March 1, 2016
Dear Emil Brolick, Nelson Peltz, and the Wendy’s Board of Directors,
We write as members of the executive committee of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and as leaders of national faith bodies whose members care deeply about human rights, believing all people are created in God’s image, to ask Wendy’s to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program without further delay.
The National Council of Churches has a longstanding relationship with the Coalition. We endorsed the Taco Bell boycott and we called upon McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway to join the Fair Food Program. We have seen with our own eyes the unprecedented achievements in human rights wrought by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program.
Our 38 member denominations, comprised of more than 30 million Christians in over 100,000 local churches, are deeply committed, as followers of Christ, to equality and dignity for workers. We are familiar with the stories of those men and women who work in the fields and now labor under conditions of respect and safety. These changes have made it possible for workers to work without fear, for families to actually have time together, for growers to be as proud of their working conditions as their products, and for buyers to be able to assure their customers that the produce they purchase has been harvested fairly.
We are disappointed that Wendy’s continues to refuse to join and, in fact, has pulled its purchasing from Florida tomato growers participating in the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program’s collaborative and accountable approach which leverages the unique power of buyers, growers and workers has eradicated longstanding abuses and established a verifiable and sustainable path for human rights protections.
We ask you to align Wendy’s with fourteen other buyers including McDonald’s, Yum! Brands, Wal-Mart, leading growers in tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, and millions of consumers nationwide to advance and protect the human rights of farmworkers through the Fair Food Program.
Jim Winkler, General Secretary and President of the National Council of Churches of Christ USA
The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, Chair of the National Council of Churches of Christ and General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District and the North Carolina Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Rev. Barbara Carter, Community of Christ
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, United Church of Christ
The Rev. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary Emeritus, American Baptist Churches USA
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, The United Methodist Church
Protodeacon Sergei Kapral, proxy for the Orthodox Church in America