Protesters march in Columbus as part of human rights campaign targeting Wendy's
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Goodale Park to help raise more awareness for an issue involved Dublin-based fast food giants Wendy's.
Protesters convened for a rally at Goodale Park then walked to campus, including a stop to picket at the Wendy's on High Street, as they called into question the company's practices regarding its treatment and payment of farm workers.
In January 2014, the national Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA) launched Boot the Braids, a student-driven effort to get university administrators to stop doing business with Wendy's. In the early 2000s, student successfully "booted the bell" from 25 high school and university campuses, resulting in Taco Bell joining the program. SFA hopes Wendy's will follow suit.
"We depend very much on the people who bring food to our tables and right now we are abusing them when they deserve to be respected and given this protection." said Mara Momenee, an OSU student organizer
Since 2011, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has been organizing to get all major companies using their products to sign the Fair Food Agreement. Under the agreement, companies would pay farmworkers one cent more per pound of tomatoes picked. CIW is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work.
The Fair Food Agreement is a partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms.
Nearly two dozen students also went on a week-long fast to pressure Ohio State into terminating its lease with Wendy's
Several large corporations such as Trader Joe's, Walmart, Chipotle, Subway and the previously mentioned Taco Bell already have signed the agreement.