Students, farmworkers and activists for workers’ rights marched through campus to the beat of guitar music and “boycott Wendy’s” chants Monday to protest the fast food restaurant’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.
The Fair Food Program, started by the Coalition for Immokalee Workers, is a partnership among farmers, farmworkers and retail food companies to ensure humane wages and working conditions for farmworkers working for the large food companies.
Students at UNC worked alongside members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Student Action with Farmworkers and the Student/Farmworker Alliance to plan the march, which was part of a movement stretching from Ohio to Florida.
“Eighty percent of our food is handpicked,” Rosemary Stump, a graduate student at UNC who helped organize the march, said. “They are real human beings, mostly brown people, who have none of the labor rights we have.”
The Fair Food Program includes a code of conduct for corporations, protecting workers from abuse in the fields and giving them a system for filing grievances and improving their working conditions.