By Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post.
A leader within the Presbyterian Church (USA) took part in a protest held outside of Wendy’s Dublin, Ohio, headquarters last week, demanding that the fast food chain sign onto the Fair Food Program.
“Wendy’s has, for many years, avoided the criteria of the Fair Food Program, even as other companies have joined on,” said Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in a statement about his participation in the May 26 demonstration organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
“We believe, as people of faith, that it is time for Wendy’s to adopt the criteria of this program. Thievery in the field, sexual harassment and other abuses have no place in the supply chain of our food. It is right and moral that workers receive a fair wage and just working conditions are established.”
According to the Fair Food Standards Council, the Fair Food Program involves among other things independent monitoring of working conditions for farmworkers and the creation of a ‘penny-per-pound’ premium for farmworkers.
Bob Bertini, spokesman for Wendy’s, told The Christian Post that these protests by the CIW and its allies have been going on for several years.
“We have always prided ourselves on our relationships with industry-leading suppliers, and we work with companies who share our commitment to quality, integrity and ethics,” said Bertini. “We support the goals of any organization that seeks to improve human rights, but we don’t believe we should pay another company’s employees — just as we do not pay factory workers, truck drivers or maintenance personnel that work for our other suppliers.”
When asked by CP about his opinion of PCUSA and other religious groups supporting the CIW, Bertini replied that Wendy’s “respects the opinions of others that may differ from our own.”