The PC(USA) was the first Christian denomination to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in a national boycott of Wendy’s Restaurants. Many other faith groups have subsequently endorsed the boycott. CIW’s Gerardo Reyes Chavez says this is great news for their campaign:
“We are appreciative of the hundreds of thousands of Presbyterians who have steadfastly stood beside farmworkers in making our vision of a just and dignified agricultural industry a reality through the Fair Food Program,” he said. “Today, Wendy’s has heard the call of farmworkers and Presbyterians together to take responsibility for human rights in their supply chain, and be part of a program that is ensuring justice for tens of thousands of farmworkers across Florida and the East Coast.”
“Rather than support Florida growers who uphold human rights under the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s switched its tomato purchases to Mexico, where the denial of human rights in the produce industry was well-documented in last year’s Los Angeles Times expose,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “This is unacceptable, especially from a company that has prided itself on using U.S.-made products. Therefore, the PC(USA) joins the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in calling on Wendy’s to sign a Fair Food agreement.”
Susan Sampson of Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church extends this invitation to any and all who wish to be allies of the farmworkers.
“The Presbyterian Hunger Program has been supportive of the Fair Food Program for many years and we are grateful that they continue to support the human rights of farmworkers, and have taken this step as well,” she said. “I wholeheartedly support the Fair Food Program and the Wendy’s boycott. I invite my fellow Presbyterians and all people of faith to join with the CIW in the boycott and make fair treatment of farmworkers common practice throughout the industry.”
Let us respond to Susan’s invitation and live up to Gerardo’s words with prayer and acts of solidarity. Here’s how:
PRAY for the leadership of Wendy’s to uphold human rights, dignity and justice by joining the Fair Food Program. Bulletin insert for your church.
ACT in solidarity with the farmworkers with a pledge to boycott Wendy’s, tweets and letter’s given to Wendy’s managers. Act now.
DO the same for the supermarket chains Publix (in FL and the southeast) and Kroger in the middle of the country. Take action here.
Read the Faith Letter to Wendy’s signed by the PC(USA) Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons, Tony De La Rosa, Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Sara Lisherness, Director of Compassion, Peace & Justice, PC(USA) and Carol Winkler, Moderator of Presbyterian Women.
Download the ‘Presbyterian Partnership in the CIW’s Call to Wendy’s‘ one-page overview of the Wendy’s boycott and Presbyterian involvement.
May 2016 article about PC(USA) endorsement from Presbyterian News Service
Visit the PC(USA) Fair Food website and CIW’s Wendy’s Boycott website for more