What I originally thought was just my 17th birthday turned out to be the beginning of a long journey towards my career. That was the day I was introduced to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) by SEYM. I quickly became very involved and passionate about the issues, and decided this was a cause I could rally behind. As an individual passionate about immigrant issues, I see the pain that South Floridian farmworkers are dealt. They carry buckets of tomatoes each weighing at least 32 lbs. for only 50 cents at each bucket. Hundreds of buckets carried every day in the heat of South Florida with no fans, no shade, and sometimes no bathrooms or clean water.
The CIW has made it its mission to get corporations to sign the Fair Food Agreement, where food retailers make a commitment to only buy produce from fields that provide better field conditions and pay for farmworkers. This is right along the lines of Cesar Chavez and his 1960s movement in California.
Wendy’s is the only major fast food corporation that is still refusing to join the Fair Food Program. They’ve been holding out for over 2 years now and it seems evident that pure advocacy can no longer work. We need to apply pressure in the form of a full on boycott: refusing to eat at Wendy’s, and urging those who may have shares or investments to pull out until they change their decision. As Quakers, we have not backed down from issues of oppression and injustice, and we will not start now. The late great Martin Luther King Jr. once said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Remember this in the struggle for justice, and we will not fail.
—-Aurelio Anderson, Tallahassee Meeting