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Why Are Students Protesting Wendy’s and Publix? | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Why Are Students Protesting Wendy’s and Publix?

Immokalee tour

Immokalee "Now is the Time" tour (Photo credit: Forest Woodward)

The indefatigable Coalition of Immokalee Workers recently wrapped up its "Now is the Time” Tour—a ten-day, ten-city tour designed to pressure Wendy’s and Publix supermarkets—two of the remaining hold-out retailers—to embrace the highest standard of farm labor protections and increased pay in US agriculture, the Fair Food Program.

Wendy’s now stands alone as the only major fast-food brand that has refused to join the FFP, a unique farmworker-driven initiative consisting of a wage increase supported by a price premium paid by corporate purchasers of Florida tomatoes, and a human-rights-based Code of Conduct, applicable throughout the Florida tomato industry.

More than 800 consumers marched on Wendy’s headquarters in Columbus, OH, and over 1,000 faith, student and community supporters joined farmworkers on March 14 for a 24-hour vigil and march in Publix’s hometown of Lakeland, FL.

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Another big step in the direction of equity and justice is National Farmworker Awareness Week. Five days of action for students and community members to raise awareness about farmworker issues, the annual event is currently marking its 15th anniversary in 2014. Honor the occasion by learning how you can help advance the cause of farmworker justice and equity by calling Wendy’s management, delivering info to Wendy’s franchises, educating your community about the issues and helping spread the word about the campaign.

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