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Release: Boycott of A2 Wendy’s announced

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Passing along this press release unedited and without comment, except to say for transparency’s sake my first job was at a Wendy’s in Fayetteville, N.C. I was the worst fry cook ever. — Jim

Photo by Nick Juhasz via Wikipedia

Photo by Nick Juhasz via Wikipedia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Students and Citizens Rally for National Boycott of Wendy’s Ann Arbor, Michigan – April 14, 2016 – Supporters of workers’ rights all over the country are putting pressure on Wendy’s fast food chain to sign onto the Fair Food Program, under which the chain would pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes. On Sunday, April 17th at 2 pm, Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective (A2SFC) will hold a demonstration to protest Wendy’s Fast Food’s unjust labor practices. The action will begin outside Hatcher Graduate Library and proceed to the Michigan Union. In addition to its local action, the Collective also seeks to publicize the national Wendy’s boycott organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). A2SFC, a collective of workers, Ann Arbor community members, students, and allies, objects to the fast food chain’s refusal to sign on to the Fair Food Program, under which they would pay a single penny more per pound of tomato so that farmworkers can earn a living wage. The program also protects farmworkers from slavery, sexual abuse, and other forms of exploitation. Wendy’s is the only major fast food chain not to have signed onto the program. Kim Daley, one of the protest’s organizers, hopes that the event will draw Ann Arbor residents’ attention to the system that connects consumers to their food. “Most people that I’ve encountered are not familiar with the problems facing farmworkers,” she said. “Food is very removed, and a lot of times people don’t think about where their food is coming from. They see produce in the grocery store and they don’t think about how it got there.” Drew Nowak, another organizer, agrees. “People are astounded to find out that slave labor still happens in this country, that workers are denied bathroom breaks and water and shade, that people are not fully paid for the hours that they work.” Although A2SFC’s picket is part of a nationwide protest– April is the CIW’s Month of Outrage– it is particularly relevant to Ann Arbor because the city has a total of four Wendy’s, two on the University of Michigan campus. Wendy’s tomato purchases have been linked to a farm in Mexico that has been investigated for workers forced to work without pay, trapped for months at a time in scorpion-infested camps, and beaten when they tried to quit. Daley says, “We believe that due to this recent information that has surfaced regarding Wendy’s tomato purchases, that they are violating the University of Michigan President’s Advisory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights Code of Conduct.” Ann Arbor Solidarity with Farmworkers Collective (A2SFC) is an organization based in Ann Arbor Michigan which advocates for farmworkers, racial justice, immigrant rights, and putting an end to wage theft and labor exploitation. A2SFC came together to organize in support of the national Coalition of Immokalee Workers campaigns and has since expanded to learning about and organizing around local farmworker initiatives. For more information visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AnnArborFairFood.

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Usually, this just means Jim, one of our partners, uploaded the article. There's an off chance it could be an intern, though, so be nice.

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