The Red Party endorses the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ boycott of Wendy’s, the third-largest fast food hamburger chain in the world.
The CIW has a proud record of combating the exploitation of an agriculture industry that is increasingly bound up with retail food giants, as capitalism’s tendency toward monopoly results in a handful of large corporations squeezing ever-increasing profits from the labor force. In the past decade CIW campaigns have won agreements with Yum Brands and McDonald’s, among others, to push back against sub-poverty wages, gendered violence and slavery in agriculture.
We have no illusions about the limitations of consumer boycotts. It is not possible to ‘vote with your wallet’ in such a way as to end the exploitation and oppression of the existing social order. But a consumer boycott can nevertheless be an effective tactic at the working class’s disposal. The present campaign is one organized by the farmworkers themselves to mobilize public opinion against Wendy’s in order to increase the pressure for an agreement.
We urge supporters and readers to withhold their business from Wendy’s, register their support by signing the petition, and promote the boycott campaign in their trade unions and communities.