Protestors Challenge Wendy’s, Defend Farm Workers’ Rights

By Christine Alvarez
Published on February 17, 2014 in The Independent Florida Alligator

View Article

Protestors lined up along an Archer sidewalk Friday night, chanting phrases like, “Wendy’s, shame on you. Farm workers deserve rights, too.”

Three advocacy groups — UF Coalition of Hispanics Integrating Spanish Speakers through Advocacy and Service, the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice and the Students for Justice in Palestine — met at Wendy’s, located at 3611 SW Archer Road, to protest the company’s refusal to join the Fair Food Campaign.

Initiated by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the campaign strives to create Fair Food Agreements with corporations to establish more humane farm labor standards and fairer wages for farmworkers in its tomato supplier’s operations.

“We want to make sure that we get the message across that we want fair food, and we do not support a corporation that turns its back on injustice,” said Yaissy Solis, a 22-year-old UF journalism senior and the president of CHISPAS.

Now that Gator Dining is planning to bring a Wendy’s location back to the Reitz Union, the students plan to continue protesting.

“The informational picket is designed to highlight a great injustice that is happening in Florida and potentially on our campus if Wendy’s comes to the campus,” said Paul Ortiz, an associate history professor at UF and the CHISPAS faculty advisor. “It’s not good enough just to say people are being mistreated. We have to try to move people to action.”

[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 2/17/2014 under the headline “Protestors challenge Wendy’s”]