While driving past a Wendy’s fast food restaurant recently, my 6-year-old son looked longingly out of his window and said, “Wendy’s has the best chicken nuggets. I wish we could eat there.” He wasn’t whining, but he was sad, because my family has chosen not to eat at Wendy’s again until it stops getting its tomatoes from growers who use child labor and mistreat farmworkers.
As you’ll learn about in the July/August issue, Wendy’s has refused to join the Fair Food Program, a partnership among farmers, farmworkers and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. All other major fast-food restaurants have joined the program, as have grocery stores like Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and even Walmart. But Wendy’s chooses to continue exploiting workers. Even with a 451.3 percent increase in net income this year thanks to recent tax cuts, Wendy’s still deems a penny per pound of tomatoes too high a price to pay to protect workers from child labor, sexual harassment and assault and wage theft, among other injustices. All people deserve safe working conditions and living wages.
So my son and I wrote a letter to Nelson Peltz, the chairman of the Wendy’s Company board of directors, asking him to please join the Fair Food Program. As people of faith, it’s the right thing to do. And we really like Wendy’s chicken nuggets.