate with a massive Time's Up Wendy's March on March 15 in the heart of Manhattan.
We're asking you to sign this petition and support the fasters demanding that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program. Demand justice for farmworker women from Mr. Peltz, who has the power to end sexual violence against women in Wendy's supply chain and yet, does nothing. For market giants like Wendy’s, refusing to take meaningful action to end sexual violence in the supply chain — when a proven solution is right at their fingertips — is no longer an option.
Today: Coalition of of Immokalee Workers is counting on you
Coalition of of Immokalee Workers needs your help with “Wendy's: We’re boycotting you until you support human rights for farmworkers! #BoycottWendys”. Join Coalition of of Immokalee Workers and 110,428 supporters today.