CORRECTION: An ealier version of this article incorrectly stated that the University ofMichigan decided to cut ties with Wendy’s after pressure from student groups has energized the alliance. The franchisee’s lease expired when the school remodeled the building in which the restaurant was housed, and they did not pursue a bid for a new lease. The franchisee never had plans to return to UM or renew a lease. The story has been updated with the correct information. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
While Wendy’s may serve Frostys, Baconators and spicy chicken strips, activists gathered Tuesday to protest the lack of human rights on the fast-food giant’s menu.
Student activists, farmworkers and community members marched from the Southern Centurion Post Oak Tree in Carrboro to the Wendy’s in the Student Union, calling on UNC to cut business ties with Wendy’s until the restaurant joins the Fair Food Program, a pro-workers’ rights group.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a Florida-based human rights organization, and the UNC Student-Farmworker Alliance hosted the march. The event was the second protest against Wendy’s on UNC’s campus in the last six months, following a smaller demonstration held in October 2018.
Tuesday's event began on Weaver Street in Carrboro, where demonstrators congregated and began marching toward UNC's campus. The march moved down Franklin Street, through McCorkle Place and circled the on-campus Wendy’s.
Demonstrators blasted upbeat music and chanted slogans such as “Wendy’s, shame on you. Farmworkers are people too.”
After a brief picket outside of Wendy’s, the march ended with a series of speakers on the steps of South Building. Each speech was given in Spanish and English. Speakers included Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, student leaders, local activists and religious leaders.
The speakers highlighted Wendy’s refusal to adopt the Fair Food Program while their competitors have agreed to the Coalition's terms.
“They brought Burger King to the table, they brought McDonald’s to the table, they brought Long John Silver’s to the table, they brought Taco Bell to the table, Whole Foods, Walmart, and many, many more. Today is the day for Wendy’s to come to the table,” Kennedy said.