UNC groups plan march against Wendy’s for farmworker rights
UNC senior Veronica Aguilar, an intern at Student Action with Farmworkers, said her role was to make students aware of the march.
“I think the main goal is to raise awareness about the fact that Wendy’s hasn’t been paying their farm workers living wages,” Aguilar said. “To bring awareness to the fact that Wendy’s is on our campus and that we should be aware of what kind of practices and policies they’ve implemented and how they’re treating their workers.”
Bianca Olivares, a senior at N.C. State and an intern at Student Action with Farmworkers, has been working to help coordinate the event and making phone calls to work out the logistics of the march. Olivares said the event is for any concerned community member.
“Ideally it will be a lot of students since it’s on a campus, but any community members that are worried about farmworker issues and their agricultural system,” Olivares said. “Just anybody who cares about working conditions in general.”
The march is scheduled to take place at noon on March 27. The protesters will begin at Polk Place where they will listen to speakers and march through the Pit to Wendy’s at the Student Union.
Aguilar said it is important as students and consumers to be aware of where your money goes and what it is funding.
“Farmworkers feed us. That’s undeniable. They are the people that make sure the food that we eat is grown, it’s fresh, it’s there, its visible.” Aguilar said. “So making sure that fast food chains, really any company, treats those workers right is crucial to my values.”
UNC first-year graduate student Rosemary Stump said she has been involved with farm worker advocacy since her undergraduate career. She has been working to promote the protest, passing out flyers and coordinating with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. She said she is participating in the protest and that it is going to be a great day.
“Most people are going to be reuniting so it’s going to be a lot of energy and then we’re marching through the Pit to Wendy’s where we’ll be doing the protest and the picket, which will also include a letter delivery to Wendy’s,” Stump said.
“Usually when we do protests outside of a company or outside of a grocery store or fast food restaurant, there is always a letter delivery, basically outlining what their food program is demanding or requesting from the restaurant.”
Stump said she wants students to be informed about the partnership that exists between farmworkers, companies and students to enforce fair wages and working conditions for people that are growing our food.
“A lot of people don’t talk about farm workers when they talk about food policy reform,” Stump said.
“We talk about immigration a lot, we talk about food a lot, but we don’t necessarily talk about farm workers that are putting food on our plates. I think that this protest is extremely important and I really hope people show up for it.”
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